Influencer marketing could have great benefits for companies, says a U.S. pioneer in the digital marketing, advertising, and ad tech industries, who believes that brands should choose the medium that is most relevant to their customers.

“On social media, you’re seeing a lot going on with the influencer campaigns… I think a lot of the younger generations aren’t paying attention to ads as much so the influencer campaigns tend to work really well,” David Nicol Williams, a serial digital entrepreneur for over 20 years, said in a recent exclusive interview with Via News.

Dave is chairman, CEO, and co-founder at NomadX, a platform where slow travelers, mainly location-independent professionals known as digital nomads, can find quality local housing at an affordable price. The company got its start in Portugal in 2017 and plans to expand its services to other top global destinations for digital nomads.

Dave says more and more brands are paying influencers to get a promotion or are doing trade-offs with them nowadays.

“One of the ladies that works in our office has got an Instagram account where she has 400,000 people that follow her. She’s from Brazil and writes about spirituality,” he noted, adding that a post on her Instagram post about NomadX—which she did as a “friend-and-family” kind of thing—led to booking requests worth around €100,000 in a single day, with most of them coming from Brazil.

Dave called it their “largest day ever” in terms of booking requests and said it shows influencer marketing is a growing trend.

Brands should choose the medium that is most relevant to their customers.

David Nicol Williams, chairman, CEO, and co-founder at NomadX

Marketing Channels

He added that digital nomads are not so excited about being part of Facebook and do not necessarily want to be on WhatsApp because “they feel like their data is kind of being compromised”.

“The typical Facebook user is getting older and you’re seeing not as much adoption with the younger generation,” NomadX’s co-founder said, noting that new platforms like Chinese video-sharing app TikTok are attracting young users at a rapid pace.

Asked about the best marketing channels, he said, “I think at the end of the day it’s really like what is most relevant to the consumer you’re going after.”

Entrepreneurial Advice

Asked what advice he would give to those who have started or plan to launch their own business, Dave said, “The key thing to being an entrepreneur is just the experience of doing entrepreneurship. The more you do it, the better you’re gonna get.”

He also says it is important that startups avoid trying to “be everything to everyone” and instead find a niche market and then expand beyond that niche.

According to him, this is exactly what NomadX plans to do. “We want to be the best at affordable housing for digital nomads and then carrying that over into the community and educational programs, just continuing to offer value to digital nomads.”

Dave maintains that entrepreneurs should spend a lot of time studying the industry they are in and understanding what happened in the past.

“We got to study the past to really predict the future,” he said, citing one of his university professors.

“So it is important to understand how the industry got to where it is today and where the opportunity is as we go forward.”