Influencer marketing agency IZEA launches Canadian office

Company works with 550,000 content creators globally including 14,000 in Canada

Orlando-based IZEA, the world’s largest online influencer network with more than 550,000 creators in 70 countries, has established its first Canadian office.

The Toronto-based office is led by director of Canadian client partnerships Tiffany Heimpel, herself a former influencer thanks to the 2011 creation of the blog She’s So Savvy, which helps people “live large” in the city on a budget.

“This was five years ago when [influencer marketing] wasn’t a thing, and obviously now it’s a fundamental business,” said Heimpel, whose career also includes stints with NBCUniversal and agencies including Taxi and Ogilvy & Mather. “It wasn’t nearly as structured as it is now.”

IZEA brings together brands and A-list celebrities, bloggers, journalists and social media influencers to create sponsored marketing opportunities. Its U.S.-based influencers include Betty White, Usher and – naturally – Kim Kardashian.

In Canada, it works with a roster of 14,000 influencers including model Coco Rocha and beauty vlogger Melissa Merk.

The company employs a team of 10 people – known internally as a “creator ecosystem” – whose role is to identify and recruit new influencers by reading blogs and attending blogger conferences such as BlogPodium.

The company also gets as many as 100 applicants a day who are hoping to monetize their social presence, said Heimpel.

The nine-year-old company claims to have facilitated more than 3.5 million transactions for a range of premium clients including the top five consumer packaged goods firms.

In the U.S., it has worked with brands including Adidas, Bacardi, IKEA, HP, Philips, Crayola and Hershey’s, while its Canadian partners include Weber Grills and Rogers. It also recently signed a deal to complete a program for KFC, with Heimpel saying that other programs are in development.

According to Heimpel, a recent program conducted by IZEA for Weber Grills over-delivered on its total reach – a metric that includes blog posts, social shares and tweets – by approximately 214%. That program featured barbeque-themed posts on blogs including and

Heimpel said the influencer space is “totally in its infancy” in Canada, lagging about three years behind the U.S. However, she said there is increasingly a “sense of urgency” in the space, with marketers devoting a growing share of their marketing budget to influencer-based initiatives.

“[In the past] the verbiage was very much ‘Experimental,’ ‘Test,’ etc., whereas now the conversations I’m having are ‘This is legitimately a part of our business; we know we need to do this, we just don’t know how to do this,’” she said.

The goal for IZEA, she said, is to become a thought leader in the influencer space. The Canadian office, she said, would be able to benefit from the “key learnings” gleaned by the company in its near decade-long existence.

She said the inherent conservatism of the Canadian market would make it difficult to close the gap with more established markets like the U.S., but Canadian marketers are increasingly making it a line item in their marketing budgets.

“They know they need it, they’re just not sure about how to do it,” she said. “How is the question that hasn’t been answered yet, which I think puts us in a fantastic space.”

The immediate goals for IZEA Canada, she said, are to ensure it is top-of-mind among marketers and to ultimately become the market leader.

Add a comment

You must be to comment.

Brands Articles

Your Marketing newsletters are changing

The Marketing Morning Filter is ending, but other newsletters are set to return

The List: North Strategic’s very big year

Prior to being picked up by MSLGroup, the PR shop brought in 15 new client wins

The biggest stories in Canadian marketing: 2016

A look back at the most read and shared news items from

Media Profile teams with global PR group

PRGN welcomes Toronto agency as first Canadian partner

Stereo+ unveils brand overhaul from Lg2boutique

How to to introduce a 35-year-old chain to younger shoppers

The List: Wattpad’s evolving influence

The first of our selections for the biggest newsmakers of 2016

Sears Canada takes a gamble on groceries

Losses more than double in Q3 report, but food markets set to arrive

Big opportunities await in the new age of CSR (column)

Overwhelmed consumers want to outsource their consciences, but it requires deep trust

Mintel predicts packaging trends for 2017

Research firm says intelligent, experiential packaging will lead consumer experiences