In this episode of Digital Insights, we look at what the whole hype is about for Influencer Marketing, whether Influencer Marketing works and who can benefit from Influencer Marketing.
Venks: Does influencer marketing work? Is it the right channel for your business? Should you consider influencer marketing? Is it a fad or is it legitimate. Stick around to find out more!
Hey, everyone. Welcome to episode six of Digital Insights. So for those who are new here, digital insights is a weekly series brought to you by me, Venkatesh Kanchan founder of BroadWeb Digital and Harshad Ghodke, head of Digital Marketing at BroadWeb Digital, where we aim to educate small to medium sized businesses on how to use digital effectively to increase, reach, and revenue.
So, as we mentioned in the intro in this episode, we are going to talk about influencer marketing. So what is influencer marketing? You probably would’ve heard a lot about influencer marketing in the last one to two years specifically, there is also this terminology Creator Economy where it’s all about people going onto YouTube, onto TikTok, trying to produce content about pretty much anything under the sun and looking to monetize it.
If you ask kids or teenagers these days, what they want to become when they grow, I think more than half of them will say they want to become YouTubers. So what is this whole craze and hype about influencer marketing? So Hersha, and I are just here to explore this topic a little bit and see whether it actually is something worth considering, or is it just something that has a fad it’s come and it’ll go with type.
So to kick things off Harshad, I just want to get your quick thoughts on influencer marketing. What do you think all the hype is about.
Harshad: If the question is whether it works or not, I would say it works because, it might not help you maybe increase your sales
or anything like that immediately, but
it helps for branding.
So people are more aware about your brand. And once that awareness comes, maybe, not now in the sales cycle, but later on, there can be good conversions. In case you are wondering what is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is pretty straightforward. So there are a lot of influencers on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, et cetera, Facebook as well.
And these people have a lot of followers. Some have millions, some have thousands. So depending on who is the influencer you want to reach out to, you can reach out to that person using various platforms and then ask that person or request that person to promote your product. And in return, you need to give something back to the influencer.
So it can be your product for free. It can be money, it can be anything. So that’s
basically influencer marketing.
Venks: In terms of tracking the success of that influencer marketing, what are some of the ways we can actually track that.
Harshad: So you can
have parameters on your URL – you can have UTM parameters, which will, in your Google analytics, for example, will tell you where the traffic is coming from, or it can be very simple, like give a bit.ly or short URL thing to the influencer and track it from there.
But tracking is very important. If you don’t track, you won’t know how much is that helping you? The influencer marketing.
Venks: Yeah, so just don’t give your direct link, but have some parameter in that link, it could be a specific affiliate link where you have an affiliate tracking software, which you use and create an affiliate for that influencer.
And give that to them, or just give a link to your website with specific UTM parameters. So when you see Google analytics, you can measure how many conversions came in from this particular campaign, makes a lot of sense .
I’ve kind of shifted my mindset about influencer marketing. In the initial days,
like almost everyone else, I thought what’s happening, like why don’t kids want to become engineers and doctors and even DJs for that matter? Why does everyone want to become a YouTuber? I’ll probably start with a story that happened recently where a friend of mine came home and he’s got two
daughters. And as always, when you have friends come over, the first thing you need to do is how to keep the kids engaged. Right. So I put YouTube on my TV. I asked them, what channel would she like to watch? What content is she interested in? And he talked about this channel called Ryan’s world, and I hadn’t heard of it.
And I was like, okay. And then I Googled it. I found the channel played a random video and there was my friend’s daughter just glued to the TV. And we were all sitting at the dining table. We can see the TV from there and I looked at it and I was like, what is happening? Right. How is this even interesting?
So obviously I’m not the target market, but it kind of got me intrigued about how kids follow content on YouTube and how popular it can get. Right. In that particular video, I could see the mom of the kid of Ryan who’s I think six or seven years old was also a part of the show. So they had this make believe world in the room and they’re kind of exploring parts and there’s a lot of props around, very colorful.
