The 2020 Ecommerce Holiday Countdown: Influencer Marketing

- Black Friday / Cyber Monday Content - Paul Benigeri, Co-Founder and Partner at EAG, walks through how to explore influencer marketing for ecommerce on a thrifty budget.

Black Friday in neon; Text: Black Friday / Cyber Monday Content


Black Friday / Cyber Monday Content – Get ready for the most online Black Friday & Cyber Monday in history with The 2020 Ecommerce Holiday Countdown! This week, we’re joined by Paul Benigeri, Co-Founder and Partner at EAG, to explore influencer marketing for ecommerce on a thrifty budget.

Paul has the advantage of also being VP of Growth & Engineering at DTC brand, H.V.M.N, and brings his first-hand ecommerce knowledge to his work in influencer marketing. Challenges with cost, scalability, and engagement led him to re-think the traditional approach to influencer marketing for ecommerce, and he thinks it’s time for other brands to do the same.

He’ll be sharing his insights on:

  • When to gift and when to pay – and setting expectations for both
  • Transactional campaigns vs a nurtured community of influencers
  • Finding nano-influencers that your audience already engage with
  • Creating intrigue in an era of short attention spans
  • Why you should treat holiday influencer campaigns like your Superbowl ad

The 2020 Ecommerce Holiday Countdown

The 2020 Ecommerce Holiday Countdown is a series of videos focused on inspiring your holiday campaigns and help you prepare for the most online Black Friday & Cyber Monday to date. Our expert guest speakers shared their insights on how retailers can tap into:

  • Branded content marketing
  • Nano-influencer opportunities
  • Behavioural and triggered email
  • User-generated content and social commerce
  • Paid advertising



