Marketing in the Middle: Kurt Uhlir on Influencer Marketing, Influencing Social Media Management, and Co-founding Sideqik

Marketing in the Middle sat down with marketing expert Kurt Uhlir. Kurt has been instrumental in shaping social media management and influencer marketing as we know it today. In this interview, he talks with Mike Stiles and Michael Valverde about influencer marketing, co-founding Sideqik in 2011, and Vitrue’s early work helping brands like Apple, Samsung Mobile, Microsoft, and thousands of others as they ventured into social media.

Marketer in the Middle, hosted by Mike Stiles and Michael Valverde, is where the region’s top marketing leaders candidly discuss the intensity of the ever-shifting sales & marketing landscape, especially where B2B and ABM is concerned. 

Vitrue and Social Media Management

In the early days of social media, companies would do what they could to maintain a presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter.  But as content marketing took off, brands needed a way to manage their messages across all platforms.  Enter Vitrue: The company that became synonymous with Social Media Management software for enterprise-level clients, along with Buddy Media. Hootsuite rounded out the three initial companies considered the “founders” of social media management, on the individual social media manager side.

Early Days of Influencer Marketing

In the early days of influencer marketing, brands would often turn to YouTube stars and celebrity endorsements for sponsorships or promotional campaigns.  But now that social media is a ubiquitous part of everyday life, it’s become easier than ever to find influencers with an established following in specific fields due to the ability to search by category on Instagram:

Some examples include @juliechang_ (fashion), @mockingjay__ (books), and @missyginger00 (travel).  

Sideqik & Social Media Management

This new opportunity led Kurt Uhlir and Jeremy Haile into co-founding Sideqik in 2011, after leaving Vitrue (acquired by Oracle) and going through Flashpoint at Georgia Tech. Sideqik offers social media management software targeted at small-to-medium size and has now worked with companies such as CBS Interactive, BenQ, Harmonix, HyperX, Hansgrohe, KontrolFreek, Supply.com, MuscleTech, and dozens of others.

Watch the full video interview to learn more about the early days of social media and what led to where we are today.

 

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