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- Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them). I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of Influencer Marketing & Branded Content Agency – Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for top experts to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today.
- While it is impossible to be well versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy, or money, whether you were doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.
Speaker 3: 00:31
- Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them). Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.
- Welcome to Marking Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them), I’m Stacy Jones. I’m so happy to be here with you all today. I’m gonna give a very warm welcome Susanna Yee of Digital Everything, a Los Angeles based digital marketing consulting firm that serves a global clientele. Susanna is a marketing expert and a pioneer in the field of social media and Influencer Marketing, and helps companies and brands learn how to create effective strategy driven Influencer Marketing campaigns, that results and ROI.
- Over the last 11 years, Susanna has worked with clients including, guest genes, Kick Spade, O.N.E coconut Water and Lucky magazine. Her team’s guests, color means buyer campaign, went viral with Nashville naming it as one of their five interesting Pinterest marketing campaigns. Additionally, Susanna has been featured in ie, how Bloomberg, Business Wire and most recently on Thinkific.
- Today we’re gonna talk about Influencer Marketing needs from the brand side. We’ll learn what has worked from her experience, but maybe it could be avoided and where people are missing the mark. Susanna, welcome.
- Thank you for having me.
- Super happy to have you. I am always thrilled to talk to someone else who specializes in Influencer Marketing, love chatting about the topic and love getting other people’s insight on how to make it, best work for brands. Can you start off by telling us a little bit about your background and what got you to where you are doing what you do today?
- Yeah, so, I actually started off working in business development in 2000, and that’s when I actually entered the space of startups and, digital, and technology, and the Internet, and the whole thing. And, I ended up in business development for a few years and then, sort of migrated to digital marketing and then found my way to social media marketing, which I really enjoyed.
- And, in 2010, I actually started my own consulting agency. And, for a few years I’ve partnered with a bigger firm that offered a lot of things, development, Web development, SEO/ SEM, graphic design, and also, on my part, I brought in the social media and the PR. And then, I did that for a few years, but then I went back on my own again.
- So, that’s kind of the story. And, I also had a personal blog on the side that grew with popularity. People really enjoyed it and brand started calling me to do certain collaborations. And then when they came to town they said, “Could you find us some bloggers to do an event?” And then, that sort of started my agency career.
- That’s awesome. So you really started because you are an influencer and brands recognize they got value from working with you, and thought that you could help link them into other influencers and network and do the same thing with them. That’s awesome.
- That’s a really great way to start out a business versus just saying, “I’m going to start doing this.” You had a need then you filled it?
- Yeah, I thought it was great. I liked, I really liked both sides of it, but I really enjoy the other side of it more, just working with the brands and helping educate them and helping them understand how it is, what it is that they need to do to work with influencers, how to get the most out of their partnerships and collaborations.
- And, just seeing it from the other side, from the perspective of the influencer, I’m always able to, make sure that the campaign works for the brand.
- Okay, so why do you think Influencer Marketing is one of the best marketing tactics out there?
- I just think that, it is amazing because of the cost involved, how cost effective it is. For example, if you were just to put together a Google Ad, you have to have a Copywriter, you have to have a Graphic Designer, you have to have a Photographer or Videographer and then you have to have somebody who’s gonna do the digital ads, the paid ads person.
- But when you hire a person who’s an influencer slash, blogger, they are an all in one person and they come with an audience. So I mean, there you have a content creator, you have a Videographer, a Photographer, you have a Content Creator, you have a person who’s already a marketer of themselves.
- And then on top of that, you have a model. Like they’re modeling the inside the photos, so you don’t even have to hire a model and you don’t have to hire a Copywriter to write the copy. So I think it’s a great deal. And then they have an audience that’s waiting to listen to what they’re saying.
- Your words sound like they’re coming from my mouth. It’s what I say to people all the time because, there are so many hats that influencers actually wear that I don’t think brands really truly understand that, it’s a dual opportunity. It’s not only that you’re getting a fan base, which is what, the brands really always think about.
- I think a lot of brands forget about is, that value of that content that’s being created that is just so killer, and it involves so much time for someone to actually create.
- Yeah, that’s, and its been a whole education process throughout all my brands, clients, partnerships with collaborators. And even today, you see a lot of white papers out there and comments all over on Linkedin and everywhere else about how people, they just, I don’t think they appreciate what the legit influencers do.
- And of course, the sad thing is like any marketer, they’re not, there’s some people who aren’t legit influencers, and so that kind of ruins it for a lot of people.
