From the Influencers

gShift Acquires Influencer Marketing Platform Maker InNetwork

March 24, 2016

Web presence analytics provider gShift has announced that it has acquired influencer marketing platform maker InNetwork.

“A modern digital marketer with a content-centric approach to building awareness for a brand and driving the customer journey is always thinking about developing and positively impacting their audiences,” gShift CEO Krista LaRiviere said. “Acquiring InNetwork and adding influencer identification and management to gShift’s existing suite of software strengthens the entire content campaign process and helps marketers get their message to target audiences, through highly-targeted social influencers.”

gShift did not disclose how much it paid for the Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada-based company, but it had acquired all of InNetwork’s stock and all of its staff will join gShift. The company’s Canadian offices will be maintained as well.

Influencer marketing is the practice of marketing to a few people the marketer perceives as influential. In theory, these people will recommend these products and services to other people in turn. These people could be journalists, academics and other experts in their fields.

While the field has only come to attention in recent years, it’s based on groundbreaking research by the sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld in the 1940s that found that people’s opinions were formed by listening to “opinion leaders” rather than directly through the media itself. Influencer Marketing is really a practical application of this theory.

The problem in influencer marketing is trying to determine exactly who will be influential, especially since the Internet offers so many unvarnished opinions about products from customers. Potential customers are forming their opinions about products off of a company’s website, weighing a company against peer reviews, competitors, word of mouth and social media.

InNetwork calls this the “dark funnel”, since companies have little idea what their customers have been doing before they landed on their home page.

InNetwork has algorithms that can score potential influencers based on criteria like professionalism and social media reach, which gShift’s customer base will now have access to. gShift thinks that this will complement its existing technology such as smart URL tracking to give marketers better insight into potential customers.

“Influencers have the ability to amplify marketing messages and are an extension of SEO, content marketing and social investments,” Chris Keevill, cofounder and CEO of InNetwork, said. “When you combine these strategies with the use of gShift’s kontextURL smart URL system, brands gain insight into the Dark Funnel, showing true engagement of off-site content by channel and influencer. This level of off-site analytics has previously been unavailable and enables marketers to measure the impact influencer marketing is having on overall web presence optimization.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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