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Jan. 24, 2020

144: How to Do Influencer Marketing the Right Way in The Age of Influence

144: How to Do Influencer Marketing the Right Way in The Age of Influence

There is an incredible amount of misinformation out there about influencer marketing. Fake followers, phony engagement, people that come out of nowhere and get paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars for posting a single photo on Instagram. Is this influencer marketing bubble about to burst? These are some of the ways influencer marketing is portrayed, but they miss out on a holistic definition of digital influence, which existed way before Instagrammers or YouTubers, and also ignore other trends in digital marketing that will push more and more brands to creating collaborations with influencers. Learn about how to do influencer marketing the right way by listening to this podcast - and if you are interested in The Age of Influence pre-order campaign, simply pre-order the paperback version from Amazon (https://nealschaffer.com/ageofinfluence) and send me the receipt to neal@nealschaffer.com. You will then get access to my invite-only upcoming two webinars ... pre-order 3 copies, and you'll also get free access to my upcoming Business of Influencer Mastermind Group Coaching Program!

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:   0:00
This is the Maximize Your social Influence Podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help sales and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners build, leverage, and monetize their influence in digital and social media.  

Neal Schaffer:   0:21
This is Neal Schaffer and welcome to another episode of the Maximize Your Social Influence podcast.  

Neal Schaffer:   0:28
Today's episode is sponsored by The Age of Influence, my fourth and newest book, which will be published by HarperCollins Leadership on March 17th 2020. I'm gonna talk a little bit more about that book, and for those of you that might be interested in my pre-order campaign, stay tuned.  

Neal Schaffer:   0:49
All right, everybody, well if you listened to episode 142 - and I'm gonna try to do better at actually numbering my episodes because we are now over 100 - I talked about how even the smallest of businesses can leverage influencer marketing. With the announcement of my book just less than two months away from publication, I wanted to take a step back and really talk about influencer marketing in general.  

Neal Schaffer:   1:13
I feel, and part of the reason why I wrote this book called The Age of Influence, is because in all honesty, I believe there is a lot of misunderstanding, controversy, miseducation, perhaps some authors or bloggers wanting to take stands that go against the tide or that seem newsjacking worthy - but really, influencer marketing is something that I think most marketers have not defined well. And it's funny because when I listen to other podcasts and I'm gonna talk about this more specifically at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego (https://nealschaffer.com/smmw20), where I'll be speaking, so I can't give this away in my presentation.  

Neal Schaffer:   1:54
But there's one podcast in particular that I am in avid listener to. And when this podcaster basically coaches and consult other people on what they can do as an entrepreneur, as a small business, pretty much from a digital marketing perspective, although often it's from a product perspective, whenever that person is stuck, the advice is always: Why don't you leverage influencers? You know, people that have common audiences. They are podcasters, you know. They have big audiences. They have a show on YouTube, and by creating relationships with these people, you can naturally sort of extend your brand into their communities. Obviously, if you do it the right way and the response from the entrepreneurs small business owner is always, " That's a great idea." "I never thought of that." Or, "Why haven't I been doing that?"  