- Yeah, but I think there’s a lot, I think the main that [inaudible 00:06:02] across, are people who are really vested in what they do. Maybe you could have to dig in and make sure that you’re qualifying people before you work with them. But I think most of the influencers, whether they’re nano and small or micro and building or macro or celebrity, they get it.
- They know their own brand, and they actually really value their fan base. And they really take care to make content, and have conversations that they think are going to be impactful.
- I agree. I mean, they wouldn’t have started these blogs or, started posting about what they post about if they weren’t passionate about it because when they started out, there’s no guarantee that they were gonna get where they are.
- Right, so where do you think Influencer Marketing makes big wins for brand partnerships?
- I think Influencer Marketing is a big win for, B to C of course that the whole industry, but in terms of bringing people to just brand, brand recognition, I think they’re not seeing the value of that. I think a lot of times people are thinking, well, in terms of ROI, they’re always thinking, “Well, if I didn’t make a sale on it or I didn’t get a quick tour, I didn’t get an Email, I didn’t win.”
- But I mean, how many times do you drive by a billboard before you even decide you’re gonna watch that Netflix show at least 20, 30 times? So, and these brand partners, these Influencer Marketers, usually when you do something with them, they make, they put it everywhere. They’re putting a billboard on every street corner for that you, in front of their audience. When you do a partnership with them, you get a lot of value from them.
- 100%, completely agree. And we constantly see brands who are saying, “Oh! How many downloads will I get, how much sales will I make happen?” And our council always says, to look at Influencer Marketing more so as, building brand awareness versus trying to drive that. Even though there’s some brands out there that do awesome at getting, diet pills, magic potions and lotions, and gummy hair products, lots of sales but it’s not what was [crosstalk 00:08:15].
- No, and I think, and also, I think sometimes people are just not patient enough to see some of the results. There, you’re planning feeds and sometimes those results come a few months later and then they all come at once.
- Right, like, 100% you have to stick in long enough with a campaign in order to actually reap the results. When you’re doing Influencer Marketing, how long, Geez, since I just said that. How long do you usually try to have a brand to do a campaign? Do you usually do projects or do you usually do like a longer term plan of, three, six, 12 months at a time of partnerships, what do you suggest people do?
- I suggest that, if you can do a three month at least partnership per campaign, per influencer, that will, you will start seeing results probably in the third month. I mean, some influencer you see results right away, but usually when they’re posting the first time and talking about it on their blogs and, on video and in their stories, their audience is saying, mm-hmm (affirmative)-, let me know how that goes.
- It’s sort of like your friends, like when your friend tries something new, let me know how that goes? And then like a month later you’ll go, “Hey? How’s that going?” So I mean, I think that’s what we have to think about. We’re having basically a dialogue, where these people are having a dialogue for the brand to their friends, basically.
- So yeah, three months from now, how’s that guide still working for you? Okay, that’s really what it means. I mean, right? So, or how’s that, how’s that teeth whitener working for you three months later? So, that’s what they have to think about.
- Okay, so what are some of the biggest misconceptions to Influencer Marketing that you come across when you’re talking with brands?
- Just how much time it takes. They don’t understand, they think that if they give something to do an implosion for free, that they’re gonna just post about it. And also just, pending, finding an influencer that’s the right type of influencer for their target demographics, takes time.
- Not every influencer is gonna want to do every single project that comes across their Email, and the negotiation that’s involved. So just, the most time consuming thing is, there are so many time consuming things in Influence Marketing, that the brands, first of all, the time, I think the time, number one thing, they’re not really aware of how much time it takes.
- And then the second thing is, how much time it takes just to find an influencer who wants to talk about what you’re talking about.
- Okay, do you end up using a lot of Online Databases, do you think that solves the time problem or do you think that just creates more influencers to potentially look at versus actually solving issues?
- Yeah, it’s sort of like, when you go into an ice cream shop and there’s too many flavors, you just get very confused sometimes. And also, I mean, there are some influencers who are just great at what they do and they don’t need to be on these platforms, so they’re not gonna be found there.
- Right, agreed. And there’s a lot of clutter on the platforms typically also?
- Yeah, and if you’re organized, and you’re a professional, you really don’t need those platforms. However, if you really are, just starting out and you want to get the platforms, they’re not cheap, number one. But number two, they keep you organized for the most part, but there’s a lot of things they don’t do also, pros and cons.
- Okay, so how does a brand go about making Influencer Marketing happen and work for them, what are your suggestions there?
- Makes sure that when you’re going to start an Influencer Marketing campaign that you know who your target audiences are, and make a list of the categories that you think you fall into and decide, which two or three you’re gonna concentrate on. And then, find influencers in those categories and make a list, and that’s number one.
