Influencer Marketing and Influencer Relations with Estonia’s Marketing Institute.

By: avery
March 29, 2019

Anu Mall and the Marketingi Instituut (Marketing institute) are their own kind of influencer in the Estonian Marketing space. They boast more than 250 marketing podcasts, marketing related articles, marketing courses and host a hit event; Tallinn marketing week.

With most of these resources being in the Estonian language, it’s safe to say they one of the top marketing influencers in Estonia. So when they invited me to represent Modash, I was instantly onboard.

Here is a text breakdown of Marketingi Instituut Episode 269 with Avery Schrader.

What kind of influencer marketing tool is modash?

Modash is a platform that makes it easy to build and manage influencer marketing campaigns. An all-in-one influencer marketing tool.

You can find influencers who speak to a  specific target demographic anywhere in the world. Modash lets you build campaigns. Meaning moving through a straightforward step-by-step process to create campaign briefs.

Then you can forward it to tens or hundreds of creators and manage those relationships over time. That’s important because long term relationships work better with influencers. Aim for quality over quantity.

What are the influencer marketing trends in 2019?

Europe is reaching the kind of maturity curve of adopting influencers. So we start to see some interesting influencer campaign examples happening.

One thing that is going to change over the next year is the expectations of measurement and analysis. I mean everybody wants to know the results of where they put their money. Up until now most influencer marketing tools have been avoiding this topic.

Most influencer marketing platforms focus on vanity metrics, things that don’t matter as much as the value you actually get at the end of the day. Metrics along the lines of likes, comments, even impressions are not ideal and even now hard to access. So the trend is in trying to understand exactly what the value is.

Also, mapping your influencer campaigns against your user journey.

Shameless Conversion rate plug:

Modash now offers conversion rate attribution for influencer marketing campaigns. Customers focused on performance marketing can see exactly who converted from campaign efforts. Write me: avery@modash.io

Whats different about influencer marketing in estonia or europe?

Adoption curve wise influencer marketing in Estonia hasn’t taken full force.

Most people we speak to about influencer marketing in Estonia at don’t even realize the possibilities. They think there is only 6 influencers here because they have heard of the bigger Youtubers. They also seriously restrict their creative ideas for influencer campaigns.

Modash lists 10,000 and that’s not including those with fake followings or private accounts. Those smaller creators are the ones driving real engagement from audiences that care about them.

But we see exciting stuff here too. Veriff for example ran an influencer campaign to recruit talent. #Veriff100 is a great influencer marketing campaign example.  It’s impressive out of the box thinking for a B2B company in a space like fraud prevention. Most people shy away from the idea of doing out of the box things. Veriff has embraced it and had exceptional results.

what are the mistakes people make measuring influencer marketing ?

 The the first step is where everybody makes a mistake and that is launching a campaign without a goal. You must have goal. It can be as simple or complicated as you would like it to be, but it should be SMART. Specific, Measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

If you’ve mapped your user journey, you can apply a metric to a friction point there and measure against that. We’re working on an entire  influencer workshop format to help you get through these planning steps very quickly, by the way. 

So let’s say we have a whole bunch of users on our platform but none of them use this cool new feature. We can work with influencers to see how many of our existing users we can engage to use that feature. This is an example of why you should maintain relationships with influencers you work with.

There are other opportunities to track influencer marketing ROI as well. Coupon codes and trackable links. Some people opt for share of voice or other things to optimize against.

It has to be appropriate for your business and what your goals actually are. Then it has to be  contextually appropriate for the platform your influencer will create on.

Some companies think to go to deep and look at how the customer behaves complicates things. We just want to sell more. Sometimes that works. But the truth is that you have to understand why aren’t people buying.

Of course you always want to sell more. You will never sell “enough”. But what is the friction point your user actually experiences that you can smooth over and get a bump in conversions. Somewhere along that journey people get lost or they don’t care anymore. You’re often presenting them with things that don’t help them. 

That’s your fault, you should fix it.

So can we engage your user to push them to the next step in the funnel or the buying journey with influencers? The answer is yes there’s some way to do that.

How do influencers feel about brand to influencer relations?

They feel disconnected and unappreciated sometimes, but some brands manage influencer relationships really well and put a lot of energy into influencer relations. They coincidentally are also the ones who do the best.

Try to have a legitimate human relationship with them. Find people who will be engaged with your brand, they’re the ones that are going to portray it the best. An influencer’s reaction to these campaigns in general; there is a lot of problems for them too. They have a lot of unclear expectations put upon them. They have hundreds if they’re larger.

These creators aren’t always business people first. They’re creators first and lots of brands try to approach them the way they would a corporation. They bombard this highly creative individual aggressively. A creator who’s been making cool stuff for three years not thinking about anything other than engaging their audience. You approach them in the same manner as you approach the head of marketing at a B2B software company. It can be off-putting.

