Social Media

Influencer marketing has a location scouting problem. The Scout App wants to change that

More than 13,000 influencers have signed up for the app, which officially rolled last month.
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Scout App

· 4 min read

Pop quiz for all the influencer marketers in the room: When a creator submits content to you, which backdrop would you rather see? A) Their messy living room, B) A blank white wall or C) A breathtakingly beautiful ocean, mural, or monument?

Of course, every brand is different—if you’re selling white wall paint, feel free to stop reading. But we’re betting that most of you picked C.

That’s why travel influencer Emma Rose Leger and her co-founder Justin White created the Scout App. “In Miami, I was with a few girlfriends, and we were taking our photos and walking around the streets—in dresses and heels—for hours, trying to find cute backdrops to make our Instagram photos blow up on the internet,” Leger told us.

At that moment, she realized there should be an easier way for creators to find shooting locations. “I’m wasting my time and wasting my money on Ubers—and that’s kind of how it stemmed,” Leger continued.

Here’s how it works: Anyone who downloads the (free) app can upload photos and videos and provide the coordinates for where each was shot. Other users interested in finding out where the content was shot have to “unlock” it for a $1.99 fee, then can access it via platforms like Google Maps or Apple Maps. Half of that $1.99 goes to the uploading creator.

As of June, more than 13,000 influencers had signed up for the app, which officially rolled out in May. Users can unlock more than 20,000 locations around the world—thanks, in part, to Leger’s creator friends who helped promote the app.

It’s still early days for the Scout App. But its founders say the app’s future could include a variety of brand-partnership formats, such as trading free unlocks with brand-ambassador programs, or giving marketers discounted Scout App fees to offer their favorite influencers.

Crystal ball

Leger knows firsthand how many large brands have massive ambassador lists—she said she’s on “a ton of them.” “Obviously, I do a lot of long-term partnerships. And I think that’s where the industry is going—a lot of people are doing less one-off posts and more year-long contracts, six-month contracts,” Leger said.

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The Scout App, she told us, could capitalize on those longer relationships. For instance, Scout could offer brands a certain number of “unlocks” for their ambassadors. The benefits are twofold: The brand gets better-looking content, and the Scout App gets free promotion.

“I think it’d be really cool for us to partner with, you know, fashion brands, hospitality brands, beauty brands, whatever the case may be, and get their ambassadors to be on the Scout App,” she told us.

In Leger’s experience, when she has a stunning backdrop, her engagement almost “triples.”

Money, money, money

Currently, the founders are open to giving brands a certain number of free unlocks for influencers in exchange for free promotion, although they could eventually start charging brands down the line.

“We are in the awareness phase of our brand. I think that it’s important to do those collaborative initiatives because that’s super valuable for us as a startup,” Leger said.

The Scout App could also be particularly beneficial for brands taking influencers on trips in exchange for sponsored content, per Leger. After all, those creators are already looking for great locations in unfamiliar places.

Kristina Milova, VP of talent at influencer talent agency FamePick, told us a service like the Scout App could fill a hole in the influencer-marketing industry, saying location scouting is one of the sector’s “pain points.”

What’s more, she said she thinks brands would be interested in partnering with the app to get their ambassadors discounted unlock rates, too—especially if the app opened up to private locations.

Top creators in particular, Milova said, are always “scouting subconsciously” for new locations, whether they’re on vacation or at their mom’s house. And when they do find a great spot, they’re better able to brainstorm content. “They’re always on a lookout,” she said.

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