- And then, just be very organized about who you go out to and what you asked them to do. And then, make sure you have a budget before you even start because, a lot of brands think that they can just send free products and they’ll get something done. I think, some people do things for nothing depending on how passionate they are, but most people need to get paid because they have rent to pay.
- And then also internally, I don’t think brands understand how much work they’re going to need to do on their end internally, to get the work done. And that is almost like a part-time person’s work. And [crosstalk 00:13:01] aware of.
- So, what do you mean by that, can you give us a little bit more detail on your insights on what that means, that the brands may need to get done on their sites? It’s not just magically Emailing someone and saying, “Hey? You want to do this, and it’s done.” There’s a lot to it.
- Yeah, so, I mean, if you’re doing it internally as a brand, and you don’t have that form working for you. It would be best to have a part-time person who probably has 20 hours of extra time a week, and this person will be spending their time looking for the right influencers, making a list, getting buy-in from the internal CMO, VP of marketing, VP of digital, whoever, VP of PR.
- So, there’s a lot of buy-in internally, you have to work with the CFO to get your budget, you have to work with legal to make sure all your FTC rules are in place and what they’re gonna be talking about. You have to get everybody in agreement on what the campaign is about and that’s before you get started.
- And then, after you reach out to the influencers, there’s a lot of back and forth with negotiations, with the contracts, with the fees, with what they’re going to do and what they’re not going to do, and when they can do it and when they can finish it. And then, once the content starts coming in, you have to funnel it to all the right departments to make sure it gets approved.
- And they have to send it back to them, that they need to revise it and you have to be very organized. And then, when it finally gets published, somebody has to go and make sure that they actually did what they were supposed to do because, depending on what your product is, but the FTC is very strict about everyone now.
- That every Hashtag is in place for, if it’s a paid ad and, that they’re saying what they’re supposed to say if they’re making claims. So there’s a lot of work involved.
- There is a ton of work involved. And so when they’re going through here, and they’re spending their 20 plus hours a week with all of that, what do you think, where are the areas besides the FTC that they can make a colossal mess of this, where it’s just, is not going to go in the right direction?
- What have you seen [inaudible 00:15:04] campaigns you’ve done the case studies?
- I think, the main thing is that, people think that they’re doing a influencer campaign, and the influencer is gonna make it magically happen for them. Internally, you have to make sure that you’re gonna leverage that content and amplify it and make it work for you. You own that content now, so do something with it on your end.
- And I think, a lot of times the campaigns fall flat because they just think that, “Okay, I paid this person, they’re gonna magically make it happen.” But it’s just one component of your whole holistic marketing situation.
- Yeah, we see that a lot where we’ll do Influencer Marketing campaigns for brands, and we’re like, “Great, we don’t have control over their socials, we can’t re-share to them, we can’t actually go in as the brand and even the like what the social influencer said about the brand and the campaign we created.”
- And it be like, really, really difficult getting someone on the brand side to take the steps to do all of those things. And it just seems like it’s so natural and it’s one of those number one areas I think people miss.
- Yeah, totally. They just, I don’t know what they’re, a lot of times I think they just don’t know that they need to. And I think that’s the number one conversation that people need to have internally that were on board and we have the bandwidth to handle it when it comes. And it’s a lot when, if you have, if you’re onboarding 20 influencers and then all their contents coming through and it needs, the digital department to suddenly start funneling it through amplifying ads and things like that.
- And they have to that, and then everything else that they’re doing, it’s a whole other job.
- Yeah, plus it’s also capturing all the content, not only to make sure that it’s, no through the FTC, FCC regulations that everything’s signed off on, but then they actually did what you contracted and paid them to do because, sometimes things slip through the cracks just a little bit here and there?
- Oh! Yeah, always.
- And then there’s like Instagram stories too. And if you don’t catch it within 24 hours, you’re not gonna catch it unless they caught it and that they share it with you. So you have to be kind of fast and timely on these things, right?
- Totally, you have to be on it and you have to let them know that you will need them to get it to you. Hopefully, they’ll do that, but a lot of times they don’t. It’s pretty amazing considering, I don’t know if I get paid to do something, I make sure I do it, but it happens. So, more than you think, so it’s your responsibility as the brand to make sure that you’d get what you need out of it.
- Yeah, I think what happens with influencers, because we’re dealing with people from all spectrums, in all different times in their own lives and a lot of influencers, if not the majority of influencers still have daytime jobs that they’re doing, where they’re not full-time influencers posting and doing brand collaborations and deals out there, that it’s harder for them to kind of stay on top of things themselves.
