Conde Nast Cashing In on In-House Editors' Reach With New Influencer Platform

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The Next Gen Influencer network, which will help advertisers reach an engaged millennial audience, will be made up of both editors and external influencers.

Anyone with a toe in the realm of fashion media in 2018 is familiar with the pressure to curate a digital persona — the maligned "personal brand." It's a responsibility that is dreaded by some and embraced wholly by others, but regardless of where editors fall on the issue, it's become clear that with their job title behind them, editorial employees more than ever are becoming indistinguishable from influencers. (The ethical implications of this development are hotly debated.)

Now, Conde Nast is cashing in on its editors' influence by launching the Next Gen Influencer Platform, a curated network of in-house editors and external influencers (perhaps grads of its influencer school in Italy?), which will be used "to identify and curate the most influential voices for advertisers."

Essentially, advertisers will be able to comb through categories of influencers with "meaningful social followings" that have been deemed "brand safe" by Conde Nast, and find those tastemakers with audiences that are most desirable for their campaigns. The database will be hosted on CitizenNet, the social data and marketing platform that Conde Nast acquired in 2017.

“By combining the insight and influence of our editors with the exponential impact of our curated group of external influencers, we are offering clients an unparalleled level of measurable engagement and ROI, across all platforms,” said chief revenue and marketing officer Pamela Drucker Mann in a release.

The Next Gen Influencer Platform will comprise approximately 3,500 influencers in total, with a combined estimated reach of more than 300 million. Conde Nast will launch the program first with a focus on fashion and beauty, with plans to quickly expand into other categories.

The project is part of Conde Nast's Next Gen Network, announced last week, which comprises digital-first brands like Teen Vogue, The Hive and Them; it aims to give advertisers access to a more engaged network of younger consumers.