Once a celebrity photographer who has worked with multiple Billboard Hot 100 artists, Disney Channel stars, and so on, Jonathan Matsumoto, known online as Jonny Mats, has now moved into the rapidly expanding field of influencer marketing. He notes that this is in possible in huge part because of changes in the field, which have led for opportunities for his own company since “an intelligent brand management team has access to similar analytics” as potential brand partners and that he can analyze the analytics to “find things that stand out and now spin those as a selling point when reaching out to brands.”
This is a key point that is one of the benefits that Jonathan finds with the new changes within influencer marketing. “A lot of small and mid-size brands that were afraid to do brand deals before because of how foreign the concept was and how overwhelming running an influencer campaign now have the resources to vet candidates and run these campaigns, which opens up a lot of opportunities that were not there before,” he states. “These brands are in fact better fits for a lot of influencers since they see these people as the face of their brand, as opposed to another piece in the marketing puzzle,” noting that with larger companies “sometimes there’s some distance between the influencer and the actual leadership of the company” and that this is “not always ideal to be dealing with the marketing department as a type of liaison.”
He notes that his services are ideal for most potential clients in the influencer industry since “brand deals can be a tedious process” and there needs to be a process of coordination behind the scenes in order for long term campaigns to be built up properly. “Not every deal makes sense for every influencer, even if the offer is there,” he notes, pointing out that “everything needs to fit into a bigger narrative.”
“Associating with a brand means incorporating its values into the influencer’s own brand and direction,” he points out, since “it really brings the two together.” Further, “it isn’t in the best interest of an influencer to take too many brand deals since their followers aren’t stupid. They’ll figure out. They don’t like seeing all the new sponsored posts and it’ll drive them away from the influencer. Their engagement will go down and that will hurt their ability to get the very same brand deals they were seeking out in the first place. It’s a delicate balance.”
Outreach is an integral part of the brand acquisition model that Jonathan implements for his clients. “Some influencers sit around and wait for these opportunities to come up,” but he argues that “this is not a great strategy because brands can now pull up hundreds of potential matches in a matter of minutes.”
He notes that many brands “are not against working with an influencer who does not come up on their side in the search if there is still a fit, even if it is not exactly perfect.” That’s where his own research and analytics come in, as he can show brands key analytics that they may have overlooked.
In terms of the near future, Jonathan expects the careers of his existing clients, particularly Big Nik, to flourish in the upcoming months. He also plans on expanding his roster soon and taking on other big clients. Jonathan also expects to take on shorter-term projects, like social media campaigns and single project releases for upcoming artists.