Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

How to Leverage Micro-Influencers for Massive Growth


Paul Benigeri

Paul Benigeri is the Co-founder and CEO of Archive, a software company that automates e-commerce digital marketing workflows. Archive has worked with a number of leading e-commerce companies, including The Feed, Prose, Four Sigmatic, Ample, and many others. Paul is also the VP of Growth and Engineering at H.V.M.N. (Health Via Modern Nutrition), a health foods company that helps customers unlock increased metabolic health by spending more time in ketosis.

Before this, Paul helped build and lead several startups and graduated with his BS in Computer Science from Stanford University in just three years.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [2:17] Paul Benigeri talks about the different types of influencer marketing — and why it’s such an effective marketing method
  • [6:46] The value of working with a micro-influencer instead of a mainstream influencer
  • [12:26] How to start a successful ad campaign using micro-influencers: establish a goal, pick your platform, and more
  • [16:13] Paul’s tips for setting effective criteria based on followers and total engagement rates
  • [21:30] What kind of returns should you expect when using micro-influencer-based marketing?
  • [25:23] Products and businesses that are a good — or a bad — fit for the micro-influencer advertising model
  • [30:12] The ins and outs of reusing assets and how Archive helps users automate their digital marketing

In this episode…

Do you want to optimize your current marketing strategies to help your business boom? Are you looking for ways to utilize leading voices on social media to gain more exposure and sales?

In 2021, influencer marketing is all the rage for e-commerce entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses. Not only is influencer marketing more personal than traditional social media advertising, but, by engaging with a loyal, pre-existing audience, it is also more effective. However, big influencers can be difficult to work with — and, at the end of the day, the return isn’t always worth the cost. That’s where micro-influencers come in. These smaller influencers are much more accessible, affordable, and, in the long run, profitable for your business. So, how can you utilize micro-influencer-based marketing campaigns to expand and scale your business today?

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Mark Daoust sits down with Paul Benigeri, the Co-founder and CEO of Archive, to discuss how micro-influencer marketing strategies can grow your business. Listen in as Paul talks about the various types of influencers, the key steps to creating a successful micro-influencer campaign, and the kinds of products and offerings that yield lucrative results from working with micro-influencers. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.

There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. By providing trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations, your Quiet Light advisor isn’t your every-day broker—they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.

If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07

Hi, folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.

Mark Daoust  0:29

Welcome back, everybody to the Quiet Light Podcast. I’m really excited to have Paul Benigeri here on this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast. Paul is from, which automates the process of creating micro influencer communities, we’re going to talk a little bit about influencer marketing. I’m a big fan of influencer marketing, because I’ve seen it done. I’ve seen the effect of a proper influencer marketing campaign done. And the impact it can have on e commerce companies, I think is a huge opportunity to be able to grow an acquisition after you buy it, or to grow a business into an acquisition because that’s such a valuable source of revenue, since it’s more reliable than say, Facebook arbitrage or maybe SEO, which can obviously go away depending on algorithm changes. But before we get into this, just a reminder, this episode is being brought to you by EXITpreneur, if you have not got the book EXITpreneur yet written by Joe Valley, who you all know co host of the show, make sure you go get your copy today. This is a best seller on Amazon right now in multiple categories, over 75 reviews at the time of this recording right now. And it’s getting rave reviews. We’re hearing from people every single week who have read the book insane, that is something they wish they had known before they sold, or it’s changing the way that they’re going about running their business. Look it up on Amazon EXITpreneur really, really good read really good information. As far as preparing a business for sale, if you’re on the buy side of the equation. It’s a really valuable book to have to understand what sellers are going through and also how to value a business as well, because we’re really talking about the fundamentals of what makes online businesses valuable. Alright, that’s a long introduction, Paul, thank you for being patient. And thanks for being on on this episode. For sure excited to chat, man. All right, cool. Let’s get into it right away. influencer marketing, what is it, let’s just start at the very basics. 90% of the audience knows what it is. But let’s let’s help the 10%.

Paul Benigeri  2:23

Let’s talk about it. I mean, it can mean a lot of things to different companies. It’s basically the idea of leveraging people with influence that can be people on podcast, typically people on Instagram or YouTube, that have their own networks and going through them to generate impressions, or brand awareness sales, right? Instead of paying Facebook to show your ad or paying Google to show your ad, what you’re doing is building relationships, either transactional organic with humans, typically, that have their own audiences and having them distribute your message. It looks really similar for a lot of e commerce companies there may be using influencers on Instagram, to share stories of unboxings and things like that. But some, some people argue that even like podcasting is an influencer marketing type channel, right? It’s pretty flexible. But I think the main thing is that you’re distributing through someone’s owned channels in relationships, as opposed to directly through a, an advertising channel.

