Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast

Jason Falls

Want Instagrammers and YouTubers to mention your brand? Or do you want to influence an audience to buy your product? Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast explores the world of influencer marketing from a strategic perspective to help your influence efforts align with driving business value. Host Jason Falls, author of the companion book Winfluence: Reframing Influence Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, interviews brand managers, agency strategists, software vendors and influencers themselves to uncover the art and science of influencing audiences to try, buy or think differently. There's a difference between using influencers and actually influencing. Discover that difference and explore both online and offline influence on Winfluence.

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I’ve never really considered myself an entrepreneur, even though technically and by definition, I’ve been one a few times. When I started Social Media Explorer as a blog in 2007, my hope was to use it to publish my thoughts on an emerging industry trend and perhaps position myself as a thought leader. A couple of years later, that blog was the shingle I hung out in the consulting world. It then became a boutique strategy agency. I brought on a business partner and we grew to seven employees at one point.  In 2016, I co-founded the Conversation Research Institute with two partners as well. We tried for two years to bootstrap an idea that turned out to be too far ahead of its time. It was also intellectual property heavy without subsequent technology, so it wasn’t as attractive to investor dollars as it needed to be to survive.  While my side hustle role as an influencer in the social technology space can also be defined as entrepreneurial, it’s less build-a-business and more help some people out and make a little side money along the way.  So I’ve been an entrepreneur, but not with a great deal of intent or focus.  Lately, I’ve been hinting around at a new thing I’m doing. It’s a startup of sorts I’ve been building in what little spare time I have, but it’s something that I think you’ll agree fits into a passion spot for me and has a heck of a lot to do with influence marketing. The idea was actually born out of this podcast, so in a way, you have a lot to do with it.  It is a new business. I’m not leaving Cornett. It’s still a side hustle project at the moment, but for the first time in my professional life, I’m going into this with the intent and focus of building something exceptional.  I’ll tell you all about the Marketing Podcast Network in today's commentary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 2

15 min 34 sec

A couple of weeks ago, we had an interesting conversation about race with talent manager Johanna Voss. She represents almost exclusively women of color, though she is not one herself. And most of her clients are of the Hispanic-Latina variety. The natural next step in this conversation for me, anyway, was to dive deeper into the African-American perspective, too.  It just so happened that Lindsey Gamble reacted to and commented on the social content about that Johanna Voss episode. He is the influencer marketing and innovation manager at Mavrck, which is one of the top enterprise influencer marketing platforms and service providers out there. So we hopped on a call and chatted a bit, then I extended an invitation for him to come help us carry the conversation forward. Gamble actually sees the influencer marketing space from a few angles. You know I like guests who have that varied perspective on things. He started out in the social media world as a hip-hop blogger. He built one of the more influential platforms for that topic in the Boston area after graduating from Bryant University where he played football. Because he knew the content creation and social media space well, he wound up in roles at companies that wanted him to create content or connect with those who do. He landed at Mavrck in 2018 and managed a set of client strategies. He’s now in a senior role where he gets to advise across clients on innovating in the space. Which sounds like my dream job in a lot of ways. We talk about all that, but also get into the thicker conversation about race and influencer marketing. What impact did the social unrest and issues in 2020 have on the conversation? Is that swell of attention gone or are brands still pursuing making strides in that area. Is there a way to solve the pay gap issues between white creators and creators of color. For someone who works at a software and services vendor in the space, but knows the creator side as well, Lindsey brings an interesting perspective to the conversation. This episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  In this episode, we visit with T.J. Ferrara from Bubs Naturals, a health supplement company, about how they use Tagger.  To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 29

34 min 52 sec

There’s an agency owner I know out there who listens to this show. He reads the articles I write. He follows my posts on social media. When I recommend a software or a tactical idea, he tries it out. By his own admission, I influence him. I reached out to him recently via email to try and convince him to join a new little venture I’m starting that I’ll talk more about with you soon, but he was one of the people I thought to myself, “I’ve influenced him before. I’m sure I can convince him to do this with me so I can launch with more than just me.” So, I sent him the pitch, a follow up document with anticipated questions he might have, and even provided some social validation by including him in a private Facebook group where he could see that others like him were doing this with me. But he wouldn’t pull the trigger.  So I did something that most of us forget about doing. I put down the Internet and turned to offline influence. I met him for a drink and we talked it out. When all else fails in this virtual world of influencer marketing, you need to remember to turn offline to influence marketing to be successful.  I’ll explain more in today’s commentary.  Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  Today we visit with T.J. Ferrara from Bubs Naturals, a health supplement company, about how they use Tagger.  To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 22

14 min 11 sec

Influence marketing is truly a global phenomenon. We’ve talked to guests on this program who practice this craft all around the world. But we don’t spend a lot of focused time understanding how influence marketing works in various countries and cultures. Fabian Fernando Guevara Juarez, who goes by Fabian Guevara for a shorter version of his name, reached out to me recently to trade best practices and ideas. I simply hit record because I knew the conversation would be fascinating. He is a content strategist and influence marketing campaign creator for Media House in Mexico City. His group works on influence campaigns for Coca-Cola. He also has experience working with Mattel and other brands. Fabian shared with me his approach to influence marketing which he folds into a larger, 360-degree view of the consumer. A lot of what he told me he, Media House and Coca-Cola practice in Latin America was spot-on smart thinking.  But he also shared that influencer marketing software and tools are looked upon with a large degree of skepticism in the Latin world. That surprised me, so we dove into that topic so I could better understand more.  The conversation was fascinating for me and I know it will be for you, too. I’m really grateful to Fabian for reaching out and sharing his experience and insights with us. Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  Today we visit with T.J. Ferrara from Bubs Naturals, a health supplement company, about how they use Tagger.  To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 18

31 min 47 sec

Thursday evening I opened up my feed reader to browse the world wide web looking for the latest updates from the various blogs and websites I subscribe to. It’s always good to catch up on what’s happening in the industry.  Once I read the blogs and websites I know and trust, I have a folder of feeds that are essentially Google Alerts for certain topics I want to keep a finger on the pulse of so I can see the information about that topic from sites I may not know or subscribe to. One of the topics in that folder is influencer marketing. So there I am, scrolling through the headlines looking for an interesting article to read and I see one that catches my eye. It reads, “Why top influencers are buying Instagram followers.” It was from a site called TechBullion.com and written by a person named Kristel Staci. I thought to myself, “Well I sure do want to know the reasons.” Buying followers, after all, is one of the most pronounced black eyes on our industry. That fraudulent practice alone is amplified enough that it discourages many brands from investing in influence marketing at all. So I start to read. And I get uncomfortable. And then I see that the entire article is not telling me why top influencers buy Instagram followers. It’s recommending the practice to others.  I’ll rant my way through the near stroke I had reading the article in today’s commentary.  Today's episode is presented by TrendHERO. It’s a new but advanced influencer marketing software platform specific to Instagram. So, for those of you who focus all your influencer energies on that platform, TrendHERO can help you search and discover Instagrammers based on a wide range of filters, from nano influencers, all the way to celebrities. There are over 90 million profiles in their database.  The feature I like most about TrendHERO is a big fat yellow highlighter to the topic of today’s commentary. It has advanced fake followers check. So you can detect if an influencer followed the advice in the article I’m about to rip apart in today’s episode.  TrendHERO also has an algorithm that tells you the chances a given posts’s comments are real or fake. So if you’re in a vertical that might be susceptible to comment pods and fake followers … a vertical that might consider this article I’m about to talk about as reliable information, TrendHERO can help you suss out which Instagrammers are worth it and which aren’t. TrendHERO also has a nice database of sponsored posts so you can quickly see how an Instagrammers content performs when they have to disclose a paid relationship. Or you can use two clicks to search for similar influencers and identify good targets quickly. The great thing about TrendHERO is they’re giving you a 14-day free trial just for listening to Winfluence! And if you decide you want to use the platform after that, the lite plan is just $15.99 per month.  Sign up for that free trial now at trendhero.io/falls. The full script of today's episode is posted on the show notes page at http://jason.online/buyingfollowers Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Nov 15

18 min 7 sec

It’s always fun for me, and I hope for you, when I run across someone who has multiple perspectives on the influencer marketing industry. I feel like I bring that to the table a bit. I work at an agency, Cornett, and devise and manage influence marketing programs for a number of our clients. But I also have a modest network of B2B influencer as a social media and social technology person, plus a nice podcast audience … thank you for that … so I sometimes play the role of influencer myself. Larry Beaman has a couple of perspectives at play on the topic, too. He’s currently the chief growth officer at Gen.Video, an influencer marketing platform with some neat path to purchase sales technology … so he’s on the software and vendor side of the aisle. Once upon a time he worked for IZEA one of the grandfather SaaS solutions in the industry. And he spent a bit of time at Edelman, one of the largest public relations firms in the world. So he has the agency side of the aisle covered, too. Larry’s expertise is vast, but his specialty, if he has one, is building measurement programs for influencer marketing efforts. So we started the conversation there and ran through a gamut of industry topics in our conversation. He even took a swipe at what we’re going to be talking about in 2022 across the industry. Will it be all about the Metaverse? We’ll find out. I’ve been testing and talking to you about TrendHERO for the last two weeks. It’s a new but advanced influencer marketing software platform specific to Instagram. TrendHERO can help you search and discover Instagrammers based on a wide range of filters, from nano influencers, all the way to celebrities. There are over 90 million profiles in their database.  The feature I like most is its advanced fake followers check. They also have an algorithm that tells you how real the comments are on a given Instagrammer’s content. So if you’re in a vertical that might be susceptible to comment pods and fake followers, TrendHERO can help you suss out which Instagrammers are worth it and which aren’t. The great thing about TrendHERO is they’re giving you a 14-day free trial just for listening to Winfluence! And if you decide you want to use the platform after that, the lite plan is just $15.99 per month.  Sign up for that free trial now at trendhero.io/falls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 11