Welcome to the 2020 ecom holiday countdown a webinar series where e-commerce experts bring you some holiday cheer and hopefully some inspiration black friday and holiday shopping experience are going to be a little different this year so we’re here to share ideas advice and expertise to help online retailers prepare my name is joanne martin i’m vp of marketing at Searchspring and in this episode i’m joined by paul benny jerry who is the vp of growth and engineering at hvmn as well as co-founder and partner at eig paul thank you so much for joining me today for sure really excited to be here and uh help out awesome so tell me uh tell us a little bit about your background and about your roles at hvmn and eag for sure so about five years ago i joined a ddc company called hvmn as a founding team member actually started off as a you know full-time engineer because back then we didn’t really know that much about marketing and things like that and then over time as we grew the business developed a number of different channel channels developed an e-commerce strategy um i took over uh essentially all digital marketing um engineering and e-commerce so got a lot of experience there it was all new to me so i got to learn from a lot of great people to kind of like understand paid social understand understand cro understand marketing and all of that which was really exciting and fun um right now i’m no longer full-time at hvmn and i’m still involved as a strategic advisor um so um i still have my my kind of like role there but it’s more of a you know one day a week kind of thing where i really helped the existing team there you know put together different strategies especially on the digital marketing side and especially on the e-commerce technology side since that’s something i have a lot of experience in um i’m presently co-founder of eag so that’s my full-time role um over the past you know one to two years we took a lot of the learnings that we you know gained at hvmn especially on the influencer marketing side and a lot of the technology we developed and spun that out as a standalone company called eag that focuses specifically on nano influencer communities and so you know obviously the first company we worked on was ourselves back at hbmn but we found this to be a really successful and valuable program that a lot of my friends asked me like hey can you come run this program and house can you come run this program in house and say we’re like okay sure let’s you know do it for a bunch of other companies and so um that was just like a really exciting opportunity and i spend the majority of my time there at this point amazing so you you have so much tactical experience growing a dtc brand and then have this flip side of experience across a broad array of different brand brands so i’m super excited to hear a little bit of your advice for people listening um in terms of what they’re going to be able to take away from what you’ve learned so let’s start with your work at hvmn um and what it looks like coming up to the holidays obviously knowing this year is not what anyone expected it to be and is going to be a little different in terms of the holiday shopping season um so what kind of campaigns have you seen work well for you in the past in terms of taking advantage of those opportunities engaging customers driving conversions over holidays into the new year when people are getting fit for new year’s resolutions uh tell me about some of those campaigns yeah so i think messaging and uh just being context aware is really important right like what kind of products do you have and also like what’s the you know what’s the actual behavior that’s going on during these these holidays um like i think for black friday like people are people are saving up people are waiting for the deal and so it’s actually like really hard to compete if you don’t have a deal whereas i think for new year’s right um there’s you know a probably larger ground swell of people looking at making like new year’s resolutions and improve their health and so you can probably get better performance by focusing on health and maybe not having an actual sale but maybe some uh really relevant messaging in your campaign throughout new year’s but it’s actually i mean i’ve personally found it like pretty challenging to get like good results without some sort of offer during the black friday cyber monday because i think there’s just like behavior like people or are you homo you know they’re going to take the day off work or something they’re going to have like their credit card out and they’re going to check their emails and see all the different offers and maybe compare and contrast the rest tv or maybe they have their brand of t-shirts that they buy like once a year and just want to make that purchase right so you really want to enable those things um so we try to kind of like match it to that behavior and then what we typically do now is spend some time on creative direction so as a ddc brand we typically focused a lot on you know direct response just like pure you know performance marketing um but as we kind of like think more about building brand and building awareness and kind of like getting like long-term compounded gains towards the brand we want to make sure that we’re not a brand that’s like hey okay 20 off okay 40 off you know discounts work in the short term but again it’s like you want to make sure that you’re building like brand value and so we want to make we really want to make sure that there’s like kind of like an interesting story right um so one thing that we we kind of like like to do like tongue and cheat for like black friday is you know every year we do our biggest sale ever and we you know it’s like 20 point 19 and then 20.20 percent and so it’s like a little bit a little bit kind of like cheeky where we’re you know we’re embracing the fact that like hey it’s really hard to succeed without doing sales on black friday but it’s also like we’re not going to go from 20 to 30 to 40 we’re going to go from like 20.19 to 20.20 so that’s like a little little thing but again like i think like messaging is really important so that um we even though like the it’s very important to kind of like call out that there’s a sale right if you mention the sale in your email subject line you’re going to get like a lot more exposure and things like that we do try to do whatever it takes to kind of like spin it and give a little bit more of a story around it but i think it’s you know especially on black friday it’s like difficult to do