Elise 00:00:04 Welcome to the Loop Marketing podcast. I'm your host Elise Stieferman, director of marketing at Coegi. Today's podcast is a recording of a recent webinar entitled Debunking Myths of Influencer Marketing, featuring guests from TikTok, Tagger and @BakerBanter. Let's get started.
Ryan 00:00:23 Well, let's get started. Welcome everybody. Excited that you've joined us today. We're gonna talk about three myths of influencer marketing and how we can navigate conversations for your brands by way of introduction. I'm Ryan Green, the vice president of marketing and innovation at Coegi, and I have an esteemed panel with us. I'll first introduce Natalie Carson, who is our senior account manager here at Coegi. Coegi is a digital marketing agency that focuses on performance. So Natalie helps as our subject matter expert in handling all of our influencer activations. She's built this program from the ground up, so I'm excited to have her on. Next we have Danielle Johnson, the head of account management at TikTok.Thanks for joining us, Danielle. We have Darryl Singer, our most rockstar dressed of the group today, who’s the head of revenue at an influencer marketing platform, Tagger, that's one of our partners- thanks for joining us Darryl. Then we have a content creator expert, Jenna Baker. She's a native St. Louis and she manages a highly followed account, @BakerBanter with her siblings, Derek and Katie, with I think over 2 million followers- that's nothing to shake a stick at. So, appreciate everyone joining us, looking forward to great discussion today for the next 45 minutes. We'll leave time for questions, but certainly feel free to put any questions that you all may have as well. So first, if you guys wanna go and introduce yourselves and your roles a little bit. Natalie, do you wanna start?
Natalie 00:02:23 Sure. You gave me a pretty sweet introduction already, but just to recap, I'm a senior account manager at Coegi and also spearhead all of our influencer marketing things. I've been at Coegi for a few years now. I used to work out of the St. Louis, Missouri office, and now I am remote in Houston, Texas, where Texas is originally where I'm from. So glad to be back in the heat, even though sometimes I do complain about it. And with that, I can just pass it over to Danielle.
Danielle 00:02:56 Thanks, Natalie. As Ryan mentioned, I oversee our account management team here at TikTok. My team partners with a variety of different size businesses and managing their campaigns, optimizations, performance, in addition to keeping them up to date with new product rollouts and platform updates. So, a lot of one to one relationships for my team and excited to be engaging with some of the teams that are helping Tiktok come to life here and talking about the influencers and creator space. Darryl?
Darryl 00:03:35 I will go from there, Ryan, you did a great job with the intro, but I can pick it up. Darryl Singer, head of revenue at Tagger. We are a globally based SAS solution for influencer marketing discovery workflow, etcetera. So I come from a little bit of a different perspective from a specific platform or teams that are managing day to day and I’m really excited to dig into this conversation and talk further about answering all of those great questions that Ryan has here. So I'll pass it to Jenna.
Jenna 00:04:10 Hello, I am Jenna. I am a TikTok influencer, if you will. I manage a popular TikTok account called @BakerBanter with my siblings, Derek and Katie. It is a family affair. Our last name is Baker, and we do talk a lot. So that's where the “Baker Banter” kind of comes together. But my brother Derek is kind of the star of our show. He is 25 and he has down syndrome and we really just create content to show other people what the life of an adult with down syndrome and his family looks like.
Ryan 00:04:51 Appreciate it guys. Great backgrounds from a lot of different perspectives. So really interested in how the conversation goes today. So let's tackle myth one, that influencer marketing is solely beneficial for high level awareness and isn't really seen as a tactic that brands can go to for bottom funnel results, so sales and acquisition and things of that nature. Natalie, do you think this is truth? Or do you think it's a myth? Why do you think influencer marketing historically has been seen from the brand perspective as an awareness play?
Natalie 00:05:30 I definitely think it's a myth. That's why we're calling it myth number one, we gotta debunk it. I think the reason behind brands having this idea that it's awareness only is because they're thinking how influencer marketing kind of started, which it started as word of mouth marketing, right? Like that's how it originated, and from there, brands just assume it's organic and they think maybe it's the organic agency or the PR team that would handle that type of thing. But really as the industry has evolved and technology has evolved, there's so much that you can do with creators and influencers to fill that bottom funnel. And there's various different things I'm sure we'll get into- Danielle, Darrell- just affiliate links and UTMs and connecting things with CTA. So you can track things in Google analytics, that can really build that bottom funnel and have conversion and not just those vanity metrics that we're used to seeing, you know, impressions and likes and comments and things like that. There really is so much performance based metrics that we can pull from influencer marketing campaigns, thus Coegi really grabbing that and putting it into our media mix for our clients. Yeah, going back to, I think just brands and clients, sometimes they either just forget, or they're just not educated and they just don't know yet the things that you can really do to leverage content creators at that bottom funnel level, instead of just awareness.
