The Summary

One of the most widely misunderstood but vital areas of the social media world is Influencer Marketing and in this weeks Episode Lynsey is joined by Influencer Marketing expert Victoria Harrison from the Exposure Co to talk all things Influencers in a post pandemic world. What should brands be doing now as they engage influencers, what should they watch out for and where are the next opportunities as we move into a next chapter of influencer marketing.

The Guest

Victoria Harrison is the Managing Director of Influencer Marketing agency, The Exposure Co.

The idea for The Exposure Co. was developed in 2013 when trying to recruit influential Australian influencers to promote a new e-commerce business. In the absence of a useful search functionality, finding the right influencers took hours of manually crawling through social channels, hoping to stumble across individuals who fit the brief. To add to the frustration, some of these influencers who initially showed interest would prove to be unreliable (or just downright dishonest).

 

BUT the influencers who did deliver produced amazing results and the overall campaign was a huge success in terms of brand exposure and ultimately sales. The potential of Influencer Marketing had been proven first hand. Fast forward 7 years, The Exposure Co. is now at the forefront of the industry as one of Australia’s leading full-service influencer marketing agencies with a network of over 7,500 digital influencers.

 

If you’re looking for some more information and resources or interested to see how

influencer marketing can work for your brand, please contact Victoria at victoria@theexposure.co

https://www.instagram.com/theexposureco/

https://www.instagram.com/vicharrison/

https://www.theexposure.co/

The Episode

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The Transcript

Lynsey  (00:00):

Welcome back to another episode in our very special 10 part series on the gospel social media. So this series is called the next chapter, and it is all about how we move forwards and adapt our marketing plans in this new and evolving, evolving, evolving world. It’s not an evolving world. It’s an averting word today. Um, and looking at how marketers need to respond and adapt given everything that’s happened since this sort of global pandemic. Now this is such a hot topic, and this is one which I think there’s been so many questions raised around us, this whole COVID thing and the lack of travel and, you know, the way our lives have changed. So I am very, very lucky to be joined by the awesome Victoria Harrison. And she’s going to introduce self cause we’ve all established by now that when it comes to interviewing guests, I get way too excited and they do a much better job of this. So I’m going to throw it to Victoria to introduce herself and what she does in the world of influencer marketing.

Victoria (02:12):

Yes. Thank you so much. So my name is Victoria Harrison. Um, I am the co founder and director of Australian influence marketing agency, the exposure card. So, um, at the exposure co we managed clients influencer campaigns from end to end. So that’s from the initial strategy development to, um, influence the recruitment campaign management, post campaign analysis and all that fun stuff. Um, so the idea for the exposure code was developed in 2013, when my business partner at the time was actually trying to recruit Australian influences to promote any commerce, uh, productions, looking to market finding the right influences is really difficult at the time. It was just basically manually crawling through our social media channels, mainly Facebook and Instagram. At that time.

Lynsey  (03:09):

You mean that’s not the, that’s not the best way to do it. Tell us more.

Victoria (03:14):

Well, thank God. And I guess to add to his frustration, um, some of the influences for basically just taking the product and running. Um, but what we did notice at the time was that the influences did deliver amazing content were the ones that were really proving awesome results for these clients. So I guess the potential of influencers and marketing has been proven firsthand.

Lynsey  (03:42):

I’m just going to pause this a second because there’s a delivery man at my door. I’m not even kidding. I’m going to turn this around. You can just see that’s my delivery guy. Brilliant. So obviously COVID-19 and the sort of pandemic and the way that we live has just completely changed and that had a huge impact on the influencer sort of marketing industry. Can you sort of give us a bit of like an overview of what kind of happened and what is the sort of like state of, you know, everything that’s going on now, because obviously if you can’t go at, you can’t have certain events and you can’t try, like that would have a huge effect.

Victoria (06:03):

Yeah. So we’re in a really interesting time for importance of marketing, I guess, logistically the influencer marketing industry has been affected by COVID-19. So, yeah, as you mentioned, PR launches and events have been canceled. Marketing budgets have gone down for many. Um, and I guess the social distancing rules means that it can be quite difficult to create the conventional influencer content, particularly for those travel and lifestyle influences. Um, so it’s been particularly hard for influencers and brands who rely heavily on, um, travel events and outdoor shoot locations. Um, but I think for the most part, it might be a pretty bold statement for me to make. Um, but I think that we’re probably one of the very fortunate industries that is potentially going to see more positives, um, out of this. So I guess first up more people are online, um, and influencer content is performing better than ever

Lynsey  (07:08):

Really. And is that across all platforms or

Victoria (07:13):

It is yes. Um, some more so than others. So if we look at tiptop, for example, although the recent news in the last sort of week or so change this very quickly,

Lynsey  (07:24):

If Tim gets banned around the world,

Victoria (07:28):

It’s crazy. I, I, nothing can surprise me these days really, but that’s why it’s so important to just be educated around these platforms.

