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From Gamer to Game-Changer: Mike Craddock's Journey from YouTube to Influencer Marketing Leader

Delve into Mike Craddock's journey from gamer and YouTuber to CEO of Kairos Media, a leading influencer marketing agency in the UK.

Andrea Neira
March 2024
Creator Economy


Mike Craddock, Ex-YouTuber and founder & CEO of Kairos Media, was one of the first in the UK to carve a niche in the influencer marketing domain, transitioning from a passionate gamer and successful YouTuber to leading one of the UK's premier influencer marketing agencies. Kairos Media, under Mike's leadership, has been at the forefront of blending gaming, content creation, and influencer strategies to offer groundbreaking marketing solutions to top brands around the globe.

Gigapay delves into his journey, the inception of Kairos Media, its growth trajectory, and future directions in influencer marketing.

Andrea: Hi Mike, could you share how your journey as a YouTuber influenced your role as the CEO of Kairos Media?

Mike: Absolutely, Andrea. Starting as a gamer who showcased skills on YouTube, I realized the power of content and community early on. This hands-on experience in content creation and building an audience laid the foundation for Kairos Media. It's been a pivot from personal content creation to strategizing for global brands, but the core remains the same—engaging with the audience in meaningful ways.

Andrea: From those initial steps, how did Kairos evolve into the agency it is today?

Mike: Kairos started with managing friends in the content creation space. Our unique approach was rooted in genuine gaming and content creation experiences, which resonated with both creators and brands. Over time, we expanded our services beyond management to become a full-spectrum influencer marketing agency, constantly adapting to the industry's shifts.

Andrea: What do you think sets Kairos Media apart in this competitive industry?

Mike: Our hands-on experience and understanding of the content creator's perspective are unparalleled. "I felt like I knew as a content creator and as a player, like what I would want from that sponsorship," which has been instrumental in our success. We also make sure to be present at events where big advertisers participate, we stay very active in the influencer marketing space.

Andrea: How does Kairos stay ahead with the fast-paced evolution of social media and influencer marketing?

Mike: Innovation and adaptability are key. We're always exploring new avenues, like AI, to enhance our strategies. "We are currently looking at AI tools to help us localize content into different markets, with different languages, that's going to be really big for content creators in the future" and this reflects our forward-thinking approach to keep both our strategies and our creators at the industry's forefront.

Andrea: With challenges like faster payments and new laws and regulations that affect creators, how is Kairos addressing these issues?

Mike: Transparency and efficiency in payments are areas we're actively working on improving. Recognizing the gap, we're implementing new processes and exploring partnerships to ensure timely compensation for creators. The aim is to enhance the creator experience.

Andrea: Lastly, what advice would you offer to brands and agencies navigating influencer marketing?

Mike: Understanding the value and the authenticity creators bring to the table is crucial. It's about fair compensation, clear communication, and long-term relationships. For the industry, "we need to find a more sensible base for everyone to be working from," ensuring a balanced ecosystem where both brands and creators thrive. It is important to note that brands often get burned when they see no ROI, and these often happen when creators charge way above industry standards or agencies subcontract other agencies so the budget is eaten up by additional commissions or fees. We need to come together as an industry to standardize these fees so brands come back to influencer marketing and see the real value, but for this, the game needs to be fair for every single part of it. 

Andrea: Thank you, Mike, for sharing your invaluable insights. Your journey and the evolution of Kairos Media offer a compelling view into the potential and future of influencer marketing.

Mike: It's been a pleasure, Andrea. Here's to continuing to innovate and lead in this exciting industry!

If you liked reading the blog interview, watch the full interview here on YouTube, or listen to our podcast here on Spotify.

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