Ryan 00:07:01 Danielle, is that your experience at TikTok as well, brands and creators feel that influencer is really a reach play, or a way for brands to harness the power creators have to, talk broadly to audiences or do brands look for some specific actions when they are contracting with talent?
Danielle 00:07:29 Yeah. You know, I think for TikTok specifically, what makes it so unique for us is what we kind of call community commerce for the platform. It's a very interesting blend of entertainment, but also discovery in a very unique way. So when we think about creators, they are really resonating with niche audiences where, you know, it used to be word of mouth and you were thinking broad and wide targeted, and you didn't necessarily have some of that control, whereas TikTok has really allowed you to kind of almost use a flywheel effect of your marketing objectives in partnership with creators. It can help you reach new audiences, be discovered, but also can go all the way down to that bottom funnel for purchases and app downloads and orders, legion. So we're really seeing it across the board because of the power of the content discovery and pairing that with the creators who know this audience and know how to resonate on the platform
Ryan 00:08:28 And Darrell, you know, your company really is at the synergy of bringing together a number of different avenues for creators and brands to communicate. How do you see that interaction between, you know, awareness and conversion tactics? You even talk about it like that, are those words that you even use when approaching the conversation?
Darryl 00:08:52 Absolutely. And, the shift that we've seen is not just in how we're talking about it, but even who the customer base is. So platforms historically in our space lived in that earned and own stack. So you had the PR and the comms teams, which is kind of going back to that world of awareness. Maybe the most used metric that's stayed over from that phase as we've moved more into the media teams and deeper into marketing teams is earned media value as a metric that we're talking about still today, although that's a PR metric. As we start to look at other measurable elements and things that matter both to marketing teams and to brand agencies, it's pulling in this metric that comes from the PR world and then marrying it to other conversion data and specific conversion data. So Natalie, you kind of got to the surface of where is this going now and from our perspective, it's that connection to things like Shopify saying, Hey, we've got an e-commerce store, let's pull all the creators that we're hiring in, let them fulfill right inside of any platform and get those discount codes, get those trackable links and pull all that conversion data in because at the end of the day, what we care about is this measurable. Can we prove success as we go? And I actually think, not to shine too much light into one of my, one of my co-panelists worlds, but TikTok’s done maybe the best job of kind of leaning into this one to one world. They’re really the only platform that has a, a two-way API, all social platforms give the platforms like us APIs to pull data, but where TikTok is kind of leaning in, in that different way, is they're saying, Hey, we want whatever's happening on these third party platforms like Tagger to populate inside a TikTok. We want that cross pollination of the TikTok creator marketplace and the brand world so that you can really activate on it by media, etcetera, etcetera, and show success. So maybe I went further than you want to at this stage, Ryan.
Ryan 00:11:11 No, no. I think those are all really salient points, right? Especially from the advertising side, what can we do to seamlessly be able to track the metrics that matter to brands, but those metrics are gonna be a little bit different, I think, than what matter to creators. So, Jenna, I'm interested. I know we talked before this call on a lot of the marketing jargon that we use. That's not the way that you talk about it, right? So when you interact with a brand successfully, how do they describe what their goals are and how does that translate into the content that you're contracted to work with them with while still being able to keep the authentic voice that matters to you and your family so much?
Jenna 00:11:58 Yeah. I think that when we work with a brand, we try really hard to figure out how is this relationship that we're creating, going to tie into our content in a really natural way. We've done it successfully with two different brands at a high level, and it looks two very different ways. So we've worked with one brand in the past, Dropps, which is a sustainable laundry and dish detergent company. With them, we went a lot more product focused and tried to highlight some of those like big talking points that they're really proud of while working it into things that made sense for who we are and what we do as a family. So for example, our followers, if they follow us on a regular basis, they know that we have a cabin on a river down in Southern Missouri, and we go there all summer long and we're always posting content about the river and all that kind of stuff. So last year when we were working with Dropps, we did multiple of our Dropps videos where we were actually highlighting like national river day. And we talked about what the river means to us and our followers know that the river is important to us because they see that content all the time. But then we were able to tie that in, and this is what it means to us. This is how we've been going to the river, our whole lives. It's really important, yada yada. And because of things like this, we like to work with companies that do X, Y, Z, and then we're able to tie in that, that Dropps connection there. So we're getting their talking points and kind of saying what it is that they want to really highlight about themselves while also making it super personal and something that like our followers know already about us and in a different, but similar capacity. We also have more recently been working with Cricket Wireless and Cricket Wireless, as all of you know, is a phone company. And we have yet to discuss phones in any of our ads with Cricket Wireless, because what they have done for us is helped us create this very unique experience for Derek, that we would not be able to create for ourselves because they have a high level relationship with WWE and Derek is a huge wrestling fan. So what they're doing is providing us with these opportunities that we cannot otherwise create for ourselves that in turn get really good reactions from Derek. Derek is super excited. Derek can't wait to talk about it, all that kind of stuff. And we're tying Cricket into that just by saying thank you and using their brand name. And, you know, Derek's always wearing his green Cricket shirts, but we're really never talking about their service or their phones or switching to Cricket Wireless, or why this is better than that. Like, we are not doing the advertisements for them in that capacity because we have found a different capacity that ties into who we are and what we do in a much more natural way. So they're still getting that ton of brand recognition and people are correlating their brand with this really positive thing that they're doing for our family. And it's putting their brand in a good light without actually ever even talking about what it is that their brand does or does for a consumer.
