At last month's Phocuswright conference in Amsterdam the emphasis was very much on travel technology, and not so much on travel media and influencers, but I did run across two examples of new 3rd party businesses that have sprung up to fill that gap between brands and influencers.
They come at the problem from two different angles.
'After the fact'*
Chute enables brands to find and use User Generated Content (UGC) for their campaigns. The idea is, a brand can search for and find video clips and photos from influential blogs, instagram accounts, Twitter accounts, etc, and through the Chute platform negotiate & aquire thr rights to use them.
"Prior to Chute, it was incredibly time consuming to find fan photos and videos, let alone secure the rights to use them. Chute allows us to communicate through a visual platform, breaking down traditional barriers between brand and consumer – something tremendously impactful for a beauty brand." - Claudia Allwood, Director, U.S. Digital Marketing, Benefit Cosmetics instagram
For content creators there's not much to be done. It's a case of them finding you rather than the other way round, but if you get a request via Chute to use your material - take it seriously... (depending how much they are willing to pay!).
'Before the fact'*
Whalar connects brands to social influencers so they can collaborate on single campaigns or ongoing relationships. To that end they curate a stable of top influencers on Facebook and Instagram and act as the go-between them and brands who want to use them.
In this case, there is a proactive opportunity for content creators. You can apply to join their community.
I spoke to Whalar founder, Neil Waller, who had been competing earlier in an Innovation Battleground for startups on stage at Phocuswright...
It's clear that more and more businesses are beginning to occupy the space between influencers and brands. It's going to be increasingly important to keep an eye out for them and the opportunities they provide.