- What is influencer video marketing?
- Four video influencer types
- Why has influencer marketing become so important?
- How Important is influencer marketing to the growth of a business?
- How influencer marketing helps companies: Case studies
- How to make influencer video marketing work in a B2B context
- Can influencer video marketing make a difference on retention rates?
- What is holding people back from influencer video marketing
- How to work with influencers
- How to choose the right marketing influencers for your video campaigns
- Is the influencer’s audience relevant to your brand?
- Are they willing and available to promote your content?
- Do the influencers already know you (or your competitors)?
- Are they charismatic on camera?
- Influencer video marketing strategies
- Collaborate with influencers
- Tools to help you find influencers
- Listen to the episode with Daniel
- Some topics we discussed include:
- Links and resources mentioned
- Connect with Daniel
What is influencer video marketing?
Influencer video marketing is a type of video marketing that uses video education, endorsements, and product mentions from individuals (influencers) who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.
Influencer video marketing works because of the high amount of trust that influencers have built up with their followers. Research shows that people trust recommendations from friends and especially from influencers.
Therefore, it would be fair to say that an influencer’s recommendation about your product or service will serve as a form of social proof to your potential customers.
Four video influencer types
Influencers could be categorized into 4 types. These types will help in achieving your outreach and campaign objectives.
These are well-known individuals –celebrities like Kim Kardashian who has a very large following. They are promotion machines, but they require substantial investment. They usually work best for major corporations looking to portray a specific brand image.
These people are usually a great fit for B2B companies seeking credibility. Such people might not see themselves as influencers, but they have attained this position by virtue of their expertise in a particular industry or niche – like Dr. Robert Cialdini in the area of persuasion and marketing. They publish because it’s relevant and important to the industry and not for followers or celebrities.
Micro-influencers have relatively small audiences compared with renowned ones, roughly between 10,000 and 100,000. But these audiences fall into very specific niche brackets. If your company also happens to be in that bracket, targeting them can be a great, affordable way to communicate directly with your base.
For smaller businesses, relevant micro-influencers with a highly engaged audience work much better than irrelevant renowned influencers. No one will trust a Kardashian selling your camping equipment, for example. The result? An enormous loss on investment.
On the other hand, a much-loved outdoor travel vlogger will win you many new customers.
Nothing goes viral without secondary influencers. They are the people who share the content that influencers post. Studies have shown that videos with a strong secondary wave are far more likely to succeed. So, look at potential influencers’ audiences to see how they interact with their videos. A great way to encourage a wave is to create space for people to comment and discuss your videos.
Why has influencer marketing become so important?
The aim of influencer marketing is to identify the influencers in your niche and make them work for you by promoting your brand. Influencer video marketing allows you to combine a popular content format with a form of marketing that has the potential to yield a positive return on investment. Current trends only reinforce the place that influencer marketing has.
Take a look at some of the statistics and trends from recent research –
- Businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
- Engagement is the new impressions. It matters as much, if not more, than someone’s reach.
- 67% of marketing and communications professionals engage with influencers for content promotion.
- 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favorite creator over their favorite TV or movie personality
- 50% of consumers will take some action after reading a positive review
- The best influencer marketing campaigns are very organic and do not look like advertising.
How Important is influencer marketing to the growth of a business?
Daniel says that for most companies, including wave.video, the original growth factor is usually product-market fit.
Most startups struggle to achieve product-market fit. Having achieved it, wave.video was able to get customers who are excited by the offering and spread the word about it. At wave.video, most customers buy within the hour of visiting their site.
While product-market fit is an important factor in the initial growth stage, the factors change as companies begin to scale up.
Daniel says –
Influencer marketing had a big role in wave.video’s early growth.
Something to ask yourself when looking at influencer marketing is –
Can you build a methodology of growth from customer acquisition?
How influencer marketing helps companies: Case studies
Lets look at how influencer marketing has the potential to drive growth in a couple of instances.
Waave.video teamed up with social media influencer Mari Smith which gave the company a lot more visibility and credibility.
The videos below offer a snapshot of their effort to help their audiences
Partnerships have helped in the company acquiring over a million customers.
Cisco a leading networking and communication technology company created a community of their IT advocates called Cisco Champions and created a program around them for Cisco’s influencer marketing.