Mark Daoust  3:20

Yeah, and I think one of the benefits and feel free to chime in on this. But one of the benefits of doing an influencer campaign as opposed to just maybe a direct response campaign and Facebook, and again, I’m not trying to throw shade on Facebook marketing campaigns, you get them to work, more power to you go at it, and I’m putting that money into it. But there’s less convincing that needs to happen, right? Because if somebody follows somebody on Instagram, or is just following them in general, and they recommend a product legitimately recommend a product, it imparts trust on, on that consumers decision to maybe purchase the product that you’re trying to sell, because they trust that influencer right away. Right?

Paul Benigeri  3:58

Exactly. It’s kind of like word of mouth at scale. A lot of times, when you hear your friend talking about a shoe, it’s a Nike shoe, he goes running with it. You’re not going to be like, Oh, this is an ad. This is an ad I gotta watch out for what’s what’s a lie, you typically just believe it. And so that dynamic can happen a lot with influencers. When we look at influencer marketing, there’s almost two types of influences. The first one is going to be when someone is an expert at their field, and people follow them because of their expertise. What’s an example maybe you have a ultra marathoner that’s got 100,000 followers and talks about training and tips. When he talks about a shoe people don’t know him, but they trust him because they know he’s one of the best runners that’s tried every shoe. And so he his recommendation comes with a lot of research and trust and authority. The other type is influenced through maybe not like applied knowledge or skill, but because you know about someone, and that’s a little bit new. That was typically not possible to do before you had Instagram, these platforms where you had a massive, massive amount of these Your micro influencers that maybe have 1000 5000 10,000 followers, they might not be an expert runner. But for example, Mark, if I see you posting about a shoe, I’ll listen to it, if I see you posting about a car, or a shirt or a painting, I’ll care about it because we have a human relationship. And your social proof in that relationship gives me a little bit more appetite to trust the the seller, the product convention, just hearing it from hearing about it from a stranger or directly from a brand. So there’s kind of like two different types of influences that we typically look at, right? You have the supplied, burned, you know, expertise type thing. And then there’s also like, hey, if your friend talks about anything, it’s it’s word of mouth. But influencer marketing can really be just scaled word of mouth, because instead of referring it to one friend, you might refer it to 1000 10,000 people at the same time. And that’s something that brands really capitalize on nowadays.

Mark Daoust  5:51

Yeah. So how do we bridge this gap? Right influencer marketing, I think the way that we usually think about it is finding that that big time, person on Instagram, somebody with a huge following doesn’t have to just be an Instagram, it can be just a big name right? In my world, man, if I can get Gary Vee just to throw a name out there. If I can get him to talk about Quiet Light. Boy, that’d be huge, right? That the be masterful for us, we would get all sorts of business from that, in theory would be just a really good name drop, but getting over to Gary Vee. And it’s not something that we look at necessarily, because getting to Gary Vee is not exactly the easiest thing in the world. And he’s been constantly pitched. So I’m a little interested in bridging this gap that you’re talking about between influencer marketing, I think as most people, which is again, kind of finding the whales and trying to get them to endorse your product or feature your product in some way, versus this idea of, of micro influencers. So are you saying with micro influencers? Who would be an example? Yeah,

