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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
[01:35] Why Influencer Marketing Is Something Most Marketers Have Not Defined Well
[02:44] The Core Of Influencer Marketing
[05:10] What Digital Influence Includes
[05:54] Who Yields Influence?
[06:29] Types Of Influencers Based On Number Of Followers
[07:57] Influence Defined
[08:46] Other Ways Of looking At Influence
[09:17] Why Some Brand Advocacy Programs Aren't Doing Well
[10:20] Things To Remember When Reaching Out To External Influencers
[11:09] Why Influencer Marketing Is The Next Evolution Of Marketing
[11:42] What Social Media Was Made For
[13:21] The First Misnomer About Influencer Marketing
[14:43] People Rule The Algorithms
[16:57] The Age Of Influence Pre-Order
[18:48] The Importance Of Building A Team And Scaling Down
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. This is Neal Schaffer and welcome to another episode of the maximize your social influence podcast. Today's episode is sponsored by the age of influence, my fourth and newest book, which will be published by Harper Collins leadership on March 17 2020. I'm going to talk a little bit more about that book. And for those of you that might be interested in my pre order campaign, stay tuned. Alright, everybody, well, if you listen to episode 142, and I'm gonna try to do better at actually numbering my episodes because we are now into the hundreds. I talked about how even the smallest of businesses can leverage influencer marketing and 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, I feel and part of the reason why I wrote this book called The Age of influence is because of in all honesty, I believe the misunderstanding, the controversy, the MIS education, perhaps some authors or bloggers wanting to take stands that go against the tide, or that seem news jacking 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 going to talk about this more specifically of Social Media Marketing World, in San Diego, where I'll be speaking, so I can't, I can't give away my presentation. But there's one podcast in particular that I am an avid listener to. And when this person, basically coaches and consults 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 have podcasts, you know, they have big audiences, they have a blog, they're 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 entrepreneur, small business owner is always that's a great idea. I never thought of that, or why haven't I been doing that? So at the core, right, 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, and helping others and doing shoutouts doing podcast interviews, doing guest blog posts, what have you. It's really funny because a lot of people equate influencer marketing 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 b2c side and the b2b side. And the funny thing is, these same companies are people that are saying this probably have marketing departments that either directly or through agencies do search engine optimization, and as part of search engine optimization, they are probably trying to acquire backlinks and in order to acquire backlinks, they are doing influencer marketing, they are reaching out to websites that have high domain authority, whatever it 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 what have you or they they provide content or maybe they have to pay for a concert and there is a whole influencer economy, right. I think that you know, the recent sensationalist news has brought to light sort of the Instagram and the YouTuber, but this influencer economy has been around for a while and it's an extension really, of well, 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 more Digital Influence by reaching out to those that yield more Digital Influence is at the heart of influencer marketing. So it's not just Instagram. It's Pinterest. It's Tik Tok. It's Twitter. You know, I'm negotiating with a brand to publish content on both Twitter and LinkedIn. Right? It's everywhere. And it's not just YouTube. I know that as part of influencer marketing, a 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 of you listening to the maximize your social influence, we want to, obviously expand upon your current influence, it goes everywhere, right, and it's all these different platforms, you don't have to do all of them. But the more of these that you can do, the more 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 I do and this is why we now in influencer 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, two to three 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 talked about nano influencers, nano influencers have, you know, maybe one to 5000 followers, one 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 on LinkedIn, 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 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 engagements she's getting is equivalent, right? It's 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 backlink. If someone if a company has engaged with you sending you a DM on Instagram, saying they'd love to work together with you, you are already considered an influencer, or your company is considered an influencer by those people, if you've been invited to, you know, or your company's been invited to guest post somewhere. They want your content because they value it but they also value your influence. And probably the fact that you're going to share that content with your audience as 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 influencers, why wouldn't you use internal influencers, internal influencers, being employees, being customers, being your followers in social media, being, you know, retailers and read distributors, and ecosystem partners? These are all people that already know your brand. There's an affinity for your brand. There's, there's inherent ROI and working together with your brand. Now, the reason why a lot of these what we call employee advocacy, or perhaps brand advocacy programs, a lot of them haven't done well. It's 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 and treat 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 shift, but it's a significant shift that can really help your program and only when you exhaust these internal influencers? Do you look to external influencers, because once you start looking outside of your followers, your fans or customers, you're going to 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 lacked 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 going to help you become so much more efficient and more effective with your influencer marketing. Then