On this episode of Straight Facqts, we’re talking to Jason Falls, author of the book, “Winfluencing: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand”, about why you should be doing influencer marketing and how you should be doing influencer marketing in today’s market and as that market evolves. Let’s jump right into it.
Two of the three books that I’ve been a part of. The first one was “No Bullshit Social Media”, which was a social media strategy book, and the thing that Erik Deckers and I, he was my co-author. We decided we wanted to really write a strategy book that would be lasting, that would be more evergreen, and it still is. It still sells.
It still resonates with people because we didn’t focus on MySpace and the social networks at the time, I guess, because Instagram was just created about the same time we published that book
“Instead of writing it about tools and tactics, we really wrote this higher level book, and so it lasted.”
Instead of writing it about tools and tactics, we really wrote this higher level book, and so it lasted.
The email marketing book that I was involved with, I was co-author with DJ Waldo, was more of a fun book. It was just how to thwart your nose at all the rules that people talk about email, but it’s still an evergreen book. It still resonates with people.
Then, when I wrote “Winfluence” about influence marketing, I wrote it to be something that would last several years in terms of being relevant. I think even though influence marketing has changed in the year and a half since it came out, it hasn’t changed so much that the book doesn’t resonate.
The book is about a higher level concept as opposed to, “Here’s how you do influence marketing.” Although that’s in there too.
I think it’s much more worth the audience’s time to read something that’s evergreen that they can be able to apply because I see tips and tricks, though that’s good for three months.
Exactly. Until some new tool comes along, and then you have to have a whole new slew of tips and tricks, so.
To get into that about where influencers are at. It could be a terrible epiphany, but I have seen influencers become more, and more, popular.
It could be coinciding with the rise of TikTok. Obviously, it was rising before, and then TikTok just went crazy, but I’ve been seeing more influencers now work with brands. It’s almost a common place.
If your favorite influencer isn’t working with a brand yet, are they that strong of a person to be able to say “no” so many different times, or are they really not an influencer? Are they just like an influencer to you, but they’re not as big as you think they are?
Well, it could be, especially in the B2B space, business-to-business influencers, as big and as credible as they may seem, they may not need to monetize their channels the same way. It might be that they’re an influencer because it brings them consulting clients or speaking gigs.
There’s also certainly the type of creator out there who instead of having sponsored content, they’re constantly trying to funnel you to their online course, or their books, or their subscription-based learning community, or whatever it is.
“It’s not necessarily mean that those influencers who aren’t doing sponsored content with anyone aren’t that influential.”
So, it’s not necessarily mean that those influencers who aren’t doing sponsored content with anyone aren’t that influential. It just might be that they have a different way of making money.
I think the ones that have less of corporate content that they’re mixing in there sometimes have a lot more credibility with their audience because they’re not seen as a sellout, if you will.
“I don’t necessarily think that someone doing brand partnerships is not trustworthy. It’s just a matter of how they deliver that content.”
At the same time, I don’t necessarily think that someone doing brand partnerships is not trustworthy. It’s just a matter of how they deliver that content.
It is one thing to read a script from a piece of paper. It’s another thing to say, “Hey, I bought this product, and I used it. Let me tell you why I like it.” That’s a much more genuine kind of thing, and consumers can tell those two apart.
So, the ones that are doing it well are doing it well and being successful, and the ones that aren’t don’t do it very well.
That makes sense. So, if you are an influencer then, would you say that you have to be really strategic about the brands that you’re partnering with because it could devalue your brand if you just say yes to everybody?
Jason Falls: “As a brand, if you are reaching the right audience at the right time, and the right place, and with the right message, then you are closer to the bullseye of relevancy.”
Absolutely. I’ve long used what I would call the Relevancy Bullseye. So, as a brand, if you are reaching the right audience at the right time, and the right place, and with the right message, then you are closer to the bullseye of relevancy.
How that translates for a content creator is if I’m a content creator, for instance, I, Jason Falls, create content around marketing technology, influence marketing, social media, digital marketing. However, on my Instagram account, I often talk about bourbon, and barbecue, and food. Mix it in with the marketing stuff, which is probably not a best practice.
“I need to pick one path and go with it.”
I need to pick one path and go with it. But if a brand comes to me and says, “Hey, we want to sponsor your podcast, and we’re a barbecue sauce,” I’m like, “Well, that doesn’t work on my podcast because my podcast is all about influencer marketing. Let’s do some content for my Instagram feed because that’s where I have an audience that expects that from me.”