Paul Benigeri  6:50

good question. And I wouldn’t say one works always better or worse than the other. And there’s different challenges with these bigger influencers. Once you strike that relationship, and you can set up something good, you can have real good returns, but it’s very, very competitive, because every single person wants to work with Gary Vee or the Gary Vee of running or the Gary Vee of whatever diet. So the difference with when people call micro or nano influencers, every agency, Every company has different terms, but typically your macro or celebrity influencers they got like millions of followers, they’re that one person that a lot of people know. And then people in the Miko data range are increasingly smaller. So maybe it’s someone that has 50,000 followers on Instagram, maybe it’s someone that has 10,000 or 3000 followers and Instagram, it really depends. But the smaller people, the thing is, with these smaller people, they’re typically less competitive, they have way less offers to work with brands. So they might be more invested in that one deal with your brand, whether it’s paid or unpaid. The other thing is, you usually want to work with one single, you know, small influencer to make up for Gary Vee. But if you distribute that budget, whether it’s equity, whether it’s cash, whether it’s product, if you distribute that budget across 100 of these smaller influencers, or like some brands 1000 5000 of these small influencers, that becomes really powerful. Number one, you might get better total reach and impressions. Number two, you might get way more content. And that can be used to improve your paid social performance, your you know, your Facebook ads, but having all this great content that you don’t have to do paid shoots for, you can learn a lot faster, it can be much more reliable. If you’re working with Gary Vee, and the first video drops, what are you gonna do for the second video, if it’s not performing, there’s not that much wiggle room, if you’re working with 500 influencers. If the first 100 out of the first 100, maybe you have five that really stuck, you can just cut them out, learn that that niche might not be perfect, and then work with another group. And so there’s way more learning data if you can do that, you know, properly. The other dynamics with people don’t realize what nano influencers is that the smaller the influencer is, the more of a personal connection they have with all of their audiences. And so it becomes less important that they’re experts in guns or running or shoes, because half of their followers have met them in person, and so have this personal connection. And the other thing is that, especially the way that Instagram engagement is trending towards more and more of the engagement is going to you know, smaller influencers versus these bigger ones. So, five years ago, if you work with a giant influencer, they’d have very few deals. And they also have massive engagement. Now they have a ton of deals, so they’re more expensive, and their engagement has gone down significantly. So on average, smaller influencers have way, way, way higher engagement than some of these bigger guys. So if you can set up a program to work with a lot of these small influencers, you can really have powerful effects in terms of again, driving brand awareness, driving sales, creating content, whatever some of those goals or metrics can be for your for your brand.

Mark Daoust  9:54

Okay, so I totally get it. I mean, for those that have been around for a long time, and remember The old SEO world. I mean, it still applies today. But it’s similar to the concept of, you know, going after that big time keyword versus the longtail keywords right? There’s more value in ranking for 100 200 longtail keywords than there isn’t getting the one big one right and easier to get as well. The problem or that I want to put to you and let you challenge you on and feel free to tell me why I’m wrong. You’re the expert in this. I’m not. How do you find 500 influencers, you know, micro influencers on a topic, there’s a reason they don’t have a lot of followers, because they’re harder to find?

Paul Benigeri  10:32

Well, the reason they don’t have a lot of followers, it’s not that they’re harder to find. There’s just a distribution of influencers on Instagram. And so you maybe have like 1 million people with a million followers. And then you have, you know, 10 million with 100,000 followers, so there’s just way more of them. So it’s harder to find a specific one, right. But there’s so many that it’s easy to find lots of great ones. It is hard and it is manual. Typically brands that do this really well will have a team and in house team. So one good example is Halo top. They crushed it with influencer marketing, they build this community of influencers they gifted every time they had a new flavor, they would give their list of influencers, the new flavor, they would try it if the influencer posted and supported the company while they’d automatically be on the list to get the next labor. And that created this long term dynamic relationship and community that created a moat is super valuable, most of these relationships that peloton owned and could leverage the product launches. And how did they do that they literally had, you know, they then people full time manual spreadsheets, right. And so typically, it is very manual for brands to do that. It is hard to scale. And you know, that’s why we have a successful business, right, we’ve focused on building a lot of tools and automation to streamline all of these workflows so that we can build those communities really effectively. But again, I think for smaller brands, too, especially for stores that are you know, launching their products for the first time, everybody has time to maybe put together three 510 hours a week to find these influencers and do it at a small scale to at least getting started and test the channel. And if not, that’s something that can easily be, you know, delegated to an intern, a junior person, and you know, different types of people, there’s not a lot of skill required to just talk to influencers. As long as you have the strategy, right, you can get a lot done just by having someone that’s literally talking to these people becoming their friends, understanding what they like, and being available and hooking them with product.

Mark Daoust  12:26

So let’s let’s just run through a case. Just an example case here. Let’s say that I’ve just bought a business and it sells telescopes, not high end telescopes, let’s say low end telescopes ideal for kids, right? So you know about a good Christmas present birthday presents something that parents and kids can do together. And I decide, okay, I want to try this influence this micro influencer strategy. How do I go about finding the influencers? Is this really something to focus on Instagram? Only? Do I want to look more broadly than that? And then what do I even? How do I even begin that sort of a search?