Ryan 00:15:36 So when you receive a brief or creative brief from like what was the first company I lost? From Dropps, excuse me. Yeah, whose idea was the sponsoring river day? Was that something that you knew was important to Derek or was that something that was important to Dropps? So does that seem like a nice cross section between brand and authentic creator? What was authentic to content creator there? So who came up with that?
Jenna 00:16:12 Yeah, so Dropps does a good job for us. They are very flexible with us, but they also provide us a good amount of :here's what we are doing on all these other platforms”. And like they have other creators that they work with. They have other platforms that they're pushing their messages on. So what they did is they would send us, me, I had a whole calendar for the entire year and during each month there were different notable days, whether it was world oceans day or world rivers day or whatever, it might be where they had like a list of bullet points for me that they were talking about in their other social media capacities and their other platforms. So then I was able to take a look at that list and say, okay, well, where can I tie this in? That makes sense for us. And when I saw world rivers day or protect the rivers day, whatever it's called, I believe it's in September. I was like, well, that's perfect because basically they just handed me a guidebook and I was able to take all of their potential ideas and turn them into something that really made sense for our family and the type of content that we produce.
Ryan 00:17:23 So the brand was able to probably already understand its own goals, put that, bake that into a playbook and then offer options for creators to be able to authentically engage in places they knew were going to be focus areas and be able to reach the goals that they had is what it sounds like was,
Jenna 00:17:46 It's almost like what they did is they just provided like these little like bullet points but it, nothing was required unless they had something very specific that they wanted everyone to be pushing. And then we would figure out how we could go along with that. But what they would provide is just a handful of options and say, these are some baseline ideas that you can generate something off of. And that was really helpful for me as a creator, because I knew that whatever idea I was generating from that specific topic was something that is a topic that they like to talk about and something that they already do talk about in other capacities. And then we can just make it into whatever it is that works for us. And like we did it for, in December they were pushing recyclable wrapping paper and things like that. So Derek and I went out and we bought some gifts and we bought some recycling wrap wrapping paper, and we wrapped recyclable gifts. And, it was a lot of fun and it was mostly about the wrapping of the gifts, but then we were able to tie the brand in really naturally at the end. And so they don't have anything to do with wrapping gifts, doesn't have anything to do with laundry or, or dishwashing, but it ties into what their mission is and what they're passionate about
Ryan 00:19:06 The opposite of the unboxing videos that we've seen so often.
Jenna 00:19:09 Yes,
Ryan 00:19:11 Natalie.
Natalie 00:19:12 Yeah. I was gonna say, I love the point that you bring up about just not having influencer or creator marketing be so siloed. That's something that's really important to us at Coegi as well, since we do run other tactics and channels. Really bring influencer marketing into your strategy as a whole and into your brand as a whole, don't look at it as something just as a silo off on its own island that doesn't connect with your other media, you know, so I love that point that you brought up there and even like, we're debunking the myth of influencer marketing being awareness only. It's not awareness only, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with awareness. There's still a lot of power in getting that valuable brand awareness and having your brand be just in a really good light and things like that. So I just wanna say, I love that point that you brought up of things all tying together with the brand and especially for like an editorial calendar and not just being like a siloed effort.
Danielle 00:20:12 Yeah. And I think what was great about that too, is the level of authenticity. It requires the brand to really understand themselves, but it allows the freedom and flexibility to work with what resonates for you, your voice and what you guys do on the platform. So I think that sounds like some really strong partnerships as examples.
Jenna 00:20:34 Yeah. I think it's important for me as an influencer, anything we do, obviously I want it to make sense for who we are. I don't want it to feel like super forced or super out of character, anything like that. So the more that the brand knows what they value and what those things are that are important to them, well, those things are also important to us. That's why we wanted to work with Dropps when they originally reached out to us, like I thought it was really cool that they were a fully sustainable company and that they were working toward making the world a healthier place and the environment, a healthier place like that is the reason we were drawn to them. So when we can take those things that we agree on with them and that we see eye to eye, like how can we then turn that into that authentic? It's storytelling at that point. And what about your brand connects with what we do and how can we share that message together?
