My Startup: Digital Voices
Digital Voices is a YouTube-focused influencer marketing agency based in Shoreditch that values quality over quantity when it comes to content creation.
Jennifer Quigley-Jones, 28, founded the company in 2017 with only £500. Since then, she's paired YouTube influencers with brands across the world including Rolls-Royce, the RAF, with a young team around her.
Founder: Jenny Quigley-Jones
We spoke to Jennifer to find out more about the agency...
Why did you start Digital Voices?
I’ve always been motivated by learning as much as possible. I started the company after working at YouTube, where my role was to help YouTube creators grow organically - without spending money on ads. I loved the experience, but after two years of working with inspiring creators, I stopped learning at the company and saw a huge gap in the market.
In terms of the vision for Digital Voices, I was driven by the passion of building and empowering a new industry of creators and helping them see their own value as entrepreneurs. We want to help brands understand the huge opportunity of working with the best YouTube creators, especially for raising brand awareness, driving sales and building brand advocates.
Finally, I recognised the power of influencer marketing. We specialise in campaigns that actually say something of substance - which is one of the reasons we want to shift the discussion on influencer marketing from Instagram to YouTube. YouTube is the platform where people watch content for the longest - it has the deepest engagement of any social platform.
Tell us more about the company?
At Digital Voices, we build powerful YouTube creator campaigns with world-leading, courageous brands. By creatively pairing these companies with YouTube channels, we facilitate compelling storytelling at scale and help brands access young - or more disparate audiences - groups of people who don’t often engage with adverts.
We’re different for two reasons: firstly, we specialise in YouTube as a platform. Secondly, we put a lot of effort and time into balancing data and creative.
For every campaign, we start with finding creators with audiences that match a brand’s target customer. Then we painstakingly go through lists of thousands of creator to match exactly the right idea and creator to a brand. All this work pays off, as we make videos that audiences love to watch and guarantee organic YouTube views for every campaign.
Where’s the business at right now?
I’m so proud of how far we’ve come in only two years of doing business. We’ve been entirely revenue-funded from the beginning and have been scaling up quite quickly over the past six months. We’ve moved into our new office in Shoreditch and even though the team is currently six people, with an average age of 24, we work with some of the world’s leading brands, like Rolls-Royce and the Royal Air Force.
It’s hard to pick one exciting advancement as so much has been going on lately, with huge new business wins, talking on panels across the world and loads more. I pinched myself when we arranged for the first YouTube creator to ever fly with the Red Arrows! We love creating videos that show the world something they haven’t seen before or teach viewers something new. Meeting a team of pilots who fly six feet apart, sending YouTuber Tom Scott up there with them, and explaining how formation flying works, was fascinating.
The highlight is every time we see someone watching one of our videos - often it’s people watching YouTube on the train! People are actually engaging with our videos and immersed in them for often around 10 minutes. It’s powerful to be able to tell stories like that.
What are your aims for the next year?
Continue to work hard! Educating brands and agencies on the importance and intricacies of YouTube as a platform is essential to hitting our targets. We’re expanding the team, whilst also making sure that every hire is a YouTube evangelist, who understands how the platform works.
We’re going to make learning about the platform easier through hosting more events, launching a podcast next month and writing more articles about YouTube and the creators on the platform.
What’s been the hardest thing about getting Digital Voices off the ground?
Looking back, I wouldn’t have stressed so much or taken failure so personally - that was one of the hardest things to deal with. I guess it fundamentally came down to a lack of self-belief. I’ve learned that things can so easily be blown out of proportion; something that feels like the end of the world as it goes wrong, is often only a short-term setback.
You're also likely to learn more from an experience that doesn't go the way you've envisioned; it teaches you to adapt and innovate in response to challenges.
Failure shouldn’t be something that embarrasses or scares you. Believe me, the only people sad enough to watch and point if you fail, are sitting at home, too scared to take risks themselves. You’ve only got yourself to be accountable to and - yes, it’s cheesy - but the biggest failure is explaining to yourself why you didn’t even try.
When it comes down to it, you need to be able to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and feel as though you’re trying, learning, growing - that you're doing something. That can be in your personal or professional life. But don’t waste life being scared of what other people might say if you fail.
Why should more people be using Digital Voices?
Fundamentally, brands should want to make something they’re proud of. Marketers can very often feel far away from their customers and impact with all the focus on automation and data in marketing today. We work with video teams who are excited to make something interesting, substantive or that challenges perceptions.
We're a very honest agency and guarantee a minimum number of organic views on YouTube for every campaign. Normally outperforming the guarantee by between 4-10 times. We also tend to outperform traditional agency partners, so once our clients have worked with us and trust us, they tend to come back.
Our relationships with creators mean that our campaigns excel. We spend a lot of time liaising with both content creators and clients, to find brilliant ideas that work for both parties and perform exceptionally well. With YouTube, creativity wins. Digital Voices strives to balance a creative and data-driven approach.
We are the only neutral Influencer Marketing agency in the UK specialising in YouTube. Being neutral means we do not manage talent - but source the best creators for every campaign using data.
How much will it cost clients?
We offer a variety of packages for clients, which vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the particulars of the project. Get in touch and we can talk about it!