Lynsey  (07:37):

Yeah, yeah. That’s, that is a crazy one. And the fact that, you know, we’ve got this huge hype and growth of a platform that literally could have its audience wiped out in huge and India’s already done, so that could follow suit. So yes we are in an ever changing world. Aren’t we,

Victoria (07:54):

I’m gonna keep that finger on the pulse.

Lynsey  (07:57):

So influencers are doing better at the moment.

Victoria (08:00):

They are. Well, I guess just because more people are online and they’re very engaging with those content content types in saying that, I guess we’ll probably get to it later in the conversation, but there has been a lot of influences. It’s a bit of a time where we’re realizing basically the good answers from the bad. So the ones that are, have those really genuine connections with their audiences, they’re the ones that perform performing better. Um, it’s the ones that we’re really relying heavily on those, you know, outdoor shoot locations or, um, things like that, that particular, uh, particularly weren’t too, it, wasn’t a very engaging way to connect with your audience. We’ve seen those ones to struggle. So it’s basically been a little bit of an influence of clean out to be, um, which is, I think for the better I was going to say,

Lynsey  (08:56):

Is that something that you feel that the platforms need because the influencer industry always gets kind of marred with, you know, the number of fakes and the fake accounts and, you know, the fame doesn’t necessarily equate the quality or that the impact for the brand working with them.

Victoria (09:14):

Definitely it’s. I just think it’s, it’s just really helping to declutter the importance of pool separating the good from the bad, because I think their phone was a sort of less forgiving. They have less patience for the accounts that don’t provide the, you know, the high quality content or something of value people follow influencers, because they want to learn something or be inspired by something, not just because they can take a pretty picture. So yeah, I guess the ones that succeed, um, and come out of this stronger will be the ones with that really genuine connection with their audience.

Lynsey  (09:55):

Wow. And so if we look at this, so you’re, you’re a marketer and you know, the global pandemic has happened and you’re now looking at your marketing calendar for the rest of 2020, what are three pieces of advice you could give people in that situation now when it comes to working with influencers and influencer campaigns?

Victoria (10:18):

Yeah, I guess the stock now is not the time for brands to push sales. So now is a really good time to create a connection with their consumers. Um, and, um, fortunately for us influences are really great Avenue to do that. So I guess even before COVID-19 strong brand and influence relationships have always been key. Um, but now I finding that the companies that already have these established influencer relationships have an asset that can sort of provide value for their consumers. So they’ve been able to run sort of pre Instagram workouts or, um, with their favorite fitness influencers or share recipes from their favorite food influences, um, beauty retrain routines, that sort of stuff. Um, for instance, with, um, fashion focus brands that they need to find another way to, um, provide value to that audience rather than just pushing sales of the beautiful dresses that no one can really wear and go out and at the moment.

Lynsey  (11:26):

Yeah. That’s very true. Especially if you are in an industry where your product is not in demand. Obviously we saw e-commerce take a huge sky rocket through it, you know, some of the harsher lockdown periods, but you know, when you have that product, but it’s not really usable right now that’s to just be doubling down on the content side of things.

Victoria (11:47):

Yeah. I mean, if you can’t expand your product range to something more relevant, um, obviously it’s hard to bring out just a new product for the sake of it, but yeah, I would definitely recommend going back to that sort of, um, old school content marketing, um, which was, which has always been popular and, um, we’ve even seen sort of a little bit of an increase in blog posts and things like that now. So people having the time to sit down and write those sort of long form content, um, that potentially we weren’t, we’ve sort of forgotten, um, in, in the last couple of years due to the fast paced nature of, of social media. Yeah. I guess my, um, other recommendation would be to focus on creating connections with the right influences. Um, so there are sort of a few key things that we like to consider when finding the right influencer for your brand.

Victoria (12:48):

Um, firstly, their follower demographics. So figuring out who is actually, um, following them. So I find misconception is that if you’re looking to target, um, female influences, Oh, sorry, female, female audience, you should target a female influencer. But, um, or if you’re looking to promote us something to a specific location, you need to find someone from that location. But just because the influencer is female or the influencer is in that location doesn’t mean necessarily that their followers are really drill down into their, their demographics and their analytics and figuring out who is following them. And does that align with your target market? Um, well it’s actually the complete opposite.