So, if you are a men’s fashion or women’s fashion influencer, and Traeger Grills comes to you and wants to do a collaboration, the money might be great, but your audience doesn’t look to you for information about grills. It’s not relevant.
“If it’s not really within that sort of Relevancy Bullseye for what you can credibly talk about, I wouldn’t advise a creator to do that.”
If it’s not really within that sort of Relevancy Bullseye for what you can credibly talk about, I wouldn’t advise a creator to do that. Because your audience is going to sniff it out and say, “Yeah, it’s just a money grab. They’re just trying to line their pockets. This doesn’t mean crap,” and they’re going to ignore the message that way.
Do you see it from a brand side? When they’re reaching out to influencers, are brands just casting a wide net for those influencers, they don’t even care who the influencer’s audience is?
Some of them are doing that, and the ones that are doing that are not having a lot of success. Because flipping that relevancy conversation around, the brand wants to partner with content creators who are on brand, who look and feel like the brand’s communication, reach the same type of audience, have the same type of worldview. Right?
I think, there are some brands out there that are real abrupt and in-your-face. I know Kenneth Cole, over the last few years, the CEO has been very controversial in some of the things he said. Well, that brand is going to be a little bit more loosey-goosey with the influencers they use because the brand has that kind of personality.
Let’s say you are a Jos. A. Bank, and you’re a little bit more straight-laced, and you’re a little bit more focused on a premium audience and whatnot.
“You want your creators, if you’re a brand, to look and feel like the audience that you’re trying to reach.”
You’re not going to pick an influencer who’s walking around in jeans and a t-shirt. You’re going to pick someone that you have a partnership with that looks and feels like that premium audience, that aspirational, high net worth individual.
You want your creators, if you’re a brand, to look and feel like the audience that you’re trying to reach. So that, again, gets that audience closer to that Relevancy Bullseye and allows you to be a lot more strategic and successful with your influence partnerships.
I don’t even know if this is devil’s advocate, but if you are much more of a concise brand, you have a little bit more of a control over your brand.
But at the same time, with influencers, if you just have one or two influencers and you fail, it’s not because you had two influencers. It’s because the name of the game is more of an abundance, and not everybody is going to go viral. But the more people you have, the higher likelihood that you are going to get somebody to go viral, and
then to make it worth your time.
So, for those brands, should they still be very strict in selecting just a small amount, or is there truth in having a volume which increases the likelihood that you actually get a virality and I know everybody hates this, especially in the influencer world, but do you get a better ROI?
Well, I think the answer is it depends. I mean, you did preface this by saying the more conservative brands.
For the more conservative brands out there, I definitely think it’s more important to choose the right creators who are more on brand with you and have the potential of creating fantastic content.
You want people that have a good track record, have good engagement rates, all that kind of stuff.
“You’re going to want to really fine-tune so that you know that that creator you’re working with has really good brand alignment.”
But for the more conservative brands that like to have a little bit more control over that message, you’re going to want to really fine-tune so that you know that that creator you’re working with has really good brand alignment.
That’s more important than someone who could potentially go viral.
As you get a little bit less conservative as a brand, and you’re okay with relinquishing a little bit more messaging and control, and you’re not as concerned with what the creator’s content looks and feels like, and you want to reach a lot of people, or you’re trying to reach maybe a younger hip audience where conservativism doesn’t really fly these days.
“You can be extremely strategic about how you do this.”
So, you pick the creators on the TikTok, or Instagram, or whatnot that are a little bit more informal and engaging with their audience in different ways. That’s where you can say, “Okay. We can afford to spread our wings a little bit here and put a little bit more money into a few other places to see if we can light a fire under a viral success.”
You also have to remember too. You can be extremely strategic about how you do this. So, even if I’m the conservative brand and I want a viral success, instead of saying, “Well, let’s put this out there for 25 to 50 creators, and let’s just roll the dice and hope one of them goes crazy,” or you can say, “Hey, we know this person has a really high tendency of creating viral videos. They’re very creative. Their audience responds to them.
So, we’re going to engage them, but then, we’re going to engage a bunch of other creators to engage with that first creator in some way so that they’re bringing their audiences to the first guy, which increases the chances that you’re going to have virality. Right?
Jason Falls: “Well, you can engineer it a little bit if you want.”