Paul Benigeri  13:01

Yeah, so the first thing that you want to ask is, what are your goals for this? Are you trying to drive sales? Are you trying to get content brand awareness, what channel you’re gonna use? Are you going to focus on Instagram, on TikTok on YouTube, if your product is really complicated to understand, YouTube might be good, because there’s longer form video, if you’re targeting kids, and kids are going to make the purchasing decision. While TikTok might be great, if you’re targeting parents of kids, because they’re the ones that are going to buy the telescope, then you can potentially look towards Instagram that has a little bit more of an older demographic at this point. So that’s the first thing is just figuring out what channel once you know what channel you want to dive in and test, you can start finding influencers. And it’s really, really easy to get going. It’s hard to get 1000 influencers, but it’s easy to get a couple 100. Think about your competitors. Think about people in your space, who would similar to a telescope, maybe like a chess board or something that might be interested in maybe like some Globes, find some companies that are either competitive, or in a similar space, look at their Instagram, if they’re, you know, if they’re established, you can see who tagged them, they’ll likely be working with influencers, boom, right there, you might have a list of 1020 influencers, you can now look at their profiles. And there’s this little, it’s almost like a secret, but it’s super useful. And so a lot of people get started, if you follow someone on Instagram, you can click a blue arrow on their profile and Instagram will show you related influencers. So once you have your 10 plus influencers, you can literally just run that algorithm, click follow, see the drop down, find 10 more, you build a list of 100 you go through look at their comments and get engagement and really quickly you can have like a filtered list of your top 50 people and then you just reach out to them. Let them know that you want them to try the telescope see what they think you’ll probably get 30% of people you reach out to respond and be excited to try the telescope if your telescope has any you know any any any cool. And then they’ll try it they’ll like it. They’ll probably give you some stories and then from there, you now have the beginning of an influencer community. You have 50 influencers 30 influencers, however many that have experience or telescope, they liked it, you know, some of them everybody posted for free just for some product cogs. And you can start thinking about how to multiply that relationship and double down on it. You can think about doing affiliates, you can think about doing sponsored posts, you can think about just continuing to give them different versions of the telescope. If you want to focus on organic, gifted relationships, there’s so much you can do but really to get started, it’s super easy.

Mark Daoust  15:24

So with that Instagram tip, just pick that up and you find somebody who’s an influencer. And then you just say that a party and I don’t want to say it wrong, and then have the entire audience be like, man, Mark is such an idiot. They say that anyway, I don’t need to double down.

Paul Benigeri  15:39

So when you follow someone on Instagram, you can do on the app or on the desktop, by their username, there’ll be a blue arrow drop down arrow, if you click that, Instagram will show you related profiles. Instagram is going to do that, because they’re trying to get you to follow more people, right? So if Paul is following mark, Instagram will show me people like Mark, they’ll show me you know, Gary Vee, and some other cool people in the space. And you can just look through these profiles and save them. And then there’s apps that do that automatically for you and scrape those things. But again, when you’re beginning, you don’t have to worry about that. It’ll just take you a couple seconds.

Mark Daoust  16:13

I can promise you Gary Vee does not show up as a related profile to mine. But I appreciate it. One day. Yeah, there we go. There we go. All right, let’s, let’s move away from some of my new show. This is really, really cool. Cool stuff, though. What sort of criteria should people be looking for? If they’re trying to build out a network like this minimum number of followers? content? I mean, let’s say you got somebody who is you’re trying to sell telescopes, you’re doing the related profiles, but one of the related profiles is going back to your example, an avid runner? Does it make sense to even have that person in that profile? In your list of micro influencers? Still?

Paul Benigeri  16:48

Probably not. It’s your call, right? Like, who are they? Are they going to like your telescope? And are they going to influence people that are going to buy telescopes, that’s something that you still have to make an decision, the decision about, you know, your customers, you know, your audience better than you know, than anyone. And so you’ll need to look at their profile and be like, Hey, is this a fit? The cool thing is that with smaller influencers, you have the luxury of trying, you can have five runners, five swimmers, five, science teachers, and then you will see through your algorithm that the science teacher are crushing it and selling a lot more telescopes and getting a lot more likes and responding to your your inquiry a lot faster. So clearly, you should focus on more sign people and less runners and swimmers. Right? What else, what else you want to look at? The main thing is going to be through comments, right? You don’t really need to worry too much about size of the audience. Sure, it’s a good indication, it’s a good heuristic, but it’s the big essentially, the bigger you go, the less likely they are to respond. And the less likely they are to do your initial stuff for low cost for free. So there’s a trade off there. If they’re too small, while they’ll, of course, take the free telesco but have no value. So you can start off with people that are getting maybe, you know, 50 comments per post, hopefully, like 200 300 is a really, really good healthy number. And look at those comments. Why are people commenting? Are they you know, saying, You’re so pretty, you’re so beautiful? Or are they saying hey, this is a really nice piece of jewelry, really nice piece of clothing, right? Try to understand, like why people are engaging with that influencer, and what that relationship between the influencer and their audiences. And from there, you should be able to find some people that have a lot more dialogue in their comments a lot more kind of like questioning, and those are gonna be the really great influencers that you want to work with.