Ryan 00:21:34 And when you have a long term partnership with a brand like that, did they tell you what the impact down funnel alert like to sales or that are attributed to your campaigns when it sounds like it's broader, but do they share a tie in?
Jenna 00:21:58 Yeah, unfortunately, we had a really great year with Dropps last year, we first started working with them in late 2020, and then the first gal that we had worked with left at the beginning of 2020. And so we had a little bit of a rough start, but we got back on track with them. And we started a nine month campaign in March that ran through December. The gal that we worked with in 2021 was great. We had created this really awesome relationship with her. On multiple occasions, she communicated that they were seeing good results, but unfortunately she left at the end of 2021. She only worked there for about like nine months. And so we have since had a hard time getting back in front of them and just getting in front of the right people to have that conversation. So we have not actually had, um, any money from Dropps come in this year, we have not done any ads with them in 2022. So unfortunately when our relationship kind of dropped off with them and we've had a hard time getting it picked back up, we also didn't necessarily get like set in stone feedback from them or data from them based on what our relationship with them last year, what kind of an impact it really did make for them. We verbally were told on multiple occasions that our links had been generating a good amount of traffic to their website. And they had been receiving a lot of comments on their videos, of people saying, like we're here from @BakerBanter and we love what you do with @BakerBanter and things like that. So in some of that, we could see ourselves, you know, or people commenting on our post “I just bought my first pack of Dropps” and that sort of thing. So we have some of that, but unfortunately, just because of the way that the relationship has kind of fallen off our radar and we've fallen off of theirs as well with just the way that this world kind of works.
Ryan 00:24:02 Rears it's ugly head in a lot of different ways,
Jenna 00:24:04 Right, right. So we unfortunately never got that like tangible data that we would necessarily be able to share easily, easily digestible with other people.
Ryan 00:24:15 So let's move on to myth number two. Darryl, you had a closing comment.
Darryl 00:24:21 It's fine. Just to throw, I can throw in one, just kind of final thing here on this topic, you know, as Danielle touched on authenticity, it's something just to really think about, it's not just about the authenticity of the creator you’re looking at, it's who their audience is and what do they care about and how much crossover is there with your brand. So when you're going out there and finding creators and trying to drive that conversion, it's really powerful when you find those creators whose audiences care about the same thing as your brand, who have that affinity towards your brand offering. So if you think about Jenna's audience, who cares about river day, who cares about that world of sustainability and clean environmental behavior, then that's going to align with the brand and it's gonna be easier for them to get the performance they want and to get those conversions ultimately, and new trials.
Ryan 00:25:12 There's three factors, the brand of the creator and the audience and the audience is the largest out of any of them and the ones that we have some point the least control over. Right. So we wanna be able to serve the audience first, and the needs of the other players secondarily, which I think maybe is something we could talk about here with myth number two, which is that only brands with massive budgets can run influencer campaigns at scale. Right. And there's a lot of shaking of no there, and you know, we clearly have ran several campaigns that have targeted regional or micro nano influencers. But I think there's some trepidation from brands as they're starting to enter in and wanting to take a test and learn approach, or only have 5% of their budget for influencer. How did they go about, you know, kind of debunking the Kardashian stereotype of influencer and fame, but lean into the authenticity of, smaller audiences when they're looking to start an influencer project, Natalie, do you want to start? Oh, Darryl, you go.
Darryl 00:26:39 I think this is the biggest myth that we're talking about today, because at the end of the day, micro influencers tend to have better performance for brands. They have a deeper connection to their audience. They actually feel like they're friends and like they're going to receive a response. So if we're talking about high level engagement rate and elements like that, or if we're talking about actual conversion rate and selling product, you're going to see significantly better performance typically for a brand with these micro influencers. It's different, you know, in the old days, celebrities were the influencers and now influencers are the celebrities. We kind of flipped it on its head. And even when it's a micro influencer, they get that following. And that audience that feels like they're part of their community. And I can say that I feel more deeply connected to the smaller influencers that I follow as an individual, regardless of the rest of the audience, what I'm saying. You know, I feel more connected because I know they respond to me if I have something to say. I know that they're potentially listening and what they say has more influence and lands with me in a more powerful way.
Ryan 00:27:49 And the data shows that too. I think it’s pretty clear that the- and these are directional to some degree- that generally the smaller influencers have higher truer engagement, generally have more recent followership and, you know, are curated and higher in the feed. Danielle, maybe that's something that you can touch on too. Do algorithms famous at this point for really bringing people in. Does TikTok tend to favor the engagement organically, that you would see from more niche influencers than the ones with large reach? And is that something that you as a platform can break down for us, some of the magic of the algorithm?