There’s ways that you can try to engineer it as well. It doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s certainly much better than just posting an influencer offer up on a Craigslist type board and saying, “We’ll take anybody. We just hope you go viral.”
Well, you can engineer it a little bit if you want.
That is very interesting, and I imagine that strategy of having a center influencer, and then having others work around, it takes a good amount of relationship then?
Well, it takes a good amount of research.
Not only does the person have to make good videos and have a good following, but they also have to have integrity because if they don’t have integrity, everything falls down.
Yeah, there’s a lot that goes into it.
I mean, choosing the right core creator, and sometimes it’s not just one. Sometimes it’s finding four or five, and doing the research to know, “Okay. They know each other. They’re friendly. They tag each other. Talk to each other,” or they’re likely to if we introduce them, right?
They do the same type of content and have the same type of taste. They would hang out together if they were in the same room or in a conference together.
So, if you identify those four or five people that have very similar tastes, interests, and content, and you engage them all and say, “Hey, we want to engage you all, but it’s not about sponsoring a post each on all of your Instagram feeds. What we want to do is create a conversation among the four or five of you in interesting ways. Maybe that’s everybody comments on everybody else’s post. That we have an execution that happens on Twitter. Maybe you’re doing videos and we’re asking you to interview each other so that we’re bringing in both of the audiences of the people being interviewed. Maybe it’s a podcast where everybody comes on a panel together.”
“There’s lots of ways to take influential people and put them together so that you are amplifying and magnifying sometimes exponentially the potential of reaching a bigger audience.”
There’s lots of ways to take influential people and put them together so that you are amplifying and magnifying sometimes exponentially the potential of reaching a bigger audience.
Because when one influencer is talking to another influencer, much like the two of us are talking here now, when this podcast comes out, you’re going to promote the crap out of it. I’m going to promote the crap out of it too.
So, we’ve got two audiences now looking at this content. It’s the same philosophy in the influencer space.
Let’s bring these influencers together so that when they interact with each other and then want to promote that content, there’s multiple people promoting it.
The cool thing about that is it’s not just about the views, but each of those views is more valuable because if I am seeing multiple influencers in my network saying the same thing, I’m thinking the world is about to change.
You guys have no idea. I just caught wind about the coolest thing that my influencers are telling me. So, that one view is actually going to be amplified.
It’s basically like having all of your friends in your ear telling you that, “Jason, you’ve got to do this one thing,” and that’s really what influencers can be able to do, which is really cool.
Jason Falls: “Twitter is a very powerful conversation platform.”
I really love the influencer activations where just organically, you’re tagging people into the conversation. That’s why I still love Twitter.
I still think Twitter is a very powerful conversation platform. It’s not as popular as the Instagram and the TikTok, but if you give me a subject, topic, industry, vertical, and give me a little bit of time to identify the right people, I can drum up some conversation on Twitter about your brand.
“Where you have that triangulation of influence, and you have these people interacting with each other and the brand.”
Depending upon your industry, that may or may not be useful. But for some industries, it certainly is, and I think you can do the same thing.
In fact, I’ve seen it done on the Instagram, and the TikTok, and whatnot. Where you have that triangulation of influence, and you have these people interacting with each other and the brand not just doing this one-way communication about what the brand is.
I’m going to mispronounce this, Russell for ClickFunnels, Russell Brunson. I always get the names confused.
I remember a little while back when he was releasing a book, he had every single influencer that you can even think of talking about that release of the book and definitely gave me FOMO for not purchasing it.
It can really drive, if done well, a messaging point to your audience.
That’s very true. One of the things that book authors particularly do is they get praise quotes from other influential people in the vertical to put in their book and all that good stuff. Some of them are on the cover, and some of them are on the inside.
When I did that, I reached out to all the people in the marketing world because I’m writing a marketing book. All the people in the marketing world I know, I said, “Hey, I’m writing a book. I’ll send you the manuscript. I’d love to get your take on it.” All this kind of stuff, and so I had, I don’t know, 25 or 30 of those people.
“That’s the same reason why you have B2B companies who are reaching out to influential people in their industry.”
Well, when the book came out and I announced the book came out, then I either tagged them in the post or I used their quote in some sort of graphic that I used to market my stuff. And of course, I tagged them in it because when you do that, it’s an ego thing. They’re going to say, “Oh, I contributed to this. Therefore, I need to share that with my network so they see it.”
