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AS 62: How to Use Influencers to grow your brand – In Depth Analysis

03 Oct 2016

Today’s podcast, episode 62: How I used Influencers to grow my brand. I started an experiment with influencers back in epsidode 57. AmzSecrets.com/57. . I asked 10 influencers to grow my brand. 5 influencers, accepted. 3 have so far posted their results.

You know, when I was in Highschool, I never considered myself to be one of the popular kids. I played the sports, had friends, but wasn’t like THAT KID who was the jock.  I thought I was done with that. But now a days, the popular kids have morphed into a new form… their called influencers.

Influencers are sneakily changing the game of marketing. Some of these guys wield armies of followers. Convince the leader to join your war, and his army will follow him.

And so that’s been my experiment. Now before I get into the experiment results themselves, let me tell you theres easy ways to recruit influencers, and really hard ways.

So initially I went on Youtube. I love the concept of someone creating a youtube video for my products, and started my search. And this is the harder way…

I was browsing through by category searching for influencers with at least 100,000 subscribers. Most influencers will have in their description, or profile, a business inquiry email. I got about 8  different influencer emails with my requirements…and then emailed them this curated response. It was targeted, yet able to send out to multiple youtubers, without taking a big chunk of my time:
Hey John Doe,

We like your videos, and we think the style would fit well with our brand.

I am the founder of This-BRAND startup, and we are interested in potentially being a sponsor for you with free gear but also money too.

 Let me know if you’re interested.

David
Founder of This-Brand Startup.

 

Then I closed my outlook, forgot about it, and went back to work…

 

A day later, and responses started coming in.

It was so painful to get responses. It turns out, most of these guys, have “Agents…or… Head of Influencer Divisions…or Managers”, that instead of directly reaching a particular Youtuber, they have some guy in a corporate office managing them.

Theres a major play going on right now. Influencers are being scooped up by these agent advertising companies and leveraged against companies. They’re being herded like cattle into pens, and sold to the highest bidder.

I got responses back that we’re like this:

Hi David,


I hope you are well + enjoying your week!

Thank you for reaching out to John Doe. He seems like a excellent fit for your “THISBRANDSTARTUP” and I would love to explore this opportunity further.


Are you free tomorrow at 11am EST to discuss?

Thanks

In my head I’m thinking…why are you talking in third person. Oh…your not the youtuber I contacted, your some other guy.

And this happened a lot. The problem with dealing with a “manager” versus the actual Youtuber is it creates a middleman that needs to make money.

No longer can you give $100 to the influencer and your product, for free, with free shipping. The manager wants his cut too. Not only that, they’re chasing after bigger deals.

So is contacting youtubers individually worth your time? Most likely not.

So my next step was to skip that route and apply to FameBit, Tomoson. Both of these services offered influencers with little to no overhead charge. They automated the process of finding influencers who knew what to do, didn’t ask to setup phone calls to discuss influencer business…that’s just time consuming. and kept the influencer in check with profiles depicting their reputation.

Next, I listed my product. And applied my same rules.

Then closed that website.. and went back to work…

Within 48 hours, I had over 182 influencers apply. Conditions remained the same – they would have to attract at least 100,000 people, whether through their website, or Youtube Channel, and be somewhat related to my brand.

From the 182 people, I selected 5 influencers, all who requested both the product, and a fee. The fees ranged per influencer that applied. Some were pretty ridiculous with requests over $500+, for an audience of relatively the same magnitude. Interesting..

Thus I kept it to a limit of $150 max to pay an influencer. In total the influencers had a combined reach over over a Million fans. That’s pretty epic.

48 hours later, and $550 dollars campaign spend, I was able to attract a potential audience of 1 MILLION POTENTIAL PEOPLE…. 1 MILLION.. Whatttttt.

And that’s why influencers have power.

Okay david, what instructions did give them. The golden nugget here, is allow your influencer the ability to create an experience with their brand. Don’t forge your brand into theirs. Let them figure out the best way to present your product into theirs. The influencer knows best in this regard…

I also noted, how important their review, or inclusion of my product into their brand was. I believe in the potential that if you deliver good results, then to create a meaningful relationship with that influencer. And so if they performed good work with the products, then this could turn into a longer term business relationship.

Now there is also one more golden nugget here. Include a direct amazon affiliate link to yes- your own product, and to a webpage on your site. By doing this your doing two things.

The amazon referral listing link will result in direct purchases, while also saving you up to 15% per purchase.

And second, the link to your webpage, will provide you an external link to your site, which is good in terms of building up the Search Organics of your website for Google. Google loves backlinks to your website, and this is the perfect time to build high quality links to it.

Now how did the influencers perform?

3 out of the 5 delivered.

2 of them are currently on their last few days to deliver. If they don’t deliver, I will lose the cost of the product and shipping that I sent them.. but get back the additional cost of paying them. not really a big deal.

The 3 that have delivered, delivered remarkably. One Youtube Video garnered over 10,000 views within the first 8 days, and it continues to grow. It has over 500 thumbs up, 65+ comments, and a link to my product. That’s pretty epic. And this video will continue to grow over time. It’s like passive income, except that it’s passive views. It’s the Caterpillar hatching into a butterfly. The tad pole into a frog.

The other video got 300 views already, 11 thumbs up, 6 comments. Not bad either. The most encouraging part about this ecosystem of influencers and brands is that the influencers spend a lot of time creating these videos for their audiences, to grow your brand.

All it costs is money. But money comes and goes, and flows in the easiest direction possible. I like what the influencers have done so far, and I plan to allocate more of my marketing dollars towards them versus ppc.

The long term value of influencers creating youtube videos for your brand seems invaluable. Specially the unboxing community, sports stars, and celebrities. The sky is the limit for brands in this regard.

I highly Recommend this a route for growth.

The cons. Up front costs can be expensive. I spent $550 dollars here in addition to the cost of the products, and shipping. This entire thing was a big expensive experiment, but the return on investment will trickle back in.

Now for your Amazon News Flash Briefing, to get you all things caught up on Amazon:
Today’s analysis:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/27/amazon-is-the-first-place-most-online-shoppers-visit.html

So what’s this mean David?
The stats can be skewed in a particular angle ~ saying 55%percent of customers begin their online shopping experiences sounds like a lot. It is. But only 7% of retail is e-commerce. So 55% OF 7%, which is around 3 ½ percent of all retail is done on Amazon is the better title for Forbes…

That being said, the struggle is real for all other e-commerce and retail providers. Amazon’s got big arms, and their only getting bigger.

Let’s zoom out for a second. The internet is only 45 years old. Amazon is 22 years old. We haven’t even hit a century of online business. There is many years to be fought, and many kings to rise.

It’s just the beginning.

Till next time guys, David Aladdin Out.

 

 

 

 

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