- And they aren’t necessarily always very business minded, they’re sometimes more creative minded. And so dotting the, I’s and crossing the T’s gets left out and that’s why you have to have someone, either your agency or your brand side going in there and making sure everything actually comes to fruition, that was in black and white on paper.
- Yes, I agree. And, to your point, that is more legwork for, whoever it is that’s in charge of that part of it.
- Yeah, that’s why people shouldn’t outsource to agencies, it makes it easier.
- What type of contracts do you, typically suggest people put in place with influencers?
- I really think that an influence or should be a long-term partnership, and you identify somebody that you like. Make sure that you have something with them in place for at least six months because, that person, if they’re doing enough for you and getting you enough attention, even if you don’t think they’re getting the sales from it, your competitors watching.
- And as soon as you let them loose, they don’t have to be loyal to you anymore. They’re gonna be snatched up by your competitor and you’ve already done all the legwork for them. They already, that space is already created for you, and you’re the brand that’s gonna come in and they’re gonna say, “Oh! She’s not drinking Pepsi now she’s drinking Coke now? Okay, I’m ready. I’m gonna buy that kind of a beverage.”
- All right, so do you think like, when you’re doing influence contracts and creating partnerships, do you know from the get go that you want to work with that influencer for the next six months or do you try to do a test campaign with them to see how it vets out or, how do you dive in to determine if the individual you’re working with is actually going to be worth it for the long haul?
- Well, a lot of times we ask for stats, if they’re willing to give them, that’s the first positive. And especially if you’re paying somebody a good amount, I know, I understand what Nano-influencers, you probably can’t get a lot, but some of the bigger Micro-influencers to have information, and they’re pretty organized now they’re getting there.
- And, you can ask for like, how did it, how did the last campaign go? And if they really want the job, they’ll give you that information, or they might give you an insight on Google Analytics, they might let you see that. And you can always check on your own, you can sort of figure it out by looking at some of their stats on different things like, SEMrush or Alexa and just comparing notes on certain campaigns that you’ve seen and what you think is happening.
- You can sort of see what’s happening with certain campaigns. So, I would say that, and then just your dialogue with them should tell you a lot of things about how confident they feel about how it’s gonna go.
- Okay, and you mentioned a moment ago, you kind of glossed over, and I want to deep dive here, costs. So costs to work with influencers, how do you suggest, things come up and budget for influencer partnerships?
- So there are a lot of ways to look at these, but there are some standard fees now that are out there and, they get paid per thousand for certain follower numbers and everybody seems to be using those. So across the board, if you’re just asking them to post on social, there are some standard numbers out there that you’re paying them.
- So if they have 10,000 followers, you’re giving them $100 for a social work platform posts. So that’s kind of the guide for that, but beyond that, if you’re asking them to do extra things like, create a video, or show up for an event or things like that, you kind of have to play it by ear based on, what your budget is.
- But I would say, “If you have somebody who has 50,000 followers, be prepared to pay them $500 to do something for you because, that’s what they’re getting paid.” And usually, if they’re doing more than that, they’re getting more. So, I would say per influencer on average, if they’re getting, if they have 50,000 followers they’re probably making, $500.
- Okay, and then when you’re looking at the fees, are you also looking at their engagement? So as far as, someone obviously could have 50,000 followers and they could have extremely low engagement, which could show that they just don’t have real followers, or they just don’t have engaged followers, or they picked them up from doing contests or doing different things and people just aren’t really looking at their posts.
- Do you try to adjust your CPM payment, you’re $100 per thousand people based off of how highly engaged someone actually is?
- Yeah, for sure. And also, if they’re not getting the engagement, I usually don’t recommend working with them because, what is the point of that?
- Right, and do you like working with the smaller influencers versus larger influencers when you’re putting together brand campaigns, how do you decide who should go into [inaudible 00:23:22] skit of potentials that you’re looking at?
- I think it depends on what the brand needs. Sometimes the brand, there are certain clients who have brands, that have, maybe they’ve already done their big PR campaign, and they have a big endorsement deal, and they have a couple of celebrities on board and now they’re looking to, dig in deep and target their target audiences.
- So then, my job is really to find the micro-influencers in their target categories to work with them and that’s where I concentrate. But if you go in, and it’s a fresh start startup brand that doesn’t have anything, I would recommend engaging with the Macro-influencer just to get the party started as they say, and get people interested.
