27 May Interview with Daniella Capodilupo – Influencer Marketing Manager at Preply
Hi and welcome to our Influencer Marketing Chat series, where you can hear about the people behind our clients.
Daniella Capodilupo is today’s client interview feature. Daniella is an influencer marketing manager for North America at Preply, which is one of the top language learning app and e-learning platforms recognized worldwide. As of 2022, Preply connects over 140,000 tutors, teaching 50 languages in 203 countries. We could not be more excited to interview her!
Daniella Capodilupo (00:41):
Thank you. Happy to be here.
Emily Brook (00:44):
I’m excited to have you here and I wanted to go back to the beginning. So you grew up in Fort Lauderdale and can you tell me a little bit more about who you were when you grew up?
Daniella Capodilupo (00:55):
Yeah, growing up, I was around family a lot, a lot of different family members. So I would say, it was awesome to have a lot of different influences early on that I was able to just be around and get to experience different things, like my love of travel coming from my grandparents, my mom having a really awesome work ethic and just pre-social media as well. It was also the times of having to find ways to occupy yourself that was outside and doing something. So finding ways to kind of have a creative outlet early on by kind of having that advantage of having to entertain yourself when you were a kid.
Emily Brook (01:40):
That’s awesome. Yeah. I had a little bit of that growing up as well. What three words would your friends and family use to describe yourself?
Daniella Capodilupo (01:51):
That’s a good one. Three words. I would say definitely adventurous, inventive and reliable.
Emily Brook (02:02):
Three good ones. I love the adventurous.
Daniella Capodilupo (02:05):
Emily Brook (02:07):
Okay. So let’s jump back to kind of the impetus of influencer marketing for you. From my understanding, you wrote your master’s thesis on big data in analytics, the future of music marketing, more specifically on the future of online music consumptions along with the use of social media. This was the year of 2015, correct?
Daniella Capodilupo (02:26):
Emily Brook (02:27):
This was a very early in the age of music labels leveraging social media. And for that reason, I’m a little curious, why did you decide to write on this topic?
Daniella Capodilupo (02:37):
Yeah. Oh geez. It feels like forever go. I had a really awesome advisor who had been in the music industry for a while. I always had an inclination towards marketing, like creatively and music, and I also really enjoyed the technology in how that had developed and kind of growing up with that. So kind of combining all of those things, being a music lover. I had done an internship in undergrad with Pitbull’s former manager, Big Teach, which was an awesome opportunity for me. And it was in the time of was setting up a blog, had an e-commerce online store, how we were able to promote that through people that were starting to build their social channels.
Daniella Capodilupo (03:22):
And then this is when Spotify was starting to kind of grow and get big. And of course, Apple Music. So just thinking long term of like, of course, seeing this as a revenue that people are going to want to just leverage as far as their brand and awareness and what that could possibly look like rooted in data and tech and all of those points that they’re collecting on us now from our behavior, when we’re searching and listening and doing things online and kind of how those things would kind of blend together to give brands and music companies, essentially, and artists a better way of leveraging social media in their further advantages.
Emily Brook (04:02):
Yeah, you were way above the wave there, way ahead of it. So we’ve seen a huge amount of growth in influencer marketing, especially over the last couple years. How has that growth affected Preply today?
Daniella Capodilupo (04:17):
Yeah, I think it’s in exactly what we’re doing now. I’ve been at Preply for almost a year now, next month. So they’re very much in startup phase of their company, even though they have been established since 2012. So I think they just knew that as they continue to grow and as well as they’ve had an SEO/SEM strategy, that there is awareness lacking in these key markets where there’s so much demand for language learning. So I think our CMO, our leaders, our CEO, and with investors as well, are really trying to push the needle and get ahead of that as much as they can in this industry, in this space. And I think that, of course, we are seeing other competitors starting to do it as well, but I think Preply has a really awesome mindset of wanting to test and see how they can do things and establish a new channel. So I would say it’s got them to the point of now operating in different markets and having two dedicated influencer marketing managers on their team and growing hopefully the end of this year.
Emily Brook (05:25):
Amazing. Well, congratulations again on approaching your first year.
Daniella Capodilupo (05:30):
Emily Brook (05:30):
Awesome. How do you see influencer marketing evolving over the next 5 to 10 years?