Mark Daoust  18:31

Do you find that that video is superior in this world? Or does it really depend on the product?

Paul Benigeri  18:36

So it depends on the product and on the goals for a lot of companies that are trying to do paid social ads and use UGC for it depends on the product too, for sometimes if you’re doing a something in fashion space, photos can be really, really good because a little bit more curated, you see the outfit frozen, and it’s great. If you’re a food video is going to let you talk about the flavor, show the texture and all these kinds of things. So that dynamic changes, if you’re trying to if you’re trying to drive purchase foods and things like that, stories worked really well, because you have this person talking to the camera saying some things. And then there’s a little bit more of an explanation. So it really depends on on the product.

Mark Daoust  19:15

Cool. All right, that this is this fascinating stuff. So size of audience doesn’t matter as much as maybe commenting interaction and the

Paul Benigeri  19:22

interaction. So you have to look at total engagement, right? A lot of people are like, Hey, I’m only going to work with people with this engagement rate. I’m only going to work with people with this many followers, but you want to look at net engagement. If someone has 100,000 followers, but a crappy engagement rate, maybe 1%, then they’re gonna have like 1000 likes per post. That’s okay. If you have someone with 50,000 followers, and 10% engagement, your engagement rate, they’re gonna have 5000 likes per post, a lot more people are going to see that content, right. So you have to be thoughtful about the two kind of the two parts. How much engagement do they get, and how much how many followers do they have And if you just multiply the engagement rate and the followers, you get this total number of engagements, which is typically a really good heuristic for how much reach how much, you know, comments and impressions are going to get.

Mark Daoust  20:12

You know, I know there’s a segment of the audience listening to this right now that is super excited about this, because they are dreaming about the spreadsheets, they are going to set up and they absolutely love their spreadsheets. To me, this sounds like spreadsheet hell, and trying to figure out how to track all this. Are there good tools out there to track these? Or is this something that you should really build something bespoke to yourself?

Paul Benigeri  20:31

The easiest thing in the beginning is just to get a spreadsheet, get a list of people, like, if you’re doing 50 influencers, it’s going to be good to go. There are tools that you can use to try and scale it. But there there’s no like massive tool that has a lot of adoption. There’s different databases you can use to find influencers. But typically, people do the communication through the DMS anyway. And there’s no strong integrations, obviously biased, but like one of the biggest pain points is just collecting that content, all the stories, if you’ve got 100 influencers posting every you know, month, that’s like hundreds of assets that you want to save in store, so you can repurpose, that’s why we built Archive app, it doesn’t automatically as a Shopify app. But typically, you know, most brands are either doing it manually, and even with some of the tools out there on the market, you still need to hire someone to manage those tools and speak to influencers unless you work with an agency or, you know, try to delegate to a service based business.

Mark Daoust  21:25

Right, right. Absolutely. Let’s let’s get to the mouthwatering bits of this. What sort of returns? I don’t know, I don’t want to sell the the flashy stuff that is kind of the outliers. Why should somebody who just bought a business and e commerce business nice product based business? add this to the repertoire, you know, within the next month in their marketing plans versus maybe focusing on something more immediate, such as a Facebook advertising campaign? And what’s what sort of returns are we seeing from influencer marketing? And what makes it better to use or or to pursue maybe that then other?

