Avery Schrader and Aleks Koha on 7Blaze podcast talking about influencer marketing

Influencer marketing platform chat with 7blaze and Promoty

Jaan Kruusmaa’s 7blaze social media (sotsiaalmeedia turundus) marketing podcast is one born of passion. Jaan’s infinite curiosity into marketing topics from has grown the 7blaze social media show to almost 50 episodes.

 

NB! This show launched just as Modash had started building. Many things have changed since then, visit our site to learn more. 

 

Armed with a mic and a mission, Jaan interviews the best of the Baltics in marketing. Share knowhow on all things social media and digital marketing related. When he invited me to his podcast with the founder of an Estonian Influencer marketing platform (Promoty), I was eager to take a seat.

 

Alongside Promoty, we discussed influencer marketing topics from measurement to creator struggles. Here are some of the highlights summarized and clarified

 

To hear Promoty founder Aleks take on these topics (including an interesting GDPR segment) make sure you listen to the full show.

What does the Modash influencer marketing tool do?

Modash allows marketers to run audience targeted influencer marketing campaigns anywhere in the world. If you use the platform, you can input a target audience and get matched with influencers that speak to that target audience.

 

As an example, an Estonian brand searching for influencers with audiences between 20-30 in Spain interested in skateboards. You input some filters and get instant results listing details about the the folks who speak to that audience.

 

Other key functions including building campaigns, requesting influencers, communicating in real time, measuring and displaying campaign progress as well as paying creators. We are hoping to automate as much of the influencer marketing process as possible.

 

I think as far as the differences between us and Promoty are vast and I would say we aren’t even competitors in some sense. It wouldn’t be the same customer to use Modash or Promoty. We are more focused on customers expanding outside of the country or growing their efforts here. 

What were you doing before influencer marketing and Modash?

I was raised in Canada, but lived in Germany for a while prior to moving to Estonia and starting Modash. When In germany I had the chance to really work and live and spent a lot of time climbing rocks. I guess this was my time to realize what life is and what I want it to be.

 

I got a bit obsessed with the idea of learning and making my own thing. The idea of digital marketing became really interesting because it involved people and building community. I took a deep dive there and did some social media marketing for a couple of pro athletes and for a small marketing agency that’s in the US. I helped these kind of guys out and had the opportunity to play around and learn.

 

At that point I became interested in the digital creator culture and this idea of people having enough confidence to put themselves on camera. I had always been interested in creators, but at this stage I realized I wanted to be as connected to their world as I possibly could be. I wanted to provide some value here.

 

Outside of that I spent a lot of time climbing competitively in Canada and then in the south of Europe and in Switzerland and so on. I was really into climbing at that point, it’s now on the backburner which kind of hurts to say.

Why not become an influencer yourself, why work with influencer marketing tools?

Interesting question. I have created content in the past. I’ve even done brand deals through climbing and managed to secure some free product and such. I think for me the reason I wanted to do something a bit less solo is because it allows me to solve bigger issues and maybe learn a bit faster.

 

I do write every day on LinkedIn and get pretty good traction there. As far as pursuing the idea of being an influencer as a career I don’t think is fulfilling for me. But I like the idea of building a community and maybe later leveraging that somehow but I’d rather maybe use that as a way to promote Modash or whatever other crazy projects happen.

 

I also do the LIFTOFF show here, which has been quite successful thus far and starts to attract attention from sponsors. I’m not sure if this answers your question, but what I mean is that while I amnot be an influencer in the traditional sense, I think I could definitely relate with being a creator.

Which social media sites do you use and how do you use them? How do you feel about Twitter?

Twitter isn’t so big for me and doesn’t seem to have a lot of users in Estonia. It’s great globally. There it’s more used a lot like a notification center for bigger companies and influencers or thought leaders like Elon Musk. I do like how it’s very open in that anyone can jump in on a conversation.

 

I like it as a way to to enter as that influencers are people with a following use it to interact with their audience. I think that’s a great direction that if I was Twitter I would try to double down on this direction and make sure they continue to open conversations and provide access to high level folks through real interactions.

 

My social media time is probably spent on LinkedIn and now I’m writing a bit for Modash’s blog then Instagram I post occasionally. I also create the LIFTOFF show which is published on a bunch of channels and is quite popular in Tallinn.

What's so special about influencer marketing?

It’s the most human kind of marketing. It’s super native. Very organic. You know, especially when you follow somebody in a meaningful way and pay attention to. I think that when one of those people suggests:

 

“Hey, I happen to really love this website building platform, I use it personally, you can go to my website and see that I use it. Check it out, here’s a discount.”

 

People respect and trust the opinions and recommendations of the people they follow. So if they are recommended the occasional relevant product, of course they will check it out. There is sometimes some fundamentals missing which saturates the industry, but truly influential people are immune to this and there is a lot of them.