Daniella Capodilupo (05:39):
Yes. This is an interesting question of course, and I think it goes without saying, it’s only going to develop more into video and what that looks like, I think in terms of how they’re serving that content to us. And it’s really gotten to a kind of painful point now, where in addition to everything moving towards video, how you really get organic content to stand out and hit your actual audience, because that percentage is really low right now. And people are following influencers and taking action because it’s people that they choose to follow.
Daniella Capodilupo (06:15):
So depending on how that model develops and with needing paid dollars for certain things, I think that, that’s going to be interesting. I think there will potentially be more platforms I’m sure that will be popping up as well. So just even seeing what that looks like, even with Instagram now having their latest rollouts of kind of integrating NFTs and what that looks like. And with this whole metaverse, I think there’s going to be some weird, but interesting and it’s going to develop more into. And I feel like everyone will have an opportunity, almost, to be an influencer with these mini communities everyone is building, just within where they operate. So I think it’ll be interesting. But that’s why I love this too, because it’s always changing.
Emily Brook (07:04):
Marketing ever changing, evolving at all times. Okay. So I recently read an interview published by Preply that you had said the most exciting challenge for you so far at Preply is definitely getting to a place where we have results and data to show the true impact of influencer marketing in its value. Can you elaborate on this a bit further in terms of what results and data you are now able to showcase?
Daniella Capodilupo (07:31):
Yeah. So I think getting introduced to influencer marketing, it’s very vanity level metrics, impressions, reach and those numbers that you’re getting from their social. And then, of course, with affiliate rolling out and tracking links, as far as any conversions that influencers are driving more of that lower funnel. So I think really just, one, is kind of having that basic framework set up as far as being able to measure that correctly internally on your end or your company’s end. But for us, we are now even trying to take in a few other layers of how we really show the true impact. Because for language, for example, we’re selling people actually wanting to invest in time to learn a language. It’s not something that you just one and done. You purchase it and then you can return it if you don’t like it. People are actually investing in learning a language that they can actually be able to be conversational in.
Daniella Capodilupo (08:24):
So there’s a different type of approach and customer and how that impact looks like. Because you might see someone talking about Preply and it sounds great. But at that time, you’re just not interested in signing up or booking your first lesson. So at that point, if they didn’t click the link or if they didn’t say the promo code, we’ve already missed how they actually heard about probably through the influencer. So we’re starting to look at other things such as implementing certain exit poll results. And then out of those ex exit poll results, who actually did come from a link, who didn’t come from a link and did come through direct SEM and these other channels. Also, taking a look at just Google Analytics and when we’re seeing certain lifts across these different channels and around the certain periods of time that influencer content was going live.
Daniella Capodilupo (09:15):
So really looking at all of these different data points that we can to kind of give us a 360 view. So for example, if it says, “Oh. Well, this influencer only was able to drive 20 new paying customers.” It’s actually, we missed 90% of that direct attribution due to X, Y, Z. And now that 20 is now times X more than actual what that influencer’s contribution was to that campaign. So it’s been, I would say, a challenging but fun one and now one where we can kind of see some of our progress and results in refining what that kind of internal calculation looks like that gives us a better way to estimate and show our ROI on our investments.
Emily Brook (10:03):
Okay. I think we can all tell that you love your job Daniella so let’s get into that a bit more. What makes building the Preply brand so exciting and where does that passion come from?
Daniella Capodilupo (10:20):
So I was very inclined on coming Brandside, especially for this company, because it promoted learning languages. I think that I’ve always have had bilingual families as well so even just using it as a way to promote that. And I think it’s a way of connecting people and bringing people together by having this common language that they can speak with one another. And I think it’s been awesome just to see those stories happening or coming out of the work that I do now.
Daniella Capodilupo (10:53):
And then going back to the first part, building it, I would just say is, I mean similar I guess to just what I said. Also, just finding out how to make influencer work for an industry and a brand like this, again, because there’s so many levels of human interaction in that one-to-one connection and what that looks like and translates to into not only the types of influencers that we’re looking for, but then also the stories that they’re telling and then their actual interest in learning a language and then, again, finding those people that it connects with, but then it also has that audience that we are kind of trying to mesh with. So I would say a lot of it is the human connection element piece, for me, that I think that makes it so exciting and not just promoting a product or a service that’s a one-time thing.