- Because, usually if there’s nothing, everybody’s afraid to come on board. And the macros will come on board first because obviously, they know their brand builders and you pay the more. And then everybody else will follow suit, but if you don’t have an endorsement or some kind of spokesperson, especially for some product that other people have endorsement brands with, with somebody who’s either a celebrity or real reality star or large Macro-influencer, that’s something that I highly suggest.
- Okay, and then, when you are casting and looking for these influencers, how do you do your outreach, how do you actually engage with them and start the conversation?
- So I recommend an Email, because nobody really Emails anymore. I mean, you get a ton of Emails from PR people, you get a press release or something like that, but if you’re reaching out, and you write the right subject line, you should get an answer. Of course, you probably have to try a few times because influencers, if they’re popular, they get, 25 to 50 Emails a day.
- And so, if you don’t get them first thing in the morning or if they’re traveling, you might not hear from them. But they’re not really, if they’re popular enough, it’s hard enough to get in with a DM. If you can get their information with an Email, I really highly suggest that first and just start the ball rolling there.
- Try a few times if you have to, not because, it’s just, they’re just getting a lot of Emails. I think, I still think that’s the best way.
- Do you end up working with or for management once they become a little bit bigger often, or do you still usually work directly with one on one influencers, or influencers who don’t have management representing them?
- A lot of times I work out, I would work directly with the influencers, but the bigger ones all have management now with all the firms that you know of that represent all our celebrities.
- So I go straight to their talent agents now, a lot of them.
- Okay, and those are a little bit steeper pricing sometimes and a little bit more detailed contracts sometimes as well as far as expectations, right?
- A lot more, and also, if they’ve been on television, the consequences like, F.A.G, Union, things like that. And so you have to consider that when you’re hiring them as well.
- Okay, and then we touched on this, I’m totally not going in order of anything. I’m just loving your questions to you right now. But when the campaign is finished and there is content that’s been created and we already touched on the fact that, brands sometimes fail miserably at actually going in and even liking the own content that the influencer producer with them, much more saying anything about it.
- This is really common now, everyone listening, going, of course will go in and like, no, like it doesn’t happen by a lot. Like, it’s so frequent that brands don’t go in and comment or like, or share even back to their own social feeds, whatever the influencer posted. I mean, it’s amazing, right?
- I know, yes.
- You’re laughing, it’s really, it’s that true. It’s like people are just like, “Oh! Yeah, they did that, I don’t need to do anything with it.” But there’s more you can do on contents too. If you’ve negotiated the contract where you actually might want to, find other ways to share the content that was created, it might cost you more fees.
- Is that something that you usually work with, with influencers to get rights to that content so the brand has a limited window of time where they could be processed digitally, or through their Web, or do other things with the content that’s produced by that influencer?
- Yes, absolutely. There is a rights usage time content with video and with images and sometimes if you’re using video that was shot by a Videographer or Photographer that’s well known, you have to license that from them before you can even sign the contract with the talent, they might not even sometimes own the rights to some of their stuff.
- But if you’re shooting it directly for you or getting it shot directly with someone, then you might be negotiating with two people sometimes too, [crosstalk 00:28:32] time. And usually the requirement is, I mean, usually it’s like, how long do you think they’re to use it for? They’re looking usually six months to a year at a time.
- Yeah, and then, going back into time, since you mentioned that. How long do you usually suggest brands contract to have the post stay up on the feed? Because, listeners oftentimes, influencer after they get paid, if they don’t have it in their contract that they actually have to [inaudible 00:29:05] that post up.
- It can come down the next day after you pay them. Have you run into that Susanna?
- Yes, we actually have it in all the, we ask our clients to have it in all the contracts that they keep it up for at least, the campaign time period or more. So if it’s a three month campaign we say, please [inaudible 00:29:25] for six months. Because, otherwise they will take it down.
- And then sometimes we were doing something that is on their blog, we ask for evergreen content.
- Okay, so how is it different working with influencers who blog versus the Instagramer, or the YouTuber instead, because that’s a little bit different?
- Yeah, it is a little different. There are different personalities to, somebody who blogs actually knows a little bit more in terms of technical and linking and understand, digital ads a little bit, and understand the workings of the business a little bit more. So, in terms of negotiating with them, the fees might be higher and they also offer a little bit more of a long tail of result, because of the way they’ve done the work for you.
- So for an evergreen content, a blog post that can live forever, that’s great SEO for you that’s great [inaudible 00:30:22] for you, it’s the drive sales. You might be getting a sale from them, 12 months from now, six months from now after the campaign’s over. So, it’s definitely a different aspect.
- And I happen to like working with influencers who have blogs, I feel like there’s a lot of value there.
