We caught up with cardist and magician Ash Marlow to discuss the future of magic on social media, how influencer marketing will change, and the importance of organic brand partnerships.
Check out the full interview below!
1. Tell us about your background and how you started to build your following.
At the age of 15, I moved to a new school and there was a kid in my class doing basic magic tricks. I was immediately hooked and we became great friends.
There was no social media back then so we used to perform around the streets and film magic and burn it to DVD. As soon as social media and camera phones became an option, I continued this. I started with Instagram and created content daily and do this consistently. Each video that performed well I would analyse the content and learn from it when creating my next videos. Eventually a few went viral and I started getting the exposure for my commitment.
2. Magic and cardistry are typically skills that thrive in ‘in-person’ settings. What is it about utilising social media that can benefit magicians like yourself and do you think the art will ever be able to exist solely online?
Social media gives us a platform to reach more people and share the art. Every magician / cardist has their own style and versions of tricks and moves. These include unseen moves and tricks. Following new accounts allows us to build a community, learn new moves and connect with like minded creators, which is great for personal development. Seeing other magicians will often inspire me or spark a new idea for my next video.
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Magic is always best performed live, unfortunately some videos look so impossible the audience will accuse it of being a camera trick or edit. Therefore, the art will never exist solely online, but its ever growing channels and community allows us to develop within ourselves and reach more people.
3. Which platforms do you predominantly use? Which is your favourite?
I mainly use Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Recently I joined a new platform called Vero which from my other accounts I have received verification and a blue tick. My favourite platform is Instagram, I love the aesthetics and also the variety of ways in which you can share content. I also feel your following is more of a community that you can engage with.
4. What type of content do you create, and which type works best for your audience?
I create visual magic content that is fun and exciting as well as tutorials in which viewers can take something from my page and learn cool things like tricks, bar bets and life hacks. The best content is organic and relatable, content that shows personality and/or the view can take something from whether it’s learning, seeing something new or a product they might be interested in.
@ashmarlow52 A bet you will always win! 👌🏼 #barbet #tutorial #bartricks #foryou #fyp ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依
5.How would you define “influencer marketing”?
This is the use of influencers to collaborate with endorsements or create specific content such as reviews, unboxing or product placement. In my case I have created bespoke videos with new products in which I have created magic tricks whilst using them or wearing certain clothing brands whilst I perform.
6. Have you worked with brands before? How do you decide which brands to work with?
Yes, I don’t work with any brand who reaches out. I choose to work with products and brands that are of interest to myself. I believe that any collaboration should look organic on my feed. I believe a video needs to look like a video I would post with clever and creative filming to make it look relatable and not like a direct advert as such.
7. How do you think influencer marketing will change over the next 12 months?
I think it is constantly changing and evolving. Each platform is always in competition and new platforms are trying to break through every month. I think it will get tougher for creators in some ways as more people will be trying to make careers out of making content.
8. How has influencer marketing changed since you began working within social media?
It is still fairly new to me as my accounts only recently blew up in the last 3-6 months.
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9. Do you use any software to help create and edit your content?
I use various photo editing apps. Splice video editing to cut my videos and edit, but apart from that I like to keep my content as organic as possible and use the features within the app to polish up my content.
10. How do you balance your online and offline lives?
Good question. It’s hard work with a baby and a full time job. I try to bulk film content one day a week and edit it later that day. I plan with notes throughout the week when I can and prepare outfit changes and who I will be working with. I post and space out sharing content on my channels throughout the week.
11. Which influencers inspire you?
@chrisramsay52 the magician who is also known as the puzzle guy. He has achieved everything that I want to achieve. A great YouTube channel, TV show, large verified accounts, a podcast show and his own brand of playing cards and clothing. I think because I relate to him so much as a magician and an everyday guy, it shows that anything can be achieved. Also, he is really genuine and down to earth.
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12. Where would you like to take your career as an influencer?
My dream is to monetise from my channels and make it a full time career. So I can spend more time with my daughter and not be in the job I have worked for the past 10 years.
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