Come from a place of empathy and try to connect with that person the way you would someone you care about. Brands don’t want to be seen as unfriendly. They don’t want to be rude or forceful and I would approach influencers the same way.

Be transparent and authentic and say hey we like this stuff you make and we thought you might like this stuff we make. So maybe there’s something exciting we can do together.

Click here for Google’s take on managing influencer relations

Can I find instagram influencers in russia, finland or sweden?

Yes. Our platform has lists now over 100 million social media influencers globally, on instagram and Twitch. An influencer on Modash has to have at least 50 percent real followers and has to have over 1000 followers. 

A lot of effort goes into manually finding influencers on Instagram or through social platforms. The problem is that you only think you understand what’s happening there. With Modash you use simple search filters. We need influencers in Tallinn whose audience is in Helsinki and they’re interested in pickles. Whatever mysterious traits that you need. Modash will tell you the influencers people that speak to that audience.

How Does modash find influencers?

What many of our competitors have attempted to do is try to build a critical mass of creators before bringing brands onto the platform. Unfortunately this is not possible. It creates a chicken and egg problem where influencers are constantly waiting and become disgruntled, while brands are frustrated because they can’t find influencers reaching target audience effective since you haven’t onboarded enough influencers. 

What we’ve opted for instead is to build the best influencer search in the world. Topic clusters around influencer conversations so you can find influencers from any trait, age gender etc. The influencer data is built on billions of words, photos, hashtags, interactions. 

What about finding influencers manually?

Doing that is difficult. It’s hard to find the right creators and it’s almost impossible to understand them. Many brands we see or work with were previously working with influencer’s who weren’t even commanding a real audience. They have purchased a bunch of followers and sell you fake impressions. You’re left wondering why your bottom line doesn’t increase. 

Influencer fraud is on the rise and you need tools to protect your brand. Genuine influencers rise to the top in an authentic market. We hope to supply that.

Then there is understanding who the real audience is. The example I always use is this:

 You want to sell skateboards so you find the coolest skateboarder guy in town who post photos on Instagram. He’s got 100,000 followers. He seems like a nice genuine human being with family friendly content. So you pay him a whole bunch of money to post about your skateboards. Next, you find out that it’s a whole bunch of teenage girls following him because he has great hair. Wrong influencer. 

 This is the kind of situation that happens every single time you pick an influencer. It’s really difficult to understand the audience that’s actually following people.

What Else have you learned about influencer relations?

The folks at Google told us some really cool stories about their influencer marketing efforts. One of the biggest issues they faced and questions they were asking was about determining the number of influencers a marketer can effectively be friends with. 

They think of these people basically like colleagues. You’re recruiting somebody to to work alongside you for a long period of time even if it’s not every day. You need to treat them like a normal human being. Their secret sauce is less transactional conversations and more really good storytelling.

If you approach an influencer with, here is five euros please promote my phone case it just won’t do as well as the opposite.

We make bamboo phone cases to help save the planet, we noticed your content is about living a zero waste lifestyle while travelling and we love it. We would really love to work with you, how do you feel about a collaboration?

How many influencer relationships can be handled at once?

So what Google found is they can they can handle between 10 and 20 per person. It’s their full time job at that point to manage influencer relationships and most of them are passionate about that work. They are researchers in this topic. That gives them an edge because they they have a genuine passion and curiosity about these creators.

So at work trying to work with 10 or 15 influencers and manage those relationships is difficult at some point. We try to make it a little easier with like tech the same way that a CRM tool would. Like an influencer relationship manager. Pipedrive for example makes managing your relationship with leads a little bit easier. We make it a little bit easier to work with influencers and incentivize quality over quantity by making quality easier.

The folks at Google told us some really cool stories about their influencer marketing efforts. One of the biggest issues they faced and questions they were asking was about determining the number of influencers a marketer can effectively be friends with.

Anu:

We had about maybe a group of 10 very close relationships. Influencer relations impacted the work a lot.

She knew exactly who had borrowed what for what kind of shooting. Who was the star. Can we get the dress fitting. Do we need to do something else so it was really personal. Of course they told all their friends.

It was like the company itself had friends. They were great friends of the company and they really liked us because of her. Doing the very personal job making the shoots go well and so on.

Avery: That shines through outside of those moments where you get to see it. The people they interact with and their audience knows whether they love you or not. Help these creators actually connect with you on a human level the way we all try to get our brands to connect with people. It will shine through to the audience tenfold. 

What is after influencers and influencer marketing?

Different influencers. 

Influencers will change platforms. At some point they were on the radio. At some point they were on a sitcom holding a Coca Cola. Now they are on social.

People will always hold influence, the question is can we identify where they are and what their audience connects to. That’s Modash’s job. 

Thank you to Anu and Marketingi Instituuti for inviting Modash to the show and for inviting us to speak at Tallinn Marketing Week. It was a pleasure, and I hope to come back to the show again soon!