That’s the same reason why you have B2B companies who are reaching out to influential people in their industry. For commentary or quotes on a research report that they’ve done or getting them involved in webinars or things that they’re putting together, white papers they’re putting together.
“I’m going to share that because it makes me look good. It makes me look smart.”
Because they know when that thing is published, then they have an opportunity to go back to that influential person and say, “Hey, that quote that you gave us for that report is now in the reports. We’d love for you to share it.” Because they see their name in print, it’s natural for them to go, “Oh, yeah. I’m going to share that because it makes me look good. It makes me look smart.”
Definitely. Now, I love it. Just to be able to show other people, look what I’ve been doing, and just to be able to share that.
When going through finding influencers, I know that we mentioned briefly before doing the recording, you have a little bit with these marketplaces, and the marketplaces I see are growing everyday. Not every day, but every month, you’ll find a new marketplace. Maybe that’s every week, you find a new marketplace.
So, what are some of the positives, or we can just go straight to some of the negatives that you see with those marketplaces growing?
Well, we don’t have to go negative first. I mean, I love influence marketing software, reviewing and looking at new tools all the time. I love it because the competitive landscape forces each of these software companies to try to one up each other. That just means we all as a consumer in the marketplace get better stuff. Right?
So, I love the software companies. Tagger is one that I use. They sponsor my podcast, and I use them on a daily basis. I use another one called CPO, which I really like.
I use several different ones depending upon the client need and whatnot, but the software companies are fantastic. However, I do think there is a category of ration that’s not happening that needs to be happening.
“I’m trying to quantify influence. I’m not trying to quantify influencers.”
That’s really frustrating for me because I’m trying to quantify influence. I’m not trying to quantify influencers.
I don’t care how many followers somebody has on a social network per se. I do, but I care more about engagement rate and how effective their content is.
But, if I really want to gauge how influential a person is online, even just the online digital space, none of these platforms are indexing podcasts, blogs, email lists to tell me how many subscribers one of these influencers has.
“Unlike social networks, all blogs don’t have an API that you can pull data through.”
There are some technical challenges with those three categories specifically because unlike social networks, all blogs don’t have an API that you can pull data through.
Not everybody uses Google Analytics, which you could have the influencer/creator authenticate their Google Analytics with you. So, you could pull in that data pretty easily just like you could with MailChimp or some email connection.
There are so many different email providers, analytics providers, podcast hosts and providers, and analytics sources that there’s no one place, like to do, “Well, let’s index everybody on Instagram.” Then, you just go through the Instagram API.
That doesn’t exist for blogs, web analytics, email marketing platforms, or podcasts.
There are technical challenges there, but I would challenge all of those software companies to say, “Hey, these three things that I’ve just named off are important: blogs, podcasts, maybe even live streams and email newsletters. Let’s put some mechanism for the creators to authenticate those three pieces of information, even if it’s just manually inputting them themselves.”
“If I’m going into one of these tools and I find an influencer who has great followers, engagement rate, they get a lot of views on their videos, but I see another one that has the same thing, and I know how many people read their blog, subscribe to their newsletter, and listen to their podcast, all of a sudden, that influencer looks a lot better than the first one.”
However, if there is a way to link Google Analytics, MailChimp, other email software, Podcaster, Listen Notes, or one of these websites, it will index the podcast listenership of a specific podcast as a third party.
Let’s include ways within these influencer marketing software platforms to pull that data in. Because that gives someone like me on the strategy side, more information to know a more holistic look at who is really influential.
Because if I’m going into one of these tools and I find an influencer who has great followers, engagement rate, they get a lot of views on their videos, but I see another one that has the same thing, and I know how many people read their blog, subscribe to their newsletter, and listen to their podcast, all of a sudden, that influencer looks a lot better than the first one.
Now, I would say that’s actually an opportunity that that data is not available.
Absolutely. I’m waiting on the first software platform to do this because I will have a new software platform to jump up and down, and scream about.
So, that’s tips and tricks possibly that you would have an advantage for three to six months, and then the market catches up.
That’s absolutely true. I’m telling you, IZEA is one of the platforms that has started to walk down this a little bit. They are including podcasts in their new environment, which comes out next week, or this week, or sometime when we’re recording this.
“Somebody has got to come out with a feature that changes the game, and when they do, everybody’s got to catch up.”