Neal Schaffer:   2:44
So at at the core, influencer marketing is about relationship building, and I think those of you that are people if you are a content creator, you probably have already been doing influencer marketing. You've already been sort of engaging with others in helping others and doing shout outs, doing podcast interviews, doing guest blogger, post What have you? It's really funny because a lot of people equate influence the market with paying someone a lot of money to post one photo on instagram and what a waste of money. And they're all fake followers and fake engagement. But you know, there's two sides to this right. There's the beat of Seaside in the B two B side, and the funny thing is, these same companies or people that are saying this probably have marketing departments that either directly or through agencies do search engine optimization, and it's part of search engine optimization. They're probably trying to acquire back links, and in order to acquire back Ling's, they're doing influence or marketing. They're reaching out to websites that have high domain authority, whatever is and they're trying to get a link, and maybe they're going to get the link for free, you know, because they do a link exchange or have you or they provide content. Or maybe they have to pay for that lake insertion. There is a whole influence or economy, right? I think that, you know, the recent sensationalist news has brought to light sort of the instagram or in the youtuber. But this influence our economy has been around for a while, and it's an extension, really of Well, I I won't say it's It's a direct extension of a celebrity endorsement. It's an indirect extension. But this type of companies wanting to yield Maur digital influence by reaching out to those that yield more digital influence is at the heart of influence or marketing. So it's not just instagram, it's Pinterest. It's tic tac. It's Twitter. You know, I'm negotiating with the brand to publish content on both Twitter and linked in right. It's everywhere, and it's not just YouTube. I know that as part of influence of marketing. Ah, lot of brands and people are trying to engage with podcast creators like myself right? It's those that yield digital influence across a variety of content mediums and a variety of social networks that digital influence includes but is not limited to social media. It includes a website and the authority that your website has. It includes email, marketing and the size and engagement of your list. And obviously it includes social media as well. And this is why you know those are you listening to maximize your social influence? You wantto obviously expand upon your current influence. It goes everywhere, right? And it's all of these different platforms. You don't have to do all of them. But the more these that you can do the Maur digital influence you end up yielding. That's only going to benefit your business. And that's at the heart of this podcast. So this is sort of the core concept, and based on this concept who yields influence well, if I'm a startup and I only have you know 50 followers, someone that has 1000 followers, every time they post, they get 100 engagements versus my five engagements, they have 20 times more digital influence and ideo, and this is why we now in influence or marketing terms, we begin to redefine influence, obviously by number of followers is the traditional way of doing it, which I'm not the biggest fan of, although it is some sign of influence. But even those people are now talking about over the last. You know, 2 to 3 years we've been talking about micro influencers, those that might have over 10,000 followers and more recently, over the past 12 to 18 months, we talk about nano influencers, nano influences have you know, maybe 1 to 5000 followers, 1 to 10,000 followers. Some companies define a nano influencer as someone that has 500 to 5000 followers. So let me ask you, how many people you know have 500 followers on Instagram? 500 connections are linked in. There's a lot of us out there, right, and this is because we're seeing the democratization of media influence and I see it. You know, I don't talk a lot about my family and social media, but I get My daughter was a freshman in high school who has a few 100 instagram followers, and she gets between 30 to 50% engagement on her posts now that is that that amount of engagement is equivalent to someone that has maybe 5000 followers and has maybe a 3% engagement rate, that the number of engagement she's getting is equivalent, right. We're finding with smaller networks, it's more niche, but it's also tighter. The content creator has more influence, and it's actually more authentic. So this leads to influence and influencers being a lot more people. And yes, you might already have more influence than you know if someone has reached out to your website wanting to submit a guest post because they want a back linc, if someone if a company has engaged with you sending you a d. M on instagram, saying they love to work together with you, you are already considered an influencer or your company is considered an influence or by those people. If you've been invited to you or your company has been invited to guess post somewhere, they want your content because they value it. But they also value your influence. And probably the fact that you're gonna share that content with your audience is well, this is this broad definition of influence that is at the core of the maximize your social influence podcast, but also at the core of the age of influence book. And there's a whole other way of looking at influence not by, you know, classifying people by number of followers, but by actual brand affinity, which is the one that I prefer. Which means, instead of looking out to external influences, why wouldn't you use internal influencers, internal influence? Was being employees being customers, being your followers and social media being, you know, retailers and re distributors and eco system partners? These are all people that already know your brand. There's an affinity for your Brad. There's there's inherent our ally and working together with your brand. Now. The reason why a lot of these what we call employ advocacy or perhaps brand advocacy programs a lot of them haven't done well is because they didn't treat employees as influencers. In other words, they didn't treat internal influencers the same way they treat external influencers. And this is where we and if