This program allows participants to:
- Enhance their skills and knowledge by connecting with other professionals
- Receive exclusive event invitations
- Access to their products and recognition as incentives.
They kickstarted the conversation with #CiscoChat on Twitter. They also created a series of videos with their advocates who were also featured in the company’s weekly podcasts.
As a result, Cisco has been able to produce a massive amount of content consistently. A few initial results are indicative of their success. The content generated more than 55,000 tweets and blog posts that got over 44,000 hits and 8,000 mentions on social media!
How to make influencer video marketing work in a B2B context
In a B2B context, influencer video marketing can work dramatically based on the industry and the size of the business you’re marketing to.
Daniel says –
Can influencer video marketing make a difference on retention rates?
Daniel says they have tried it at wave.video and that he doesn’t believe it has had a major impact.
Consider the question – What’s going to affect retention?
It’s simple: Do your customers need your product and do they understand how to use it in a way that maximizes value?
If they understand how to use it and they need it, then then they’ll most likely stay. If they don’t understand how to use it, and you can’t explain it yourself, maybe an influencer can do it for you temporarily, but you had better get on top of that.
At the end of the day, you need to realize you can’t force people to use your product. Your customers must want to use it, and an influencer can’t change that. What an influencer can do is get them excited about it and have a more emotional connection and address potential concerns about the company.
What is holding people back from influencer video marketing
According to Daniel, people don’t invest in influencer video marketing because of:
- a lack of a clear structure
- a lack of knowledge
- the understanding that it’s a long-term process.
Usually, startups and younger companies are under great pressure to get results now, not three months from now. With influencer marketing, you can’t really show results in a short period of time, so it is usually going to be frowned upon.
For more established organizations, you may have some budget and some talent for this. However, there isn’t always an understanding of how it works and how to do it because there is no clear methodology.
It’s very hard to point to examples and say, ‘Hey, look X, Y, and Z competitors used influencer video marketing and they grew by 10%. So, we need to do the same.’
How to work with influencers
A key part of working with influencers is to set objectives for this type of marketing, goals for your campaigns and to select the right kind of influencers.
Setting Goals for Your Campaign
setting large goals for your campaign especially if you haven’t worked with a potential influencer before can be quite risky. The potential for things to go wrong and not provide an ROI is considerable. A better option would be to map potential content pieces and to conduct small tests that can validate your strategy.
Daniel’s answers to a few questions around this process are as below.
Should influencer video marketing or content be created for all parts of a marketing or sales funnel?
The short answer is yes you can use influencer video marketing for all parts of a sales funnel.
The top of the funnel is often viewed as the sexiest according to Daniel because it caters to the ego and usually entails putting more of yourself out in public.
If you’re doing a webinar for 10 prospects. You’re putting in a lot of effort to:
- Coordinate with somebody and train them to do the webinar for you
- Or be a guest on your webinar for a specific amount of time.
Is it worth it for an audience of 10 people? That’s a question you can answer if you know who they are, what their potential lifetime value is – things like that. Having said that, it’s routinely done and can be very effective.
It’s akin to something you’d see at a little conference or little micro event done locally, maybe at a local Google office. At such events, they might bring in a local agency to discuss a use case but they’re just trying to sell their technology or their service.
Often, you’ll hear these companies say something like –
“We have three different agencies coming and talking about use cases. We also have a segment about our platform and we’re sponsoring this half-day event.” People show up.
That’s a form of influencer marketing. You’re using others who have a certain level of influence to bring in your desired audience. Again, it takes time and money. To make it worthwhile you need to target it to the right potential prospects and existing customers.
If you have enough prospects and customers, you can create your own conference and bring in speakers. You see this done as well at summits or conferences. They teach you how to use their product and they bring in various speakers and every one of them is highly supportive of the product throughout the day. That’s influencer marketing.
Being able to produce content that aligns with your goals and brand values is important especially if you are looking at building out the relationship for the long term. The last thing you want to do is invest a lot of time and energy only to find that there are gaps in your respective goals and objectives. To avoid this consider using short term experiments to test the water.
How to test with short term experiments
Webinars are a great way to test the waters and get results that would allow for leadership buy-in. You could try doing a webinar with an influencer as a guest instead of doing it on your own.
