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Oct. 31, 2018

133: Your Definition of Influencer Marketing is WAY Too Narrow: Influence is EVERYWHERE in Social Media

133: Your Definition of Influencer Marketing is WAY Too Narrow: Influence is EVERYWHERE in Social Media

Influencer Marketing is about way more than just Instagram influencers with millions of followers. This episode is a preview of Neal's new book on influencer marketing, The Business of Influence, and aims to change your mindset to understand that influence is literally everywhere, on every social network and content medium, and those who influence include your followers, customers, partners, and even employees.

Key Highlights

[01:49] Why Influencer Marketing Is Today's Hot Topic

[02:16] Compelling Reasons To Be Utilizing Influencer Marketing

[03:29] Books About Influence

[05:27] The Definition and Concept of Influencer Marketing

[07:55] Influence Is Everywhere

[09:15] Early Form of Influencer Marketing

[10:11] Longes Life Span Of Social Posts

[11:02] What Is Affiliate Marketing

[11:07] How To Become An Affiliate

[11:55] Other Types Of Influencer Marketing

[12:03] Brand Advocacy

[13:15] More Types of Influences

[14:51] People Always Outperform Businesses

[16:16] Expanding Mindset About Influencer Marketing

[17:34] Using Events To Expand Influences

Notable Quotes

  • I believe that influencer marketing should be a fundamental part of a company's marketing. And this is not just for consumer brands that are targeting Millennials or tweens for any brand, including b2b brands, including nonprofits and government organizations.
  • When you begin to think about all this holistically, you begin to see that influence does not depend on social network influence really is everywhere.
  • So we can't forget when we talk about influencer marketing, the power of working with bloggers because, you know, the lifetime of a tweet is very short.
  • Here's the thing, an influencer doesn't have to be that 10 million follower, Instagram celebrity. And influencer might only have 5000 followers, but they have a very, very highly engaged community in something that is relevant to the products and services that you offer. Now you begin to see how broad of a definition influencer marketing should be. 
  • There's plenty of stats out there that show that by investing in relationships with your customers, you will end up getting more business than investing in advertising outside of your customers.  In other words, not only through loyalty, will your customers purchase more from you, but they will also refer you to others that will end up being your customers as well.
  • And I think the whole idea about working with influencers is ideally at the end of the day, you want to try to convert them into becoming brand advocates, right?
  • The whole idea is that social media was made for people, not for businesses, right.
  • Therefore, all of these different types of influencers that I'm talking about are all people. And that is the unifying substance here. It's not that you have to have X number of followers. It's that you're a person, you're active in social media, and you have a community that engages with your content, ideally, and specifically around a certain type of subject matter or content that is important to your business for wanting to engage with that influencer.
  • But if you use the creation of around a blog post, as a way to hopefully get them to share your posts, or at a minimum, it helps you establish a relationship with the influencer for the future.
  • So events are a powerful, powerful form of marketing. And when you include influencers as part of them, it is a great way to yield ROI and to strengthen those relationships. And you get to meet these influencers in person where you can really deepen that relationship.
Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