30 min 14 sec

Not long ago, a client informed me they were moving their influencer marketing budget to their media agency. As in those who plan and buy advertisements.  Previous to that point, my team and I managed the growth of several valuable and productive relationships over the course of several years. There were about five or six content creators we worked with consistently. We would mix in new ones to expand reach or try new approaches with, see how that went and perhaps add them to the mix.  The brand wasn’t unhappy with what they were getting out of the influence programs we were building for them. But someone within the corporate structure decided influencer marketing was an ad buy, so the creative agency shouldn’t be managing it. Needless to say, the 4-5 years of relationship building kind of went out the window. A couple of them even called asking what was going on. They weren’t renewed for the next campaign. The media firm just started picking influencers based on reach rather than relationships. They paid no attention to established channels of influence. Another client I worked with a few years back insisted that influencers were an extension of their public relations effort. They were today’s journalists so everything should run through that department for influencer activations. Still a third person I know, not a client though, says he handles influencers on his social media team because they’re instrumental in content creation for his brand. He treats them like freelance designers and photographers creating content for his social channels. So, where does influencer marketing lie in the org chart? Who is responsible for managing those campaigns and budgets? I’ll tell you what I think in today’s commentary. We have a new sponsor to the show. I’ve been testing TrendHERO for the last two weeks. It’s a new but advanced influencer marketing software platform specific to Instagram. TrendHERO can help you search and discover Instagrammers based on a wide range of filters, from nano influencers, all the way to celebrities. There are over 90 million profiles in their database.  The feature I like most is its advanced fake followers check. They also have an algorithm that tells you how real the comments are on a given Instagrammer’s content. So if you’re in a vertical that might be susceptible to comment pods and fake followers, TrendHERO can help you suss out which Instagrammers are worth it and which aren’t. The great thing about TrendHERO is they’re giving you a 14-day free trial just for listening to Winfluence! And if you decide you want to use the platform after that, the lite plan is just $15.99 per month.  Sign up for that free trial now at trendhero.io/falls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 8

12 min 30 sec

There’s no doubt that the environment around influencer marketing and race, culture and diversity has undergone an incredible amount of change in the last two years. While the issues of pay gaps and brands ignoring influencers of color have always been present in the industry, the combination of social unrest in the United States and other countries, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a more vocal and present conversation around closing the racial pay gap have amplified the issues. In the course of my work with brands and content creators in the last two years, I’ve tried to be very intentional about listening, learning and advocating to ensure that at least my little corner of the influencer marketing world moves forward with more intention. In that work, I ran across Johanna Voss, a talent manager who represents an unusually high number of influencers of color in her work. In fact, Johanna has a client that I have engaged for one of our clients at Cornett. So, we actively work together on a brand campaign right now. It’s that up-close and personal interaction that beckoned me to invite her on the show to talk about influencers and race. Now, you should know, Johanna is not a person of color. So, ironically, this conversation about race is going to be between two people who do not have the first-hand experience of being a person of color. But our conversation is quite revealing I think about how brands think of influencers of color, the disparities in brand and agency approaches when looking to them versus those creators who are white, and the nuances of managing influencers and influence programs in the Hispanic or LatinX community. Needless to say, we as brands, agencies, talent managers and creators still have a long way to go. My hope is this conversation continues our communal learning and wisdom to one day find ourselves in a place where race and culture are embraced and celebrated by all, not separated or singled out with different priorities in budget and beyond. And there are some glimmers of hope in here, too. There have been some interesting steps of progress made thanks to the always on nature of activism and awareness of the issues. Do listen closely for those, too.  This is an important conversation. Because Johanna’s roster of talent features a much higher number of Latina influencers, we focus a bit more of the Hispanic version of people of color and not as exclusively on the Black community. We’ll continue to have those conversations here with those who bring more depth in their perspective, I assure you.  But this segment of the greater conversation we’re having about influencers and race on Winfluence is one I think you’ll find enlightening. regardless of your race, background or perspective. We have a new sponsor to the show. I’ve been testing TrendHERO for the last week. It’s a new but advanced influencer marketing software platform specific to Instagram. TrendHERO can help you search and discover Instagrammers based on a wide range of filters, from nano influencers, all the way to celebrities. There are over 90 million profiles in their database.  The feature I like most is its advanced fake followers check. They also have an algorithm that tells you how real the comments are on a given Instagrammer’s content. So if you’re in a vertical that might be susceptible to comment pods and fake followers, TrendHERO can help you suss out which Instagrammers are worth it and which aren’t. The great thing about TrendHERO is they’re giving you a 14-day free trial just for listening to Winfluence! And if you decide you want to use the platform after that, the lite plan is just $15.99 per month.  Sign up for that free trial now at trendhero.io/falls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 4

33 min 50 sec

For those of you who listen regularly, have read my book or follow me on social channels, you know the difference between influence marketing and influencer marketing. One is focused on the noun. When we say “influencer” marketing, your brain is conditioned to think about Instagram, YouTube or TikTok. The other, is focused on what you’re trying to accomplish. The verb. You wish to influence. You don’t wish to influencer. That makes no sense.  Still, most brands and agencies are conditioned by the R to be very tunnel visioned on leveraging those who have large or relevant social media audiences. They look at follower counts. Some smarter one also look at engagement rates. The good ones also look at content and brand alignment.  But even those good ones are often still seeing the opportunity with blinders on. I can help you remove those blinders and really focus on influencing, not just influencers.   I’ll explain how in today’s commentary. Today, I welcome a new sponsor to the show. I’ve been testing TrendHERO for the last week. It’s a new but advanced influencer marketing software platform specific to Instagram. TrendHERO can help you search and discover Instagrammers based on a wide range of filters, from nano influencers, all the way to celebrities. There are over 90 million profiles in their database.  The feature I like most is its advanced fake followers check. They also have an algorithm that tells you how real the comments are on a given Instagrammer’s content. So if you’re in a vertical that might be susceptible to comment pods and fake followers, TrendHERO can help you suss out which Instagrammers are worth it and which aren’t. The great thing about TrendHERO is they’re giving you a 14-day free trial just for listening to Winfluence! And if you decide you want to use the platform after that, the lite plan is just $15.99 per month.  Sign up for that free trial now at trendhero.io/falls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 1

11 min 8 sec

Influencer marketing software is, in many ways, the backbone of our industry. Sure, you can feasibly find influencers manually by browsing social networks, snooping around hashtags or doing some Google searches for link-bait posts about the top influencers in one category or another, but that’s time consuming and laborious.  Influencer marketing software platforms like IZEA, Mavrck, CreatorIQ, Onalytica, Aspire, Julius, and certainly Tagger, our official platform and sponsor of this show … they are our engines that run our programs. We use them to search and discover relevant influencers, analyze and prioritize the list and in some cases connect, contract, coordinate and even compensate the creators we work with. Now, as much as I love Tagger, I also loved using Julius before. I’ve also enjoyed using IZEA in the past as well. Not to mention the dozens of smaller players who might only focus on one social network or have some other niche application. Each platform has strengths and weaknesses but all of them can work for you in some capacity. But we are about to enter a phase where the competition for users gets heated. There’s a new need coming for the industry … for influencers and brands alike … that these software companies are going to have to solve for. It will be a race to the finish line for the true winner of this next software battle to be determined. Well, I know which software company is going to win the race and emerge as the new influencer marketing software of choice for most brands.  I’ll tell you who in today’s commentary. Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  Today we visit with T.J. Ferrara from Bubs Naturals, a health supplement company, about how they use Tagger.  To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 25

13 min 37 sec

The stereotypical influencer is someone who has a topic, industry or talent. They create content around that and create an audience to build a platform. If they’re lucky, they monetize it in a way that supports them. If they’re real lucky they become famous and sign entertainment deals and such to spin off into more traditional show business or media roles. But there are different paths for influencers. John Chamberlin started a blog in Pittsburgh about 10 years ago. The original intent was to give local businesses and events a pathway to reach audiences in the Three Rivers region. But with the stories and news, events and promotions that the mainstream media outlets often passed on. The website and blog was called YaJagoff.com. Accompanying social media channels like Facebook and Twitter helped establish the site and John as an influencer. Eventually, he added a podcast. That helped him see more opportunities to do live video and audio episodes at local businesses. As things grew, Rachael Rennebeck joined John as a partner in YaJagoff Media. The business grew into more than just a typical influencer platform. They now do PR, marketing and event consulting. And work with companies beyond the geographic confines of Western Pennsylvania. I asked John and Rachael to come on the show and tell us how they built YaJagoff Media, what types of content and channels work for local content, how the local media intertwines with their efforts and a lot more. John has a great insight about listening to your audience in the middle of this discussion that alone is worth paying attention. They gave me, and now you, an interesting perspective on how else to become a successful influencer. Or influence platform. For those that don’t know Pittsburgh well, YaJagoff is a regional term there that can be an insult, “You cut me off YaJagoff!” but it can also be a term of endearment. “How ya been, YaJagoff!” Pittsburgh has its own language to a degree. We get into that a bit in the conversation today as well. Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  We’ve been talking recently to Meredith Jacobson, an independent influencer marketing consultant who was on a past episode of the show, to tell you about how she uses Tagger with We are Boosters.  Hear more about how she uses Tagger on today's episode. To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. NOTE: Cover Photo by Elan Mizrahi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 18

46 min 3 sec

There’s always been an unspoken attitude in the world of social media and now in influence marketing that advertising, or at least its philosophies and priorities, does nothing but muck everything up. Social media, and it’s immediate by-product of influencers and thus influence marketing, was, in essence, a way for consumers to push back against advertising. We were tired of brands just yelling their messages at us all the time and not listening, as well. Markets are conversations, said the Cluetrain. So forgive me for the soap box, but that kind of biases a lot of us to think that someone with that advertising background is out of place in the world of influencer marketing. At least so the stereotype would tell you. But Justin Kline is not a stereotypical anything. He started out managing ads for the Drudge Report, then managing the placement of ads for the sharing app Add This. So he sees the world of advertising form multiple perspectives. Nowadays, Justin runs Markerly, an influencer marketing agency that takes his experiences in the advertising world to advise and deploy attention-getting campaigns for clients. Markerly and Justin came to my attention when they ran the Meow Mix Remix campaign for the cat food brand and engaged pet influencers on TikTok and other channels to help re-think how Meow Mix is thought of by consumers. I asked him to join us to take us through the irony of an ad guy now running a firm on the influencer side of things, what it's like to work with pet influencers and much more. I love bringing different perspectives to the table for our discussions and this is certainly one of them. Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  We’ve been talking recently to Meredith Jacobson, an independent influencer marketing consultant who was on a past episode of the show, to tell you about how she uses Tagger with We are Boosters.  Hear more about how she uses Tagger on today's episode. To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 11

22 min 38 sec

One of the industry resources I lean on to keep up with what is happening in the influencer marketing space is the Fourth Floor Newsletter, an email newsletter from an influencer marketing firm based in the United Kingdom.  I came about it because it’s authored by Scott Guthrie, a counterpart of mine, of sorts, in England, who has a finger on the pulse of the industry there and around the globe. I listen to Scott’s podcast and know he’s incredibly knowledgeable about the space, so a newsletter offered by him is a no-brainer.  But the newsletter is unique in that it’s not Scott’s newsletter. It belongs to Fourth Floor, the agency. They are an influencer marketing firm practicing influencer marketing. They’ve engaged an influencer in the niche to produce content on their behalf. And their marketing is better for it. Rich Keith is the CEO of Fourth Floor. It was his vision and relationship with Scott that led to the partnership. He happens to also be a thought leader in the space and has built a successful firm around creating great content and connecting brands with influencers with innovative and interesting executions. I caught up with Rich and we just talked about the industry. We touched on what influencers and brands may be doing wrong … or at least missing … today, the difference between an average influencer’s content and an exceptional influencer’s content and a lot more. Rich has interesting insights about TikTok’s pluses and minuses that are very helpful for your thinking. We also talked about the next wave of growth for influencers and their audiences in the coming years. That’s well worth taking into consideration.  Rich comes from a publishing background and he and his team are plugged into the gaming community as well. So we talked a bit about that niche, Twitch and some other topics that helped me get smarter about the space. Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  We’ve been talking recently to Meredith Jacobson, an independent influencer marketing consultant who was on a past episode of the show, to tell you about how she uses Tagger with We are Boosters.  Hear more about how she uses Tagger on today's episode. To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 4

