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The Fanbytes way to scaling your agency

Despite only being less than half a decade old, Fanbytes has flourished into becoming one of this generation’s leading marketing agencies. Whilst the rest of their peers used social media as a form of entertainment, Timothy Armoo and Ambrose Cooke unlocked the true potential of these app-based platforms to build a phenomenal and inspirational company.

Now 24 years old, J P Morgan ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Armoo sold his first media company at the age of 17. He then went on to start Fanbytes whilst at university. The company now has a client portfolio that includes Warner Music Group, McDonald’s and Paramount Network.

With the millennial generation hooked to their phones, social media users are willingly at the mercy of advertising campaigns 24/7 and Armoo was quick to capitalise on it.

The Fanbytes way to scaling your agency

Despite only being less than half a decade old, Fanbytes has flourished into becoming one of this generation’s leading marketing agencies. Whilst the rest of their peers used social media as a form of entertainment, Timothy Armoo and Ambrose Cooke unlocked the true potential of these app-based platforms to build a phenomenal and inspirational company.

Now 24 years old, J P Morgan ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Armoo sold his first media company at the age of 17. He then went on to start Fanbytes whilst at university. The company now has a client portfolio that includes Warner Music Group, McDonald’s and Paramount Network.

With the millennial generation hooked to their phones, social media users are willingly at the mercy of advertising campaigns 24/7 and Armoo was quick to capitalise on it.

Snapchat

Fanbytes first achieved considerable success through Snapchat. By inserting ads within the stories of ‘Snapchat influencers’, Fanbytes was engaged influencer followers on a whole new level.

Through laser targeting, Fanbytes was used Snapchat’s algorithms to place the appropriate brand in front of their demographic by filtering age, gender, interest and even location.

By utilising Snapchat efficiently, Fanbytes was able to take on a diverse range of clients. Even unorthodox companies such as ACCA saw the value that Fanbytes offered. “By activating the campaigns, ACCA was able to tell their story in an authentic way, strike a chord with the younger demographic, and inspire,” Fanbytes writes.

When Bloomberg asked Armoo about the lack of “high quality” content on Snapchat that “premium brands would want to be associated with”, the savvy entrepreneur eloquently reassured the presenter that brands such as Gucci and Chanel still use the platform.

Even when Snapchat released an update that resulted in 60% of audiences skipping ads, Fanbytes quickly developed a method of using influencers to trigger 90% completion rates and 8% CTR on campaigns.

“This is a story of a group of young people taking on the advertising world operated by older grey-haired people and using their youth and technology hacks to build a fast-growing business on Snapchat,”

Timothy Armoo

“Getting measurement and analytics from Snapchat is notoriously hard to crack, so everyone is giving up on Snapchat as an advertising platform. Their mistake.”

Explaining why he invested in Fanbytes, Guy Phillipson said he was impressed at how the company formed a “proprietary network of influencers on Snapchat, to bridgehead the entertainment sector using their own very nifty ‘sandwich video ad’ product.”

“Typically the influencer might big-up a new movie and encourage the viewer to swipe up to view a trailer,” he explained. “But the key point is, gaining performance data for campaigns on Snapchat at that time was nigh on impossible, so Fanbytes’ unique offering was appealing.”

TiK Tok

Fanbytes has since shifted its attention to TikTok, which has taken Gen Z by storm. Partnering with over 4,000 influencers on the platform, Fanbytes is once again putting huge brands in front of young faces.

“We think it’s possible for there to be a company that is solely led by Gen Z,” Armoo believes. “Generation Z are critical. It you want to communicate with Gen Z then you need to get Gen Z to create the content.”

When the Coronavirus pandemic effectively paralysed society, Fanbytes was quick to capitalise on the fact that Gen Z will spend even more time on TikTok. In response, the company introduced Bytehouse – a Big Brother style TikTok house. Six of the UK’s biggest TikTok stars were locked together in house and documented their experience via the social media app.

The concept was unheard of and took social media by storm. “This is a show for gen Z made by gen Z,” Armoo said. “These guys have the potential to be the next Graham Norton or Ant and Dec. [TikTok] is where that next talent will come from.”

Most recently, Fanbytes introduced ByteLabs, which offers a “360 degree” menu of services and technology. The “menu” presents an innovative way of growing and engaging TikTok audiences by linking advertisers and influencers together.

“Bytelabs uses a combination of influencers, insights and paid advertising on the platform, helping TikTok to play a longer-term strategic role for artists and labels,”

Timothy Armoo

In terms of selecting influencers, Fanbytes often turns to the brand itself to seek a direction. The company asks the brand to deliver its brief, which it would then hand over to its wide network of influencers. The brand and the influencer would then work together.

“People have the opportunity to build incredibly strong brands,” Armoo said.

“When I speak to this talent, it’s increasingly obvious that whether it’s podcasts or TV or clothing brands, they have real credibility and our aim is to help serve them.”

Fanbytes truly knows TikTok like no other and shows how media agencies can utilise social media to create their own channels and content.

 

 Bringing the Fanbytes effect to your agency

Firms looking to expand that don’t have the time or resources to develop their own social arm could consider linking up with companies that are already experts in the field.

An established social media powerhouse like Fanbytes could be considered as an invaluable acquisition.

Of course, vision and leadership to steer the company in the right direction is of paramount importance. Explaining why he invested in Fanbytes, Nigel Morris particularly praised Armoo’s attitude and business acumen.

“He wants to understand why things happen, not just that they did,” Morris wrote.

“He wants to understand why he is going to do something, not just tick off another KPI achieved.”

Where Fanbytes excels is in its marketing strategies – their formula has been worked for the good part of half a decade and infusing their skillset could save your company time as well as money.

For Fanbytes, engagement is the key behind marketing and their formula in achieving it is through ‘advertainment’. In his own words, Armoo describes the concept as “where advertising meets entertainment.” Bytehouse, as discussed earlier, is the perfect example of this.

“Don’t measure campaigns on impressions alone,” he said. “It’s about how young people engage with it and the emotional engagement.”

The concept of ‘advertainment’ is clearly where online marketing is headed and arguably, where marketing should have always been anyway. Ensuring that your content is both relatable as well as engaging is the key to retaining audiences and having a company that excels in this area would be invaluable.

Fanbytes also demonstrates how diversely capable the company can be in terms of clients.

ACCA, Ministry Of Sound and Missguided bare no relation to each other but yet Fanbytes was able to provide the same service to each of them through social media. In this sense, agencies from any speciality could equally benefit from having a Fanbytes type of company under their wing.

Agencies now have a wealth of options to add to their growth strategies. Following in the footsteps of Fanbytes in terms of content and channel creation through social media would certainly be a solid strategy. However, acquiring or merging with a company that already thrives in its industry could be even more effective.

Words by Cohan Chew
Portrait by Mustofa Ariss

Capital A is an agency M&A expert. We only work with creative agencies. If you’re interested in talking to us about your buy & build strategy, fill out this brief questionnaire.

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