In such instances, you will be running it on your platform. The benefit for them may be monetary or access to your audience.
In running a webinar, you can see if more people are going to show and if it drives sales directly or indirectly. You can also contrast that to webinars you or your team are conducting.
It’s tough to get an influencer in the first attempt to come on to a webinar. You’ll need a clear win for them, as most people would be busy and would be reluctant to jump into a complex project for free.
How to conduct short-term experiments to validate your strategy
Instead of trying to do webinars by yourself, try doing one with an influencer as your guest.
You can then contrast your own efforts with that of the influencers to see if more people show up, if sales rise, etc.
It’s tough to get them on the first attempt, so you might have to offer some money for them to appear, as most people would be busy and wouldn’t want to undertake a complex project for free. Or you might pay them back another way – maybe access to your audience in such a way that they can benefit from it.
How to choose the right marketing influencers for your video campaigns
Once you are clear about your own purposes, you have a basis for your search
To find influencers you can:
- Search online
- Ask around in your communities
- See who is speaking at conferences
- See who has an SEO presence/reputation on the topic
Tip – conferences are constantly doing this work for you. So, the speakers are usually vetted already by the event organizers. If you use that as an indicator, there could be a whole world of influencers that you didn’t really know about. It depends on the industry you are in.
Finding influencers takes a bit of research and really getting to know them. Questions that you can ask to help refine the process include:
Is the influencer’s audience relevant to your brand?
Even if you get influencers who are willing to promote your brand, you need to ensure they are promoting your content to the right audience.
Even when influencers are willing to promote, they need to be promoting to the correct audience. Do you target freelancers and solopreneurs, or do you target mid-market or enterprise companies? Is there a fit with the influencer? You need to determine whether you want to be marketing to their followers before producing the videos.
Are they willing and available to promote your content?
While it would be great to have a well-known author, speaker, and celebrity in your industry come on to share their insights and promote your content, the chances of that happening for most companies are small.
What would you do if you had to choose between getting a big-name personality who doesn’t promote your content very much and someone who isn’t as well-known but is eager to promote your content?
Daniel’s suggestion would be to choose an influencer who’ll be actively involved in promoting your content. Why? Because they may prove 10 times more effective than a superstar who can’t dedicate any time to your project.
Do the influencers already know you (or your competitors)?
It goes without saying that influencers who are familiar with products or services in your industry are likely to be talking about your competitors and perhaps your brand as well. Finding such people increases the odds of them working with you. So, focus on looking for those VIPs if you’re just starting out.
Some of those folks might not have any established partnerships in place or they might not be official ambassadors. In such instances, if you know that their audience is interested in knowing more about your competitors then the chances of the influencer working with you are pretty good.
You can use one of the tools mentioned in the article (below) to find and monitor potential influencers to work with.
Are they charismatic on camera?
If you are involved with influencer video marketing, then you want your videos to be professional and engaging. Having an influencer who is a great writer, on-stage speaker, or podcaster but comes across as dry or uncomfortable on camera can be a turn-off. So, select influencers who present well on camera.
Look for people who have experience at presenting at conferences or making videos – like Rand Fishkin with his Whiteboard Friday videos. This will ensure the quality of content and save on editing time.
Here are 3 tips for finding the right influencers to represent your business:
1. Examine their content
Watch or read (as the case may be) some of their materials to get a feel for their content and delivery style. You’ll want to ensure that the tone, quality, and presentation style are in line with your brand.
2. Analyze audience engagement
Engagement is a huge ranking factor for online content, especially video. Being able to generate engagement helps rank video content faster but it isn’t easy to manage. Often it is neglected by creators, so look for likes, shares, and comments. You also want to look for connections with the audience like the comments section.
3. Spot red flags
Most influencers share a lot of their lives across the internet. Take the time to research potential influencers. Checking their social media accounts, the pages they follow, the content they like and share, and what they say. It is a time-intensive process, but it will save you from bringing in people who do not align with your brand values and style. It will keep you from needless damage control down the track.
Once you have a few influencers on board, the whole thing can have a snowball effect. You can now ask them, “Who else would you like to bring on board with you? Who do you know, and like to network with?” Some of them might have like an arch-nemesis, and they won’t recommend them.