Can you define different groups of influencers? What is a Micro influencer? What’s a macro influencer?

Definitions:

A Nano Influencer is someone in a specific niche with less than 50% of the average audience size in that niche.

 

A Micro Influencer is someone in a specific niche with with 50 – 75% of the average audience size in that niche.

 

A Mid-size influencer is someone in a specific niche with 75 – 125% of the average audience size in that niche.

 

A Macro Influencer is someone in a specific niche with 125%+  of the average audience in that niche.

How influence itself is determined totally depends on how willing is your audience to trust what you have to say. And that’s pretty much what it comes down to, whether it’s three people or 1000 people or 100,000 people. Influence is more determined by your ability to inspire those people to action than it is the number of people.

What are most of the talents to become an influencer or what talents to look in an influencer?

You have to be really secure in who you are. You have to be willing to create things people will likely not care about and some people even hate. I spent 30 minutes before I came here today, responding to comments on LinkedIn. I posted a question about whether governments should restrict freedom of speech or something. People didn’t like that question very much, it got very heated in the comments.

 

I think that part of the reason that I’m growing there is because I’m willing to do stuff a little bit maybe weird that people have an emotional reaction to. You learn and you evolve as a creator and and you do things differently over time.

 

True creativity or at least ability to see what is compelling is super important in the ability to stand out. But even that is not enough. Being a creator is about consistently putting out content even if it’s not perfect and finding your voice along the way, I think.

 

I think another underestimated skill is the ability to collaborate. With other creators, with brands with partners. If you can work together and collaborate in a way that makes everybody grow, then it’s just a faster more unique way to create content.

How should brands react when the media or public react negatively to a sponsored creators behaviour?

I think that it depends on what kind of brand you want to be.

 

I think that there’s good press to be had in sticking to your guns. Especially in the US and Canada, brands don’t have much backbone. It’s like as soon as somebody slips up we react with cut the cord, cut the cord, get out of there, say something that we totally resent this person now and we don’t like them and regret ever working with them.

 

Then that person, of course explains this to their audience and explains their side of the story. You should consider where you want to be in their audience’s eyes and if you do decide to pull away from a creator in a tricky situation, do so gently.

 

Also consider the value in not being reactionary, but rather defining what kind of deal-breakers are in place before starting a relationship with an influencer.

Why use a platform, why not the old fashioned way?

It’s really, really difficult to scale this thing. If you’re a cafe, I agree that maybe our platform is not for you. If you’re trying to do one influencer campaign a year or something, and you just want to work with somebody to help you take photos, you don’t need Modash.

 

What our platform is really good for is if you want to find and collaborate with 10’s of influencers to work on a specific campaign in 10 minutes. Scale from the beginning to the end. Every company who needs us likes all of the features, but usually signs up for just 1 of them.

 

For example, if someone needs to pay 6 figures monthly to influencers all over the world, they like Modash in the ability to pay influencers easily. If they are struggling to track success, they love conversion rate attribution. If they are just getting started they love discovery. If they have limited time they love that they can outreach to the influencers automatically and communicate in one place.

What’s a good starting budget for an influencer marketing campaign?

This totally depends on your expectations of the results. With good storytelling and value proposition for the people you work with you can get away for free. Google for example has a policy of not paying influencers at all. They do cover flights, expenses, provide free product and try to offer a really beneficial and fun experience for the creator.  

 

It’s less about how much you pay and more about how much tangible and emotional value you provide to the creator. If it is a wonderful exciting experience to work with you, it’s probably less expensive. If you suck, you probably have to pay a premium.

 

You should also keep in mind the idea of getting what you pay for. If an influencer sees you value them and have expectations with real tangible risk, it’s much more compelling to do a great job. You should set a precedent for the kind of relationship you want, if you want them to value your brand, you should value theirs. You should also take the time to

HOW TO TRACK YOUR INFLUENCER MARKETING ROI AND HOW TO MAXIMIZE RETURN ON INVESTMENT.

Learn all about measuring results and ROI in influencer marketing.

What should we do about contracts for influencers?

Clear simple written and signed agreements are okay. Write down exactly what you expect, make sure exactly what the influencer expects is there and create a simple straightforward agreement. *Writing influencer contracts shouldn’t be a complicated or advanced legal issue in most cases, but a working document to lay the underlying expectations and start from transparency.

 

Modash’s payment function does set expectations for both parties and protects everyone from fraud and so on. It’s a shame that we have seen brands refuse to pay creators once the work is already complete and we hope to stop this and all other forms of abuse happening whenever possible.

* We recommend consulting with a lawyer before making legal decisions related to influencer marketing or any other topics

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