- Yeah, it’s great because usually the bloggers have other types of social platforms where they’ll extend the campaign onto Instagram or Facebook. But you have that lovely, yummy SEO, as you mentioned, rich content that is so evergreen and lives there forever, and ever more, building your brand.
- Yeah, and I really feel like it builds the brand very effectively. Suddenly, everything starts to pay off at the same time, if you’re investing in PR, you’re investing in other parts of your business, it just all comes together really nicely.
- Right, and do you see that a lot of brands even think about using bloggers anymore, or are they just so focused on this, “Hey? There’s influencers, we should use them?” Do they forget about the blogger?
- I don’t think they even, I think, they’re just like, “Oh! My God, we need influencers.” It’s like somebody told them from the top, it’s time to get influencers. So then everybody’s like, all hands on deck. Okay, today’s meeting tomorrow, let’s find something. It’s kind of like that, that’s what I’ve seen in thoroughly.
- And then it’s like, everybody’s just running around. It’s not that organized most of the time, and I don’t think they think about that. I mean, let’s just give you a great example. Like, what if somebody gets kicked off of Instagram or their account gets locked out, like, vendor done, they have nothing and they don’t think about that.
- So if you only invested in Instagram influencers and Instagram’s gone tomorrow, what happens to, all your brand stuff?
- Well, it’s beyond that even because, once you’ve paid the influencer and that clock has ticked, your stuff’s gone. And I mean, it was there for a nice period of time and people saw it, but it’s not like someone is ever even going to, it doesn’t even matter that you don’t have your content guarantee to be up there forever.
- No one in their right mind is sitting someone’s Instagram account and scrolling down a hundred pages to see all the content that they’ve created. I mean, that’s insanity.
- Yeah, I mean, 12 blocks down, they’re not looking, right? [crosstalk 00:32:51] and some of them post three times a day, five times a day. So if you paid them for one post, guess where that’s gone by Wednesday? It’s gone. So, I agree. When you invest in an influencer, you have to make sure that they have a lot of things going on, on different platforms and that you make sure that your campaigns with all of their platforms and whatever else they have going on.
- Are there any great case studies that you could share that you’ve seen influencers work really well for different types of brands?
- There was one that I read recently, which I really liked, which was about, it was by Silk, that story [crosstalk 00:33:34]
- Mm-hmm (affirmative)- this [crosstalk 00:33:35] alternative.
- Yeah, there was a great case study on that where, they got so much great user generated content, not just influencer content but user generated content and they show the ROI on that. And they did a test case on how it created so much brand recognition that they were tracking what people were buying at supermarkets and the list that they saw from the sales as a result of all that user generated content as a result of the campaign they did with influencers, that the influencers did, that asks for user generated content.
- So like some of the influencers created their own, like, recipes of something. And then they asked their followers to create a recipe that, like do a recipe like mine and post it with a Hashtag User Generated Content win the contest. And I don’t really remember what the prize was but basically, from these influencers and then their followers doing what they were doing.
- It created, just in top of mind, like people kept seeing all the recipes and everything they were talking about in the Silk Brand, and they saw a big list at the supermarkets from checkout lines.
- That’s awesome. I’m not familiar with that one, but that was basically using Nano-influencers of what people are trying to say or the new, new influencer for… So very cool because really, everyone listening today, if you don’t happen to be already a celebrity or a Macro or Micro-influencer, you’re pretty much left to be a Nano-influencer.
- Which means, you friends and family who follow you and they like what you write and they share what you like, and they’re really actually tuned in. And it’s been proven that Nano-influencers and Micro-influencers have a way higher engagement overall than any other type of influencer out there. So the return is really good for brands.
- I agree.
- So where do you think brands are missing the mark right now, where do you think that, they’re not leveraging influencers in ways that they could be?
- I just think it’s, they’re not understanding what they can get out of their content. So, the number one, they’re not sure who they’re hiring. So some people think that it’s just about the numbers. You really need to find people who resonate with your target audience. If you have a specific or two types of a target audience, find an influencer who resembles your target audience because those people are your audience, are your customers.
- That’s the number one thing. And then the other thing is, keep that relationship with them going because it will pay off in the long run. But it’s not, let’s get 20 influencers and work with them one time. It’s, why not? If that’s your budget, why not do 10 people and invest in their relationship, invest in your relationship with them.
- Because, that’s what it’s all about because, the consumers are looking too and going, “Well, why is she talking about this vitamin today and then next week she’s talking about a different one?”