Influencer video marketing strategies
You can use influencer video marketing strategies in several ways. A few tried and proven ways include:
A brand ambassador video helps cement the credibility or authority that a company has in its industry.
A brand ambassador could be a spokesperson that explains how a product or service works through to crowdfunding, FAQs and providing education as simplilearn did below in a webinar with Lilach Bullock.
The more that the influencer and your brand come across as naturally aligned, the more that influencer’s audience will get to know and trust your brand. Video styles here can include explainer, brand, crowdfunding, and FAQ videos.
A culture video can help develop a connection with your customers and future applicants, by showing the people and culture in your company. Your company consists of people and seeing the human side of the company can be quite refreshing and helps people connect.
Culture videos don’t need to be a large scale production with your entire team involved. It could be as simple as a glimpse of a fun moment inside your company.
These videos can be like an explainer video in the sense that it explains how your product or service can solve a customer problem. However, the client is the star of the video as they narrate the story.
Why does it work – It provides social proof and gives your brand message with a lot more credibility.
Slack did a great customer testimonial video that feels more genuine than a traditional customer testimonial. It tells the story of how Sandwich Video was reluctant to use Slack at first, but eventually the product was able to transform how they collaborate. They even cleverly layer in product shots throughout the video, giving viewers a feel for how the product works.
Interviews with experts in your field are a great way to build credibility and increase brand trust within your industry.
Search engine journal for example regularly interviews experts in the SEO space. Interviewing an expert with a strong online presence will only strengthen your video strategy and will bolster your position in the market. This is especially true if they validate the need for your product or service
You can always some fun to liven up what would otherwise be a dry topic like a product or service announcements.
All you need to do is approach it from a slightly quirky or different way than usual.
For example, you could try to focus your announcements on the benefits they’ll bring to users, like less hassle or more free time.
You can even involve your audience to encourage others to get excited and eager to find out more.
Collaborations can be quite effective especially with a little creativity. Microsoft partnered with National Geographic’s photography influencers in 2017 to launch a campaign on International Women’s Day. The purpose of the campaign was to motivate women to participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
The #MakeWhatsNext campaign as it was called involved the two companies and 30 women scientists and adventurers. The influencers also provided free workshops to interested women in collaboration with Microsoft.
The results of this campaign? Microsoft’s influencer campaign reached 91 million people and earned 3.5 million likes on the same day. The results were amazing and clearly demonstrated the power of influencer partnering.
Collaborate with influencers
Daniel recommends starting with a very small campaign.
You might run a blog post exchange, sponsor their newsletter, or roundup posts
If that works well, it could be the basis for growing the relationship from there.
To take things further, you could compare the kinds of campaigns they are working on with the kinds of campaigns you are working on. If there is a fit, you could plan a joint campaign that works for all involved.
Daniel says –
Tools to help you find influencers
To help you find influencers you could use tools like those mentioned below. That will speed up the process and give you insights into what is working well.
- Buzzsumo: A subscription-based search engine offering insights into trending content and the influencers sharing it.
- Tribe: An Australian marketplace connecting influencers with brands across all major social media platforms.
- Social Animal: A platform that helps brands find influencers around any topic and trending topics in an industry or niche.
- Followerwonk: A platform helping brands connect with niche influencers on Twitter.
- Traackr: A professional content marketing platform that allows users to search influencer profiles and trending content.
- Kred: A platform that allows marketers to find and get in touch with the right influencers based on their ‘Kred Scores.’
- HYPR: A tool containing data on over 10 million influencers used by some of the world’s biggest brands.
- Influence.co: A tool to help grow your business through niche influencers. There are over 75,000 to choose from.
How to reach out to influencers and make your ask
Before we explore how to reach out to influencers, it is important to note that most influencers will expect financial compensation for their involvement.
Having said that, there are some other ways to compensate them which could supplement or, in some cases, even replace money as a payment.
Here are a few to keep in mind:
- Provide your product/service to the influencer for free in exchange for their endorsement
- Advertise or feature the influencer on your website and channels
- Engage in affiliate promotion
- Offer the influencer sales commissions based on the traffic they provide. It might allow you to work with an influencer who would otherwise be out of your budget or reduce your current budget while maintaining the same ROI.
