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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
John Reynolds

Total fees paid to influencers by Galway agency set to hit $100m by end of the year

Young people watch social media, not TV

Centus, the Galway influencer marketing agency founded by Conor O’Flaherty, has appointed a new managing director – as the total fees it has paid out to influencers is set to hit $100m (€95.7m) by the end of this year.

O’Flaherty, who founded the firm in his teens, said it now employs 35 staff and its revenue – or the fees paid out to the influencers it matches with direct-to-consumer brands – was about €30m last year, with a profit of around €2m.

To date, his firm has worked with almost 150 brands and more than 10,000 creators – and its influencers are on track to have earned a total of $100m in fees by the end of this year, he added.

Among its successful campaigns has been one with Watford FC footballer Ben Foster and Irish clothing brand Gym+Coffee.

“Besides being a footballer, Ben also has a very successful YouTube channel. He’s also big into fitness, and a big coffee fan. The partnership made so much sense, and it performed really well,” O’Flaherty said.

Among other brands his firm has worked with are Audible, Squarespace, Harry’s, Skillshare, Function of Beauty, Ritual, Native, and Morning Brew.

The Galwegian entrepreneur has appointed Derry native Ross Brown as the firm’s managing director. A graduate of the University of Strathclyde, Brown previously worked in content and digital marketing for a number of firms in London, before founding his own content marketing firm there. He has spent over four years at Centus, where he was its third employee.

“About 95pc of our business is generated in the US. That’s where the brands we work with have the biggest budgets. They’re a mix of apps, e-commerce, tech and tech services, as well as direct-to-consumer brands,” O’Flaherty said.

“The majority of our influencers are on YouTube. Revenue comes from sponsors of branded content, and there’s also some product placement. That’s been the formula that has produced the best results that have enabled us to scale.”

O’Flaherty initially worked as a manager of influencers, but had to pivot in 2017 to helping brands with their influencer marketing instead.

“Now we are focused on helping our brands and content creators earn many hundreds more millions over the coming years,” he added.

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