What's up, y'all? Let's go. Welcome to the maximize your social podcast follow me discover the latest social media marketing techniques from the world's leading experts from top to bottom. This is the podcast where business professionals come together to master social media without all the confusing mumbo jumbo. With no further ado, turn it down. Here's your host, the one and only Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to another episode of maximize your social. You know, it's funny, I announced that I was going to be writing my next book on influencer marketing, which is titled The business of influence. It was about a year ago, actually, and I never wrote a blog post about the fact that I was writing a new book, I created a campaign on Publish iser, which is a really, really great platform. For any of you who are interested in writing a book, I highly recommend it. But I want to talk about that experience. And really something that I think based on the feedback that I have gotten from publishers that I've spoken with, from people that have already pre ordered my book, about the narrow definitions, and the narrow concepts that most marketers and entrepreneurs and business people have about influencer marketing, and I want to help you correct those. And if you could read my book today, you would be able to correct these errors immediately and be able to reap the rewards before everyone else. But you're gonna have to wait a little bit longer. For my book, I'll get to an update on my book at the very end of this podcast. But I just want to start with, you know, influencer marketing is the number one topic that I get asked about these days. And similar to how five years ago I wrote, maximize your social based on all these questions about social media strategies and social media audits and social media ROI? Well, the industry has matured, it's five years later today, clearly, influencer marketing is the hot topic that every marketer is trying to figure out or if they're already invested in trying to reap a greater reward, a greater ROI for their investment. And it's no surprise, I am featuring literally dozens of case studies in my upcoming book. And there is clear ROI that can be derived when doing influencer marketing, right? There's a lot more compelling reasons to be utilizing influencer marketing outside of just you know, to complement a campaign that you're doing to add an influencer elements to the mix. You know, I believe that influencer marketing, I believe after you read my book, you'll see that it should be a fundamental part of a company's marketing. And this is not just for consumer brands that are targeting Millennials or tweens for any brand, including b2b brands, including nonprofits and government organizations. The objective around this episode is really to give a formal introduction to my upcoming book, but also giving you some advice on how to redefine and reutilize influencer marketing for organizations. So it really begins with as I'm writing this book, and as I am talking with potential publishers for the book, it's very, very interesting because most people equate influencer marketing to consumer ecommerce brands that are just trying to tap into the 20 Something crowd on Instagram. And if we look at in because some of you probably read marketing books, business books, if not, you should, hopefully read my previous books at least maximize your social, if not my books on LinkedIn. You know, there's a lot of books out there on the topic of influence. Beginning with Dale Carnegie's classic How to win friends and influence people and that is still sort of a classic, that it was even featured on young Sheldon for those big bang theory fans and young Sheldon fans like I am. But there's also been a number of other books around the topic of influence. My friend and great thought leader in marketing and social media Mark Schaefer wrote ROI or return on influence that was several years ago when cloud was still in operation. We all know that cloud kalo UT is no longer in operation. You know, more recently we've had and I guess the first edition was, was at the same time as Mark's book, but we've had Gary Vaynerchuk crush it and this has almost become I would like to describe the four hour workweek for the new generation of entrepreneurs, solopreneurs freelancers, people that want to go independent, or what have you and crush it does talk a little bit about influence and how to use it for business. There's also some other books that have come out that talk about influence in terms of personal branding, or how to become more influential. This is a topic it's actually a webinar that I did on that very topic that launched the idea for this book. But none of these books that I've found and there have been earlier books, but none of these books that I've found really help businesses and marketers leverage influencers for their marketing. That is the perspective I'm taking. In the last part of the book there will be in information about how why businesses should try to become more influential themselves in social media and also for those marketing professionals. And I know a lot of them ask me, Hey, you know, how do I use a little bit more influence in social media for whatever reason, I'm going to cover those topics. But really the perspective is on helping businesses and helping marketers, just like I have done with maximize your social, and with maximizing LinkedIn for sales and social media marketing. So let's start with that definition of influencer marketing. Or I should say, the current concept of what influencer marketing is Because currently, a lot of businesses only look at influencer marketing in terms of Instagramers. And Instagram is the place where it's the social network that is achieving