Paul Benigeri  22:02

So I think the first thing you should think about is, is your product a good fit for influencer marketing? Is it something that people like to try like to talk about, If yes, then you’re gonna have some positive momentum in the channel, and you’re gonna have a little bit of an advantage compared to other brands that don’t have that. So that’s a really, you know, good reason to test the channel. The second thing is, everyone is trying to diversify their channel mix. If you don’t, if you aren’t running Facebook ads and aren’t running Google ads, sure, test those first set it up, get that baseline going. But once you get those channels and start scaling those channels, and you see your CPA start to rise, because of whatever reason I was 14 or because you’re increasing your budget, your next problem is going to be diversifying your channel mix. And that’s where things maybe like SEO, or influencer marketing can really come in with influencer marketing, if you’re doing it properly. It’s a little bit like SEO, you can build a long term relationship with influencers that will compound over time, we have some brands that we started off with zero influencer relationships. Now after six months, 12 months, they have 751,500, what we call warm influencers that are ready to push a product at a heartbeat. They’ve tried a bunch of products. They’re in touch via email. And so when you launch a new product, new flavor, new kit, new skew, you can send it to 750 influencers, and have all of them posts on demand that is super, super, super powerful. Why is that powerful? First of all, you’re gonna get a lot of brand new ideas and views. And it’s going to be a great way for people to learn about your brand, your business or company, your products. Second of all, what are these influencers creating? They’re creating content? What do you need to crush on Facebook ads, you need content, you need to test a lot of content. UGC works really well. So if you have 750 influencers that post, even if they only do one asset, each, that’s still gonna be 750 assets, you can test on Facebook, that’s going to cost you a ton of money to get that much content through through ads, right. So now you can start seeing that not only can influencer marketing, you know, compound over time, right, which is great. You want that as a business, you want these moats, you want these things that grow and you don’t you if you stop spending on important marketing, you still have those relationships. If you stop spending money on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is not going to call you back and tell you to, you know, come back, it’s just like, you got to kind of start from scratch. So you build some defensibility. And it is going to compound really nicely. And it’s going to start helping your other channels, right, you’re going to get this halo effect of people to retarget that are visiting your website that’s going to help your Facebook performance, you’re going to get all of these assets, you can do whitelisting and other techniques and affiliate marketing on those influencers. And it really opens up like a whole other set of channels, right? The thing if you think about like, Hey, I’m going to do influencer marketing when it tested I’m going to get my role as sure that might work that works for a lot of brands. Not everyone but but it works. You know, for many brands, if you do it well. But if you think about as like hey, I’m going to try to do influencer marketing so I can get either my brand awareness you know goals hit can be like impressions could be you know, traffic, or your your role as goals or CPA goals. But you’re also going to factor in the halo effect that that can have in terms of people learning Got the brand and the business and also unlocking your other channels through all of this content generation? Well, that’s really, really powerful, right? And so if you’re able to just invest, you know, 10% of your marketing budget in that month over month, after 12 months, that’s going to be super, super powerful compared to if you’re just dumping all of your money into Facebook, in which case, when the credit card goes off the account, it’s gonna Game Over, you’re not gonna have any traffic anymore.

Mark Daoust  25:23

Yeah, that’s you, you started that last answer out by saying is the product that you’re selling a good fit for influencer marketing, let’s talk about that. Just for a minute here. What makes a good fit for influencer marketing? And I want to talk even beyond maybe products, right? Because it’s pretty obvious. Like, you talked about Halo. Yeah, that makes a lot of Halo top. That makes a lot of sense, right? Because there’s different flavors people can try. And that can be super exciting fashion seems to make sense as well, sometimes electronics seems to make sense. will be examples of things maybe that are bad example. or bad fit for influencer marketing. And on the flip side, you know, is this really just a send the product and let people test? Is it really that simple? Or can you get more creative than that? And or have you seen people get more creative than that maybe have people take an interactive quiz online to try and test their knowledge in something or do something a little bit outside of the ordinary, that doesn’t even require sending a product.