yeah so that’s really interesting because a lot of merchants will kind of talk about discounts as the only potential offer and then you’ll hear you’ll see some retailers and the 20.19 percent is kind of a hybrid example say the offer doesn’t always have to be a discount sometimes it can be a more psychological reward or it can be uh content or it can be some kind of loyalty play but the fact that you’ve actually made your discount an offer that’s very in line with your brand and kind of makes someone feel engaged and probably gives them a laugh too is a really interesting take on you don’t just have to compete on having the best discount yeah i think humor is interesting um so we started working with a creative director who’s awesome and has been helping us in a lot of campaigns just to inject some yeah just some some cool advertising and all of our messaging and um we used to like never really do like humor and you know now we we introduce like a lot more humor and our brand we try to say we’re like friendly but friendly and approachable science so really serious behind the scenes but we’re kind of like your friendly coach that that’ll help you and just you know be tongue-in-cheek and laugh sometimes just to make it more approachable and so we found that like working really nicely um just kind of like not take yourself too seriously because we’re a performance driven company and so we used to be very like hey we work with top athletes in the nfl and the nba with like us military and we want to make sure like actually yeah our products are for everyone and so we can kind of like laugh a little bit so that’s kind of like a nice thing um i mean i i would say that i i think it’s really really hard to come up with an offer that’ll actually convert as well as a decent like coupon right like a discount like 20 30 like sure you can do bundles sure you can do get this free tv i’m or all these loyalty stuff i’d be surprised if they worked on like on paper like as well in the short term but again what’s really hard to measure is like the trade-offs in the long run right um like would the people that you’re converting maybe faster with a discount actually you know repurchase anyway or purchase later on because they’re going to run out maybe maybe not it’s hard to tell but it’s it’s definitely something that we try to be quite restrictive with um and and we don’t want to do discounts like all the time we do them like maybe one like twice a year three times a year so i want to learn uh from you as well when it comes to all the work you do with nano influencers because as you mentioned you’re also the co-founder of eag and you specialize in nano influencer communities for consumer brands um can you tell us how that differs from traditional influencer marketing or where that idea came from and and that moment when you thought oh this is different and i should pursue this yeah so i can share the the origin story and again it’s really a result of a lot of iteration and combination of you know success and failures and in the middle stuff at hbmn um so we tried we we’ve experimented with all kinds of influencer related channels from paid marketing to affiliates to agencies talent networks you know white listing different things work different things didn’t work um influencer marketing has changed a lot over the past couple of years maybe five six years uh if you look at the past four or five years brands are spending way more um especially like larger brands are putting a lot of money and brand budgets that do not need strong accountability into influencer marketing and so that’s been really lifting the you know lifting and affecting the market rates and lifting the prices so influencers are charging significantly more per followers than they used to say three to five years ago it goes up like 50 percent year over year in terms of rates which is like super high right um the second thing is um instantly graham’s algorithm is constantly changing and influencers are getting much lower engagement than they used to so um on average a large influencer would be getting like four percent engagement rate so that’s like a combination of likes and comments as a function of their following of their followers and now the average is around like 2.4 percent so it’s gone down like crazy right um so it costs a lot more for the same amount of followers and there’s less you know engagement and then the other thing is that you know four or five years ago when a lot of these companies did influencer marketing for the first time um people were like super gullible they would they would think that the influencers are sharing an awesome tip and like look at this secret product that helped them lose a ton of weight or get these cute um it’s not an ad it’s not on facebook it’s not a banner ad um and so i think people have been trained now to notice ads and realize things are ads with influencers um to the point where they kind of like it you know that it it won’t speak to them anymore or the same effect right so we’ve been struggling we had been straight going with like typical paid influencer marketing which is like hey you work with an influencer could be a one-off could be a three-month campaign you basically give them a bunch of money you give them product in exchange for a series of stories posts whatevers in order to kind of for them to create content that’s relevant to their audience that they can syndicate to help grow your brand or drive sales right that was like the traditional model and so that worked for us in some cases um but we’d work with like the top keto influencer and that didn’t work the second top keto influencer and that crushed it so like let’s do more let’s do another video with him and the second video just like tanked and we’re like man like it’s just hard to scale um and because of you know by definition there’s only like three to five best influencers in every niche right um so once you hit those it’s really hard to scale and brands can find it difficult to kind of like croi um and so a lot of agencies that i was close with were we were talking and they’re like hey you know it’s actually really hard to make these programs work like we’re charging 20 of spend and we know that these companies aren’t getting roi there’s always these kind of like hero cases where there’s such good product market fit that with any almost any influencer or like a decent program the company can crush and so that lifts everyone’s spirits up and that gives like another case study to help close more clients but a lot of these