Lynsey  (13:41):

Yeah. It’s funny. Cause everybody looks at the influencer and they spend all the time, you know, profiling the influencer and what they’re about, but they haven’t actually taken it and flipped it and looked at it that way and gone well actually, you know, if they, all of their friends are in the U S and I’m promoting this local thing. Wow. That’s so interesting. I’ve actually never thought about it that way.

Victoria (14:01):

So the, I mean the beautiful, like bikini models, um, often look amazing obviously in, you know, the key needs and things like that, but their followers often male find international. Why would that be

Lynsey  (14:19):

Okay,

Victoria (14:22):

But who aren’t going to go and buy the keening? Um, so yeah, figuring out who the right influence is for the job is definitely an important one.

Lynsey  (14:34):

And do you have any sort of tools or sort of tips in terms of how somebody can look at an influencer and start to profile them?

Victoria (14:41):

Yeah. Well, there are a lot of platforms out there, um, that you can actually just plug in the Instagram handle and it will spit all that information out for you. Unfortunately, those platforms are quite expensive. So it’s normally the agencies that have access to those types of products because they obviously have a wide range of influences they’re working with. But I mean, if you’re just sitting down and working with a pool of influencers yourself and doing it yourself as a brand, um, the, I would recommend just getting in contact with the influencer and asking them, um, just send through a screenshot of their analytics, which they can access directly through their own accounts. It isn’t quite a manual way. Um, but if you’re looking to do it yourself, it’s a very cost effective way to just get in and double check. You probably already have a pretty good idea as to who you want to target. Um, and it’s a good way to yeah. Double check and make sure that is the right influencer. Um, and then probably also checking their engagement rate too. There are lots of free tools for checking engagement rates. So that’s just making sure that these, the influence of that you’re looking at is actually it has an engaged audience. So people that are actually liking or commenting or sharing their content, um, is, is also another really good one to look at there.

Lynsey  (16:08):

So that’s, yeah, I think those are really, really good and practical. Cause we get a lot of questions from our students and things going, you know, wanting to influence a campaign. Where do I start? How do I know? And so just getting your hands on a little bit of the analytics from them and most influences are, I guess if you’re a genuine influencer, you don’t mind handing over that kind of stuff. You’ve just gotta be wearing the people who were like, Oh, and I don’t want to give you my data.

Victoria (16:34):

Definitely. I mean, if they want to get paid or if they want free product, they have to be willing to pass that information to the brand, just because for them, it’s sort of like their, their resume or their media kit. Um, it’s, it’s something that people can access, um, obviously through tools. So it is sort of public data, um, that they should be happy to give, give brilliance here. Yeah.

Lynsey  (17:02):

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. So just, just summarizing in that. So now is not the time to be afraid of working with influencers. It’s, it’s a really strong time and then verify and find who the right people to work with based on your customer, not just on the influencer.

Victoria (17:23):

Yes. And then I guess you could also add on top of that, um, focus on establishing relationships on the right social media platform. Um, obviously Instagram’s the most popular, but there are so many other channels out there, um, that you could use. So figuring out again where your target market is, um, whether it be, you know, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, um, tick tock, YouTube, wherever, um, and then figuring out, um, which influences perform best on those platforms. So, um, just because, you know, um, an influencer seems to do really well for one type of brand on Instagram doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the right channel for your brand. So it’s about figuring out, um, yeah, which channel is best to jump on there.

Lynsey  (18:22):

And I’ve seen many brands do that. It’s like, she’s got a huge Instagram following. I was like, but you’re asking her to write. She’s not a good writer. She doesn’t produce great written content too. She’s on Instagram because it’s a visual platform. That’s why,

Victoria (18:38):

And I guess sticking up to date with the news, like the, we have had so much interest for tick time in the last week, um, brands wanting to jump on tick-tock and it’s just, it’s really surprised me that people are looking to market there right now.

Lynsey  (18:54):

Well, cause tech talk have just opened up the advert platform and like to a select number of agencies at the moment and the self serve platform a little bit more globally, but then it’s also been very high profile with the number of countries that are looking at investigating it and potentially banning it. That’s possibly kind of like jump on it now while it’s hot and move away. What’s your, what’s your overall opinion of tech talk?

Victoria (19:23):

Um, ticked off? Well, I mean, a couple of months ago it was probably one of our popular, uh, most popular types of influencer campaigns. It’s a really cost effective way to get, um, high drive and reach, um, engagement. Um, it’s much, yeah, much cheaper than YouTube, much cheaper than Instagram. Um, very targeted in terms of its audience. Um, probably less so now as more people have jumped on board the platform, but if you’re looking to target sort of under 24 years old, it’s a great platform to be on, especially if your brand is, um, you know, I’m happy to have a little bit of fun and not too serious. Um, obviously you need to work in with the platform and what works best with the platform. Um,

Lynsey  (20:17):

I just, it’s amazing the number of people I say practicing and like, I walk, you know, I go outside, you walk in the park and you see groups of girls practicing tick tock dances now. And I’m like, wow, this really is a bit of phenomena right now.