Danielle 00:28:46 Isn't that like the biggest question everybody would love for me to come in and reveal- “I attended that one webinar where the algorithm was revealed”. That's a big ask. No, but what I mean, I think the power here really is that when we talk about the entertainment and the authentic voices, there are so many different types of people on TikTok. And I think that's the beauty of whether you have a large reach, or if you are a micro creator, that speaks and resonates very heavily with a certain content series. Then the algorithm will make sure it gets to the people who care about that, and that are more likely to engage. I have a great example of a CPG brand out of Dallas, Mooala, they had such a polished look. They had finally figured out their recipes and all of that for Instagram and coming to TikTok, they were really challenged. They couldn't figure out how to find the mom base and, you know, some of the health teams. And so they actually leveraged our TikTok creator marketplace, put out a brand brief and found some partners and in a very affordable way that allowed them to actually figure out what were they talking about? How did that show up authentically in this space? And they didn't have to keep executing different creative on their side, and they were able to increase their views by 63%. They've really tapped into the mom market, and of course babies always win, but the biggest performing video was a four year old who was like tasting their products and trying to pour and missing the cup. And, you know, it wasn't perfect and it wasn't polished, but they were able to leverage the creators for what made sense for their scale and to find the right audience in that voice,
Ryan 00:30:42 Natalie, is that what you see too? There's an authenticity in that influencer and I'm gonna ask a second follow up that I think you may be able to answer. Christina asked, is it better when you do have a limited budget to focus on just a couple creators at a time? Or should do you need to have 10, 20, 30, a big reach to be able to engage, be able to meet brand goals for a campaign?
Natalie 00:31:13 Well, for starters, I would say, know your goals, know exactly what goals that you want, but also keep in mind quantity doesn't always trump quality and quality doesn’t always trump quantity. It depends on what your goals really are. But going to your question about just pricing and if you have a limited budget, I mean, y'all, there's no one size fits all for influencer marketing whatsoever. And as a media professional that deals with other platforms and other tactics that sometimes there's minimums and more marketing jargon, like CPMs and percentage of media costs and things like that, you don't necessarily have to deal with that with influencer marketing. I always say, well, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $10,000 per post. There's just so many factors, but that's what makes it great because it's so customizable and influencer marketing can really conform to almost any investment level. The different things that are gonna affect the pricing for influencers are like we said, follower count, but also engagement rate and conversion rate and timing, exclusivity, things like that. There's so many different factors you can look at. So if you know your budget or your budget range of what you want to spend, identify that, identify your goals and then go from there. If it is heavy awareness, then yeah, you might wanna space it out a little bit more and have more influencers than less, but if you're focused more on conversion- and by the way, conversion is not just sales, it's any action. So it could be opting in for newsletters or signing up for the text message notifications, any type of action. If that's what you're looking for, then yeah. Maybe just focus on two micro influencers. I forget the study or who did it, but there was a study done that micro influencers have an 80% higher conversion rate than these macro and mega influencers that just have so many followers, but not necessarily that engagement rate. And just going back to authenticity, those micro influencers, they have much more intimate communities with their followers. So that audience, you know, they trust them more and they see them as knowledgeable and dependable and reliable and trustworthy and all that good stuff. So I get a little passionate when we talk about budget with influencer marketing, cuz y'all, it really can conform to whatever investment level the brand has.
Ryan 00:33:44 Well, and I think that there's also two different lenses that you can engage a creator with- one may be more one off and transactional, where you're going to get three posts for $7,000 on this day and they're gonna hold this sign and that's it. Right. But there's also more of an ambassador approach, right. Whereas where it's more collaborative, more long term, probably a lot more added value to the brand as well when it becomes a part of the community and it's authentic. And Jenna, I think that is something we talked about a little bit as well as your channel has grown from a micro influencer to, I don't know how it would categorize 2.2 million, but a bigger, much bigger influencer. Has your relationships with brands changed and have your expectations been different? How has that engagement looked?
