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Katya Allison

Director of Marketing
Content at GRIN


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About GRIN Gets Real

Welcome to the GRIN gets real podcast, the show for people who want to maximize their marketing potential. From influencer marketing to eCommerce strategy and everything in between, each episode will feature industry experts that share their insights and provide actionable tips to help you achieve your marketing goals. Subscribe and stay tuned!

Subscribe the state of influencer marketing 2020 with grin and neal schaffer

The State of Influencer Marketing 2020

In this episode:

Neal Schaffer

Author of The Age of Influence

Neal Schaffer is an authority on helping businesses digitally transform their sales and marketing. Founder of the digital marketing consultancy PDCA Social, Neal also teaches at Rutgers Business School and the Irish Management Institute. Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neil is a popular keynote speaker and has spoken in more than a dozen countries across four continents. He is the author of four sales and marketing books, including the recently published The Age of Influence (HarperCollins Leadership),  a ground-breaking book about digital influence. Check out Neal’s Maximize Your Social Influence podcast for marketing inspiration.

the state of influencer marketing 2020 with grin and neal schaffer

Full episode details

Why Your Best Influencers May Be Hiding in Your Customer List

 “It’s easy to invite customers into something, but it’s a lot harder to actually activate them, unless you treat them like an influencer.” – Neal Schaffer, Author of The Age of Influence

For many brands, the hardest part of growing their influencer marketing program is finding the right influencers. Brands will send out hundreds or thousands of messages to potential customers and hear very little back. It can be very discouraging. 

Rather than reaching out to people who have never heard of your products, or maybe had a bad experience with your company, brands should first turn to their customers, who already know, like and trust them. Brands can use social listening tools to find influencers, large or small, within their own customer base. From there, brands can grow a relationship based influencer marketing program that drives ROI over the long term.

Breakdown of the GRIN Gets Real Podcast Episode 13 

In this episode, Katya from GRIN, talks with Neal about the state of influencer marketing, how it has changed, and where it’s headed. Together they discuss how companies across industries are changing their approach from strictly transactional to relationship based strategies and how this can benefit their bottom line.

“Recently, the question I’ve seen in a lot of pitches, which didn’t appear until this year, is, ‘are you a current user of our product?’”  – Neal Schaffer, Author of The Age of Influence

Neal explains how influencer marketing began with mostly, what he calls, “transactional” arrangements between companies and influencers who had huge follower counts. Neal believes there is still a use for the transactional approach, but it’s not the best for the long term. Instead, he outlines how going to your customers can be a really powerful way to grow an influencer marketing program that is authentic, effective and easier to implement.

Neal discusses some of the key benefits of this approach such as

  • Customers already know, like and trust your brand.
  • A focus on your customers for influencer marketing helps you uncover those people who are already posting and featuring your products, especially since people don’t always tag your company when they post about you organically.
  • Content generated by influencers who love your brand is always going to outperform companies on both organic and paid social.
  • B2B companies can use this approach to grow an effective influencer program in their niche, where little to no other content like it exists.
  • Companies across all industries from D2C, B2C and B2B can use an influencer program, made up of customers, like a focus group, using influencer feedback to improve their offers and develop new product ideas.
  • Customer influencers can be found using different channels from podcasts, to blog posts, to TikTok.

Neal has been researching influencer marketing for several years, and he has a ton to offer. You’re gonna want to take notes! You’ll hear why an influencer program might look great on paper, but may not actually translate into ROI.  You’ll also hear Neal and Katya explain the best ways to find these influencers who are also loyal customers and transition them into revenue generating partnerships. 

So grab a pen and paper, or open up a blank document on your laptop and…
Listen to the podcast now!

Quotes from the episode

The State of Influencer Marketing 2020 1

“Influencer marketing is the biggest untapped potential in digital marketing, regardless of what industry you’re in.”
“The [influencer] that you’re dealing with who’s taking the one time transaction, even though they may never use your product… it’s going to show to be a little bit less authentic…. and  the people following can read through that as well.”
“So don’t get lost and just think [ROI] is a sale, because it’s not that easy… It takes money to make money. And it’s not always a direct route.”

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