The industry term is “Software as a Service.”
For the team at Influencer (INFLCR), however, the focus is different.
“For our clients, we like to describe ourselves as software WITH a service,” says CEO and founder Jim Cavale.
The INFLCR software helps clients to store, distribute and track their digital assets — photos, videos, story links, GIFs and more — through a cloud-based INFLCR account as they flow through the mobile devices of student-athletes, coaches, staff and prominent alumni onto their personal social media channels. INFLCR then allows them to measure the additional brand reach they experience through the collective audience of those brand ambassadors.
Programs such as Auburn Football and Kentucky Basketball were among the first clients to subscribe and are among the first to experience the added value of the partnership.
“Software With a Service doesn’t just mean that there is some technical support available for you as the client in using our software,” Cavale says. “It means that you are going to receive a strategy where we identify your goals and really do everything we can to help you use our software to not only meet those goals, but to exceed them. …
“Software With a Service is something that we take seriously, and we always joke that we are going to communicate with you more after you become a client than before you became a client, because of how passionate and tenacious we are as a team in helping you exceed all of your goals when you use INFLCR.”
One of Cavale’s first hires was Liz Ballard to serve as VP of Client Services. Ballard joined the team after 15 years at NBC Universal, where she worked with the network’s collaborations with Olympic athletes.
“Our priority is for our clients to SEE the impact of INFLCR and that happens when their brand ambassadors and influencers share their content, reaching different audiences than they would reach by just posting on their own social media channels,” Ballard says. “INFLCR provides our clients a storage and delivery solution while also tracking the reach.”
Ballard recently led on-site activations for clients such as Auburn and Troy and works hand-in-hand with staff at those schools on best practices using INFLCR to grow their audiences.
“It is important for us to create a working partnership with our clients,” Ballard says. “We are not simply selling software, we are offering collaboration from our team to guide the client on best practices for using INFLCR and delivering an impact.”
Cavale says the end goal is simple.
“Your big goal is going to be based on shares (of content),” he says of clients. “You want to get as many shares as possible from your brand ambassadors so that you can reach a bigger audience and also so that these athlete brand ambassadors can grow their personal brand at the same time. It’s a win-win.
“If we can create a strategy that helps you as a brand achieve that while helping the end user, your athletes, achieve that as well, then it is going to help you recruit because you now have a story to tell about how you’re going to help them grow their personal brand while they are playing for you. It’s also going to help in recruiting because you are reaching recruits through the current players that they follow. And finally, it’s going to help you with PR and player development in ways that are going to help you reach more people for your team brand.”
Cavale takes a personal role in introducing new clients to INFLCR. His on-site visit to Kentucky, where he spoke to Wildcats football players about how to build their personal brand while in the SEC spotlight, is an example.
Freddie Maggard, UK’s director of player development, said the relationship with INFLCR is part of his program’s commitment to helping its student-athletes beyond the X’s and O’s of the sport.
“He is the branding champion for national championship teams,” Maggard told UK players as he introduced Cavale. “This is the best of the best. When Coach (Mark) Stoops said he only wanted people up here in front of you who cared for you, this is the best of the best.”
INFLCR’s team offers coaching, strategy and feedback for UK’s social media efforts, in some cases working one-on-one with Wildcats players to improve their social-media game. It’s not just about what not to do; rather, it’s about learning how to leverage the window of opportunity for the student-athlete beyond their college experience.
“You can’t hide yourself on social media,” Cavale told UK football players at their June meeting, where the entire team downloaded the INFLCR app and began receiving customized content to their phones for sharing across social media. “Everybody has something they are about. What are you about? Not just football, but beyond football.”
Cavale then called the players’ attention to a video monitor where he showed them the comparison between the followers of UK football’s Twitter account, which had 151,000 followers, and the collective followers of the players.
“The guys in this room have 1.4 million people following them,” he said. “A million eyeballs — unique people — watching this. And that’s why the stuff you do here in the program is important to share. I say we figure out how to tell the Kentucky football story, each of us individually, and at the same time, tell it as a team to do things that really no other program is doing yet in the country.”
Want to learn more about how INFLCR can help your student-athletes? Schedule a demo here.