Jenna 00:34:49 Yeah. I definitely think my relationship with brands has changed. Luckily I came from a background of working in advertising sales on a local level here in St. Louis before going down this TikTok venture. And I have a cousin who currently works for Reddit, used to work for Snapchat, but he's in advertising sales. And so he's always kind of been like my business manager and helped me, but because of those two factors I was able to kind of see the bigger picture earlier on. Whereas a lot of influencers, I think they get really excited when they see the first couple of brands reach out to them or say like, let me send you this or, you know, whatever that might be. But to actually pursue a relationship with a brand, that is, you are going to be communicating with them on a very regular basis, you're going to be creating content for them on a very regular basis. Those are brands that I really value that relationship with them to a much higher level. And I don't wanna have a hundred different brands that I advertise for in a year. Like that is not what I want at all. That is way too hard for me to keep track of and our audience doesn't care. So there, that's just almost like an easy grab for me as an influencer. Like I could easily be working with a couple of different fashion brands that were just sending my sister and I free clothes, and I could easily be working with the air purifiers of the world that Derek can't actually pronounce their names. Like I have those messages in my inbox right now, but the brands that I really want to try and pursue a legitimate relationship with, we're going to really try to make an impact for both them and us by making an impact for them, they're going to pay us and make an impact for us on a revenue basis. I want that brand to be somebody that, or be a company that we as a family genuinely do see working with in our regular day to day lives, see using their products in our regular day to day lives. And so I think that kind of just piggybacking off what some of you guys have said, like when I introduce myself, I often do say that we are still micro influencers. So even though we have 2 million followers on TikTok, you know, TikTok is a beast of a platform. And I think that, and I hope you don't take any offense to anything I say today, Danielle, but I feel that the number of followers that we have on TikTok is not quite as valuable as the number of followers that we have on other platforms, merely from a sense that it's just not as easy to reach our followers there like, yes, they follow us, but getting my videos in front of them on a regular basis is harder. However, there is a core group of people that we know, like our family, we recognize their usernames. We recognize their little pictures because they're constantly interacting with us. And those are the people that we can influence. And there's a very good, large chunk of them. You know, we have 2.8 million followers. Ok maybe we've got 300,000 that I feel genuinely follow us, super regularly and closely, and like, know everything that we have going on in our lives, right? Like only a portion of those people are legitimately keeping up with us on a super regular basis, but, we can reach those people and we can have genuine, authentic conversations with them and tell them what we know about brands and whether or not we enjoy working with brands and things like that.
Ryan 00:38:49 And that's a really good segue into two questions that came up- one person asked what's a follower and engagement rate that defines what a micro influencer is versus a macro influencer. And I think to your point, it's not just about follower counts, it's about devotees to some degree. It's about looking maybe across the platforms that an influencer has. There’s usually a bread and butter that an influencer may have, like one go-to with a big followership, but also their YouTube channel has a different kind of engagement, right, that may be different than their Instagram handle has, right? So it's not a black and white definition of what is macro and what is micro, at least in my opinion, and you guys fill me in if you disagree, but the other question was, do you think, because there may be more emphasis on micro influencers that the pendulum will swing to bigger influencers because there may an oversaturation of companies that are chasing that engagement, that they're seeing from smaller influencers. Maybe it's easier to get reached with larger as well. So I think those are two questions that tie into each other, we’d really be interested to hear your guys’ point of view on what defines macro and micro and how to think about followership engagement when a brand is wanting to lean into an influencer strategy.
Natalie 00:40:26 Do you wanna go first Darryl?
Darryl 00:40:29 I can just kind of quickly jump in, it's like a nail on the head Jenna, in that it's gonna be looked on differently depending on the platform. In fact, when we're recommending what people pay out to a creator, it will be differentiated based on the platform cuz that million plus follower, that mega creator, which you guys are, is offered less or recommended to pay less on TikTok than on Instagram where it's harder to build that audience as actively and as quickly. So I think that there's definitely a lot of differentiation between them. That said, million plus, you're still a mega creator, whether you wanna admit it or not, Jenna, you're a mega creator at the end of the day. And that's something to be really proud of.
Jenna 00:41:16 It'll take it.
Darryl 00:41:17 And to address that question of pendulum shift, I'm not even sure that the pendulum has completely shifted to nano and micro it's more a matter of creating a more complete ecosystem where you have different instances where you work with one type of creator or another, depending on the type of campaign you wanna run, what your KPIs are back to.
Ryan 00:41:41 Well it depends on the size of the brand, your objectives too, right? Because if you're Coca Cola mass reach doesn't need to be as niche targeted, you probably do wanna go with bigger creators. You're gonna get lower CPM and, you know, across the board, et cetera. And it makes sense to a broad audience. But if your goal is to introduce your brand to a new audience, the micro creators are probably going to be a better option for you, even if you string a hundred together, because there is a higher degree of authenticity. So I think this comes back to brand goals quite a bit, and there's not one answer here, which is the beauty, I think, in kind of the open canvas of influence- you can really make it to what you want. Danielle I wanna make sure to give you a chance to defend TikTok too, a couple jabs, maybe. So, is a TikTok influencer or is a TikTok follower cheaper than on other channels? How would you hit back on that?
