The future of influence according to an inbound expert

In this interview, Gregory Taslaud tells us about his background and his opinion on the influence industry 🎙🌟📲

February 9, 2021
Roxane Aguilar
Introduce yourself in a few words, your career path and in the influencer industry? 

I'm Gregory Taslaud, 40 years old and I am an entrepreneur in Singapore. I founded the marketing agency Instagram for professionals INSG.CO. With a technical background, Sales & eCommerce, I am navigating in the "digital" since 2001

I love SEO and content creation in all its forms. I've worked for companies like Hi-Media, PriceMinister, Acadomia, FujiFilm... before creating my first subscription based eCommerce company in 2012. It was also at this time that I started working and forming strategic partnerships with bloggers who were already "influential" and above all passionate. We didn't yet speak of "influencers" as there wasn't yet the same traffic/notoriety/volume as there is today. But it was already profitable and above all terribly efficient. It was already Social Commerce, on Facebook in particular. 

What made you want to found INSG? 

Arriving in Singapore in 2014, I was looking for a job. An entrepreneur friend of mine had asked me to take care of his Facebook & Instagram accounts on a freelance basis until I could find something. So I had to start taking a strong interest in Instagram. I quickly got hooked. The results went with it. Then I got a second request, then a third one... I was documenting (which I always do) everything I was doing on IG and then I created an Instagram Marketing blog to help and share my experiences of creating content specifically for businesses. 

So it was Freelancing and Part-Time outside of my working hours for several years. Then other clients and employees have since joined the adventure. And it is now my daily routine since 2017. 

Why did you want to practice in Singapore? 

It's probably going to sound a bit pompous, but I tend to say that Singapore chose me! After selling my company, I wanted a new start, a new horizon. I needed a challenge in a region of the world that I had wanted to explore for a while. I've now been there for 7 years. Always with the same pleasure and the same will to succeed in what I undertake. It was therefore normal to continue this adventure here. What's more, in a very "business friendly" atmosphere.

Can you describe your job and what does it involve? 

INSG. is an Instagram (Full Service) Marketing agency for professionals. We work with brands, agencies and companies who want a complete or partial management of their Instagram account. 

We work on Strategy Content, Creation & Management, Community Management, Advertising and Influence Marketing 

Focus on Instagram but the Social Media Cross-platform allows us to work also on Linkedin, Tik Tok, Triller, and Facebook still a little bit!

My day to day job is to take care of our customers,employees and to write articles. 

What is the most common difficulty you encounter when working with influencers? 

That's a good question. But before I list them, I would like to say that in most cases everything goes pretty well. At least for us and our clients! 

Then I would say: 

1. For some it would be beneficial to never be in direct contact with them. 

2. Identify their reliability and seriousness 

3. More performance-based monitoring. 

How do you see the future of the influence market?

Radiant. All lights are green.

I don't want to pass for a guru. But you just have to look at the statistics and other infographics of the major players in the sector. We see more and more brands launching into the adventure. From SMEs to the largest multinationals. The social accounts and products that are put forward by the influencers (the real ones, the good ones) are more and more qualitative. 

The trend is clearly becoming more professional. And this is an excellent thing. Because we are going to need it. Careful, I'm not saying it's perfect. Far from it! I am naturally optimistic and I see that those who do a good job will still be there in the coming years. Customer requests are also on the rise, which means that some groups that tended to be afraid of this type of promotion, 3 years ago for example, are now quite comfortable trying the experience. While maintaining a certain control over partnerships and campaigns, which is something that I understand. 

When it comes to performance level and channel, it is the same observation. This is not limited to Instagram alone and the ROI is now measurable. 

Your favorite social network? What's your favorite social network? 

Instagram! And even more today since the launch of Reels. Tik Tok's organic reach and highly inspired (copy?) system make it the ultimate weapon to boost an account in every sense of the word. Contrary to what I read everywhere, especially about shops, the new ubiquitous video formats, the way Instagram is going... Basically what I'm hearing is that "Instagram was better before" when I was a photographer and when I had a nice aesthetic feed. Those days are over and I clearly think that Instagram / Facebook is moving in the right direction. 

Beware, I am not at all a fanboy agreeing with everything Adam Mosseri says. I'm just saying that this social network is becoming more professional, more complex, but it continues to be effective when well managed. 

An influencer whose work and/or management of partnerships you appreciate 

Chailee Son. It's pro, it's clean and it's perfectly executed! 

At this level, there's a real team in place. A company, a structure... In short, it's not just a photo posted and a bunch of likes as a gift. It's been there for a long time, the account is real, the organic growth. That's the truth of this business. It's difficult. It takes time. It's a long way from the overnight success of reality TV stars! So, yes, there are many professional influencers who know perfectly well what they're doing. They do. 

What difference did you observe in the market of influence in Asia? 

This is a question I answer quite often. I will add a brick to it. "Southeast Asia". 

In 2019, the influence marketing industry in Southeast Asia was worth $638 million and is expected to quadruple within five years to reach $2.59 billion by 2024. For the figures part! 

Apart from the fact that there is a cultural and language difference, the means of promotion or formats may be different. In some cases, even more aggressive. 

Some features are not yet available everywhere: Reels. Or some are not fully exploited as it could be the case in Europe for example: IGTV. 

The nano and micro influencers are powerful, fraud is present as everywhere. The mistake (which I still see too often) is to approach an influencer like the one in the Philippines in the same way as an influencer in Vietnam. The regulations of your country of origin are not those of your target country. So be careful. 

Finally I would say that the arrival of new players and less old school agency structures are pushing the market towards Performance. And for us it's perfect! 

Finally, do you have any advice for anyone who wants to work with influencers? 

To do so! The market is much more mature, quality nano and micro influencers are here. 

Test, make mistakes, find the right influencers and develop with those who offer you a good job, a real long term partnership. Yes, there are humble influencers who work hard and bring real added value and excellent results. 

There is no magic formula either. Take the time to prepare your campaigns with coherent conversion objectives, the right KPIs, the most adapted profiles but also those that revolve around your theme or business. If you prepare these points well and you have confidence in them and you don't want to control everything. Then the rest will follow. Listen to them and let them suggest formats or solutions or hashtags you hadn't thought of. They know their community, their needs, their expectations.

And if you want to break into South East Asia or elsewhere, then we're there!

About the author

Roxane Aguilar

From the Rolling Stones to the Palmashow, our Head of content knows her classics. 🤩 Always has the word for laugh, Roxane is above all a mind of steel and an overflowing imagination. 🔥 Legend has it that rarely has one seen such a dedicated editor! Far from being an early riser, she'll be writing her best articles starting at 10:13 am. Stay tuned ... 👩💻 #Creative #ESSECbba