Michael Radley: Nibble Is an Influencer Marketing App Built Specifically for Hospitality & Leisure

September 11, 2022
Jamie Frew: Nibble App
Jamie Frew: Nibble App

Nibble is an influencer marketing app built specifically for hospitality & leisure.

Influencer marketing is in hypergrowth, and is expected to reach $15 billion by the end of 2022.

But as a fairly new phenomenon, there are still a lot of unknowns, both in terms of measuring ROI and the logistics and processes around securing the right influencers and managing campaigns.

There are ‘elite’ celebrity influencers like Kim Kardashian West who could get up to, and over, $1 million per post on Instagram and there are others who come out of Love Island with multi-million-pound deals with leading fashion brands. But when it comes to hospitality brands, it’s micro-influencers that wet their appetite.

Micro-influencers can help hospitality businesses reach engaged audiences at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional marketing channels. Micro-influencer accounts are super targeted and really help drive bookings and footfall with hyper-locality in mind.

69% of social media users said they rely on influencers for recommendations and recent studies show most Gen Z are using TikTok and Instagram as a search engine over google.

Michael and Jamie, Co-Founders of Nibble, identified a real problem when it came to influencer marketing within the hospitality industry.

Taking learnings from their time at Trail App, they saw a real gap for technology which could help reduce admin time, and save money, while allowing brands to grow their social media, and brand awareness, across leading social media platforms.

Tell us about yourself?

Jamie and I were on a work trip at our old company – Trail. It was out in the sticks, mid-winter, somewhere in Norfolk. We were sat in a pub round by a fire having whiskey (like the start of most romantic novels) and I told him the problem and we fleshed it out together.

Influencer marketing as an industry is booming, and it’s not slowing down. Yet when it came to process and management, it was completely inefficient for both influencers and marketers who would just spending hours emailing back and forth trying to arrange a collaboration.

Then there’s the follow ups too. Unless you’re a celeb with a PR agent, most influencers struggle with admin. The reality is most social media influencers have full time jobs and spend any free time editing content, attending events, engaging with other social accounts and researching hashtags or the right soundtrack to play over TikTok reels.

Keeping up was a struggle, I wanted to make life easier really. We realised hospitality brands were equally frustrated and there was very little way of measuring influencer marketing as a channel. Everything should be measurable.

With Nibble we have the opportunity to be the leading micro-influencer marketplace for any physical location, whether it’s a salon, gym, pet shop, pub or restaurant. Local marketing that’s affordable and measurable which couldn’t be timelier considering tighter budgets and costs rising.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Never assume you know the answer. I thought I knew what customers wanted at the start, but it changed. Speak to your customers all the time – as much as possible.

I learn something new every time. We had some early adopters on the app who have been so supportive and helpful. They share our vision and really champion what we’re doing – finding those in the early stages is golden.

What problem does your business solve?

Brands spend hours each week searching for influencers, and half might not even respond. There’s emails back and forth, chasing content and following up.

It’s all very time-consuming for marketers with very limited data to show ROI. With Nibble, brands can launch campaigns in seconds and collaborate with the right influencers without all the hassle and admin. It’s quick and easy and 10x more cost effective than traditional marketing channels

What is the inspiration behind your business?

While working at Trail, I was also running an Instagram account reviewing London restaurants. As my followers grew, I spent more and more time communicating with PR agencies and restaurants about collaborations. But like most micro-influencers, I had a full time job.

So spare time was spent on content creation and social media engagement. Each week I’d go back and forth between PR agencies and restaurants trying to arrange collaborations. Sifting through emails, DMs and spam folders waiting all week for booking confirmations.

Then sometimes ending up double booked and having to cancel. I’d turn up at restaurants that weren’t expecting me. Or they didn’t know what the offer was. It was awkward. Other influencers were all saying the same thing.

We wanted to work with restaurants, restaurants wanted to work with us. Why was it so hard? Influencer marketing was broken.

What is your magic sauce?

So Nibble connects brands, and agencies, with influencers in seconds. The simple app matches the right influencers based on style, food, audience, and location.

It allows for streamlined communication and improves the booking management process whilst delivering accurate reporting to measure the impact of campaigns. For influencers, the secret sauce is the wide availability of offers and speed in which they can book in. It’s literally 3 clicks.

Which means they always have fresh content to engage their followers each day. For brands, they’ve just been desperate to measure and learn from influencer marketing as they do other marketing channels. And with Nibble they can finally do that.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We’re currently working on improvements to the brand experience, and recently integrated to TikTok. We’ve just launched on the App Store and we’ve got targets in place over the next 12 months associated around influencers, brands and bookings whilst testing and learning along the way.

Then beyond that, we’ve got ambitious plans to launch internationally. But most of all, we want businesses to spend their marketing budgets on these wonderful, hard working, creative humans rather than on “big ad” platforms.

Whether that’s in the form of complimentary food and drink or cash payments.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

As first time founders, the fundraising process was a steep learning curve. Finding the right investors took us a while. There were a lot of conversations, but ultimately with the wrong investors.

Fortunately, we figured this out early and we couldn’t be happier with our cap table in this early stage. Everyone brings different advice and experience; we really wanted each investor to add something different and we got it.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

You can reach Michael at [email protected] or connect with him on LinkedIn or via Nibble App’s website.

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