29 min 49 sec

If you whittled down the biggest questions and problems brand managers are asking about today in influencer marketing, two of the top couple would be, “What’s the deal with TikTok?” and “What does this influencer marketing jazz even get for me?” The TikTok issue is layered, but one problem area has been related to the other. With no direct access to TikTok’s API, no one can really quantify success there other than knowing how many views a given creator’s video earned. But some big news hit recently as TikTok finally opened its Creator Marketplace API. Now, marketers can access all that TikTik creator data to more effectively plan, execute and report on TikTok campaigns. One of the software companies that was an Alpha partners for the API development was Captiv8, a soup-to-nuts influencer marketing platform serving enterprise clients.  Krishna Subramanian is Captiv8’s CEO. He joined me to dig into what the TikTok Creator Marketplace API means for the marketplace. But he also shared with me that for a retailer case study using the API, Captiv8 ran some additional effectiveness measures using consumer surveys that answers a lot of that second question. For the first time that I know of, we have an example of a specific influence marketing execution that we can accurately report its effect on purchase intent, recommendation intent and beyond.  Krishna shared details there, told me more about Captiv8 and who the platform is right for, and put on his crystal ball lens to offer an opinion on what we as marketers need to be watching out for in the coming 18- to 24-months. Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  We’ve been talking recently to Meredith Jacobson, an independent influencer marketing consultant who was on a past episode of the show, to tell you about how she uses Tagger with We are Boosters.  Hear more about how she uses Tagger on today's episode. To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 27

22 min 13 sec

NIL is short for name, image, likeness, and is the short expression that defines an important legislative move by the NCAA and NAIA, the two main college athletic associations in the United States. The maneuvers relax the definition of amateurism in those organizations to finally allow college student-athletes to capitalize on their name, image and likeness. Until the NAIA passed an NIL move last December, then the NCAA followed this past summer, a student-athlete taking money from a sponsor, even on social media channels that might have nothing to do with their sport, would be a violation of their amateur status and jeopardize their ability to compete. Now, however, college athletes can be paid for public appearances, profit from merchandise sales of their own apparel or accept money from companies to do collaborations and partnerships on social media channels.  Masai Russell is a four-time first-team All-American in track and field at the University of Kentucky. She has over 150,000 followers on Instagram and over 21,000 on YouTube. While the track and field part plays a role on both, her content is more focused on fashion and style. She hopes to one day own her own line of apparel.  I wanted to check in with a student-athlete capitalizing on the NIL opportunity to see what, if any, differences there are in how they handle influencer partnerships, and see what impact the NIL is having on their day-to-day. I also wanted to gauge if student-athletes are seeing this as an opportunity to just make some money, or are thinking more strategically about now NIL can be a platform to build something bigger down the road. So Masai and I caught up this week to talk NIL and her brand. Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  We’ve been talking recently to Meredith Jacobson, an independent influencer marketing consultant who was on a past episode of the show, to tell you about how she uses Tagger with We are Boosters.  Hear more about how she uses Tagger on today's episode. To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 23

21 min 51 sec

The first thing many brand marketers do when they’re trying to find the right influencers for their upcoming campaigns is the first thing many of us do when trying to find something. They search. As in Google. Naturally, the query they often start with “top influencers in” whatever the industry is. And there they find listicles. Blog posts with a list of the top 10 influencers for this or the top 25 influencers for that.  The inexperienced marketer might even stop there and say, ‘Here are my top 10 targets.” Those that do fail before they ever get started.  Top Influencer Lists are not only useless, they're misleading. We need to stop relying on them and even follow the lead of a few software companies out there and think about how we categorize influencers in all new ways. I explain why in today’s commentary.  This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. In today's episode, Meredith Jacobson from We Are Boosters explains her favorite feature of Tagger. Give the episode a listen and see how Tagger helps her consultancy get to the right list of the right influencers. Learn more about the software at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. My influencer marketing podcast recommendation this week is The Influencer Marketing Lab with Scott Guthrie. His weekly show is dedicated to the growth spurts and growing pains of our industry. And being located in Great Britain, where he is super connected to brand and agency players in the space, Scott brings the European perspective on the industry to the table, we can all learn from. Just search for Influencer Marketing Lab wherever you get your podcasts or go to influencermarketinglab.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 20

14 min 14 sec

Most of you know I am from and live and work in Kentucky in the United States. And if you know anything about that state, especially the eastern part of Kentucky where I grew up, you know it has spent the better part of the last three or four decades trying to figure out how to overcome the economic void left by the downsizing of the coal industry. Both automation and regulation have forced coal mines to lay off workers who never knew another profession. The downturn in jobs meant high unemployment, higher incident rates for poverty and beyond.  What does that have to do with influencer marketing? I've been asked to contribute to Kentucky to the World, a group hoping to reshape the way the world sees my home state. In thinking about how I can contribute, I stumbled across an idea that hit me like a brick in the face. I’m going to tell you more and how influencer marketing relates in today’s commentary. This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. In today's episode, Meredith Jacobson from We Are Boosters explains her favorite feature of Tagger. Give the episode a listen and see how Tagger helps her consultancy get to the right list of the right influencers. Learn more about the software at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 13

10 min 35 sec

Can you achieve influence marketing traction, then success without having to pay influencers? We’ve asked that question several times on this show and it’s a bit of a controversial one. One perspective is you might be able to, but you shouldn’t. You are, after all, getting not just access to someone’s audience, but also their talent in creating content, plus the content you can then negotiate to use. All three of those elements are worth money you would have to invest otherwise to get the same output. So why disrespect the creator by asking them to post for just product. But then there are creators, mostly micro- and nano-influencers, who might be happy to just receive free product in exchange for a post. Those just starting out want to appear to be successful and big enough to warrant brands approaching them. Plus, they can also use the product-only content to prove their audience is responsive or content is successful enough to convert customers. That leads to them making more real dollar collaborations down the road. The answer to most question in the marketing world applies here. Can you gain traction or be successful with influencer marketing without paying the influencers? It depends.  One person who can illustrate how to do it successfully is Taylor Lagace. He’s one of the co-founders of a company and application called Kynship. They are focused on product seeding to drive organic influencer placements. That’s right! Seed product with influencers, no payments on top of that, and they post everything from unboxing videos to honest reviews and endorsements of your brand. If you’re a regular listener to this show or an influencer/creator advocate, that approach on the surface is probably going to irritate you. My stance has always been that you’re asking for an influencer’s time, creative talents and access to their audience. You should pay them.  But give Taylor and Kynship’s philosophy here a listen. They simply ask content creators if they’d be interested in receiving the product. For those that say “yes” they ship them the product. And that’s all they ask for … their approach is no strings attached. There’s no requirement for the recipient to post anything. They only do so if they wish to do so. And the results Kynship’s customers are seeing are quite impressive. I tried to shoot some holes in the philosophy with our conversation, but quickly realized Taylor and his team have emerged as the reason “it depends” is often the answer to marketing questions. Paying influencers to post isn’t a black or white issue. I think when you hear what he has to say, you’ll agree. I also think for you brand or agency folks out there listening, you’ll very quickly lose your skepticism that just sending product out without asking for something in return is a bad idea.  Today's episode is sponsored by Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing solution. You can find out more for yourself at jason.online/tagger.  We’ve been talking recently to Meredith Jacobson, an independent influencer marketing consultant who was on a past episode of the show, to tell you about how she uses Tagger with We are Boosters.  Hear more about how she uses Tagger on today's episode. To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jason.online/tagger today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 6

36 min 15 sec

One avenue of conversation we haven’t really explored here on the show is diving into the nuances of influencer marketing within different social networks. A great creator on Instagram may not be very good on Twitter. A strong YouTuber may not help you at all on Facebook.  YouTube is the first avenue I think it’s worth diving deeper into. Not only is video far more engaging for consumers, but YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google, which owns it. So a YouTube influencer posting something relevant about your brand can solve problems in awareness, search rankings, conversions and beyond.  And, unlike other nascent social network features, YouTube videos typically stay online forever. So one investment can benefit your brand for far longer than other influencer content.  But YouTube can be a bit of a puzzle for some marketers. Video work is more expensive and takes more lead time that other types of content. YouTube is a noisy platform so you may not know how the influencer is going to get eyeballs against all that other content out there.  Fortunately, we know a few folks. One of those is Hilary Thompson. She is the digital PR lead at Portent, which evolved from and SEO firm into a performance-driven digital agency based in Seattle. Hilary has been running YouTube influencer campaigns for a couple of years now. She started with a low five-digit monthly spend for a client two years ago. She now manages a monthly spend in the low six-figures. She gets results.  I caught up with Hilary to chat about her approach to influencers on YouTube. She has great tips and advice for reaching out to influencers, negotiating pricing with influencers, measuring success and how to manage campaigns to optimize results. She also shares a couple of nuances about working with YouTube influencers you wouldn’t know if you didn’t do it all the time. This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. In today's episode, Meredith Jacobson from We Are Boosters talks more about Tagger's deep search and discovery features. Give the episode a listen and see how Tagger helps her consultancy get to the right list of the right influencers. Learn more about the software at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 2

35 min 8 sec

Of all the questions marketers ask about building successful influencer marketing campaigns, the two that stand out are the top two, by a mile: First, how do I find the right influencers? The second is how do I measure success of influencer marketing.  And honestly, those two components of the process are probably the most important. You can have a great idea, messaging and such, but if you don’t choose the right influencers, it won’t succeed … at least not optimally. And if you don’t understand how to measure your success, you won’t know if the effort was worth it in the first place. When the higher-ups don’t have that information to go on, they’re much less apt to continue providing the resources to do it. I wanted to solve for those two problems in my book, so I shared what I call the Winfluence Scorecards in it. They’re discussed in those sections of Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand and added as appendices in both the hard copy and the e-verison of the book.  But I’ve now added those scorecards as interactive elements on my website for anyone to use. I’m going to walk you through both the Winfluence Priority Scorecard and the Winfluence Success Scorecards and tell you how you can use them -- completely free of charge and whenever you want -- in today’s commentary.  This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. In today's episode, Meredith Jacobson from We Are Boosters explains her favorite feature of Tagger. Give the episode a listen and see how Tagger helps her consultancy get to the right list of the right influencers. Learn more about the software at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 30