I haven’t even seen it yet, so I don’t know how good it is, but they say, “We’re including podcasts in the information.” So that’s the first platform that’s taken a step down that road. The first one that does all three of those categories is going to have a significant lead in customer acquisition for, like you said, three to six months before everybody catches up, but that’s what competition in the software, in the SaaS world is all about.
Somebody has got to come out with a feature that changes the game, and when they do, everybody’s got to catch up.
If you’re an early adapter, if you have an ear to the streets as some may say, you’re going to be able to find out about that before anybody else will, and I imagine build those relationships with those influencers too so that they’re more likely to say yes to you than some guy on the street asking like, “Hey, do you want to make a couple hundred bucks for saying something?”
Cool, and going to influencers, I know we’ve been talking along the lines of organic. Do you have any insights for working with content for advertisers?
So, UGC with TikTok or Facebook from a paid standpoint versus an organic standpoint, how those relationships differ if they do differ, or how that process in itself just is different?
Sure. I don’t necessarily think I would say that it’s different. Normally, when you’re engaging a creator for something like user-generated content that the brand can then later use in advertising campaigns, it’s just the creator is going to create that content on their channels. And then you’re going to have the licensing, you’re going to pay them a little extra for the rights to be able to use it.
However, you can say, “Hey, we’ve got a new ad campaign coming out this fall, but instead of creating it ourselves and having our internal team or our agency work on it, we think it’s going to go better if we engage, let’s say, five content creators, influencers out there to create the campaign content for us.”
So, at that point, it’s just approaching those creators and saying, “We don’t want you to create this content for your channel. We want to hire you as the creative director for an execution of this campaign. Here’s the campaign brief. Here’s the requirements. Tell us how much that’s going to cost.”
“Those content creators out there are becoming creative extensions of ad agencies, of PR firms, and of brands.”
A lot of content creators out there who are also known as influencers, are becoming creative extensions of ad agencies, of PR firms, and of brands. We know that for TikTok specifically because it’s a very different environment from a creative standpoint.
For a TikTok, or Instagram Stories, or some of these little multi-use, multimedia type presentations that are so popular in that short-form content now, traditional advertising creatives have found it challenging to create in those venues.
Advertising agencies and brands that are using those agencies, and creators are recognizing that and saying, “Well, let’s go find somebody who really knows how to create something really dynamic on TikTok rather than trying to force that creation on ourselves.” So, you’re seeing a lot more creative use of content creators and influencers in that overall marketing creative process.
“That’s becoming more and more of a next step for content creators out there, reversing the path and going to an ad agency or a brand to run creative for them.”
There’s been some highly publicized stories, which I think are a little misleading because it’s celebrity type folks, but there have been some content creators out there who have been hired full-time by brands and agencies to be their chief creative officer or their creative director.
I think there was one brand who did that with, I think, Kylie Jenner. In that case, I don’t think Kylie Jenner is going to work every day and leading the creative team at this particular brand. She’s lending her name and maybe some creative vision from time to time.
I don’t know the specifics of it, but there are some content creators, some YouTubers and Instagrammers who have been pulled into ad agencies and whatnot to say, “We want you to teach us how to do it, and we want you to lead the team that does it for our clients.”
That’s becoming more and more of a next step for content creators out there, reversing the path and going to an ad agency or a brand to run creative for them.
Actually, I see good influencers as expert storytellers.
That’s a great way to put it. Absolutely.
Because if they were not good at storytelling, they would just be a face, and they would not have the following that they do.
That’s true. That’s very true.
I’ll see if I can be able to tie this in. What I really like about UGC from an advertising standpoint is just having one video is going to be difficult. The likelihood that you’re going to scale off one video, even from advertising is going to be low. But when you’re working with influencers, you’re working with a content creation machine where you don’t even have to think.
Jason Falls: “The engagements that I’m trying to build for my clients as a strategy is not to do sponsored posts anymore.”
That’s true, and to that point, the engagements that I’m trying to build for my clients as a strategy is not to do sponsored posts anymore.
I don’t want the creator to come back to me with, “Here’s how many things that I’m going to do for you.” I want to say, “Here’s the strategic goal. The creative goal for this influence partnership is to drive people to this website to buy more stuff or create awareness about this particular product or whatnot.”
So, when I give that brief to a creator, what I want them to come back to me with is, “All right. Here’s how I think we can engage my audience to take the action that you want them to take. I’m going to create a series of content that does this.”
