Programmatic Distribution for Influencer Marketing

Spaceback Powers Studio71 Xpand

At Spaceback, we’ve long had the hypothesis that our product would be a game-changer for influencer marketing. Since we first started working with brands and agencies to enable social content ads we’ve observed first-hand that the best social content is often created with the help of influencers. The problem is that this great content is trapped in the walled-gardens of social and its potential reach is often limited to the followers of the social account that posts it. Spaceback’s core expertise is in programmatic, so naturally we saw a massive opportunity to connect influencer content to a distribution channel that would offer scale, transparency, and measurement capabilities beyond the social platforms.

Our new partners at Studio71 saw this problem from precisely the other end, and this blog post is all about how a serendipitous connection in Las Vegas led to our most exciting announcement of 2019!

First of all, I don’t love Las Vegas. In fact, I usually have a rule where I won’t stay for more than 48 hours. CES 2019 was an exception. Brand-Innovators was hosting 3 days of content, plus I had meetings and events spread out over the week. It was at one of these events that I had a chance encounter with Peter Leeb from Studio71. We were introduced through a mutual friend so the conversation started with jokes and good vibes (it was a happy hour, after all). At some point we gave each other the polite, 30-second, I’m-proud-of-what-I’m-working-on-but-not-really-pitching-you-at-the-moment overview of what each of us was working on and exchanged contact info before disappearing into separate clouds of indoor casino smoke (a big part of why I have my 48-hour rule). Meeting Peter was a relevant and memorable connection at a networking event, but like meeting your future-best-friend, the significance of the encounter was lost in the moment.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from following up, and a few weeks later my business partner and I sat down with Peter while he was on a business trip in San Francisco. We had both been thinking about how to bring greater distribution to influencer marketing and soon found ourselves finishing each other’s sentences. We may have had a different vocabulary, but we had been thinking about the same problem from opposite ends of the spectrum. This was when I realized we were going to do something big together, and that only became more obvious as our teams started working on a joint product offering. After a few weeks of daily engagement we were ready for our first trial; it would be the first time an influencer post was automatically distributed via programmatic.

Not only was our first campaign up and running in less time than my 48-hour Las Vegas rule, it also delivered a performance increase over 4x the benchmarks set by the brand! We’re calling the new product Studio71 Xpand (powered by Spaceback) and will be onstage with Peter at NewFronts today to introduce it to the industry.