Paul Benigeri  26:17

So that’s all great and makes a lot of sense that, you know, the gifting the product is just a starting point, right? It’s a really good way it doesn’t apply to all businesses applies to physical goods, businesses, but there’s a lot of companies that have digital products that do you know, clever things. So what kind of product works, I think it also depends on the channel, right? Some products might work really well on YouTube, for example, electronics, sometimes you need to review the quality of video to see if it’s good, you need to talk about like the settings and the audio and all of these things. And so that might work really, really well on YouTube. skincare is a little bit different. If you have a skincare product and you try to do on YouTube, there are half of the youtubers have their own skincare brands, so that cuts out a big part of the market. And then there’s insane margins. So you’re you’re competing against all of these companies with brand awareness budgets with insane margins that are spending so much that channel is going to be really hard to crack into, right. So it’s whereas in Instagram and Tiktok, right, if you have like a kid spending product, you can get like a ton of reach on tik tok. But, you know, you might get a bunch of reach, but no conversions if you’re, you know, got an older person product on tik tok. So, they, I don’t know, if there’s like a certain type of company that just doesn’t work with influencer marketing, but you kind of have to break down the channel and the type of product a little bit based on on all these things again, influencer marketing could even just be like podcasts, or it could be like blogs, it can be like affiliate sites and different things like that. So there’s a lot of ways to make it work. But so it takes a little bit of thinking in terms of like, hey, what is the right way to talk about my product and get people to engage with it? Is it a photo? Is it a video? Who Where’s Where does my audience hang out? Or where did these people that by hanging out, but they hang out on YouTube? Or they hang out? You know, on blogs, on magazines? Are they hanging out on Instagram On Facebook Lives? And so that should inform you a little bit in terms of figuring out like, Hey, is there potential to you know, crack that channel? In terms of Yeah, go ahead, please, please keep it up. And then I’ll say, in terms of being creative, that is super, super important. And actually, digital products are something that require a lot of creativity, because you have two ways of doing it. Either you pay someone to just try the product and talk about their experience and post it. We’ve actually done some paid campaign campaigns before it can work really well. There’s a trade off. influencers aren’t that excited to try and experience like digital products, it’s really hard to have a digital product that is so exciting that it was like well, I really want to be part of this. That said you have no cogs right. So you can potentially you have amazing margins, which may get that you can actually spend a ton of money in influencer marketing and get those returns. It really depends on on a lot of factors like you know, how much product market fit you have, how mass market are you in what channels and you’re going to try and test out like notion, for example, has done a lot of influencer marketing on tik tok. And that’s worked well, right. That’s an example of a digital product. There’s a lot of credit card companies that do a ton of influencer marketing. And you know, they’ll try to be really, really creative with those ads and concepts because they don’t really want to just have yet another person who like uses credit card. So there’s, there’s, there’s levels to it. And again, the way to think about it is start by building your community that’s going to compound and you can add additional levels of advancements over time, you can expand into other channels, you start off with Instagram than you do Instagram and ticked off and then add YouTube, you can do fancier things. Even if you’re gifting your product, you can start off by gifting just an empty bottle of your protein powder. Then you can design a fancy box for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day and have a really beautiful deep message inside the box. So when influencers open it, they see it they share it and you have like your mini billboards go out to all their audiences with your tagline or your your resonating copy for example, right. There’s all these ways you can really compound that community. And stack on top of it. But it if you’ve you start thinking about that from day one, you’re like, Oh, so many things are going to design a box, I got to do YouTube and Tiktok. But no, you can just start really straightforward and at least get the engine going.

Mark Daoust  30:12

Really, really cool stuff. All right, that reusing assets you brought this up. And I think this is this kind of hits a little bit of what does, and feel free to talk about it. You know, the content you provide has been super helpful. Today, we’re using assets. Let’s say that you have a couple 100 influencers and you launch a new product, you send it out, you end up getting 50 different videos. your Instagram insinuation here, what seemed to be getting that here is obviously that’s content that you can use as content you should be saving, what are ways that people should be using this content that’s now been generated for them.

Paul Benigeri  30:46

Let’s go through the list. The first one is on your paid ads, Facebook ads, you can just use them wrong, you can do a carousel of different ones you can hire an editor to mash up three or four of your of your influencers talking about the product in different ways. You know, add value prop one from person one value prop two from person to that’ll show a lot of social proof, you can put a little bumper at the end with a swipe up link, and then add to perform really well. So literally just repurposing that ad on Facebook can be great, raw or edited. There’s different ways people do different things. Companies like urology have scaled massively by leveraging influencers to create content and repurposing that content. The other thing you can do is use it on all of you literally all of your other digital marketing channels that need some form of content. Maybe the exception is like AdWords, right? Like, you’re not going to put an influencer post in like a search snippet. But on your blogs, right? You can put UGC, if you don’t, if you don’t want to like pay for stock photos and have people like you know, do recipes and things like that. If you’re doing email marketing, you can throw in some real life user generated content in your cart abandonment flows. If you’re doing SMS marketing, don’t just send a blank texts and like a nice video or story of an influencer using the product, right, that’s going to engage people really nicely. The other thing is you can so so those are just some ways on your website, right? People nowadays really liked to have this distrust the social proof, they like to see a community. And so if you go from a website that is just pure, like product shots, and like a white background, and throw in some real life footage of people using the product, talking about a product, photo or video on your homepage, on your product pages, I’ve seen that improved conversion significantly, many, many times. And so that is something to test out. Some brands are very, very strict with their photo guidelines. And it’s a fashion thing, and maybe it’s not a fit. But for a lot of brands, I encourage you to test it out. And you might see some really good results. We used to play UGC lotto back at HB MN, we would launch campaigns and dump some UGC in it. And we would always try to predict which one is going to work. And I bet my designer friend Mike Lee, which one would would it be, and it was always like a huge surprise which one would work. So it’s kind of like the spawn thing where you really let you get tested so many different ideas and concepts and styles that you internally, just, you can’t come up with all that stuff, right? You can’t compete with the creativity of 5050 different influencers.