you work for a larger company, this is where you need to do a reset and really consider your employees as influencers entreat them the same way you would treat someone externally instead of expecting them to do all these things for you, right? It's a mindset ship, but it's a significant shift that can really help your program. And on Lee, when you exhaust these internal influencers, do you look to external influences? Because once you start looking outside of your followers, your fans were customers. You're gonna find people that have either low brand affinity for you zero brand affinity for you or just don't like your company for whatever reason. So, you know, when you reach out to these people number one, you're gonna convert far fewer into becoming an influencer and number two, the terms of any agreement of any collaboration are gonna work against you. And the reason why they work against you is because you lack that brand affinity. Maybe they've never heard of you right? I think the more influence you can yield beforehand before you reach out to them, and the more brand affinity you can build through social signals, this is gonna help you become so much more efficient and more effective with your influence or marketing than if you didn't do any of this. Now I've been talking about this redefining of influence or marketing, looking at classifications, right? Number of followers or, as I like, like to say, the brand affinity model. But there's a whole other reason why influencer marketing is what I believe to be the next evolution of marketing. And it is because you know, what are the ways in which brands can get the word out about themselves? And if you take a look at those different ways, and if we merge it with what is the number one thing that people do when they're online? It's social media brands now are pretty much limited to pay to play paid social advertisement in order to incite word of mouth marketing. So the message here is, Let's get back to what social media was made for because it was made for people, not for businesses, right, and businesses now are forced to become by standards. They're forced to not drive on the same freeway, but pay money to put up these billboards. Toe hope Theo gather people's attention. They can't be part of that. You know the communication now it just becomes harder and harder. And yes, I know there's some platforms were organically you could do better than others, but I think we all know that the writing is clearly on the wall. So in this new scenario of social media marketing, and in this new scenario where it's paid a play, and in this mussen area where companies and brands need more more content. But that content has to be audience centric in order to perform, whether it is organic or paid you really now and with the emergence of micro nano influences. And now you have a volume of people that have some digital influence, some more than others on many of these people are overwhelming. Majority are content creators themselves. You now have the perfect storm, where if you look at social media not as a place to advertise to, but as a place to collaborate with, you begin to see the light. Wow, there are content creators. There are people that yield influence, however small that might be over community that we want to tap into. Instead of being in our heads on the wall, trying to create better organic content. Let's leverage I g. C or influence or generated content. Let's leverage influences for concentration and that's you know, the first misnomer that brands have about influence marketing that's been miss Talk to them, which is sort of embarrassing. But because there's a lot of companies that have evolved on this eco system of influence or collaboration, not for amplification of your content but as a content creation studio as an extension of your brand. Helping you create content because influences the heart of it, they create content. That's how they build influence over these platforms. They're publishing content. So this is a fresh, new way to look at influence or collaborations. And I think that B to B companies that have been doing influence of marketing there aren't that many. But they know that it revolves wrong content, right? It a raw revolves around blogged, posting podcasts, interviews and speaking at events and webinars. What have you But it's time for consumer brands. And if you're listening this you want to maximize your social influence, why wouldn't you work together with influencers to create this sort of content for your brand? I think it's ah, if you have content creation needs, why wouldn't you want to work with someone that inherently has influenced instead of outsourcing it or if you don't have time, obviously, do it yourself. There's a lot of benefits, obviously, to influence our collaboration just for the purpose of content creation. So brand stony content, even with social at a minimum for their advertising and for whatever organic social that they dio. But you know, the other side of it is that people are ruling the algorithms right. It's people power. And so if you want to get heard, the best way to get her today is through those entities that have influence on these platforms and its people. And guess what? People relate more to people than they ever will to a brand. So you have this, like I said, a perfect storm of MME. Or more people. And as we get younger and you know the majority of Americans in the workforce millennials as we get a younger and younger average age work wise and digital natives become the majority of the work force. You have a lot of great content creators out there that can really help your brand in a lot of different ways. And if you don't collaborate with other social media users, which is that have some sort of digital influence which is my definition of influencer marketing. If you don't, if you're famous, brand sure you're going to get a lot of word of mouth marketing just because you're famous. But if you're not famous, you're just gonna be a hidden entity, someone that just doesn't exist because no one is talking about you, your company, your products on social media. And I want to make sure that doesn't happen. Now. What's interesting is that, ah, lot of start ups or a lot of young entrepreneurs. They get this and they completely bypass all this other marketing stuff and they just goto work with influencers. And there's a ton of case studies of the startup that have been really successful with an influence or