In the tech space, if Google wants in on the action, you’re in the right modality. With its recent acquisition of FameBit, a platform which helps connect brands and social media stars, influencer marketing is officially on the digital map.
Despite the recent buyout, influencer marketing has been quite the controversial topic among marketers in recent years with some swearing off the practice completely and others hailing it as almighty.
No matter how you look at it, influencer marketing has made some serious waves and deserves to be explored.
On October 19th, our very own Mark Fidelman, waxed influencer poetics with Jeremy Ryan Slate on the Create Your Own Life Podcast #167. Mark was questioned about his rise to social notoriety, the current state of influencer marketing, YouTube’s prominent role in the movement, and other compelling lines of inquiry.
Here are some of the conversation highlights:
Question #1: What Attracted You to Marketing? (4:32)
Mark was always the Head of Sales for large corporations and even held the role for a publically traded company. During that time, he would continually, “. . . find myself ‘cheating’ into the marketing department and the marketers would get upset with me because I was telling them how to do their job.”
Because of the fascination, Mark began to dabble in marketing. When social media started to emerge, he started to engage and participate in a meaningful way, learning some core concepts along the way, and eventually landing his first job as Head of Sales and Marketing which he learned a great deal from.
This history serves him well as, “The combination of a sales and marketing background, I think, makes me invaluable to our clients today.”
Question #2: What is Influencer Marketing? (5:44)
“Influencer marketing is simply the ability for people like me to identify the right influencers that will impact the audience for our clients.”
It depends on the context as B2B is a lot different than B2C. In the B2C world, however, there are a lot of influencers on Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat (though Mark is not a believer in Snapchat as a tool) who possess engaged followings. These folks are ultimately leveraged to weave brand sponsorships into their usual content in an authentic and entertaining or educational manner.
These audiences that the influencers engage are targeted and more likely to buy the products that clients offer.
The idea is to have the audience associate the mentioned brand with that influencer and perceive the company in a new way because of the influencer’s credibility and dependability.
Question #3: Why has YouTube been Your Main Focus? (11:37)
“You have to do everything possible to get your first 1,000 subscribers. Once you get to 1,000 subscribers, you start to get into some of these recommended lists.”
Depending on your niche, going into YouTube without a plan can be daunting. If someone were to get into subjects like beauty and makeup, there will be tens of thousands of YouTubers in the same niche.
As far as Mark is concerned, there isn’t a lot of competition on YouTube within his industry, so he only views some of the top business-focused YouTube channels as true rivals. Using simple tricks like leveraging the Google Keyword Planner to help create titles, descriptions, and tags with words that people are looking help channels get found much easier.
Additionally, Mark has a network of people who help in the sharing process to help amplify certain pieces of content or messages. He also uses his other social channels to drive traffic to YouTube videos, where he then asks folks to subscribe.
Another effective tactic is to leverage contests to drive subscriptions. By giving away cash prizes, eBooks, or a variety of other rewards at certain subscriber intervals, follower rates should vastly increase.
Most important, however, is to reach out to people within your niche that have the same size or larger audience and collaborate by creating content on each other’s channels. This helps to build a more qualified stream of traffic as the audience is already engaging with similar content.
Once you gain enough followers, you will begin to drive more organic subscribers.
Question #4: Do People Try to Partner with Influencers who are Too Big for Them? (14:02)
“Definitely . . . but one thing that you can do that’s different is you can go interview them on Google Hangouts.”
A good option is to ask influencers for live interviews; this provides a good deal of educational content to a channel’s viewers.
The only other feasible way Mark sees people getting influencers who are 10X bigger than them is if they provide tremendous value like shooting the video in a really unique way or bringing a celeb onto their channel.
“You just have to find out what that influencer wants or likes and is not getting, provide it for them, and in return you ask them to collaborate with your channel.”
Question #5: Is there a Common Thing That a Lot of Influencers Want? (15:07)
Yes, and in this order:
- More money
- Brands that they can collaborate with
Engagement is the more important metric for companies and brands. Subscribers, views, and similar data points are all vanity metrics.
In YouTube’s eyes, the most decisive metric is how long viewers are watching a particular video. The more time viewers stay on any given channel, the more Google will send them traffic.
To help boost that number, make sure your content is entertaining, quick or fast; if that’s the kind of content you are doing. If you are creating long form content, make sure it is extremely educational or something that has a definitive structure.
Mark still has plenty more pieces of pragmatic information to share in the full replay. Find out what the future of YouTube looks like, what metrics Mark analyzes to determine the kinds of content to produce, and other useful materials that will help your business attract, and become, social media authorities.
Ready to dive in to influencer marketing? Drop us a line. We can connect you with influencers who are in alignment with your brand and can drive sales like no content could.