How can you identify yourself in the industry?
I started Artik to help micro-influencers promote and monetize their creativity. Companies see bigger returns on their investments turning to social media influencers than through traditional marketing channels. We forge connections between those micro-influencers and companies with strategic planning, content, and advice on how to take advantage of the latest viral trends to build their audiences.
We are experts at understanding the consumer and their pain points. With those insights, we add significant value for our clients and help them reach their digital marketing goals.
Would be great if you could share the ups and downs of your life as the founder of Artik?
As an entrepreneur, ups and downs are part of the journey. When we first launched our business, no one took influencers seriously. Influencer marketing was not as common as it is today. We had a hard time convincing our clients that they needed to include it in their marketing strategy and to reach a growing audience. It took a lot of convincing but now, knowing that over 82% of consumers are likely to buy something a micro-influencer recommends, influencers capture the attention of marketers across all industries.
As a business gains traction, an entrepreneur’s mindset shifts from building a sustainable model to how far can you go and how fast can you get there. The trick is being able to look forward to the future, but remain focused on adding value every day.
What is Artik? And what you had in mind when you started this awesome venture?
Artik is a marketplace that connects video creators and consumers. We invite micro-influencers and content makers to join our global community to earn money and credit for doing what they love.
Our company was built to fill a void in the market and level the playing field for micro-influencers. We spoke with hundreds of content creators who weren’t being properly compensated for their work (getting neither credit nor payment) and decided to change that. We continue to improve our model and plan to roll out several new offerings and solutions this year. Our plan revolves around promoting content creators while providing a targeted solution to marketing managers, who want to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them on TikTok and other fast-growing platforms.
How are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
Like every company, we are making adjustments to our business to navigate the pandemic. That said, we’ve been fortunate to be working in an industry that continued to grow during the crisis. With more people at home and brands eager to connect with them, more of our clients are getting involved in TikTok and other new platforms to engage with their audiences. At the same time, we always prioritize our people and have spent a lot of time ensuring they are safe, healthy, and taken care of.
The past year has put everything in perspective. We make sure to communicate with our employees and customers more regularly. During times like these, our people and our clients need to know we are here for them and can help them keep their digital marketing engines running. We’ve also helped many of them raise more capital and increase sales, which enables them to create more job opportunities and give back to their communities. We are proud of our teams for all the hard work they’ve done this past year under such challenging circumstances.
What is your opinion about modern advertising technology trends?
It’s amazing how fast Adtech is moving. We’re seeing more and more platforms emerging to connect big brands with micro-influencers and content creators. Part of it is driven by the consumer and their changing habits in this new environment. TikTok saw enormous growth over the past year and could still add tens of millions of US users in 2021. To keep up, advertisers need to be wherever their consumers are and move faster to get there. When I hear CMOs say that they are not yet on TikTok because “it seems childish” then I urge them to remember how Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were all labeled the same at the beginning. We’re starting to hear about Clubhouse, too. Advertisers should embrace these new platforms and figure out their brand’s role in the ecosystem. We help marketers understand how they can maximize these opportunities and where to make the right investments.
What according to you is the future of Adtech?
With more promising new players entering into this industry, I think that focusing on key features will differentiate between winners and losers. Speed, efficiency, and low cost are making it easier for brands to leverage these new platforms. While large platforms have launched supporting new features, like Fleets on Twitter, TikTok has remained true to its core and remains focused on video.
We are well-suited to support clients as the future unfolds. We always research and try to identify the trends before they “go big”. With that in mind, we try to maintain both mental and professional flexibility. If I see the future isn’t quite as rosy as I’d hoped, I know to take my business in a different direction and not let myself fall in love with an idea just because it’s mine.
Can you name a few tools that you always use to make the life of a CEO easier?
One thing I’ve learned in recent years is that my energy is critical, and completely affects whether my day is positive and productive or not, so I stick to a few things. First, the importance of taking breaks. Even during COVID, I make sure to leave the house, get some fresh air, and take 20 minutes to meditate. I also keep meetings to a minimum. I schedule all my meetings for 20 minutes at most – if progress can’t be made within that timeframe, it probably can’t be done in an hour. Third, I stay organized. I use Asana, which helps me manage and track my tasks as well as my team’s – if I leave anything out, it doesn’t happen.
Your Final Thoughts
What keeps us going in this fast-paced world is that we provide value to our users and customers. We must always remind ourselves that we are here to solve a real problem. Artik was created to meet the demand from content creators and advertisers. Our team is laser-focused on supporting our clients as they push forward on the latest channels to make sure they have the right tools in place to see a significant return on their investments.