11 min 42 sec

A recurring theme on this show is finding examples influence marketing, not just marketing involving online influencers. When we uncover a non-traditional perspective on this thing we do, it unlocks a lot of interesting thinking for all of us. I am one who geeks out about offline examples of influence marketing, but there are variations of the theme online, too. And you find those examples sometimes in the most unexpected places. Travis Huff cut his teeth in the digital marketing space with local businesses in Northern California. Instead of listening to the social media talking heads about how to do all this, he experimented, tried things, learned and developed his own approach to influence marketing. He tried to forge partnerships from business to business. So one brand, let’s say a car dealership, would create a partnership with, let’s say, a bank offering car loans. Each would leverage one another’s social accounts and audiences to increase the reach of their offers and messaging. Travis was an old TV station sales guy, so building creative advertising solutions came natural to him. He’s coordinated a number of brand-to-brand influence relationships over the years, but also manages social media and what we call regular influencer marketing campaigns, using online influencers rather than brands, with his firm Realtime Outsource.  One of the things I love about Travis is you get the feel he doesn’t worry about fancy strategies or consultants or big software packages. He just rolls up his sleeves and figures it out. You can learn a lot from someone like that. He even shares an astonishingly simple, but apparently effective tactic on the show today that flies in the face of what the “experts” say. Listen close for that. I was kind of stunned. Travis and I caught up to talk about his own path to figuring out influence marketing and what works for the businesses he works with. This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. I've told you how easy it was for me to kick out some campaign reports for the influence efforts I’m managing. The drag-and-drop data options allowed me to build the report my client wanted and finds useful in a matter of minutes. You can have that too if you switch to Tagger. You can see more at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 26

32 min 37 sec

Welcome to Winfluence episode number 100. We started this journey back on September 2, 2020 when the old Jason Falls Show live stream turned podcast switched to an audio-only show dedicated to discussions of influence marketing. Thank you for joining me along the way. Here’s to another 100. In keeping with the theme, this episode is all about history. Not of the show, but of the craft of influence marketing overall. Some people think influencer marketing started in 2011 with the advent of Instagram. I’ve seen some say things like, “I’ve been doing influencer marketing since its beginning, back in 2013.” The truth is, influence marketing—or influencer marketing, even the nuance with the “R”—have both been around for centuries. What’s happening today is not new at all.  Sure, the environment is different in 2021 than it was in 2000, or 1980, 1960 and so on. But part of the impetus for writing my book and starting this podcast was because we had become fooled into thinking what we’re trying to do is somehow a mysterious, bleeding edge practice full of tech nerd voodoo that is hard to understand.  It’s not. I’ll explain more in today’s commentary. This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. In today's episode, I tell you more about the amazing campaign management features of the tool. When my clients have a project for our influence partners, I can load a brief into the system, ask the influencers to pitch their concept for their posts, give feedback or approve the concept, then ask for the content, more feedback and then the posts go live, all while pulling data into the platform to measure. You can see more at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 23

10 min 50 sec

In my day job at Cornett, influence marketing is very important, but it’s not the only thing we do. So small businesses or startups that need consulting don’t typically fit into what I can provide. Lately, I’ve found that I needed either a small firm or an independent consultant to either manage something for us or to just refer the business to. That’s why I was excited to get to know our guest today. Meredith Jacobson is an independent consultant, but one that has gone a step further to provide the industry with something unique and incredibly useful. Her experience at big agencies like Digitas and influencer marketing firms like Studio71 and Branded Entertainment Network helped her see the gaps in the ecosystem. So, she started a community … a network of sorts … of independent influencer marketing consultants, each who owns their own business, but Meredith has brought them together to be a connected web of providers businesses of all sizes can leverage. Smart.  We talked about her community and why there was such a need for it, but more importantly we dove into her perspective on what brands and agencies are doing right and wrong, the shift I’ve perceived in brands attitudes toward influence marketing as a practice and much more.  Meredith has a really smart perspective about the practice, the industry and is grounded in a great philosophical position around what we do. You’ll enjoy hearing what she has to say today. This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. I've told you how easy it was for me to kick out some campaign reports for the influence efforts I’m managing. The drag-and-drop data options allowed me to build the report my client wanted and finds useful in a matter of minutes. You can have that too if you switch to Tagger. You can see more at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 19

33 min 15 sec

Do you even know what true influence looks like? We get lost in the day-to-day of influencer marketing, where we count on people who post interesting things on social media to persuade their audiences to try and buy our products and forget the core thing we need to do … really influence people. Does seeing a product in the hands of a person you follow on Instagram have a real impact on you? Probably not. I follow Patrick Janelle, @aguynamedpatrick, who has been a guest on the show before. His instagram feed is what I call an aspirational one. I aspire to be as stylish in my dress, home decor and what-not, as he is. Never mind that I won’t ever be.  But just because he wears a fancy watch or a perfectly tailored blazer or the latest comfy but snazzy dress shoes from Del Toro, or whomever, doesn’t mean I’m going to make a conscious decision to buy those products. In fact, I don’t wear a watch, and seldom wear blazers or dress shoes.  Over time, it might be that when I’m ready to buy a new pair of dress shoes, I think, “I like what Del Toro has. Let’s go look at them.” I may never make a direct connection to Patrick, but it’ll have an effect through frequency of impressions.  Still, that’s a fairly long-game and light form of influence. And some would say is not true influence.  I wrote about a shining example of true influence in my book. Chapter 12 of Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand dives into influence marketing as a proxy for what we generally know as public relations. In it, I tell the story of Naakh Vysoky.  I’ll read the passage to illustrate true influence for you in today’s commentary.  This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. I've told you how easy it was for me to kick out some campaign reports for the influence efforts I’m managing. Here’s all the information I have on the campaign report … and remember … I built this in five minutes using Tagger’s drag and drop report builder. But here’s all the things the client sees in either a webpage version of the report or a PDF I can kick out on a daily basis if needed: The first page has the overall campaign performance in a succinct chart broken down by platform. So I see that this particular campaign currently has a reach of 2.4 million people and 102,000 total impressions. I see my total engagement, engagement rate and the organic lift for the content. But I see that broken down by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on. I then have a timeline chart so the brand team can see how the volume of content has hit over the last couple of months. Page two breaks it all down by creator. So I get to see all those performance metrics by influencer. This makes it super easy to see who is performing well for us and who might need some help, paid spend to supplement their post and so on. Next I have a list of the top Instagram posts for the campaign and their corresponding metrics, then Facebook. Then YouTube … you get the picture. The drag-and-drop data options allowed me to build the report my client wanted and finds useful in a matter of minutes. You can have that too if you switch to Tagger. You can see more at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 16

11 min 17 sec

We’re creeping up on a year of Winfluence the podcast and in that time we’ve talked to a number of incredibly smart people who are working to make the influence and and influencer space better for creators, brands, service providers, agencies and beyond. I think by now you all probably get a feel for my perspective on influence marketing being more about finding ways to create influence than finding people who are influencers. And the relationship building over time is preferred to one-off, transactional campaigns. One of the things I like to do on the show is gut-check my own thinking with other experienced influence marketers. It gives you an opportunity to hear someone else validate those thoughts, or for someone to bring a new perspective to the table and even call B.S. on my take, which is perfectly in-bounds here. Jeanette Okwu is one of those people in the industry I respect a lot who I’ve wanted to have on the show for a while now to bounce ideas off, vet perspectives with and so on. She’s the founder of Beyond One, an influencer marketing agency and network based in Berlin. Prior to that she was the co-founder and CEO of 1nfluencersmarketing, a technology platform used to drive influencer campaigns based on data-driven insights.  Her work over the years led her to be named on of Talking Influence’s Top 50 most influential people in the industry. She is also a founding member and advisor to the American Influencer Council. Jeanette and I connected to talk about the influencer industry. It’s size and potential. How influencers and creators collaborate with brands and vice-versa. I think you’ll find it very interesting that the perspective of influencers isn’t different from the U.S. to Europe and the perspectives we often discuss here are right in line with what she sees halfway around the world. We get granular, too. Jeanette shares how she finds the right influencers, what she looks for and how she approaches building strategies for brands.  She’s one of the most well-networked and influential people among the influencer industry, so having her on the show to learn from is a big deal, and a big thrill. This episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Tagger. It is the influence marketing software I’m using Cornett. They sponsor the show and provide us with their fantastic software to use. I've told you how easy it was for me to kick out some campaign reports for the influence efforts I’m managing. Here’s all the information I have on the campaign report … and remember … I built this in five minutes using Tagger’s drag and drop report builder. But here’s all the things the client sees in either a webpage version of the report or a PDF I can kick out on a daily basis if needed: The first page has the overall campaign performance in a succinct chart broken down by platform. So I see that this particular campaign currently has a reach of 2.4 million people and 102,000 total impressions. I see my total engagement, engagement rate and the organic lift for the content. But I see that broken down by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on. I then have a timeline chart so the brand team can see how the volume of content has hit over the last couple of months. Page two breaks it all down by creator. So I get to see all those performance metrics by influencer. This makes it super easy to see who is performing well for us and who might need some help, paid spend to supplement their post and so on. Next I have a list of the top Instagram posts for the campaign and their corresponding metrics, then Facebook. Then YouTube … you get the picture. The drag-and-drop data options allowed me to build the report my client wanted and finds useful in a matter of minutes. You can have that too if you switch to Tagger. You can see more at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influencer marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 12

36 min 28 sec

Are influencers worth the rates they charge? Isn’t that the most frequently asked question among brand managers when it comes to influencer marketing these days? The answer, as always, is that it depends.  It depends on what they charge versus what the brand gets in return. Determining that depends on a variety of factors. How many followers does the influencer have. What’s their engagement rate, which indicates how many people actually interact with the content. What’s the conversion rate of those people to purchase the product in question?  And if you know all of those numbers, the answer of the influencer’s worth is still, “it depends.” Because you also need to know how much the average order value of this segment that converted was. Then you can compare the influencer’s rate to the financial return. But even then, the answer is still “it depends” because one influencer program’s return might be fantastic margins for a low-margin company. That same number could be disaster for brands that typically have high margins. And we’re just talking about transactional goals here. Influencers also bring content creation talent to the table, which is of value outside of any measure of their audience or conversions. You’d have to pay for that creative with a freelancer or internal employee’s time and resources otherwise.  Focusing however on the transactional goal -- we want influencers to drive sales of our product -- the financial equation is easy to understand, but often hard to implement. I’m going to break down the basics of the equation for you today using industry averages and standards so you at least have an idea of what an influencer costs versus what type of sales numbers you need for them to be worth the investment. Note: This podcast episode has an almost required reading companion that includes an important chart I talk about. Visit the episode's blog post at jason.online/influencermath to follow along. Today's episode is sponsored by my friends at Tagger. They reached out to me recently and asked me to give their influencer marketing platform a try. I set up a campaign with a client project and kicked the tires. I wasn’t sure an influencer marketing platform could really impress me much anymore, but boy was I wrong. I was so impressed, I’ve switched to using Tagger for client projects. Here’s what got me: I didn’t do a demo or training session. I just jumped in and tried to hunt and peck my way to figure it out. Within an hour, I had a campaign set up for a client, a campaign brief loaded, five influencers invited to authorize into the platform for automatic reporting, including Instagram Stories by the way, and two customized reports for my client. One for assessing influencers, the other for measuring the campaign’s success. The client saw that report and said, “This is what I need to show to senior leadership!” I call that a win-win! The drag and drop customizable reports took me about five minutes each to set up. And I can either create new ones for each client campaign, or I saved the first two as templates I can plug any client into.  We’ll be talking a lot more about Tagger in the weeks to come here on Winfluence. They’ve just built a better mousetrap. So I’m in. You can see more at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influence marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Jason.online/tagger. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 9