I’m not worried about how many pieces of content. That doesn’t bother me. If it takes one YouTube video to accomplish it, great, one video is what I’m going to pay for.
But if it takes one video, an Instagram Reel every week for three weeks, 17 Instagram Stories a day, and five or six tweets — if it takes that to accomplish the goal, that’s what I want to engage you for.
“That’s much more of a long-term content play and relationship building for the brand and the influencer over time.”
I’m not worried about the number of posts, and I think that’s another strategic dropping off point that a lot of brands, and agencies, and even managed services in the influence marketing software world, I think they have forgotten what strategy is, because you’ll ask for, “Okay. I need a strategy to accomplish these five things,” and they come back with, “Okay. We’re going to do five influencers. They’re going to post five times, and we’re going to drive this many impressions.”
I’m like, “Well, that’s not a strategy. That’s a to-do list. How is that going to work? Who are you picking? Why? What are you going to have them say? How are you going to have them interact? What are you going to have them do?”
That’s much more of a long-term content play and relationship building for the brand and the influencer over time.
“Reach and frequency go together.”
That’s what tends to actually work because we can’t forget we are technically in the advertising business. That’s what we’re doing. We’re advertising a product to people. You can call it marketing. You can call it influencer marketing, whatever you want to call it, but in the advertising business, we go back.
There’s two things you need to do. You need to reach the audience, and then you need to reach them frequently.
Reach and frequency go together. They’re not separate. They don’t work separately. Right?
So, what you have to do is reach that audience by choosing the right influencers that have a good footprint for who you’re trying to reach, and then you have to have them repeat that message over, and over again. Hopefully, in a very engaging way that’s appealing to the audience.
When you do those two things, then you’re going to have success with influencer marketing just like you would with any sort of advertising campaign.
Yeah. Let the influencer tell their story.
Having those multiple posts and going through YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever. However they foresee the best way to be able to project your product, you’re also going to get a more authentic version of themselves.
Absolutely. You’re right.
Man, I am excited about where influencer marketing is going or just the potential of what influencer marketing could be.
Is there anything else that you’ve seen by reading the tea leaves over the past year or so? How is it changing?
Do you have any crazy predictions what influencer marketing could be, two to three years from now?
Jason Falls: “I think you’re going to see more and more content creators and influencers focus on their owned channels.”
I definitely think and I’ve been advocating for this, so I hope I’m right because I think it’s definitely something that needs to happen more.
I think you’re going to see more and more content creators and influencers focus on their owned channels.
What I mean by that is they’re going to start realizing, “TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, they can change their algorithms. They can manipulate the audience. They can manipulate whether or not I have access to my account. So, I need to make sure that I’m starting to port my audience over to a blog, to an email newsletter, to a podcast, to maybe one of the subscription social platforms like FansOnly or OnlyFans.”
There’s a bunch of different ones out there. For those of you out there, OnlyFans is not just porn. There’s other things there too, but those subscription platforms are where content creators can control not just the content, but also their audience.
Right now, you don’t have any control over your audience on Instagram. Instagram is going to go through with a bot sweep, and they’re going to knock out 15% of your audience every so often. So, you don’t have control over that.
“You’re going to see the competition between TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube is going to start to become more and more intense.”
I think you’re going to start to see more and more creators realize they need to own not just the content, but also the connection with the audience too. Then, I also think you’re going to see the competition between TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube is going to start to become more and more intense.
They’re trying to vie for consumer attention. I will say this about the three primary channels right now for brands or the vertical video, snackable content. Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts. Those are the three primary places where those things happen.
“Pay attention to YouTube Shorts because there’s a lot more to that version of snackable content because of who owns it.”
Twitter has actually announced some product updates to make that a little bit more feasible on their platform, too. Don’t count out YouTube Shorts and don’t ignore it because YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It’s owned by the first largest search engine in the world, and I can guarantee you that within short order, maybe even this afternoon as we’re talking about this, YouTube Shorts are going to start to emerge in search engine results across the board.
If you are creating, compelling YouTube Shorts content about your topic, your vertical, you’re going to have a search advantage out of the gate. So, pay attention to YouTube Shorts because there’s a lot more to that version of snackable content because of who owns it.
If someone finds you on YouTube Shorts, then they can go to your long-form content.
Someone finds you on Instagram Reels, I am not going to be watching long-form content on Instagram.