Danielle 00:42:47 I think the expectation of why somebody comes to TikTok is different than why they may go to YouTube and why they go to Instagram, as an example, and how they engage is different. I am an avid TikTok user. I am not a creator, but I may not engage as much, but I really enjoy the content, the stories. And so the following for me is to go along for a ride. And I love Jenna's stories of like this insight into her family, right. I'm a mom, so like, I've got more mom-base here, but my Instagram, I like to say, they're a little bit more idealistic and I'm not, it just doesn't feel as like real in the day to day, but it is inspirational for me, it's aspirational. So even as a user of multiple platforms, I think it's very different in how I engage on different platforms. And you should think about that with your audiences too, whether it's a new one or continuing to build on your base, but that ongoing engagement helps you find what the right balance is. And you will see just on Instagram that you've got people that rise to the top as you would on TikTok, like Jenna was just talking about.
Ryan 00:43:58 I wanna get to myth number three, we’re running out of time. So myth number three, is that influencer is just for CPG brands and thinking about other industries that we could go in- we actually got a question that I saved for this section, from Helen, talking about pharma, and if there were any regulations there. So, I'd love to hear about non CPG, non-beauty, non sports categories that have played well on TikTok. I know TikTok, for instance, doesn't allow alcohol advertising. We've ran into that. Are there restrictions from a regulatory standpoint that you have, that you wanna mention, Danielle? I know there are places that brands should be looking for influencer that in certain categories just aren't as developed for that channel.
Danielle 00:44:53 Yeah. It's a great question. And I will say, look, pharma kind of regulates itself very well. While it is a, I mean, I would always say know our policies and what we allow on the platform to begin with, but we do have ways that pharma can be on the platform. They would have the same access to the same tools and opportunities to use spark ads and creator marketplace. So, it's all the policies beforehand, to get you there.
Ryan 00:45:23 It’s gonna have a lot of ISI that may be included.
Danielle 00:45:28 But you know, I've seen some really interesting ones. There was a B2B, like storage company who partnered with a pool guy on custom builds around pools. And it was an interesting one that was kind of like a high, more luxury item. And to see that really payoff, we've seen some non-profits really leverage creators because of the passion and that authenticity to a cause. But I think one of my favorites is a company called Lox. They are, by their own words, a dating app for Jewish singles with ridiculously high standards. And it was really funny for them to look and find the right creators and that voice of using and driving download apps and you have to apply to get onto this. And so they had increased their applications by three times just with their first campaign. Um, and so those
Ryan 00:46:24 Are they denying 95% of those for the pickiness?
Danielle 00:46:28 I should follow up and ask, like, what was the acceptance rate out of that? <laugh> But, you know, and they've continued to grow their investment on the platform. So those are a couple of examples of other industries and some of the unique ways I see people leveraging TikTok and their creators in this space.
Ryan 00:46:45 Natalie, who are some of the brands that you're looking at that maybe outside of the norm?
Natalie 00:46:51 Yeah, one that I wanted to specifically compliment TikTok on is AG. Agriculture and farmers are big on TikTok and people are just beginning to realize that. But I think that something that we've seen with agriculture is that they're really utilizing influencer marketing and TikTok specifically, not just to sell their products or services, but to educate and to just really connect with their audience and show off their core values as a company and how they differentiate from their competitors. So not just always sales or services, but just connections and education. And I do see that a lot with agriculture, specifically on TikTok. There's a lot of young farmers that are really, really good creators on TikTok and super cute. And then also hospitality and tourism is another one that we've seen here at Coegi, that's not a CPG brand. They don't have a product, they don't really have a service necessarily, but we can still really utilize creators to connect their company or their brand, um, with audiences that are relevant. So those are a couple of my favorite examples that are outside of the CPG kind of like go to that people think of for influencer marketing.
Ryan 00:48:11 We have about nine minutes. So any other questions from the audience please, bring them, we really appreciate the engagement so far. Darrell, is there any brands and verticals that you think of that should be doing, influencer that aren't currently?
Darryl 00:48:29 Absolutely, one of the coolest ones of the last year, and I think Danielle kind of touched on it is not for profit, but marrying it to the pharma category, we have a client, the NAACP, and one of their local chapters in the Southeast, in Atlanta, did a program encouraging people of color to go for their COVID shot. So it was marrying the need and they did it in a really cool way where they had big 10 athletes, like Trey Young, that were involved and wanted to be involved, but then they were hiring those micro influencers. And I think that kind of brings us back to what we were talking about earlier. It's like big versus small from an influencer perspective. Now you can marry it all together. You find those big 10 pool creators and then build local activations around that, which we see in travel, we see that in hospitality, specifically, the restaurant business, you get a large chain, a restaurant chain. They can do local engagements when they open a new location. Autos do the same with dealerships. But the one that I think is most interesting from a growth perspective is B2B. Nobody thinks of B2B or people traditionally don't think of B2B as an influencer-friendly category. But what we're seeing is the SAS brands coming in and saying, Hey, we wanna get the buyer of our software where they play. We don't have to get them on LinkedIn. There are other places where we can market to them and get their attention based on key creators like a Mark Cuban or somebody like that, who they care about, or people that have an affinity to a certain business category- followers that are engineers, nurses, et cetera. So I think, I think that's kind of one of the biggest opportunities is that B2B.