Victoria (20:29):

Yeah. It’s funny. Our sales manager, um, she has a couple of, um, daughters in high school and she, she was just going into full stress out mode, like what is going to happen? What are the girls going to do in their spare time?

Lynsey  (20:48):

There’ll be another look Instagram’s already working on it’s rails concept because, you know, that’s what, you know, a good social platform. Does it copies the ideas of another one and embeds it into their prism until they win?

Victoria (20:59):

Yeah. Instagram stuff very well with that, but it sort of still stays on tops.

Lynsey  (21:04):

Yeah. So what, what do you think are the benefits that have come out of this sort of period in terms of, I mean, we know, and we we’ve sort of try not to make light of this period, but given that it’s been a global tragedy, it’s been, you know, huge challenges in our economy and the way we’re doing things, but what do you think are some of the positives that have come after the opportunities that have come out of this sort of, you know, change sort of COVID-19 period that we’ve been in that marketers can kind of it Bryce now?

Victoria (21:34):

Yeah, I think, well, I guess the main thing in that influencer marketing world just comes back to that, um, that time of decluttering and being able to really figure out which influences have an authentic connection with their followings. So ultimately people, um, want good content and they have for a really long time. But I think during a time like this, um, people are really becoming hyper aware or insensitive of useless content. Um, so they’re sort of less likely to make, um, to let things slide really in this time. So I guess the ones that are the influencers that are succeeding are the ones that are really staying true to their China voice, um, and integrating it into the current situation, for instance. So, um, I loved watching, um, comedian Hamish Blake on his Instagram, for instance. So he’s done an awesome job integrating his humor into the current times.

Victoria (22:44):

So sharing the realities of working from home with his family, trying to also learn from home, um, he crashed the, um, workplace zoom meetings. I’m not sure if you saw that he was just, um, chiding into random zoom meetings and posting videos of it on his Instagram. So all while doing at home promos of his, um, Lego television show. So it, yeah, I guess, um, working, you know, he needed to promote his show for instance, but he was working in with the current times and, um, yeah, really sharing the reality of the situation, which I thought was fantastic. Um, and I guess we’ve seen a lot of the fitness influences doing that as well. So a really good example of that is, um, Steph clay Smith and Laura Henshaw. So there, uh, Melbourne based influences, um, they’ve basically been offering free fitness classes and recipes and things like that. Um, live on Instagram throughout sort of like the self postulation periods. So I guess why I’m mentioning those two is that they’re completely, it’s a completely different offering to Hamish’s for instance. Um, but it’s really relevant to the girl’s time and voice as well as helping people stay connected and healthy during this time. So yeah, I went on a bit of a tangent there.

Lynsey  (24:24):

No, but I, I love it. Go for it. That’s what we want to hear. I think it’s, it’s definitely been instincts. A lot of brands are like, we’ve shot. We don’t know what to do, or we’ve had huge trading restrictions in the marketing team or sat there going, what am I supposed to do with this business now? And what do I do to actually get us? You know, the old barking plans are getting thrown out. What do I do to get us out of trouble? And I think it’s an interesting space for brands that never have worked with influencers before, as you say, to sort of start to connect with their audience in a different way where it’s less about, Hey, we’re a brand, we probably want to sell you stuff, but we’re all in this together kind of those messages. And if you actually use an influencer, you’ve probably got a much better opportunity to create a bit more of a genuine connection. And for the influencers that are out there, the fact is that they are just rolling with, you know, as we say, rolling with the punches and going, okay, this is what’s actually happening. So here’s how we’re making the best of it or making fun with it or, you know, creating workouts and, and things like that. It’s been a, it’s an interesting space.

Victoria (25:23):

The brands are a little bit hesitant because they don’t, they also don’t want to seem insensitive. And obviously there’s a lot of financial stress on a lot of people right now. So to be really pushing sales, um, can make what sort of, um, on nerving for brands to do. So. Yeah, just thinking about basically how brands can provide as much value as possible to their customers and potential customers. And if influences can do that, then that’s a great Avenue to go down.

Lynsey  (25:58):

Awesome. And any sort of one sort of, I know it’s always, this is always a super tough question to ask everybody, but I kinda like it that way. Um, one piece of advice you could give businesses going to work with an influencer, given everything that we know that was happened in 2020. Gosh, I know exactly. That’s what this question.