And in fact, I saw the mom more than the kid as well, taking part in the show. So that kind of really got me intrigued about. , how popular something like that can get, obviously it’s targeted towards a particular market. So when my friend left the other morning, I Googled a bit about Ryan’s world to see how popular it is.
And as it turns out, Ryan’s world has got 33 million subscribers. Right. And that’s a massive number. And in fact, my friend told me that nowadays kids want to buy toys that are Ryan approved. So that goes to show the power of influencers. And I did a bit of digging around and I’ll just share my screen on some numbers that I came across.
So we’ve got 33.3 million subscribers, and I went to their Wikipedia article as well, and I wanted to see how much he makes. Right. So if I search for earn. Let’s say Ryan earned 11 million between 2016 and 2017 in 2018 and 2019, he earned $22 million and $26 million respectively. You can imagine these are massive numbers for a kid who is seven years old,
no wonder kids want to become YouTubers. As I mentioned earlier, I was more about – it’s a fad. , why do kids wanna become this? But the more I think about it, it feels like it’s more democratization of marketing. What that means is traditionally you have these celebrities that has to endorse a product for it to become popular, but nowadays, anyone who’s got anything worthwhile to talk about and has the capacity to capture attention of a market can become an influencer, can become a celebrity in their own.
I think it’s a good thing because it means that everyone can contribute and , they’ve termed this terminology, this thing called creator economy. And I think personally it is here to stay because if you can influence people, you’re an influencer. Right. And it comes down to the content you are sharing .
So that’s been quite revealing to me. Now, the question is what markets does it work for? Do you have any thoughts on what markets could actually work for influencers at this moment? Or does it work for any vertical?
think a lot of people do follow celebrities like Kim Kardashian and ,
a lot of them.
if you get these celebrities to, for example, if you’re selling a beauty product. And if you get these celebrities, not, not maybe someone as huge as Kim, but maybe someone smaller depending on your budget of course. Then of course it, it does work because a lot of people feel, oh, this, my favorite celebrity is promoting it ,she might be using it. People are becoming smart because they know that it’s a paid thing. So they might not be using it. But if they’re promoting,
let’s give it a shot. So, yeah.
So for me, products related to women, fashion, beauty, Big market.
Venks: Yeah. . I think the same I think they are the kind of very obvious markets that can benefit from influencer market.
But I don’t think it needs to be limited to that. Cause if you can talk about a service even, it acts like social proof, if someone says, Hey, I went to this business and they did this for me. Let’s take accountants for example. Right. It’s a very boring topic for a lot of people. But if a celebrity says, I’ve tried these guys out and they’re really good.
That’s good endorsement for the accountant. Like they can run a number of Facebook ads, but that’ll not be as effective as a celebrity actually saying, this accountant is good. And I use the term celebrity loosely because it can be anyone who’s an influencer. Like you need to have a following.
Yeah. And I think that’s where people like Ryan, who is probably now a celebrity, but he wasn’t a few years ago, it can be actually quite, quite an effective channel for people like them. Yeah. So one of the names that came out in the influencer marketing world was Shopify coming out with what they call Shopify collabs.
And that got me interested. So I’ll just share my screen and we’ll talk a bit about it. So Shopify collabs appears to be a marketplace where they can actually get their stores and collaborators or influencers come together and make the whole process simple, because as you can imagine, you can have a brand, a store, but you might not know how to actually get influencers to promote you.
So it’s all about having a marketplace where brands can find influencers. And influencers can find brands, which I’ve found really cool because it’s not skewed towards one of them. It actually works for both of them. Cos you might have a good following, but you just don’t know how to be approached because you might have to do a lot of promotional activities so that people know about you, brands know about you, your audience knows about you, but how do brands know about you.
So this one, for example, is about finding brands. So this is targeted at influencers where they can get paid by brands you love. Now, I haven’t signed up for this service. Actually, this service is in an early access stage and it’s only available in US and Canada. But , that’s a good testing ground, and it’s only a matter of time before this service gets rolled out to other English speaking countries and other countries after that.