Emily Brook (11:49):
Yeah. You align with the value that it provides, of course. I have noted that you are currently working on a B2B influencer campaign to build credibility for the brand Preply. Can you share a little bit more about that effort?
Daniella Capodilupo (12:06):
Yes. So for the first time, we’ll be helping the B2B team, specifically operating throughout the US. We’re going to be testing channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, which will be a little bit different for us as we move away from more of the YouTube and Instagram, TikTok focuses. So exciting to see what that looks like. I think the B2B team, it’s always interesting in working with the different teams and outlets. I think that they’re very excited too, because they also understand the power of networking and what that looks like in terms of having other people within the industries, and their respected authorities, lending their credibility and building that awareness and trust as well. So I think it’s going to be awesome for us to have a new way to test new channels, getting data points again from there that we can then use for future estimates and things that we put into place as far as plans.
Daniella Capodilupo (13:05):
So always great to get more new data points, work with new people, hear how people relate and want to talk about Preply. And I would say that probably to your other question too, I think that, that’s what’s been really exciting about what we’ve been building here as well, is that now at the beginning, you’re introducing a brand. People might be a little hesitant or want to look into, “Oh, what’s Preply? X, Y, Z.” But now, there’s really a lot of people with our creator partners coming back with feedback as far as how awesome the experience has been, how much they’ve learned from it. They even have great relationships with their tutor now. And they’re being able to visit the country and speak the language with them and their family. So it’s just been awesome to see that it’s actually impacting people in a way and they’re getting out of it what they’re looking to get out of it.
Emily Brook (13:51):
Daniella Capodilupo (13:52):
Emily Brook (13:54):
What has helped you get to the forefront of the language industry as the influencer marketing manager of North America? And what advice would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction?
Daniella Capodilupo (14:05):
Yeah, so I would say just starting where you can. Now, I think the other upside of it is that you can always self-teach yourself about social now. And there’s so many YouTube videos and things you can read online and kind of get all this insight just to kind of ground yourself. And then, I would say maybe just hone in onto if it’s… I would always say agencies are always a great way to start, just to get your feel for things, working with different clients, knowing what that looks like to be on kind of both sides in having to manage with clients.
Daniella Capodilupo (14:43):
And then, always kind of bringing solutions and forward thinking forward, I would say like at any level that you start at, I think people really appreciate the people that actually care about the work that they’re doing and that they’re putting forward and just kind of putting in that effort. If it is something that you are truly interested in, I think just will automatically pull through and connecting with people as much as you can. And that can be even online, like saying hello to people or making those small communities, even when you’re starting at places like connecting with different people within your agency or within the brand that you’re working for. And kind of just absorbing different things as you go, I think, has been just really the best thing for me. And I’m curious about it. I like to learn more. It’s always just been something that it’s naturally developed in that way.
Emily Brook (15:33):
Perfect. Okay. So a fun one. What do you think is the most interesting trend in 2022 so far?
Daniella Capodilupo (15:43):
I love this question. I mean, I don’t know if it’s trend specifically. But I will have to say I have become one of those people now, where TikTok, it’s pulled me in and it’s hard to now let go of it. It’s also become a search engine for me almost, where anytime I want to go up and look how to do something, I just search in a TikTok and I get all the videos that I need to do something. And I’m like, “I am really this person now that like relies on using TikTok for things,” just the overall social trend, just more of the video content. I like, at least, scrolling something and like to see similar things that I’m already interested in seeing. And it makes my scroll a little bit more enjoyable than maybe just seeing some random photos. So I like that people are being more creative with the way that the platforms are changing, as far as just an overall trend.
Emily Brook (16:37):
Also I have to add, I also use TikTok as a search engine. We all do it. Even if people say they don’t, they do.
Daniella Capodilupo (16:45):
Yep. Yep. So that’s me. But overall, I think it’s great. I feel it’s definitely making people have to think more creatively just about the type of content that they are creating, the way that they are choosing to use the channel.
Emily Brook (17:01):
Awesome. Well, Daniella, I loved learning more about you and your role at Preply. Thank you so much for taking the time today, on a Friday with me. And it was an absolute pleasure.
Daniella Capodilupo (17:13):
Yeah, this was awesome. Thank you for having me.