Victoria (26:24):

Okay. I guess, knowing your target market and make sure it aligns with the influences followers. Um, Oh, I want to add some more, yeah.

Lynsey  (26:41):

Go for it. I won’t, I won’t say not yet.

Victoria (26:45):

Don’t copy on the brands just because an influencer works for them doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to work for you. Yeah. So I guess that also ties into your type of market. Um, and once you’ve looked in that key influencer, make sure to notice that that influencer is only part of your overall sales funnel. So the influence, they can basically drive traffic to your website, but from there, it’s up to the brand to really make sure that everything’s in order. So if the influencer is sharing the link, for instance, can they then easily check out and make that product purchase? Or if the influences, um, sharing your Instagram handle, can that potential customer easily navigate your Instagram or your Facebook page to then be able to convert however you’d like them to convert? Um, that was about five pieces of advice.

Lynsey  (27:49):

Yeah, that’s fine. Cause I think it is, it’s one of these topics that I still think a lot of marketers undervalue the opportunity and they just look at it going, I’m going to pay all this money for an Instagram post. And I can’t prove an ROI from that. And they don’t look at it from a longer term game and about building trust with their brands are just like, Oh, well how much does that person, $3,000 for poster or whatever it could be. And they’re like, Oh no, that’s not worth it because I can’t attribute it to sales.

Victoria (28:17):

Yeah. But I mean, the thing is if you have everything in order with digital marketing and influencer marketing is obviously encompassed in that you can track everything, you’ve got the right things set up. So yeah, making sure you’ve got a live discount code that they influence and can share, even if it’s just the break free postage or you do have that tracking link that takes them to the blog post or the quiz or whatever it is that you want people to take. Um,

Lynsey  (28:51):

And there’s only on the bar, like the big thing coming out for Facebook at the moment is the branded CoLab manager, which is being able to set up. So your influencers are registered creator either on Facebook watch or on Instagram or these things. And you as the brand, you can actually share data between posts and accounts. So you can see and follow it in your own campaign metrics of what that person’s, you know, if somebody’s clicked on that post from the influencer and it then falls into your own tracking as well, it brings them into your sort of ecosystem to track these things. So I think there’s definitely, I think there’s a big under, as I say, a misunderstood opportunity with influencers

Victoria (29:33):

Definitely. And I think it is it all of these analytics and tracking things, um, have really matured over the last couple of years. So I think that’s why some people get a bit confused and thing, um, that, you know, brand awareness, for instance, instance is the only thing that influencer marketing can provide. But now, like you mentioned, there’s the tools on Facebook, there’s the tools are new to Instagram. Um, take talks a little bit slower, but you can get some data. Um, but there’s sort of no excuse really as to why you can’t track the ROI and results of your campaigns. So that’s really exciting, I think from a digital marketing perspective. Yeah.

Lynsey  (30:19):

Awesome. Victoria, how do people reach out to you work with you? What do you sort of do? What, what can you help people with other than awesome information about how to work with influencers?

Victoria (30:31):

Basically, that’s just what I do talk about influences all day, every day. So yeah, so we run it that was run and manage in one place.

Lynsey  (30:42):

It’s okay. I’ll put in the verbing, we’re in an evolving world and ever run edge and it’s all good.

Victoria (30:48):

We run and manage influence marketing campaigns for the brands. So for instance, if you have a product launch or you want to just get the influences promoting your brand, um, and you’d prefer an agency to do that, so you’ve have access to all the analytics and things like that. Um, we do that all for you. So we’re mainly Australian based in terms of our influences. We do have a couple of New Zealand influences on our books, but yeah, definitely. Um, Australia is our sweet spot. Um, we’ve just clocked over seven and a half thousand influencers in our network. So there’s plenty to choose from across all the different social media channels. And, um, we’ve spent a lot of time working with them very closely. So we know sort of which ones perform really well and could potentially be a good fit for our clients. Um, yeah, so that’s what I do.

Lynsey  (31:44):

Awesome. So I’m going to put all the Victoria’s contact details and stuff into the show notes and onto the podcast page on the website as always guys. So if you do want to follow up with any questions, if you want to reach out to her directly, I’m going to pop those contact details in there for you, Victoria. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to us today. As always guys questions, comments, send me a PM, send me a DM, jump onto the website, send us some feedback. Um, and we have, again, another unlike we’ve had so many phenomenal guests come on this series. We were actually already planning our next series of special series, but I’ll tell you more about that later, but again, an awesome guest joining us next week and more great content to figure out how we move into the next chapter.

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