first approach to marketing. And it's not just start ups. We know those of you that I see me speaking. I'm fun of Estee Lauder's recent announcement, where they said that 75% of their marketing budget was gonna go to influence herself. It works. It does become a paid media, but hey, you know, as a marketer, as an entrepreneur, as a small business owner, you obviously need to do some marketing t get out there. And if you look at your marketing options, you know, working together with influencers, especially if you're a person, or if you're the founder of your company and can really speak to and really tell stories about your company because you're part of them, collaborating with other social media users is gonna be a huge benefit to your company. So let's talk about the age of influence. This all. All the things I've been talking about are all part of this book. The Age of Influence, as I said, publishes march 17th 2020 on HarperCollins Leadership. It's already available for preorder Amazon, and I'm gonna be doing something a little bit special with the pre order. Now, some of you listening may have already pre ordered this with my campaign on publish Isar. So you're already gonna get access to what I'm talking about here. But if you missed out on that campaign until the day, March 17 2020 if you pre order the paperback on Amazon and you send me the receipt to kneel at Neil schaefer dot com, you can also go to my website, Neil schaefer dot com, and fill out the contact information. I'll get back to you. If you do that, you are going to get access to two special invite only webinars I'm gonna be doing over the next two months before the book is published. One of those and they're all about this concept of digital influence. One of it is going to be how to scale your digital branding. There's a lot of things that we as marketers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, we one to yield more influence in social media for ourselves or for our company's. Yet we just don't have the time to do everything. And we don't know how to scale to be able to do everything that we need to dio similar to how yesterday I actually spoke to a group of master students at USC here in Los Angeles, California, and someone raised the question. Neil, I see all these social icons you know, on your on your questions, paid the last slide of the deck. How do you like stay active on Pinterest, Twitter? LinkedIn, Facebook? You run a podcast, you have YouTube videos on your block. How do you do it? Right. And there is a secret to the success of being able to do that, and it comes down to building a team and understanding how to scale through working together in collaborating with others. And I'm gonna introduce my own system for that. In one of these webinars. The other webinar is gonna be about your digital influence with your website through search engine optimization. I see a lot of mistakes that a lot of content creators make when it comes to blogging specifically and the search engine optimization of block post. So I'm gonna talk, have a special weapon are just about that as well. Should you do the pre order, you're gonna get access to both of those. And if you are to pre order three copies of the paperback edition of The Age of Influence and send that receipt and kneel at Neil schaefer dot com, you're also in addition to getting access to those two webinars. You are going to get access to the first month of my upcoming the Business of Influence Mastermind Group coaching program, which I will be releasing very, very soon. And obviously, if you're already part of the publicize her campaign, I'll be reaching out to you. You're gonna get invited. These two webinars. If you missed out on the group coaching that you want to be part of, please make sure that you emailed me and we'll figure out how how many copies you need to pre order in order to upgrade you. To get access to that, that group coaching I plan to make it a $99 a month program so you can see for the cost of purchasing three books, you're getting books to give away to read, to give away to friends and colleagues as well as access to me and a lot of group coaching that I'm looking forward to doing when this group coaching program launches. So that's the Age of Influence Once again sent me the receipt to kneel at Neil schaefer dot com. I podcast. I create content for you, my listener, my audience, my fans and I really could not have come this far if it wasn't for you. So I really hope that if you are at all interested in this book that you'll take advantage of this period of campaign, you know I help you out. You helped me out because obviously we wanna have a lot of sales and great rankings out of the gate there on amazon dot com. So that's it for today. I'm gonna continue to mix up this podcast with interviews with those that I believe are thought leaders that have very, very tactical advice to provide you together with my own thoughts on the industry, on influence and everything that you can be doing to have a more successful business through the use of digital and social media marketing. So I hope that if you enjoyed listening to this and you haven't done so already that you'll take a minute and whichever platform you're on, you'll go over. And you know, writer aver very quick review so that other people can get access, not just get access, but actually be able to more easily find this podcast because the algorithms that rule the Facebooks and the instagrams Arlington's also rule all these podcast directories I want to share with you. And I'm gonna share these reviews regularly as they come in. But call me Joe. 123 great show. Hey, Neil. I just started this to your podcast on the train to and from work, and I'm loving it. Thanks for everything. You're sharing Love all things about Instagram. Call me Joe. 123 Thank you so much. You are the reason why I do this. I regularly listen the podcast myself in the car when I'm traveling overseas and I get a chance to ride on the train. I enjoyed listening to podcasts on the train as well. It's it's just brain food, right? So I want to continue and, you know, I know that I have not been podcast is regularly as I would like to, but I have a lot of podcasts now in my inventory that I plan on releasing more regularly, so you'll be hearing a lot more in 2020. All right, everybody, that's it for today. As I like to say, wherever you are in the world, make it a great social day and thank you all for all of your support of everybody