14 min 21 sec

Each episode of this podcast begins with me asking the question, "Want Instagrammers and YouTubers to mention your brand? Or do you want to influence an audience to buy your product?" I then say this podcast is about illustrating the difference between using influencers and actually influencing. There are few venues that underline the necessity of that approach than healthcare marketing. The short-term conversion approach to that audience is tacky. People who need healthcare now are in need of urgent care. Marketing to them then is, frankly, horrible. You have to influence people who don’t need you now to choose you someday, when they do. That’s very different than trying to drive 1,000 sales of your thing over the weekend. In a way, healthcare marketing is all about that long-term influence. Building a brand and ensuring people are not just aware but predisposed to choose you is an effort in influencing the way they think, not just the decisions they make. And that is not accomplished with Instagrammers and TikTokers.  Colin Jeffries is not just a healthcare marketer, but one who knows and understands influence marketing … not influencer marketing. And he leverages influence through people who are influential in the communities and with the patients and customers he serves in very interesting ways.  Colin’s day job is as vice-president of marketing for Brightview, a comprehensive addiction treatment provider across several states in the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West. He’s also the co-host of the Rethink Marketing Podcast.  We dove into the concept of influence marketing (without the R) and the very specific challenges in healthcare marketing that force that segment of the marketing world to have to think about people with influence, not just influencers. He threw out some brilliant concepts and ways to think about influence marketing that might just inspire you to raise your own bar. Today's episode is sponsored by my friends at Tagger. They reached out to me recently and asked me to give their influencer marketing platform a try. I set up a campaign with a client project and kicked the tires. I wasn’t sure an influencer marketing platform could really impress me much anymore, but boy was I wrong. I was so impressed, I’ve switched to using Tagger for client projects. Here’s what got me: I didn’t do a demo or training session. I just jumped in and tried to hunt and peck my way to figure it out. Within an hour, I had a campaign set up for a client, a campaign brief loaded, five influencers invited to authorize into the platform for automatic reporting, including Instagram Stories by the way, and two customized reports for my client. One for assessing influencers, the other for measuring the campaign’s success. The client saw that report and said, “This is what I need to show to senior leadership!” I call that a win-win! The drag and drop customizable reports took me about five minutes each to set up. And I can either create new ones for each client campaign, or I saved the first two as templates I can plug any client into.  We’ll be talking a lot more about Tagger in the weeks to come here on Winfluence. They’ve just built a better mousetrap. So I’m in. You can see more at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influence marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Jason.online/tagger. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 5

32 min 40 sec

The circle of life isn’t just an inspirational Elton John and Disney song. It’s an apt description of how a lot of things work, especially trends in the marketing world. Remember about seven or eight years ago when all the marketing talking heads were trashing QR codes? Alright, now think about how you’ve accessed the menu in a restaurant in the last couple of months.  Whether it's the technology or just whatever method is hip at the moment, everything seems to come and go in cycles. And we’re starting to see that come true for influencers as well. About the same time people were starting to roll their eyes at QR codes, the same social media thought leaders were telling brands not to put too many eggs in Facebook’s basket. That’s starting to happen again. Only this time with influencers. But that brings to mind the question: Will the influencer marketing industry be able to keep up with that trend?  I explain more in today’s commentary. Today's episode is sponsored by my friends at Tagger. They reached out to me recently and asked me to give their influencer marketing platform a try. I set up a campaign with a client project and kicked the tires. I wasn’t sure an influencer marketing platform could really impress me much anymore, but boy was I wrong. I was so impressed, I’ve switched to using Tagger for client projects. Here’s what got me: I didn’t do a demo or training session. I just jumped in and tried to hunt and peck my way to figure it out. Within an hour, I had a campaign set up for a client, a campaign brief loaded, five influencers invited to authorize into the platform for automatic reporting, including Instagram Stories by the way, and two customized reports for my client. One for assessing influencers, the other for measuring the campaign’s success. The client saw that report and said, “This is what I need to show to senior leadership!” I call that a win-win! The drag and drop customizable reports took me about five minutes each to set up. And I can either create new ones for each client campaign, or I saved the first two as templates I can plug any client into.  We’ll be talking a lot more about Tagger in the weeks to come here on Winfluence. They’ve just built a better mousetrap. So I’m in. You can see more at jason.online/tagger. Tagger is the new influence marketing campaign software of choice for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Jason.online/tagger. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 2

10 min 25 sec

In one of the chapters of Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, I tell the story of a fashion and style influencer who launched a product only to have it fall on deaf ears. The chronicle is of Arii, who was a teenager at the time and should have been lauded just for trying to start her own business based on her social media fame. Instead, she was mocked and declared a failure by the venom of social media users and the rubbernecking mainstream media of the day. I went through the exercise in the book of explaining what she could have done differently in advance of her product launch to make it a successful one as a helpful guide for both influencers, and for brands who can use the story to better understand which influencers they target are most effective. Last month, another social media influencer in the fashion, style and health space launched a brand of her own, but this one was a smashing success. Sommer Ray, who has about 40 million followers across her social networks, launched a new skincare ingestible product called IMARAÏS. The full name of the product, in fact, is IMARAÏS by Sommer Ray.  Her path to launching the product is very different from Arii’s. Her two co-founders, Aaron Hefter and Felicia Hershenhorn, had the product concept and a beta version of the gummies, but were looking for the right influencer to be the third co-founder and face of the product. IMARAÏS is PETA certified, sugar free and with all sorts of other unique features that finding the perfect influencer to front this brand wasn’t simple.  Hefter and Hershenhorn literally reached out to Sommer Ray as if they were pitching a regular influencer engagement … a direct message. But this one said, “We have a product we think you can get behind. We want you to be the face of it and become a co-founder and partner in the business.” That’s a hell of a payoff for an influencer, even in a small company.  But IMARAÏS is not small. Their launch now successful, Hefter and Hershenhorn are readying retail partnerships and distribution plans, along with direct to consumer plays. Sommer Ray? Well, she’s in it every step of the way, offering product feedback and collaboration on top of the marketing and exposure powerhouse her social channels bring.  I caught up with Aaron and Felicia earlier this week to talk about the partnership, the product and how and why a social media influencer was the right path for IMARAÏS. Hefter spent the last 20 years or so as the CEO and co-founder of Nutrabolics, a very successful health supplement company. Hershenhorn is an attorney and friend of Hefters who tried everything under the sun for her skin until giving up and calling Aaron. The rest is almost history. If the product launch is any indication, that history will be a healthy one very soon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 29

32 min 49 sec

Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast is serious, though playful and fun. We have interesting conversations about the industry, how brands can leverage influence, how influencers can better connect with brands and how the software companies and agencies all fit into the mix. We do that in order to help you get smarter, better and have more success leveraging influence marketing, influencers and all things related to the space. But we’re not above poking a little fun at our world, too. Erik Deckers pointed his sarcastic pen at our little world last week. He’s the co-author (with me) of No Bullshit Social Media, but he’s also a syndicated humor columnist. And the title of his tome last week was, “Influencer Marketers, Just Stop Asking for Free Stuff.” I grabbed him by the collar and drug him to the playground of this podcast so we could roll up our sleeves and have a good, old fashioned fistfight about it … or something like that … today on the show.  Before we get to the fisticuffs, let take a moment to tell you about a new project I’ve launched with my pals Ryan Foland and Kim Garst, along with our friends at Get.Online, the .online domain name provider. We have produced three online courses that combined, form the .Online Business Academy.  It’s a series of easy to follow online courses built to help you start your own business, make a business plan, build a website for your business and start driving revenue for that thing you’ve always wanted to launch. Ryan starts off the academy’s curriculum with a course on how to come up with a business idea that doesn’t suck. The course from Kim is how to write an online business plan you will actually use. And then my course is how to set up and launch your business website to attract customers. The .Online Business Academy is FREE! The lessons are broken up into short videos and activities, so you can do a little at a time. Or, of course you can dive in and complete the entire academy lessons all in one day. So if you’ve been thinking about starting your own business or you or someone you know needs help to take that idea to the next level, The dot-Online Business Academy is live and waiting for you. Visit jason.online/academy right now.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 26

22 min 43 sec

Probably the most frequent quality of influencer selection I’ve talked about in the last month or so is brand alignment. Does the influencer match your brand in terms of values, aesthetics and beyond. The more aligned your influencers and content creators are with your values, your brand voice and perhaps content pillars, the easier their audience will make that leap to accepting you as a trustworthy brand. And the better your brand will be able to see relevant growth and engagement from their followers. Julianne Fraser is someone who believes steadfastly in the value of brand alignment. She started out building influencer campaigns and executions way back in 2013 in the hospitality industry. She then launched her own influencer marketing firm called Dialogue New York and now boasts a stable of amazing fashion, style and beauty influencers and campaigns. I invited Julianne to come on the show so we could dig into that concept of brand alignment. We got into a deep discussion about that and several other topics. And Julianne had a quick answer to my rant on the last episode of Winfluence. I claimed in that show that affiliate marketing and influencers will not work. Julianne explained how she layers that in with other ideas to prove me wrong. Which is fine. I’m used to that. But pay attention and take notes on this episode. Julianne and I have a delightful conversation about influencers, alignment, driving ROI and more. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is less sponsored by someone and more just presented by a new thing I’ve built I want you to know about. My friends at Get.Online, the domain name provider, along with my pals Ryan Foland and Kim Garst have produced three online courses that combined, form the .Online Business Academy.  It’s a series of easy to follow online courses built to help you start your own business, make a business plan, build a website for your business and start driving revenue for that thing you’ve always wanted to launch. Ryan starts off the academy’s curriculum with a course on how to come up with a business idea that doesn’t suck. The course from Kim is how to write an online business plan you will actually use. And then my course is how to set up and launch your business website to attract customers. The .Online Business Academy is FREE! The lessons are broken up into short videos and activities, so you can do a little at a time. Or, of course you can dive in and complete the entire academy lessons all in one day. So if you’ve been thinking about starting your own business or you or someone you know needs help to take that idea to the next level, The dot-Online Business Academy is live and waiting for you. Visit jason.online/academy right now.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 22