- Right, and that just looks, silliness. When someone’s doing the same category for different brands. I mean, obviously it makes sense if someone’s talking, they’re a fashion influencer and they love this dress this weekend, and that dress next week. But that doesn’t really extend to a lot of brand categories, it looks weird.
- Yeah, it does. And especially if it’s like a vitamin that someone’s supposed to invest in for their health, and they’re supposed to be taking it every single day. That’s kind of a, relationship you should invest in.
- Do you ever look at doing partnership deals where you’re actually, on a higher level, you’re the vitamin company, but you are working now with the influencer to help them create their own limited line in addition to products? Because, that’s another way that you can use influencers of different sizes, have you run across that in your practice?
- I have and a lot of like, apparel brands have done that with just creating a Geneline with their name on it and then, also collaborating with, like a nordstrom or somebody like that. And then, you have three partners going in and they’re all invested in it and then everybody in their whole audience is watching and everybody’s doing the promotion.
- So it works out well most of the times, as long as the influencer is behind it and understands that, “This is a partnership that is gonna be long-term, as long as the line is in effect.” So, I think it’s really important to find the right people who have, the influencer who has the right people in place, so that they understand the business really well.
- Right, and that they know that they’re actually taking this as a business opportunity and that, it’s not now that they’re just being the face off the brand, but they’re actually helping lower brands?
- Yeah, and they’re getting a part of it and they need to be invested in it and their business owner mindset and what that means, and how that means in every way, in every aspect of their business and in their life.
- So where do you think Influencer Marketing is going to evolve?
- I think, it’s gonna get to the point where the good ones are going to rise to the top and then there are some emerging ones that are gonna start learning the business. And then the ones who are not doing what they’re supposed to do, are gonna fall to the wayside. But it’s almost like, the acting category where there’s a lot of extras and things like that.
- I think the brands are gonna start to learn their lessons in terms of, even with Nano-influencers, you have to find people that are reliable. And, I think a lot of brands think that, if they could just give away free products they’re gonna get something out of it. But sometimes what you’re giving, even in your free product, whatever that free product costs you, it might not be worth it, what you get back in terms of content because you can’t rely on it.
- So I would say, “Pick carefully in terms of giving away free product and that, the brands are gonna start learning some lessons on that part of the business.” And then I think it’s gonna really start to evolve and, it’s already starting to evolve where people are really starting to understand.
- A lot of people are starting to understand, what this business means and how we have to take it very seriously whenever someone’s using your product and talking about it.
- Yeah, I think what, going back to what we were talking about earlier, brands really oftentimes, you guys don’t have the realization of how much time finding these influencers, no matter what the size, it takes just as much time finding a Nano-influencer or someone whose small, and working with them, and talking with them, and contracting with them, and getting the points to be agreed to, and shipping out the product, and then making sure they have the product, and the following up to make sure that we’re going to do the post, and then looking at the post and approving the post before it goes, if that’s what you’re doing.
- And then making sure afterwards posted that everything’s accurate, and then capturing the post, and doing a report on the post, that takes as much time as doing something with a much larger influencer. And so even though you’re not paying the Nano-influencer any money, your time, or your agency’s time, it’s gonna be in a lot, in the hundreds of dollars.
- I mean, whatever someone charges, it’s not that it took them two hours to do all of that, it’s gonna be a lot of man hours to actually get that done. So it might actually be a better spend of time to put together a higher dollar budget, to pay for influencers sometimes that have some broader reach as well.
- I agree.
- Yeah, because it takes a lot of time?
- It does, and it takes more time than anybody thinks internally and I think that’s the whole brand education thing. And then also for the influencer, I mean, if they want to do a good job too, so they have to go out and shoot it, they have to write the blog post if they’re regular blog posts, even the content.
- If they’re just posting for you across the platforms, it’s two hours, but then you want them to write a blog post, you’re also wants him to shoot something and put it in the photos. I mean, that’s at least another three, four hours.
- Right, and so all of a sudden, you’re taken up the main part of at least one day for someone to have decided to move forward working with you on the collaboration down to the point of making sure you have all the assets that you need at the final end of that collaboration. So that’s definitely worth the time to pay people money for?
- Yes, I agree.
- So I also understand you have a new course on, how to work with influencers from the brand side. Can you share a little bit more on those details with our listeners?
- Sure, so the, I just feel like there’s a lot of education that needs to be done on the brand side, but also there are people on the brand side that the brand’s feels can do the work. And so, I would love the brands to really understand how the work needs to be done so that it can be done properly.