the largest year to year growth of all the major social networks, and it's now become the second largest social network. And I think we saw a huge growth in the United States, Instagram users. And now we're seeing that growth worldwide over the last one to two years. So it's a very, very exciting time to be on Instagram and to be involved in Instagram marketing, but obviously, influence knows no limits, if someone can be influential on Instagram. What about all those youtubers right? What about Logan Paul, and all these others that have millions of subscribers on YouTube? Those are all influencers as well. We can't forget about those people, especially a lot of YouTubers in the gaming sphere. You know, my elementary school middle school kids don't know a lot of influencers, but they play fortnight and they know the YouTubers that are really famous in the fortnight world. So those are influencers as well. What about bloggers, influencer marketing started with the concept of blogger outreach before we had Instagram right before we have Snapchat, so you have bloggers who yield influence you have, obviously even though Snapchat is not of the same growth, and I think the report just came out today that there are more tweens on Instagram than Snapchat, I'm sort of not surprised. It was only a matter of time. There are Snapchatters. And there are people that are very, very influential on Twitter, there was a Chinese PR agency that often reaches out to me as an influencer for sponsored tweets only on Twitter. And I try to push other networks because I actually think they'd be more effective for the product, but they really want to focus on Twitter, right. And in Japan, Twitter is still extremely popular, more popular than Instagram, I think even more popular than Facebook being the number one most popular social network outside of a line. Of course, there are people that yield influence on Facebook, there are people that yield influence on LinkedIn, in fact, LinkedIn as a term for them, right, LinkedIn influencers, and you see them blogging on LinkedIn. So when you begin to think about and everybody who knows me knows, I think about business and marketing extremely holistically. When you begin to think about all this holistically, you begin to see that influence does not depend on social network influence really is everywhere. There are communities everywhere, just like Seth Goden, wrote in tribes, everybody can now easily find other people to connect with. And there are niche communities in almost any given subject around the world, which is why Regardless of industry, there's probably a community that you can tap into. And for those of you who saw me speak at Social Media Marketing World last year, well, if you didn't, one of the concepts, and I wrote a blog post on this on Neal schaffer.com, which we'll link to in the show notes, that you know, influencer marketing is about community and not campaign. And it's always going to be a larger community out there that don't know about you that you should be tapping into, that should have affinity with you. But don't because they just haven't found out about you. And I think that those are prime opportunities. In fact, I was recently asked to contribute to a blog post and the question, if you only had $100 to spend to generate website traffic, where would you spend it? And my answer was, I would spend $50, or half of it on retargeting, because we know that these are people that already have some affinity with us, but for whatever reason, have not converted. And I would spend the other $50 on working with influencers to tap in the community that should have affinity with us, but don't and it's going to be a lot more effective than traditional paid media in order to attract their interest. So now that we begin to look at influencer marketing in this light, I talked about blogger outreach, that is a form an early form of influencer marketing, right, that bloggers hold influence. They may not have the type of community like a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group, or the type of engagement you see on LinkedIn, but they have a community that will often read their blogs comment on their blogs take action from their blogs, and those blogs appear prominently sometimes if they have influence in Google search. So we can't forget when we talk about influencer marketing, the power of working with bloggers because, you know, the lifetime of a tweet is very short. The lifetime of an Instagram Post may be a little bit longer because you have hashtags. And I still have people that like my posts from a year or two years ago, because they found a hashtag Pinterest. Boy, if you talk about long lifespans of social posts, Pinterest is probably the longest, some pins from a few years ago still drive traffic to my digital properties. So there's a lot of different ways in which to think about influencers. But clearly, the combination, or the common thing that all of these entities have in common is their content creators. And from a search engine perspective, although we can find content in the social network search functionality, like on Pinterest or on Instagram when they use hashtags or, or keywords, what have you. They don't compete with Google, right? So when you think about it that way, obviously bloggers still are a prime source of people that you should be working with. And b2b industries already realized this. I think b2c industries could be working more with bloggers. But what about affiliate marketing, affiliate marketing, although the term was around way before the term influencer marketing came about? It really is another form of influencer marketing, how influential these affiliates are our question, I know that there are platforms out there, or if you apply to