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کتاب: از گریوی بپرس / فصل 13

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CHAPTER 11

INFLUENCER MARKETING

IN THIS CHAPTER I TALK ABOUT WHERE THE BIG BUCKS ARE GOING NEXT, THE TWO BIGGEST INFLUENCER OPPORTUNITIES, AND HOW UP-AND-COMING INFLUENCERS CAN GET ADVERTISER ATTENTION.

We all know that the thank-you economy is based on the power of word of mouth. With one click—or tweet or share or favorite or any number of other social digital acts—consumers’ messages can be spread and their voice amplified well beyond the boundaries of their neighborhoods or even the industries where they work. And that’s just the ordinary Joes who aren’t actually trying to make names for themselves. There are others, of course, whose WOM is even more valuable. These are the people who put in the hustle. Celebrities, for sure, and experts in their fields, but also those people who aren’t celebrities in the traditional sense and yet who are so entertaining, different, or funny, and so good at creating native content, whether six-second Vine videos or pithy tweets or insightful blog posts, they develop a disproportionate effect on popular culture and opinion. Marketing today is about going where the eyeballs go, and the eyeballs are on all of these influencers. Will they see your brand there? You’re missing out if they’re not.

I’ve known for a long time that one person’s passion and personality could carry a brand, especially via video. Companies were reaching out to me as early as 2006 asking if I would integrate their products into Wine Library TV. I didn’t take their offers because I wasn’t yet sure what the negative side effects might be, and though 5K was a nice sum I was making enough that it didn’t seem worth the risk. Now the practice has become so commonplace and acceptable I’m considering getting a sponsor for AskGaryVee. Can you imagine it? “The AskGaryVee Show, brought to you by the New York Jets.” Back in 2009, when I first wrote about influencer marketing in Crush It, people were still debating whether YouTube was really a major platform. Today YouTube is the video platform of our society, with Facebook video hot on its heels. Influencer marketing is an exploding category, yet for all the thousands of dollars being paid to people to post things on social, it is still grossly underpriced below its market value. I always say that I don’t like to make predictions, but I’m comfortable predicting that whatever the dollar amount influencers are being paid to market services and products in 2016, that money will be dwarfed by 2019. Corporations are going to give massive amounts of money to individuals to help bring awareness on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram and plenty more that don’t exist yet.

When I first advocated for this kind of marketing, people were still skeptical of the idea that everyone and anyone could develop a personal brand. It was weird. Now it’s the norm. Every fourteen-year-old knows that if she can get enough followers on Instagram companies will send her free stuff and pay her to put pictures of their product on her feed, and not one fourteen-year-old watching her is going to think badly of her for doing it. You’ll see—influencer marketing is going to be one of the advertising bedrocks of the next decade.

I believe in this form of marketing so much that in May 2013 I started a talent agency with Jérôme Jarre called GrapeStory to represent the star storytellers of Vine and Snapchat. Since then I’ve watched the careers of Logan Paul, Marcus Johns, KingBach, Lele Pons, Nash Grier, and Shonduras explode, turning them from unknowns into bigger stars to the average fifteen-year-old than Rihanna. If you’re twenty-five years or older, these names may not mean anything to you, but for anyone ages 14–24, these have been household names for well over eighteen months.

Where do you see the biggest untapped opportunities in the social media influence space? Where is the next big thing coming from?

How do you define influencer?

Now that you’re running an influencer space with GrapeStory, what are the biggest challenges you’re facing in scaling the business model, and which brands are doing a good job using influencers in social channels?

What’s the difference between influencer marketing and product placement?

What is the role of influencers in my overall media strategy, and how do I evaluate them relative to other marketing channels?

How do I evaluate the cost of an influencer on a case-by-case basis?

My brand doesn’t even have a Vine account. Should Vine be a platform I consider if it’s not somewhere we’re already active for brand development?

When you contract with an influencer, do you instruct them to continue to make the kind of content your brand is already making, or should you let them speak with their own voice and on their own terms?

Can an influencer on Vine, Snapchat, or Instagram drive app downloads given the platform limitations against linking out? How can we prove that their content directly affects the KPI?

What is the tactical and strategic pathway to become an influencer? I am all in when it comes to all forms of marketing. How do I connect with influencers, leverage their brand equity, or grow my own?

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