- And so from the brand side, I have a course called, Learn Influencer Marketing. Like, it’s just the roadmap and it’s like, a cookbook basically. And it starts from start to finish, how to find your target influencer, how to hone down and create a list to figure out which ones you should be working with, how to develop a budget, what kind of strategy to put in place, what your goals are for the campaign and then, tracking and templates and what kind of tools to use.
- And also FTC rules and sample scripts to use for reaching out to people, sample templates that you can use that I’ve used over the years to track internally, what’s going on with every department that needs to either approve a piece of content or send it back for revising. If legal needs to take a look at it, have they looked at it yet? To, your master sheet with your budget on it that, you and your CMO or your VP needs to look at to track the campaign as a whole.
- And it’s from A to Z. So, and it’s an eight week course and when people are done, they can follow it all along the way and actually have a campaign by the time they’re done.
- I think that’s great, especially the part with the templates. It has, that’s something that can be a massive time saver for people?
- Yeah, it takes time to create those templates and whether or not they work and who they should be for. And I have templates for working with the internal teams to just, the master sheet to the external teams. If there’s an external PR team to, just tracking the influencers and who you’ve worked with and what you, who their followers are and who you are tracking. And also videos, videos that explain a lot of that too.
- And so, we’re going to be sharing access to this awesome material, actually with this podcast. So it will be in the show notes section and everyone will be able to find it on our Website and we will be able to help you get those templates by doing that. And Susanna, what are some last bits of advice that you have, that you want to send our listeners away with today?
- I think there’s going to be a rise in talent agencies for Micro-influencers. I mean, all the big influencers have UTA and CAA, but I think there’s gonna be a Micro-influencer, there’s lots of those agencies, I think they’re gonna [inaudible 00:45:27] start popping up.
- Yeah, they and, but then it’s just going to add to the overall costs of everything to from, even having brands. We want to just run into so much that brands have this issue with trying to figure out, the justification of why they should pay an agency to do this. Because, I literally have to say, “We can have an intern do this.”
- And my response is, “Yes. Yes, you can have an intern do it, it will not be done well, but you can have an intern do it, yes.” And when you’re ready to go bigger, let us know and we’re happy to work with you then.
- I always just, I show them what the successful campaigns look like. Sometimes I show them like a Silk, the Silk Email Campaign, or I point out a few good campaigns and I’ll say, “Here’s all the things they did. So I just want to make sure you understand, you have to do all of these things.”
- But that doesn’t mean that everybody has buy-in because, maybe its own, maybe the influencer program is owned by the PR side of the business and the digital side of the business hates them, whatever, they may refuse to do it. They refuse to do the work, to amplify, or they don’t have the budget and why should they spend it to make PR successful?
- But yeah, they can get an intern to do it, but the intern won’t know what they’re doing, and then won’t work. And then they’ll say, “Oh! See, Influencer Marketing doesn’t work.” When the brands get it, they’re great. Like, I had a brand who I worked with for about two years and then that contract ended.
- And then, they are still using those same influencers and it’s worked out really well for them, so I’m happy to see that. And those influencers, I do other things with them, they’re happy too but it’s rare, but if they listen, it’s great.
- Yeah, no, I fully agree with you. So I mean Influencer Marketing is super powerful. It makes major things happen for brands, it builds massive awareness, it can be a sales driver, but brands have to kind of dip their toe in and actually try it in order to see if it’s going to work.
- Yeah, and what scares me actually, and that scares me. But I just hate seeing it, as all these people out there who don’t know what they’re doing and they say that, “They do this work.” And that’s making it really not good. So, I’m actually grateful for these kinds of podcasts because, of actually people listen to them, then they’ll know like, “Okay, well, at least these people know what they’re talking about.”
- Someone out there knows. So, it’s us men, it’s us.
- I know, I really think that, people have to understand that, this is a business for the influencers as well and it’s very time consuming for them. And if you want to work with somebody, that you should understand that, what you’re giving them in terms of monetary value, fees or even what you’re negotiating, even if it’s free products, that it’s a two way street, it’s a relationship.
- And people need to understand that, it is a relationship and that sometimes you might not get who you want to work on your campaign because maybe they’re just not feeling it, so you never know. And so, it’s really about, you’re dealing with people and if you want your campaign to succeed you, you really make sure you understand that, human element of it before… And, when you start your campaigns.
- 100% agreed. You have said so many things and I swear, it come out of my mouth every day. So I really, really, you do know what you’re talking about, and I really did enjoy having you on our show today and I know our listeners are getting tremendous value out of this conversation. So thank you very, very much. And I’m looking forward to speaking with you more in more detail in the near future.
- And for all of our listeners, I will chat with you all again on our next podcast. Thank you all so much.
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