25 min 55 sec

Instagram announced last week it was testing new affiliate marketing tools for influencers. Many influencer marketing software solutions have begun integrating affiliate marketing components into their softwares as well.  The reason is brands have been clamoring for them because brands think the affiliate model of marketing is going to magically make influencer marketing cheaper. They’re looking for an easy way out … a way to cut costs … and a way to disrespect content creators.  Pay for performance marketing, like traditional affiliate approaches, will not work with influencers. I explain why in today’s commentary. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is less sponsored by someone and more just presented by a new thing I’ve built I want you to know about. My friends at Get.Online, the domain name provider, along with my pals Ryan Foland and Kim Garst have produced three online courses that combined, form the .Online Business Academy.  It’s a series of easy to follow online courses built to help you start your own business, make a business plan, build a website for your business and start driving revenue for that thing you’ve always wanted to launch. Ryan starts off the academy’s curriculum with a course on how to come up with a business idea that doesn’t suck. The course from Kim is how to write an online business plan you will actually use. And then my course is how to set up and launch your business website to attract customers. The .Online Business Academy is FREE! The lessons are broken up into short videos and activities, so you can do a little at a time. Or, of course you can dive in and complete the entire academy lessons all in one day. So if you’ve been thinking about starting your own business or you or someone you know needs help to take that idea to the next level, The dot-Online Business Academy is live and waiting for you. Visit jason.online/academy right now.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 19

8 min 14 sec

We’ve thrown around the term micro-influencer a lot on this show. The term refers to someone with generally around 5,000 to 50,000 followers. They’re probably not quite to the point of making a living doing it, but they have an impact on a fair number of people. Lots of brands love micro-influencers because they can be cheaper and less hassle to deal with. No offense to our mega-influencer friends, but let’s be honest, once you get someone whose primary income is through influencer marketing activity, or content creation for brands, and certainly when you mix in a management person, well … brand people see layers of costs, people to deal with, paper work and so on. That’s not to say that micro-influencers shouldn’t be paid. And certainly, anyone who is creating content for your brand, regardless of how few followers they might have, deserves to be compensated for their craftsmanship. But micro-influencers bring certain advantages to the table for businesses who want to leverage influencers or scale the number of influencers they use, without always having to find more money in the marketing budget.  David Morneau leads a Canadian firm called Inbeat Agency which specializes in helping brands build campaigns with micro-influencers. And they’re quite good at it. I invited him to sit and chat with us about the advantages of going micro-, some of which you might find surprising. David’s background and the seed that became Inbeat Agency, was work in SEO -- Search engine optimization. Those two disciplines don’t often overlap.  We sat down this week to talk about micro-influencers, how they can impact a brands’ SEO, reputation and bottom line. I think you’ll enjoy the discussion as we make an argument for going small with your influence marketing.   Instead of a traditional sponsor for this episode of Winfluence, I want to take a moment to tell you about a new project I’ve launched with Ryan Foland, Kim Garst and our friends at Get.Online … the dot-online domain name provider. Ryan, Kim and I have produced three online courses that combined form the .Online Business Academy.  This series of easy to follow online courses is built to help you start your own business, make a business plan, build a website for your business and start driving revenue for whatever it is you’re passionate about. Ryan starts off the academy’s curriculum with a course on how to come up with a business idea that doesn’t suck. The course from Kim is how to write an online business plan you will actually use. And then my course is how to set up and launch your business website to attract customers. The .Online Business Academy is FREE! You heard that right. FREE. The lessons are broken up into short videos and activities, so you can do a little at a time. Or, of course you can dive in and complete the entire academy lessons in about four hours. So if you’ve been thinking about starting your own business or you or someone you know needs help to take that idea to the next level, The .Online Business Academy is live and waiting for you. Visit jason.online/academy right now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 15

23 min 49 sec

I know what brands want from influencers. But what brands say they want from them and what they actually want from them are different things. Ask a brand manager what they want from their influencers or influencer programs and they’ll say things like: Engaging content Enthusiastic endorsement Or the stomach-turning authentic collaboration But brands are not measured by the amount of content they collect. Or how many people endorse them. Nor by how many people see the endorsement. And authenticity is not a KPI on anyone’s ledger sheet. I know what brands really want from influencers. And I’ll tell you what those three things are in today’s commentary. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius really is easy to use but super powerful all at once. I can search for influencers by topic, interest, geography, age … I can also filter them by the demographics of their audience, which networks they’re relevant on … the permutations of isolating the ones that are super relevant for me are seemingly endless. Then, I can build lists of candidates, reach out to them for engagements, share contracts and assets with them, load in deliverables that I can track, measure the ROI of everything … it’s got it all.  I literally work in Julius every day for my clients at Cornett. It’s become a required tool in my arsenal. I think you’ll enjoy having it in yours, too.  All I want you to do is a demo. They’re free and will show you the magic I use every day for influence marketing campaigns. If you love it like I do, you’ll sign up. If you don’t, what harm is there in checking it out, right? Sign up for that demo! Go to jason.online/julius and request one. What do brands really want from influencers? That’s in this episode of Winfluence. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 12

9 min 35 sec

It’s always a treat to get insight from influencers on the show. My research and analytics tell me most of you are brand-side marketers or agency folks that serve the brands playing in the influencer marketing space. So, when we have the opportunity to hear from a content creator, there’s a lot of insight to be had. How to work with them. What works well or doesn’t. How they view brands, agencies, pricing and beyond.  A few months ago, I interviewed one such content creator for my other podcast, Digging Deeper, which is a live video show turned into an audio podcast. That influencer was Malvika Sheth. She is an up and coming fashion and style influencer with an engaging blog, Instagram and YouTube feed. She’s a smart, enterprising young woman who had already scored brand collaborations with Dove, Reebok and others.  We talked about how she came to be an influencer and why, what her experience has been collaborating with brands and she gave some sound advice for those out there looking to build their own influencer platforms.  I thought that interview would be good to share with you here on Winfluence, so that’s what this episode is -- a replay of the original Digging Deeper interview. I think you’ll find it supremely insightful and useful, regardless of your place in the influencer ecosystem.  This episode of Winfluence is sponsored by MarcomGather. There is nothing worse than wasting countless hours looking for digital files on your intranet, shared drive, desktop, cloud storage, or excel files. Say goodbye to the days of overflowing, unorganized file storage, and hello to finding files with speed and clarity. MarcomGather, is my new favorite digital asset management solution, it helps me stay organized, so I can get back to the parts of managing these podcasts I enjoy … like making sure they sound good. With MarcomGather I quickly centralize assets, eliminate unorganized file storage, and best of all - I don’t lose track of my files again. Experience MarcomGather free for 30 days at jason.online/marcom. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 30

25 min 29 sec

The underlying theme of my book Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, is that we have to stop thinking about this practice as all about influencers and think of it in terms of how to drive influence. That can come from online influencers with big followings, but it can also come from your own brand building influence in your industry. It can come from partnering with community leaders and elected officials. It can come from friendships and alignment with people who have influence in certain spheres but don’t have big online followings or even accounts. When you look at the world of influencer marketing software platforms out there through that filter, one company emerges as a clear “it-getter” in focusing on true influence versus just ranking influencers. That company is the UK-based Onalytica. I spend a good deal of time in the book sharing cases studies from Onalytica. There are great ones in there from facilities management brand Mitee, USB and Marie Curie—the hospice organization in Britain named after the famous scientist. And I do that because Onalytica’s approach is more aligned with how I think influence marketing (without the R) should work. Tim Williams is the CEO of Onalytica. I’ve long wanted to have him on the show and finally found a window on his schedule to chat. We sat down so I can pick apart Onalytica’s position and approach and why it is different. My interpretation of Onalytica is they are better suited for public relations and comms than, say, for an advertising approach. And, as a result, they are far more relevant for B2B companies than B2C. I asked Tim to gut-check that observation. We also talked about my hypothesis that British PR and comms professionals have a little something more than their United States counterparts. And we dove into his observation that employee advocacy is becoming a fruitful avenue for at least B2B companies to building their own influence within their respective spaces. There are only a handful of people in the influencer marketing space I think are truly driving conversation and innovation that greatly advances the practice and Tim Williams is one of them. You’ll learn a lot from him in this episode. This episode of Winfluence is sponsored by MarcomGather. There is nothing worse than wasting countless hours looking for digital files on your intranet, shared drive, desktop, cloud storage, or excel files. Say goodbye to the days of overflowing, unorganized file storage, and hello to finding files with speed and clarity. MarcomGather, is my new favorite digital asset management solution, it helps me stay organized, so I can get back to the parts of managing these podcasts I enjoy … like making sure they sound good. With MarcomGather I quickly centralize assets, eliminate unorganized file storage, and best of all - I don’t lose track of my files again. Experience MarcomGather free for 30 days at jason.online/marcom. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 23

37 min 59 sec

One of the biggest challenges for brands in influence marketing is tying all these wonderful content collaborations with creators back to the bottom line. Not only do brands not often have full or direct exposure to an influencer’s analytics, but many don’t sell direct to consumer, meaning sales data is often in the hands of another third party in the form of retailers. And if you’ve ever dealt with big box retailers you also know that sometimes, they just don’t share enough data for the appropriate granularity in measurement. So answering the question of the ROI on influencer marketing is hard.  One company trying to solve for that is gen.video. The platform is built working from measurement and attribution backwards, rather than where most other software companies started … on the front end with influencer discovery. It’s a platform built from web video technology, but allows a brand to partner with influencers and measure how much traffic goes to purchase points, either direct to consumer or through retail platforms like Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart, then measure conversions and sometimes complete shopping cart activity on those retail end points. Jessica Thorpe worked her way up through the original iteration of the company and is now president and co-founder and Gen Video. She also happens to be the newly donned president of the Influencer Marketing Association. We talk about how gen.video helps brands and influencers better connect the dots to the age-old question of What is the ROI? I also talk to her about the state of things in influencer marketing, particularly around the fact that everyone seems to be desperate for industry leadership and organization, but no one is truly stepping into that role. It’s a good discussion with some great learnings and ideas.    This episode of Winfluence is sponsored by MarcomGather. There is nothing worse than wasting countless hours looking for digital files on your intranet, shared drive, desktop, cloud storage, or excel files. Say goodbye to the days of overflowing, unorganized file storage, and hello to finding files with speed and clarity. MarcomGather, is my new favorite digital asset management solution, it helps me stay organized, so I can get back to the parts of managing these podcasts I enjoy … like making sure they sound good. With MarcomGather I quickly centralize assets, eliminate unorganized file storage, and best of all - I don’t lose track of my files again. Experience MarcomGather free for 30 days at jason.online/marcom. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 16