become an affiliate, they will screen you and they only want to work with people that they think are reputable and have influence over a community that they have a platform, they have a certain social following, or a certain amount of website traffic. But here's the thing, an influencer doesn't have to be that 10 million follower, Instagram celebrity. And influencer might only have 5000 followers, but they have a very, very highly engaged community in something that is relevant to the products and services that you offer. Now you begin to see how broad of a definition influencer marketing should be. Well, what about other types of influencer marketing that further widen the definition? Well, what about your fans? Right? You know, there's plenty of stats out there that show that by investing in relationships with your customers, you will end up getting more business than investing in advertising outside of your customers. In other words, not only through loyalty, will your customers purchase more from you, but they will also refer you to others that will end up being your customers as well. So brand advocacy, right? When your brand advocates actually yield influence in social media, they may not all but I'm sure some do. When your fans, your followers, amongst them, you find influencers is it's gonna be a great case study, in business of influence of one of these case studies of a I believe it was a hotel brand. And they just went flipping through their Instagram followers and realize, wow, they had some significant influencers that were already following them. There's immediate brand affinity even though they may not be customers, right. So true brand advocates, are already talking about your brand in social media, and they're probably already your customer. But there's other people that you can convert to brand advocates. And I think the whole idea about working with influencers is ideally at the end of the day, you want to try to convert them into becoming brand advocates, right? We can keep going further here, there's more types of influences. What about employees? If we can look for influence around us, perhaps our employees might yield influence in social media. And especially if you're a b2b company, a technology company, they probably do, especially people in your r&d, your engineers, for any company or executives, if they've been tweeting, they might yield influence as well. So employee advocacy, and especially if you're b2b and and you have salespeople that also have large networks and yield have influence. These are, you know, no brain avenues for which you need to include as part of this influencer marketing initiative that I am redefining the whole idea behind this, right. The whole idea is that social media was made for people, not for businesses, right. And that's been reflected more and more in the algorithms that determine what gets seen in the newsfeed of your fans, people are always going to outperform brands, which is why to this day, I still have not switched my Instagram profile to a business profile, even though I would get access to that swipe up feature. And I know there's tremendous ROI there. I think that my engagement is actually going to go down as a result of that, which is why I purposely do not do that. We'll find out if that changes in the near future. And so far for most of the social media celebrities that I know that have changed a business profile, and there are exceptions. I do not see them getting a lot of engagement. I think it's because of that reason, although there might be other reasons. I need to do some data testing and some more research on that before I can say definitively. But people always outperform businesses. So if the algorithms are skewed against you as a business, when your Facebook page posts get zero visibility, when your LinkedIn company page posts get zero visibility, you know, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, these are still areas. It's a different type of social network, where the profile of a business and a person still perform almost equally well. But even as a business, it's harder and harder to engage with people and to be authentic and doing that it's hard to become a person, no matter how much brands try to humanize their presence in digital and social. So therefore, all of these different types of influencers that I'm talking about are all people. And that is the unifying substance here. It's not that you have to have X number of followers. It's that you're a person, you're active in social media, and you have a community that engages with your content, ideally, and specifically around a certain type of subject matter or content that is important to your business for wanting to engage with that influencer. And that's why, and perhaps the title of this podcast is going to be influencer marketing has no bounds. That's why everybody's definition or most people's definition, IC is very, very narrow. So what are other examples just to keep on expanding your mindset about what influencer marketing is? And isn't? If you listen to the previous episode of Maximizer, social, I believe episode number 132. We talked about the roundup blog post, very, very popular in b2b circles, very, very popular in social media and marketing circles. But it's reaching out to those who are more influential than you, asking them to contribute to answer a question or a few questions, interview them, and include that as a blog post, where the hope is that some of those people who contribute it are actually going to share that post with their own networks. In other words, if you were to ask your influencers, to share your blog posts, very few people are going to do it. But if you use the creation of around a blog post, as a way to hopefully get them to share