Making your ask
It is always best to form relationships with influencers way before involving them in any campaign. Why?
Because the process of getting them on board can be long, and if you can’t find an influencer right away, you should expect delays with the project.
Email outreach is a popular way of making an ask, and it can be a good starting point. However, it is important to tailor each request to the person you are asking. Your ask should be earnest, personal, and to the point.
Influencers will instantly spot one that has been copied and pasted to a whole bunch of others and delete it.
How to get influencers to say “yes”
There are no magic formulas or tricks for approaching influencers.
If you have followed along so far, you should be in a good place to make your ask effectively. Here are essential elements in engaging and pitching the right influencers.
- First, be sure you have the right influencer.
- Know their work and then really get to know them by researching their work.
- Build a relationship with them by commenting on their work or promoting things that are important to them.
- Invest in a long-term relationship – Focus on building a mutually beneficial long-lasting relationship rather than sealing a business deal.
- Use their name in the subject line.
- Begin with a very short and friendly greeting and introduce yourself.
- Tell them why you’d love to work with them, but don’t suck up.
- Don’t be a burden or waste too much of their time.
- Let them know why their audience will love your product or service.
- But be clear with your intentions or they’ll be suspicious.
- Personalize your ask – you may keep your initial ask open-ended, but at some point, you will need to provide the benefits, specifics, and deadlines.
- Use an overarching theme.
- Make the offer interactive – give them a real-life experience with your product/service and perhaps with other brand advocates.
- Make it free.
- Keep the ask simple.
- Keep your ask short – preferably under 3 sentences.
- Provide information, samples, and images of what you do as well as a link to your website and any other relevant content.
- Be prepared for rejection.
- Follow up after a few days if you don’t receive a response.
Once you have their agreement you should be able to use influencer video marketing to boost your business growth.
Determining goals for your campaigns though is a very tricky issue. And here’s why.
For instance, you partner up with somebody who is very good at speaking at conferences and they start recommending your product during their talks or sessions. They might mention it casually, they might suggest that you supply them with a couple of interesting case studies, and they love it and they add it to their presentation.
Now that cost you time, effort and has a cost (Perhaps a payment, a gift, connections or information etc.).
So how do you know what impact it has on your business?
You don’t have a way of measuring that.
You can hear anecdotes, you can see clues, but you can’t really measure it.
Since you can’t measure it, you may think you can’t set goals.
But you can.
You can set goals for:
- How many influencers you want to have
- How many activities must be accomplished
Daniel says –
A lot of influencers work capriciously. They might throw a brand review into the newsletter today because they feel like it. They might write a blog post about something that’s relevant to your brand, something that ranks well on the search engines and you’re mentioned.
In such instances, it is hard to put up actual goals or KPIs for this. And, and if you try to enforce goals on the influencer, they will push back hard. They won’t like it.
There’s a lot of trust involved, and you also must know when to end a relationship, because you just don’t see results. But this also is very, very difficult.
Listen to the episode with Daniel
In this episode, Daniel Glickman, CMO of wave.video, an innovative video solution for creators and small businesses and author of two books – “Personalize This” and “Disrupt That”, shares how we can use influencer video marketing to boost business growth.
Some topics we discussed include:
- What has fueled wave.video’s growth in the past few years
- Why startups and established companies should use influencer video marketing in their growth strategy
- Why influencer marketing is perfect for brand growth
- What holds people back from using influencer video marketing
- How to incorporate agility in your influencer video marketing strategy
- The essentials to a well develop influencer video marketing strategy
- The best ways to bring a potential influencer on board and develop a campaign
- Can influencer video marketing disrupt a marketplace
- Should influencer video marketing and content be created for all parts of a marketing funnel?
- What we need to add to videos we create to tap into the audience’s interest and emotions
- Can influencer video marketing make a difference in retention rates
- The pitfalls that companies should avoid as they develop influencer marketing campaigns
- Influencer marketing trends to look out for
- and much more
Links and resources mentioned
- Check out Wave.video
Connect with Daniel
Subscribe to & Review the Predictable B2B Success Podcast
Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Predictable B2B Podcast! If the information in our interviews has helped you in your business journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help me continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help reach even more amazing founders and executives just like you!