Ryan 00:50:15 I think finding LinkedIn influencers could be an opportunity too. Nobody's not one that's, you're curating data into Tagger with right now is. Yeah, well that, that would, that'd be a good start. Jenna, is there any brands that you've worked with that you think have done a good job outside of normal beauty and CPG? I know you talked a little bit about integration with wrestling, which I know came from Cricket, but is there anything brands that should be aware of in particular, working with a family with somebody with down syndrome too, that should be considered, um, as they're looking, uh, to engage with you?
Jenna 00:50:58 Yeah. I try to be very open and honest from the get go when I'm having a conversation with a brand on just kind of what our process looks like, what works well for us, because I always like to explain to people like we have a lot of fun. We enjoy doing what we do, but at the end of the day, Derek, Derek does still have a disability. And I am now trying to run @BakerBanter as a full-fledged business in the business world and connecting with people and all of that kind of stuff. But that's not really what Derek's into. Derek doesn't do this in order to create a business. Derek doesn't see it as a job. It is just his life, and he wants to continue to be able to live his life the way that it has been going with TikTok. And he would love to see that continue.
Jenna 00:51:55 But at the end of the day, Derek doesn't have a business mind. And so I always try to make sure that brands know that Derek and I don't live together. So that is a challenge for us sometimes, especially when it comes to getting things turned around, like really quickly, like I've had brands come back to me and be like, oh, well, we didn't like this, this and this. Or can we change this, this and this? And then I'm like, yes, I can do that. But Derek works the next two days and I'm not gonna see him until Thursday or, you know, sometimes Derek just like, there are words that's, for example, with Dropps “sustainable”, that is very difficult for Derek to say. And so there are sometimes it's-
Ryan 00:52:36 Hard for me to say
Jenna 00:52:37 <laugh> right. So sometimes there are just things that I like to try to, from the very get go of conversations with brands, I try to continue to emphasize that at the end of the day, Derek is an adult with a disability, and that comes with its own unique set of needs. And I'm trying to make sure that the brands that we do choose to pursue a more ongoing long term partnership with are brands that really make me feel like they understand that and that they are willing to have that flexibility that we need to be able to say, you know, we really couldn't do it this way because X, Y, Z. So I tried it this way instead, and things like that. I try to kind of blend my two worlds together by having this like marketing and advertising and branding knowledge from my previous places in my career, and then bringing it together with how can I make this work for our family? It's just about if we say that this is how it works for us, and then we start working with a brand and then they, you know, come back and they get upset because we ask for the flexibility and they couldn't give it, or things like that, then that's probably not a great relationship.
Ryan 00:53:57 Probably not the brand that you should be that you should be working with.
Jenna 00:54:00 Right. So that's why I just try to be as open and honest, upfront with brands about how we can work with them in a way in which that works for us and them. And if they're willing to kind of meet me in a happy medium place, then I'm willing to move forward with them. But if they're gonna make it really difficult on me, what are they gonna do when Derek's having a bad day and we can't get it done today because it's just not our day. And that is the reality of the world that I live. And if they want to be a part of that, and if they want us to, you know, put them on this pedestal of brands that we are willing to align ourselves with, then they need to be able to have that flexibility and that understanding that our world doesn't go round the same way as everybody else’s.
Ryan 00:54:56 Well, I think that's the biggest thing I took away from today is flexibility- the need for flexibility in how we work with creators, the need for flexibility in how we measure success, the need for flexibility in thinking about which channels and verticals are going to be appropriate. The flexibility on how we look at macro versus micro influencers, right? Because the real goal is to remain authentic, authentic to the audiences that we're trying to curate, whether we're trying to keep our audiences as creators or develop audiences for brands, that authenticity is gonna be the most important part of this. So coming in with a flexible mindset, being able to be creative in the way that we look at measuring success and addressing our audience and ultimately finding some creative ways to, to message them, I think is a big takeaway I took from this at least. So thank you all so much for your time. Thank you, the audience, for your participation. Great. We look forward to seeing you guys again soon. Thank you.
Speaker 7 00:56:03 Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Jenna 00:56:09 Thank you.
Elise 00:56:11 Thank you for listening. Coegi is an industry leading performance marketing agency based in the Midwest. We've learned a lot since our founding in 2014 and started the Loop Marketing Podcast to share some of our hot takes on marketing trends we're following, best practices we've discovered, and actionable tips for improving your digital strategy. We'll see you next time.