31 min 13 sec

As the influencer marketing space evolves, so will the tools, platforms and services out there that make things better. We’ve interviewed some folks behind some of these startups here on the show already and we’ll continue to do so. I like to think we’re keeping an eye on what’s out there in case a better mousetrap comes along. One topic of discussion in the influencer and influence marketing space that has extended into the realm of software solutions and other attempts at making the industry better is the focus on understanding fairness in influencer pay. What should influencers charge? Is that fair compared to other mediums? How much should one with 10,000 followers charge versus 100,000 followers or is there a difference? Cynthia Ruff has a unique perspective on the problem of pay scales and influencer marketing. She comes from a finance background in which she managed compensation recommendations for clients. So she’s intimately familiar with HR systems and research around fairness in compensation. But on the side as she worked in that world of compensation speciality, she was also building quite a strong platform of her own at Darling Down South where she is a lifestyle influencer. As the issues she faced along with those tackled every day by influencers, small and large, she saw the need arise for an arbiter in the influencer payment space. Enter Compfident. That’s the name of Cynthia’s new company. It’s a mashup of Compensation and Confident. The platform what’s influencers to be confident in the compensation they ask for and brands to be confident in the compensation they pay. The site is built on data collected from users, but also from inputs across the spectrum of the influencer marketing space. Brands are giving Compfident input about their budget and fees. Influencers are giving Compfident their campaign information and the platform is connected with many others thanks to Cynthia’s previous relationships. The platform is new, but Cynthia has a nice roadmap of the kind of resource if can be for the whole industry, not just influencers and not just brands. We dove in and talked about it today on the show.  Speaking of resources, there is nothing worse than wasting countless hours looking for digital files on your intranet, shared drive, desktop, cloud storage, or excel files. Say goodbye to the days of overflowing, unorganized file storage, and hello to finding files with speed and clarity. MarcomGather, is my new favorite digital asset management solution, it helps me stay organized, so I can get back to the parts of managing these podcasts I enjoy … like making sure they sound good. With MarcomGather I quickly centralize assets, eliminate unorganized file storage, and best of all - I don’t lose track of my files again. Experience MarcomGather free for 30 days at jason.online/marcom. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 9

19 min 16 sec

Two weeks ago I spent several hours judging entries in an influencer marketing awards contest. Part of the submission was for the brand or agency to describe their organization’s unique selling proposition. Every single entry had some version of the following in their answer: “We focus on authentic, transparent and human connections with our … blah blah blah.” You could literally copy and paste one agency’s answer to that question into the spot on any other agency’s entry and no one would have known the difference. It’s like they were told if they didn’t include some indication that they were all about authenticity, transparency and creating human connections, they were disqualified. But, it was an influencer marketing award competition. That was to be expected to a degree.  Then I flipped over to my Instagram feed and saw the following quote in a meme sent by a different agency. It read, “Honesty, transparency and authenticity are the key factors that will set your personal brand apart from the competition as a trustworthy, reliable source.”  I snapped. It’s high time we kill all the talk about honesty, being human and transparency. And once and for all, stick a dagger in the heart of authenticity. I’ll explain what I mean in today’s commentary. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius really is easy to use but super powerful all at once. I can search for influencers by topic, interest, geography, age … I can also filter them by the demographics of their audience, which networks they’re relevant on … the permutations of isolating the ones that are super relevant for me are seemingly endless. Then, I can build lists of candidates, reach out to them for engagements, share contracts and assets with them, load in deliverables that I can track, measure the ROI of everything … it’s got it all.  I literally work in Julius every day for my clients at Cornett. It’s become a required tool in my arsenal. I think you’ll enjoy having it in yours, too.  All I want you to do is a demo. They’re free and will show you the magic I use every day for influence marketing campaigns. If you love it like I do, you’ll sign up. If you don’t, what harm is there in checking it out, right? Sign up for that demo! Go to jason.online/julius and request one. That’s jason.online/julius. I think you’ll be impressed! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 7

10 min 1 sec

We recently had a conversation with Brandon Brown of influencer platform Grin about CGI influencers—computer generated avatars that seem to be real people posting influencer-like content and gaining followers. That conversation opened up some discussion about using the influencer landscape as a palette for creativity. We joked that Kentucky Fried Chicken should create a Colonel Sanders influencer account right now and avatar him back to life. But when you think of the influencer channel as a creative outlet, you don’t have to use computer generated influencers at all. You can just script a fictitious influencer’s life, insert an actor or model to be the character and have at it. You can even insert a real person but help script his or her influencer lifestyle for them. Bandolier Media stirred up the influencer marketing airwaves in 2019 when it it created @justaconstructionguy on Instagram. Omar, a coffee-loving construction worker, frequently posted about enjoying Cuvee Coffee, an Austin, Texas, based craft coffee shop, on work breaks.  A tweet from his daughter saying her dad said he was going to be an influencer that included a screen shot of Omar’s account, which then had 75 followers, was posted on Classic Dad, a popular satire site for me. Some big accounts reposted and shared the story. Someone put it on Reddit.  Within five days, he had over 400,000 followers. Bandolier Media consists of owners Daniel Stone and Lou Montemayor, plus creative director and owner George Ellis and creative production specialists Kelsey Hickok … and yes, that’s the entire full-time staff. They have turned influencer marketing on its head by being the first advertising agency that essentially creates influencers. Stone and Montemayor joined me recently to talk about how their approach to social media and just having fun together has reshaped how one might think of an ad agency. They get in deep on the story behind @justaconstructionguy and reveal that while the daughter’s conversation about her dad claiming he was going to be an influencer was 100% true, they got permission from Omar and his daughter to manufacture the tweet so they had a hook to introduce the account to the world. Honestly? It was and is brilliant. And while their approach does skirt the lines of how transparent one should be with something amazing that isn’t quite 100 percent organic, there’s no intention at Bandolier to dupe anyone. They're just having fun with online content and using the influencer channel as a creative outlet.  This episode of Winfluence is sponsored by Julius. That’s the influencer marketing management solution I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius helps me identify relevant influencers, has contact information on many so I don’t have to go hunting for that, but then offers up an entire suite of campaign management features, too. I can reach out and share a contract with an influencer, load in deliverables based on our agreement, assign a dollar value to each deliverable, automatically track influencer content and produce an ROI report for each campaign. Julius allows me to find and compiles lists of influencers, analyze each for their audience characteristics, but then also analyze my list in aggregate so I can ensure the influencers I’ve chosen optimally align with my brand and target audience.  You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one. That’s jason.online/julius. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 2

45 min 21 sec

My previous commentary that focused on the idea that Words Matter pointed out a flaw in semantics with how HypeAuditor reported fraudulent behavior. That semantic difference—a simple poor choice of words—lead Campaign U.S., a popular advertising industry publications, to post the statement that more than half of Instagram influencers—"engaged in fraud"—with 45 percent of accounts—"fake."  Engaged was my problem. Because fraud can happen to an influencer’s account without the influencer having a thing to do with it. HypeAuditor listened and in its May Report on Fraud on Social Media, made good with new data and new phrasing. It turns out that on average, almost 34 percent of influencers in the U.S. are impacted by fraud. That can be growth anomalies, inauthentic comments, comments from bots, giveaway comments or comments from pods … that being groups of people gang up to comment on each other’s content just to drive up engagement rates. The majority of the fraudulent impact comes from inauthentic comments. One-words, an emoji or two and similar structures that seem robot-like and irrelevant.  HypeAuditor estimates that fraudulent activity can be costing advertisers up to $800 million each year.  This episode's commentary dives into more and indicates my previous assumptions about the level of intentional fraud that happen in influence marketing may be right. You can find all the data from HypeAuditor’s May Fraud Report on t he HypeAuditor blog at Hypeauditor.com. Or by clicking the link in the show notes. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius really is easy to use but super powerful all at once. I can search for influencers by topic, interest, geography, age … I can also filter them by the demographics of their audience, which networks they’re relevant on … the permutations of isolating the ones that are super relevant for me are seemingly endless. Then, I can build lists of candidates, reach out to them for engagements, share contracts and assets with them, load in deliverables that I can track, measure the ROI of everything … it’s got it all.  And yes, Julius has an audience health tool, too. So it can help you understand what percentage of the influencer’s audience is perhaps suspect and subject to fraudulent behavior or attacks.  I literally work in Julius every day for my clients at Cornett. It’s become a required tool in my arsenal. I think you’ll enjoy having it in yours, too.  All I want you to do is a demo. They’re free and will show you the magic I use every day for influence marketing campaigns. If you love it like I do, you’ll sign up. If you don’t, what harm is there in checking it out, right? Sign up for that demo! Go to jason.online/julius and request one. I think you’ll be impressed!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 31

12 min 9 sec

Once upon a time, I was a fairly knowledgeable guy about social listening. (I still am, I think. But in the early 2010s I was kind of known for that.) Analyzing online conversations to mine for consumer insights became such a focus for me that I started a company around the practice. The Conversation Research Institute didn't last long because we didn't have artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to scale data analysis. We had a couple of people manually coding samples of conversation to extract signals from the noise. Imagine my intrigue when hosting the Influencer Marketing Show earlier this year when Ian Randolph of Tailify talked about mining influencer content to map their values to that of a brand. It is his company's process of helping companies identify better influence partners. Randolph is a cognitive scientist. Tailify's mission is to help brands more accurately predict influencer marketing success by more perfectly matching the brand’s values to those of the influencer. How do they do that? Deep social listening and analysis.  This is a fascinating next-level concept of identifying the right influencer for your brand. And it’s not just a concept. Tailify has clients like Rosetta Stone who have mapped their company values, identified language education influencers with similar values and the engagements are producing better results across the board. The conversation is an intriguing one to say the least. The algorithms Ian has worked with were the predecessors of those that became the one Cambridge Analytica used in the 2015 and 2016 elections. Ian wasn’t involved and had left the parent company there at that point. But his efforts since have be fueled by a desire to help people use data mining from social media conversations for good, not bad. We dive into how on this episode. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find outdoors influencers who also love jazz music. Or the content creators who are dermatologists in Chicago. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help launch a product or campaign around any type of product. And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them. All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on when the influencer says they’ll post, and get an ROI report for each element.  You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true -- You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 26