Mark Daoust  33:08

And just to be clear, UGC, is your user generated content.

Paul Benigeri  33:12

Right? And I guess, you know, some people might say, oh, but this is influencer? Benigeri, it’s, I think, to me, it’s the same thing. You know, there’s some paid some free UGC, the ideas that I think the main difference is that you have your brand content, which you shot yourself, you hired a photographer to to shoot and you commissioned versus something that you worked with an influencer on or had them work by themselves or had a customer share a photo or unboxing video for awesome.

Mark Daoust  33:40

This has been a super interesting conversation. Tell me a little bit about an and what you’re doing over there? Because I think that’s super exciting as well.

Paul Benigeri  33:47

Yeah. So with Archive, we took a lot of learnings that, you know, our team got by building an operating the e commerce space. And we’re like, Hey, we’re going to build software to help automate a lot of these e commerce digital marketing workflows that are super slow, and super manual. So we have two products, Archive communities, where we build and scale nano influencer communities for consumer brands. So again, your problem is you want to work with 500 influencers, but you don’t have time so you can hire on fat communities to build that out for you. We run programs for companies like for SIG Matic pros, magic spoon, that have done really, really well and that are really excited to scale these programs beyond 100 to 51,000 influencers, but they don’t want to hire eight people and work with a bunch of Google spreadsheets. Our second product is, whether you want to do influencer marketing or not. If you’re on Shopify, and if you have an Instagram account, you’d like to have people tagging you in stories that content like we talked about is super valuable. You might want to use it now or later. Stories disappear after 24 hours so that’s that’s kind of a bummer. You have to save the manual these people screenshot them people rbas to save them and put in Google Drive. Archive app automates that on Automatically so it’ll automatically detect when your brand gets tagged in an Instagram story or an Instagram feed post and put them in a really nice gallery inside your shop by so you can use that content later.

Mark Daoust  35:12

Awesome. So to build ratio for any questions that people might have on this any other way to contact you to hear me out, you

Paul Benigeri  35:19

can hit me up on Twitter at Benigeri it’s my last name Benigeri, or hit us up on, any of the emails or forms go directly to me, if you have any questions about our products, or about influencer marketing, or e commerce in general, I’ll happily respond.

Mark Daoust  35:35

I love this topic. And I just want to round it out with this. I mean, I get a chance to look at a lot of companies that come through and a lot of companies doing things very, very well. But they’re all doing the same thing in many, many cases. And then you see somebody do something different. You see just how impactful it can be and what great margins they can have because they are breaking the mold and doing something different. I think regardless of whether or not you’re on Shopify, if your Amazon FBA want to raise brand awareness, there’s a lot of value to that. Or if you even have a digital product and taking a look at influencer marketing and being able to leverage that can be a huge accelerator towards growth, whether that’s post acquisition or pre acquisition, I think it’s a phenomenal thing to look at and to evaluate for any sort of company out there. So Paul, really appreciate you coming in and kind of quick

Paul Benigeri  36:18

and I think just to add to that, I think one of the things that is very valuable for business is a diverse marketing mix, right and just not being successful at only one channel. So whether it’s diversifying from Facebook, which is very tough for a lot of companies right now to influencer marketing or SEO or affiliates or other things it that’s super important.

Mark Daoust  36:39

Yeah. And that’s social proof. Boy, you know, it is hard to get people to trust you more and more and that social proof absolutely bridges that that trust which is so important in your marketing mix. Cool. Any last thoughts, Paul? None of my cool appreciate you coming on guys. If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast, please do so. Really appreciate you guys listening to this episode. Paul. Thank you for coming on.

Outro  37:03

Thanks, Mark was fine. today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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