if you didn't do any of this now, I've been talking about this redefining of influencer 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 to help to gather people's attention, they can't be part of the, you know, the communication now, it just becomes harder and harder. And yes, I know, there are some platforms where organically you can 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 pay to play, and in this scenario, where companies and brands need more and 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 influencers, and now you have a volume of people that have some Digital Influence, some more than others. And many of these people are an 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 banging our heads on the wall trying to create better organic content. Let's leverage IGC or influencer generated content, let's leverage influencers for content creation. And that's, you know, the first misnomer that brands have about influencer marketing that's been mis taught to them, which is sort of embarrassing, but because there's a lot of companies that have evolved on this ecosystem of influencer collaboration, not for amplification of your content, but as a content creation studio, as an extension of your brand, helping you create content, because influence is the heart of it, they create content. That's how they build influence over these platforms. They are publishing content. So this is a fresh new way to look at influencer collaborations. And I think that b2b companies that have been doing influencer marketing, there aren't that many. But they know that it revolves around content, right? It all revolves around blog posts and podcasts, interviews, and speaking at events and webinars, what have you. But it's time for, you know, consumer brands. And if you're listening to 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 a if you have content creation needs, why wouldn't you want to work with someone that inherently has influence instead of outsourcing it? Or if you don't have time, obviously, do it yourself. There's a lot of benefits, obviously, to influencer collaboration just for the purpose of content creation. So brands still need content, even with social at a minimum for their advertising, and for whatever organic social that they do. 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 heard today is through those entities that have influence on these platforms and its people and get sweat people relate more to people than they ever will to a brand. So you have this, like I said, a perfect storm of more and more people. And as we get younger, and you know, the majority of Americans in the workforce and millennials, as we get younger and younger, average age workwise, and digital natives become the majority of the workforce, 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 a 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 going to 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 a lot of startups, or a lot of young entrepreneurs, they get this, and they completely bypass all this other marketing stuff. And they just go to work with influencers. There's a ton of case studies of the startups that have been really successful with an influencer first approach to marketing. And it's not just startups, we know, those of you that have seen me speak, you know, I'm fond of Estee Lauder, his recent announcement, where they said that 75% of their marketing budget was going to go to influencers. So 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 to 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 you're part of them, collaborating with other social media users is going to 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, published as March 17 2020. On Harper Collins leadership, it's already available for pre order on Amazon. And I'm going to 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 publicising, so you're already going to 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 Neal at Neal Schaffer calm, you can also go to my website, Neal schaffer.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 that I'm going to 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 want to yield more influence in social media for ourselves or for our companies, 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 do. Similar to how yesterday, I actually spoke to a group of masters 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 page, the last slide of the deck? How do you like to stay active on Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, you run a podcast, you have YouTube videos and your blog, 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 and collaborating with others. And I'm going to introduce my own system for that in one of these webinars. The other webinar is going to 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 blog posts. So I'm going to talk have a special webinar just about that as well. Should you do the preorder, you're going to get access to both of those. And if you were to preorder three copies of the paperback edition of the age of influence and send that receipt in Neal at Neal schaffer.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 or campaign, I'll be reaching out to you, you're going to get invited these two webinars. If you missed out on the B group coaching that you want to be part of, please make sure that you you email me and we'll figure out how How many copies you need to preorder 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, send me the receipt to Neil Neal Schaffer calm, 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 preorder campaign, you know, I help you out, you helped me out, because obviously, we want to have a lot of sales and great rankings out of the gate there on amazon.com. So that's it for today, I'm going to 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, write a very, 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 Facebook's and the Instagrams and LinkedIn, also rule all these podcast directories. I want to share with you and I'm going to share these reviews regularly as they come in. But call me Joe 123. Great show. Hey, Neal. 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 to podcasts myself in the car when I'm traveling overseas and I get a chance to ride on the train. I enjoy 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 podcasting as 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 of me in 2020. All right, everybody. That's it for today, as I like to say wherever you're on the world, make it a great social day. And thank you all for all of your support. Bye bye, everybody.