33 min 52 sec

For much of the last year or so in the influence marketing space, there has been a growing trend to move away from mega-influencers in favor of micro- and nano-influencers. Those with fewer than 50,000 or even 10,000 followers. The reasons, as we’ve discussed with several of our guests, is that the smaller the following, the higher the engagement rate … generally speaking. If the engagement rate for a small number of people is high enough, it means that influencer has actual impact on more audience members than mega-influencers with lower engagement rates. I wanted to dig in and explore use cases and case studies where this is happening and connected with Erin Murray recently. She is the vice-president for brand and consumer marketing at Peace Out Skincare. They have used both mega-influencers and micro-/nano-influencers to help educate the market and create awareness and conversion for their skin creams, acne treatments and ointments. And Erin shared their learnings with me. Peace Out also zeroed in recently on surfacing a very niche, but highly relevant sub-group of influencers in the space: dermatologists. She joined me to talk about the brand’s back and forth with influencers of different sizes, zeroing in on a specialty niche of influencers and even what her brand is up to on TikTok. You always seem to learn more when the guest is a brand-side decision maker because they’re not just thinking about all this activity with influencers. They’re testing approaches, learning and actually executing campaigns that drive their business. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find outdoors influencers who also love jazz music. Or the content creators who are dermatologists in Chicago. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help launch a product or campaign around any type of product. And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them. All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on when the influencer says they’ll post, and get an ROI report for each element.  You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true -- You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 21

22 min 22 sec

One of the fascinating new trends in the influencer space is that of influencer houses. You may have heard The Hype House, probably the biggest example in the U.S., is queued up for a Netflix distribution deal after starting on social media channels. There’s another in the U.S. called the Sway House, yet another called Club Beverly Hills.  The concept borrows from the original reality TV show -- The Real World on MTV. Influencer Houses bring together some number of large audience content creators and put them in a big, fancy house with each other to collaborate, create content, participate in challenges and more.  There’s a lot of smarts behind these things: Talent agencies created them to cross-promote client audiences and grow each influencer’s network, while at the same time building a frequently watched episodic content creation -- a TV show -- that can be monetized with advertising, merchandise, syndication deals and even big network distribution. But is this really influencer marketing? Or is it entertainment with online influencers playing the parts?  I invited two of the people behind Wave House, an influencer house concept out of the United Kingdom to help us understand it all. Jidé Maduako originated the Wave House concept to support his stable of influencers at Yoke Network and is the primary producer of the series. Ali Clifton helps produce the show and series through Brave Bison, a social content firm in the U.K. that partners to support Yoke’s mission with the show.  I talk to them about the concept, the reasons for being, the end game and I even dig into whether or not these are reality TV shows or overacting zaniness to get eyeballs. You’ll appreciate the discussion, I’m sure.  This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find outdoors influencers who also love jazz music. Or the content creators who are dermatologists in Chicago. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help launch a product or campaign around any type of product. And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them. All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on when the influencer says they’ll post, and get an ROI report for each element.  You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true -- You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 19

25 min 21 sec

I’ve had the good fortune to have built a respectable audience over the years, creating and sharing content on social networks, writing blog posts and articles, speaking at conferences and the like. My primary platform for much of that time has been Twitter. And the way I built a nice following there was by sharing good content. At one point in time I actually wrote the following on a sheet of paper that I stuck on my office bulletin board: Twitter Strategy -- Share good shit. The more I could become a trustworthy curator of content, the more people would trust me. It worked. Back then, however, social media was different. Short form, snackable content platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok didn’t exist. Building influence back then involved writing blog posts and sharing content on Twitter. There were also social bookmarking sites that allowed you to save your favorite links to great content in one place. For a content curator, these were a godsend. Unfortunately, social media consumer behavior shifted to those aforementioned shorter-form platforms. When blogs and articles aren’t the same level of currency, social bookmarking and curation becomes less interesting. Even I slowed and sometimes for periods stopped sharing good shit. And then a few weeks ago I received an email from the PR representative for a new startup called Bookshlf. That’s the word bookshelf without the “e” and it’s a .com. So bookshlf.com (just remove the e.) Almost instantly, I was transported back to the time when bookmarking other sites was a big deal. This was a lot like my favorite social bookmarking site from back then -- deli.cio.us. I can save and share links to great content, organized on a virtual shelf, hence bookshelf, and I can then share that shelf.  When I found out they were rolling out a way for someone’s curated content to be monetized, meaning we could make money for not creating original content, but finding good content elsewhere and sharing it? I knew I had to know more. Co-founder Mike Abend and I sat down last week to talk all about social bookmarking, how bookshlf works and what the future holds. Will people actually subscribe to or tip good content curators? Listen to find out. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find outdoors influencers who also love jazz music. Or the content creators who are dermatologists in Chicago. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help launch a product or campaign around any type of product. And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them. All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on when the influencer says they’ll post, and get an ROI report for each element.  You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true -- You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one. That’s jason.online/julius. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 14

34 min 9 sec

Nothing gets me excited quite like finding like minded people who are interested in and knowledgeable about the same things I am and having a good conversation. That’s why I started this podcast. I feel like I eat, sleep and breathe influence marketing these days. So I love talking to smart people who do the same. Henry Langer is one of those people. He’s the vice-president of customer success at Julius, my influencer marketing platform of choice. You’ve heard about them because they sponsor the show and I use their platform. But one of the reasons I like them so are the brilliant people there, like Henry, who I can chew the fat with on the industry. We synced up last week to have one of those chat sessions and hit record so he could share some insight into what he’s doing and seeing with the variety of clients he solves problems for every day. Henry and his team work with Julius’s clients and help them vet influencers, develop processes to manage and measure influencer campaigns and beyond. When you’re hands-on, solving brand problems all day every day, you get really smart about influence marketing real fast. And those kind of folks are the ones I value chatting with the most. You’ll see why on today’s episode. Get ready to take some notes. And yes … this episode is also sponsored by Julius. But we’re going to talk about some of its features and reasons I use them during the chat, so we’ll forego the talking points and just share Henry’s smarts about the space and practice of influence marketing. But do go do a demo of Julius. You owe it to your brand or agency to do so! Get straight to it at jason.online/julius. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 12

31 min 8 sec

When the first inklings of what we have come to call influencer marketing emerged in the late 2000s, Instagram, TikTok and SnapChat didn’t exist. Facebook was actually barely a thing at that point, because only college-tied emails initially earned access to the platform. YouTube existed, but web video was still complicated and cost-prohibitive for the masses. Influencer marketing back then was primarily focused on blogs and Twitter.  IZEA was the first company to force the issue on turning social media content into sponsored-message opportunities. The first iteration of its company name was actually PayPerPost. It launched in 2006 and offered bloggers everything from gift cards and free product to cash payment in exchange for a written post about experiences with its clients. In 2009, IZEA launched Sponsored Tweets, and the world of online content creators taking money for social media posts was off and running.  The social media pundits didn’t like it. And I was one of them.  I’ll explain why and how the conversation produced a philosophical spectrum for influencer marketing in today’s commentary. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find just the gardening influencers in New England. Or the people who get excited about brick oven pizza. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help promote anything from stationery to toothpaste. And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them. Oh, and they have their own audience health score to help you weed out ones with suspect audiences or engagement.  All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on the influencer using our campaign hashtag, and get an ROI report for each element.  You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true -- You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one. That’s jason.online/julius. I first wrote about the influencer philosophical spectrum on Entrepreneur.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 10

9 min 54 sec

It’s pretty obvious that you believe in the power of podcasting. Or at least you’re willing to give it a shot or you wouldn’t be listening to this, right? Yes, podcasts are a great way for someone like me to share ideas and interview interesting people for people like you. Ideally, you find the episodes helpful and get smarter about influence marketing. But what switch needs to be flipped for you to see podcasting as a powerful trigger for your own influence? Phil Pelucha specializes in helping businesses use podcasts for three primary outcomes: More publicity, greater marketshare and funding introductions. Podcasting suddenly seems more interesting, right?  Phil and his team at Billionaires in Boxers have been doing this with businesses ranging from large financial institutions to small businesses for quite some time. And they’re pretty good at it. Phil came on Winfluence to talk specifically about how and why influencers should look to podcasting to raise the bar on the type of content they create, but we dove into a treasure trove of discussion about how agencies, brands and services professionals can leverage this medium, too. We even get into the interesting perspective that sometimes, your podcast can be valuable to you without even considering the size of your audience. And we had some fun riffing on the topic in an inside-look kind of way you'll find amusing as well. Phil mentions the Billionaires in Boxers Starter Package on the show, so you can find that link here. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find just the food and beverage influencers in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Or the men’s fashion voices that most impact Vancouver. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help launch a beauty, tech or automotive product. And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them. All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on when the influencer says they’ll post, and get an ROI report for each element.  You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true -- You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one. That’s jason.online/julius. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 7

38 min 8 sec

People don’t solve problems in a vacuum. At least most people don’t. Problems are usually solved when two or more people get together and collaborate on ideas. That’s the nugget of truth behind the concept of networking. You get together with others to share ideas, but also challenges, tapping into the crowd for resources, solutions and suggestions. Jessy Grossman knows the power of networking. She comes from the talent agent world where who you know is probably as important as anything. As she migrated into the actors and actresses becoming more online content creators and influencers, she saw a void in the influencer marketing space she quickly filled. Jessy started Women in Influencer Marketing -- a professional networking community focused on the women in the industry, mainly those who hire and support influencers in what they do. So, talent managers, agency representatives, brand-side marketers. The group has been growing now for five years and has now become a key source of not just networking, but education and resources for women in the industry. Curious about the group, I invited Jessy to come on the show and tell us about it. Though I played the dumb guy and asked why an industry that is decidedly populated by women would need a gender focused organization, I also asked an important question: What issues that face women in the industry can be better addressed if men become part of the solution? So the conversation turned in a more solution-oriented direction, I think. We had a great discussion and got into not only the details of gender issues within influencer marketing and the benefits WIIM brings to the table for its members, but also what Jessy sees as the important issues facing influencer marketing today. Which actually inspired Monday’s commentary post to a degree. This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find just the food and beverage influencers in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Or the men’s fashion voices that most impact Vancouver. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help launch a beauty, tech or automotive product. And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them. All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on when the influencer says they’ll post, and get an ROI report for each element.  You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true -- You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one. That’s jason.online/julius. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 5

31 min 52 sec

There is a force at play in the influencer marketing space that puts the entire industry in danger. If that force isn’t reckoned with, and soon, the practice of leveraging individual content creators with attractive audiences on social networks for brands will die. This particular group isn’t killing influencer marketing intentionally, mind you. But they’re treating the space we all know and love as a money grab, rather than a way to build a sustainable business. For all the talk they spout about influencer marketing being how brands do business and how marketing happens in todays world … they’re slowly chipping away at the magic that influencer marketing can be. So who is killing influencer marketing? Influencers. I explain in today’s commentary.  This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns.  Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find just the food and beverage influencers in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Or the men’s fashion voices that most impact Vancouver. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help launch a beauty, tech or automotive product. And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them. All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on when the influencer says they’ll post, and get an ROI report for each element.  You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true -- You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one. That’s jason.online/julius. Find out how influencers are killing influencer marketing in this episode of Winfluence. And for reference, see my article on The New Influencer Creative Brief I reference in today's show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 3

8 min 27 sec