Absolutely. There’s no doubt about that. I mean, Instagram is super snackable, super fast. TikTok super snackable, super fast. But if you find something on YouTube Shorts and you like that content, more than likely, you can click through to the account and say, “Oh, this person’s got a 10-minute video on this topic. Now, I can sit here and watch.”
So there’s a lot more potential for short-form, snackable content to become something bigger on YouTube than it does in other channels.
Also, there’s a chance. Say, TikTok or Instagram, you post it, and then two days later, it’s dead.
It’s true. That’s very true.
Hopefully, with YouTube Shorts, there is the possibility that it lives a little bit longer on that platform.
A little more. Yeah, that’s very true. Although there’s something to be said for the fact that I’m not saying that you should ignore Instagram or TikTok in lieu of YouTube. Just don’t forget YouTube because there’s something to be said for the fact that I think 40% now of Gen Z say they use Instagram and TikTok as search engines.
Which makes no sense to an old fart like me because what are you searching for? I don’t get that.
At the same time, if that’s the consumer behavior and those networks are paying attention, which you know they are because they want to make their platform sticky and more useful.
“There’s a lot to keep an eye on and see how consumers are shifting and changing their habits.”
Now, all of a sudden, that search, I’m searching for product, recommendations, ideas that becomes relevant on Instagram for Stories and Reels, and it becomes relevant on TikTok for TikTok videos as well. All of a sudden, Google’s got competition for that type of behavior.
So, there’s a lot to keep an eye on and see how consumers are shifting and changing their habits. Right now, there’s no one way to go. You’ve got to pay attention to at least all three of those for the time being and maybe more as Twitter emerges with their versions of products and things like that.
Be on all three, follow the data, and hopefully, it will guide you into where everything is trending.
Cool. Jason, I’ve had a great time chatting. If people are looking to be able to find more about you and also be able to work with you based on what they heard about influencers, where can they be able to find you at?
Well, thank you for that opportunity, and thanks for having me on the show. I’m Jason Falls on all the social networks. Very easy to find. There’s a politician in North Carolina with the same name who does not like me at all because I win all the search results, but it’s okay. I don’t agree with his politics. So, there you go.
Then, Falls+Partners, is my new consulting firm’s website, where you can connect with me if you’ve got a project you want me to chime in on or help you with.
Cool. Awesome. Jason, thank you so much for the time. We’ll be sure to have all those links down below wherever you’re watching this video.
Thank you so much, man.
Thanks, Gabe. I appreciate you having me on.
Awesome. Also, I have one thing I forgot to mention that I do as well. Maybe you can be able to give insights if they would be better for influencers, but we also rate three ads, paid social ads just to be able to get your idea if you like them or you don’t. The more authentic that you hate them, the better.
Good stuff with the YouTube Shorts. I’ve been playing around with it a little bit lately. I think it is worth more effort to be able to put in there rather than TikTok. TikTok is hard to get viral from a B2B standpoint.
It is. I think what you have to do from a B2B standpoint is, I mean, first of all, create interesting content there, which is a challenge in and of itself, but I think you’ve got to see the audience. You’ve got to drive a bunch of people to your account to get them to pay attention to what you’re doing, even if it’s just a few dozen to start off.
You’ve got to get people there paying attention to you or you’re not going to really surface in that algorithm because you’re going to have too low of a follower account to matter. So, you really have to promote your account, and then keep cranking that content. Eventually, it will pick up.
It’s different, B2B. One view on B2B versus B2C is much more valuable.
Definitely. I mean, technically, in most cases in the B2B space, your cost, your conversion value, the price that you’re charging for your software, or your hardware, or whatever is usually exponentially larger than a B2C product. That’s why you have longer lead times and all that.
There’s all sorts of B2B challenges that go with that environment. For instance, if I’m looking out for a B2B influencer, depending upon the vertical, I might be looking for someone who has a couple of hundred followers on a social network, not a couple thousand, and certainly, not tens of thousands. Because more than likely, that person, depending upon who it is that I’m targeting, is going to be a valid expert in the field about one thing or another. And the 200 people that are following them are the 200 people I want at reach because they’re the ones who know this person is the expert.
“A B2B view and a B2B follower is a hell of a lot more valuable individually than a B2C one in most cases.”
In the B2B space, it’s just a very different animal. You’re not looking at follower counts. You’re looking at a lot more offline influence too. People who are publishing academic papers, people who are speaking at conferences, and things like that.