your posts, or at a minimum, it helps you establish a relationship with the influencer for the future. You know, if you're going to invite 20 influencers, well, let's say I mean, let's take a typical scenario, maybe you invite 50 influencers, maybe 20, agree to be part of it. And maybe five of those actually end up sharing that final piece of content out of the 20. That's still five influences that are going to expose your content and your website, to their community. And that's going to give you new traffic, new leads new conversion. So that's another great example. What are some other examples? What about events, inviting influencers to be part of webinars, for example, those are virtual events, or physical events, invited influencers to be part of your event? How about you, you make them part of your event, by inviting them to speak or to moderate, or to run a Twitter chat during your event, it's going to be a great case study. And we'll include this in the show notes I'll link to on the lid because case study of working together with VM world Europe for what they did, and bringing together influencers in the tech community, to basically put on a tweet chat and to have their own panel discussion during that VM world just based on these influencers and actually gain an incredible amount of engagement in doing so events are a great way of working with influencers. Heck, I would even think of creating an event as a way to work together with influencers, obviously, there are many types of events you can create, I work, and I'm an advisor to a event management company in Japan that do corporate events, a lot of b2b events. And I've seen the incredible ROI from those from my first hand experience of being part of those events, as well as helping them create content around the ROI and case studies around those events. So events are a powerful, powerful form of marketing. And when you include influencers as part of them, it is a great way to yield ROI and to strengthen those relationships. And you get to meet these influencers in person where you can really deepen that relationship. There are others. And it goes beyond the scope of a singular 20 minute episode of this maximize your social podcast. You know, I like to I try to keep these short and sweet even though Previously, I had my longest 38 minute podcast, assuming that you continue to subscribe to this. And to subscribe to updates from Neal Schaffer calm, you'll continue to get updates and I'll continue to sort of publish content that's going to reveal more and more thoughts, insight that is going into the business of influence. So the business of influence has been a project that's been going on for several months, I'm really happy to announce that I finally hit the approximate 70,000 word count. I only plan to make this a 60,000 word book. So I'll be going through and and tightening up the book, but the rough draft of the manuscript is finally completed on working on the tedious aspect of doing a final edit of the book. Now that it's complete, and I finally hit 500 pre orders on the Publish iser platform. So we'll include that link. If you're at all interested in this book. There are unique features and benefits and discounts that I'm giving to those people that invest in me and preorder the book that campaign now that I reached 500 pre orders is going to end on October 31. I know that you may hear this podcast after that, I'm really sorry, make sure you subscribe to updates on Neal schaffer.com. For those of you who hear this in time, as you should, this should publish on October 28, or 29th. I hope that you'll give that a look. Once again, the link will be in the show notes. And you can also see all the updates that I've included, you can sign up for updates specifically on that publish iser site as well. And you will automatically be opted into those updates once you decide to preorder the book. So that's it for today. I hope this has really piqued your interest in the topic of influencer marketing. And you begin to see that it is really a fundamental part of marketing that makes more and more sense. As social networks, tweak their algorithms towards people over businesses, social media becomes more pay to play. And as people tune out advertisements more and more. It's just really, really hard to compete with the authenticity of people in social media. And I hope that you'll join me in leveraging that form of new marketing across a wide span of people, not just your Instagram celebrity, but influence and influencers really are all around us. So re think your mindset of this narrow definition of influencer marketing. And I think your business is really going to benefit in 2000 wealth to close out 2018 2019 and beyond. I hope you enjoyed this episode of maximize your social. As always, I really appreciate your comments, your reviews your ratings on iTunes, it helps expose this podcast to others. So I really hope that you'll take a minute after listening to this if you found value in this, that you would just jot down a comment really quickly. I would really really appreciate it. If there's anything you want me to cover in this podcast or any questions about this particular episode. As always, make sure you go to the show notes on Neal schaffer.com. Feel free to drop a comment. I hope that we continue the conversation online. And as I like to say to end all these podcasts, make it a great social Day. Bye Bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to the maximize your social podcast Major key alert. Don't forget to subscribe and rate the show on iTunes so others can enjoy it too. To continue the conversation and empower your business through social media visit Neal schaffer.com right now have a great week. Let's go we'll see you on the next episode.