So it’s only a matter of time before it comes to Australia. But what you can do over here is you can apply for early access as an influencer. You can find brands to match your vibe. So if you’re talking a lot about beauty products, you would look at brands that are actually selling beauty products. You can share the products you love.
So, what do you have to do as an influencer is apply to work with your favorite brands. I think this is the part that’s actually going to go a long way towards its success is to have a place where they can keep track of it all. Now, at the end of the day, you want to get paid and how do you get paid?
So you would actually be sending people to an affiliate. Like this one, for example, is doelashes.co/sammy, which would be a unique link for Sammy, who’s an influencer. And when they actually talk about a product, they’ll probably put a link somewhere in their content that people can click through, go to the store, make a purchase.
And all of that affiliate tracking happens automatically. And I think that’ll be a big key to its success. Same way brands on the other hand will be able to track which of their influencers are actually driving a lot of their traffic without having to invest in any software. So I think that’s a really good strategy that Shopify has come out with and yeah, you can apply for early access.
On the other hand, the target is towards brands where they can find influencers who drive sales for them. All they have to do is just install a Shopify app for free. And they get access to an influencer database. They can track gifts. And I think that’s a pretty cool functionality where once they select the influencers that they’re interested in working with, they can send gifts to them from the platform for free. The influencers get the gifts or samples,
if you want to call it and create a video, for example, of them using the product. And if that works well, Then they can actually send their fan following off to an affiliate link where they can actually click through and buy. So there, as I mentioned, they’ve just made everything really easy – brands have the ability to pick creators who fit their brand, which means they know exactly who they’re working with.
They can gift, as I mentioned, and they can measure success in one place. So how much sales are being made by which influencer? So I think it’s a really cool feature that Shopify has come out with. And it’s a unique one where the platform is not only helping you have an online presence set up, but actually helping you drive sales by finding inferences in your market.
So I think that’s, that’s a pretty cool thing to do. Yes. And I think they’ll probably have early movers advantage as well because something like WooCommerce, for example, doesn’t have this Shopify has it. And in another video we spoke about WooCommerce versus Shopify. And I feel like this is a good example of innovation that Shopify is doing, where they can gain a lot of market share by continuing to innovate like.
Harshad: Yeah, but having
said that anyone who’s watching this video and not using Shopify, if you’re using WooCommerce, this can still be done. Okay. People still do it. We do it for our clients. So, we do find influencers and we do all the tracking. It’s just that Shopify has made it easy for people. Like it’s all within one platform, but if you’re using any other e-commerce platform, don’t feel that this cannot be done.
It can definitely be done. Obviously get in touch with us and we can help you with that.
Venks: It’s all about, the ability to do it yourself versus having the experts do it for you. Influencer marketing is definitely a channel that we will continue to look at very deeply to see what are the innovations that are being made in this channel.
And how can we leverage it for our brands, the brands and clients we work with. I would definitely suggest not to write off influencer marketing, thinking that it doesn’t involve -your business can not benefit from it. I think most of the businesses can benefit from it. You just need to find creative ways and relevant ways on how you can tap that market for yourself.
Yeah. Did you have anything else to add?
Harshad: No, that’s it. So
yeah, whatever you said it does work. It’s just that you need to measure it properly and Shopify can do it for you once they launch this platform. Yeah. But otherwise it can be done as well, so know, go for it if you feel that it’s gonna work for you,
Venks: Yeah. There’s actually another platform that I came across recently. It’s called Pickstar where if you wanna say, actually go for a star, like Adam Gilchrist here, for example, or Dave Hughes, who’s a comedian, Brooke boney who’s an Australian journalist. Now you might not necessarily have a way to reach out to them, but you can actually use this platform to hire them, which is a really good way to actually engage celebrities like them for endorsing your brand.
Without having to know someone who knows them. So Harshad and I are really interested in finding out what are the tools and techniques people are using in the field of influencer marketing So if you know of any, let us know, but yeah, we’ll keep watching this space closely. And seeing how this evolves. Cool.
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