Again, stuff that the software doesn’t really capture for you, but yeah, a B2B view and a B2B follower is a hell of a lot more valuable individually than a B2C one in most cases.
That’s why I always tell myself when I look at my follower count, “Well, at least they’re more valuable than I think they are.”
Exactly. I mean, for what I do, if I can get one person out of a hundred to buy my book, I’m doing really well. That’s a pretty crappy conversion rate. If I do five out of a hundred, then I’m kicking tail. That’s good stuff.
Hell, yeah, and you know those people that read your book. It’s like immense value.
Jason Falls: “If you’re trying to position yourself as an expert in the field and get clients because of it, book is a great way to do it.”
No doubt about it. The book is a great door opener. It’s a big, fat, heavy business card that makes a thud when you put it on somebody’s desk, but it makes you memorable, and it positions you as a thought leader.
So, for those of you considering a book out there, I would definitely say if you’re trying to position yourself as an expert in the field and get clients because of it, book is a great way to do it.
That sounds like a good idea. Only if I actually like writing long-form.
Well, there’s that too.
Ad Review: Sportswear Brands
All right. Cool. So, we got three different videos.
It’s three different footwear companies. If you could, just rate them in terms of one, two, three. Which ones that you like the most. The first one we’ve got is Skechers.
Cool. Let’s see. Now, we’ve got Nike.
All right. I like that one.
Yeah, and New Balance.
New Balance Ad
Okay. Interesting. If I had to rank them one, two, three, this is for social advertising, is that right?
Yeah. You can have it under any bucket that you want to. Say, if you want to have the bucket, “If these were organic posts, this is how I would rate them. If these were advertising, this is how I would rank them.”
If you want to rank them based off of a brand, by all means.
Just state what you’re thinking as your North Star.
Jason Falls: “Nike ad plays better on social. It’s more of a social ad because it tells a story.”
All right. I got you. So, the Nike ad plays better on social. It’s more of a social ad because it tells a story. It’s got an emotional hook. You’re tied in very quickly to this person, this character. They’re overcoming an obstacle in their life, so that’s something that people can identify with.
Even if they’ve not lived his life, they can see that, and it’s a little story. It’s a little movie that you’re seeing there. That one is much more conducive to organic social content. I think it would play well organically, but also as an ad.
“New Balance ad is much more of an advertisement that I would put on a TikTok or an Instagram Reels.”
I think the New Balance ad is much more of an advertisement that I would put on a TikTok or an Instagram Reels because it’s obviously vertical video. It’s quick, snappy. Got some energy to it. It’s an ad. It’s not necessarily social capital content, but it’s interesting, lively, energetic.
That’s going to cause a few people as they’re thumb scrolling to stop because it’s got the music, it’s got energy, it’s got this awesome-looking tennis player bouncing the ball around. I like that one too.
“The Skechers one is, it has an interesting message, but it’s more of a traditional ad. That thing is just an advertisement.”
The Skechers one is, it has an interesting message, but it’s more of a traditional ad. That thing is just an advertisement. If that shows up in my feed, I’m probably flipping by it because remember, I’m not on social media to look at ads.
I’m not on there to shop. I’m there to see pictures of my kids and my grandkids. I don’t have grandkids, but if I’m an older person, I’m there to see pictures of kids and grandkids. If I’m a younger person, I’m there to stalk my ex or something, but I’m there to be social. I’m not there to see advertisements.
So, that one doesn’t have enough stickiness like the Nike does. So I would rate Nike first, New Balance second, and Skechers third.
I wear Skechers, so I like Skechers, and I like the Massage product, but again, that particular piece of content, really, just an ad for me.
I’ve noticed too is more so on TikTok, any branded content where it’s obviously an ad does so bad.
It’s pretty paltry. The algorithm forces the amount of impressions that the brand’s paid for or whatever, but that’s about it. They’re not going to get a whole lot of engagement.
I think that Nike piece probably would’ve gotten a little bit of engagement because, again, it’s not necessarily selling Nike. It’s telling you a story about this guy who used running to get himself out of a bad situation.
That’s a narrative. That’s a little mini movie that grabs you emotionally, and so I think that would play very, very well there even as an ad.
Sounds just like influencers. If you are a good influencer, you’re a good storyteller.
That’s true. You said it right.
Cool. Awesome. Well, love your insights there, Jason. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Good to talk to you, Gabe.
All right. Bye.
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