influencer marketing agencies that typically would just crush for brands and just generate like ton of returns off these pay-to-play campaigns are pivoting now they’re looking at content creation they’re looking at white listing they’re looking at like media spend they’re looking at more kind of like you know advertising e partnerships where there’s a lot more creative involved to kind of like add some virality but it’s definitely been tough and one thing that worked really really well for us as hbm is that i had some friends that were influencers and i knew that they would hook up and post agm and stuff for free because they wanted to be nice to me whereas they would charge like 5k for the same content to another brand and so i was like man that’s like crazy like that’s crazy that someone’s getting like a 5k discount right every time um and similarly you know jeff was close to a number of like athletes that we would work with and they were just fans of the brand and they would post like we had a polo ono post we had a lot of like ufc folks post and why do they post just because they were friends with the brand so that was kind of like the moment that click were like hey how do we get more friends that also are influencers and have imposed in a real authentic way um and some of my friends at halo top at memt did similar things where they would gift influencers uh every month they’d gift say a thousand influencers they’d see what happens they’d be like wow like 500 of these influencers posted 500 didn’t let’s like let’s not hate the 500 then post but let’s not give them any more stuff let’s give more stuff to the people that posted and that builds really really strong relationships and that builds this community that kind of authentically post you know really good content for free you know that doesn’t expect to get paid and that’s something that these companies invested in a lot and we’re like hey let’s do that and so to hvmn we started building a lot of software to kind of like streamline that process because i just didn’t have time for it and you know we all had really everyone on the founding team at hvmn had like a stanford computer science degree which was kind of bad in many ways but also good in many ways because we just didn’t believe a lot of like the things that were true about marketing and we’re like oh we got to build it ourselves let’s not go on shopify let’s just build everything ourselves but in this case it worked out we built some really cool technology to help find really good influencers and also to help manage the relationships so one of the biggest reasons why companies fail to scale these types of programs is that they’ll activate 50 people and then they got to follow up every month and they get busy with another project so then they don’t follow up and so the influencer emails like hey i’m out and then you wait 3 4 5 7 8 10 12 days no response and then one month later when you actually need them you’re like hey can you post again and it’s like well nah you like it just doesn’t feel right i don’t feel like i don’t feel like a friend i feel like you’re using me as a transaction so like just pay me um and so it’s really important to be on top of that so we built a lot of scraping technology to find great influencers but then we also built um essentially like a fancy crm that lets one person manage 500 relationships really easily in the same amount of time that one person could typically manage like 20 or 30 and so that’s been that kind of like transformed this ability to work with hundreds and hundreds or thousands of influencers um and that opened up gifting these smaller influencers as a scalable channel because typically if you’re only working with 50 small influencers if you’re if your brand’s doing 100k a month a million a month that’s like not going to be super material sure you’ll get some content from it but if you’re activating 250 500 1 000 influencers every month there’s no media spend because you’re gifting them and you’re building real good relationships that actually drives meaningful results um and so that’s kind of like what we focused on to build it at eig i love that and i love it for two reasons one it’s counter cultural in a lot of ways in terms of the culture of online retail uh to say i’m not necessarily going to do it the way everyone else is doing it because that’s been done and that space is crowded i’m going to go bootstrap i guess uh this influencer approach i also love it because it’s much more accessible to different kinds of brands that maybe influencer marketing wasn’t accessible to before so a lot of times you think about influencer marketing and you think about massive like multi-billion dollar companies and massive product placement agreements um what advice would you have for smaller retailers or even retailers who feel like they are often priced out of influence or marketing but they want to try it and they don’t really know where to start but they want to start proving it and see what they can do with it how would you advise them to just get started yeah so i think the first thing is like you know change your mindset a little bit and realize you don’t have to pay influencers um and if you invest a little bit of again different companies have different parties some companies want to move really fast and have a really big amount of awareness with a very specific message on a very specific date and you have like a million dollar budget i would like don’t gift don’t do gifting you got to pay to get all the ducks lined up move really quickly but if you’re just trying to prove the channel and just get some initial results and you maybe you have an intern or a junior person or you yourself have like a couple hours a week to spend here’s what you can do you go on instagram and you you know look for good influencers um you can do that by looking at other brands and seeing who’s tagging them you can maybe look at your customers um you can i mean there’s just like so many ways right you can look at like top hashtags and find people look for people that you think would be good for your brand and that have a lot of great comments click on the comments and see is it just a bunch of hearts and muscles and emojis or people saying like oh i really like your outfit like oh that’s a beautiful necklace you want to find conversation about the topic so once you find your 20 30 40 50 info instagram just dm them and you can say something as simple as like hey you know do you want to try some hdmn product or like hey do you want to try do you want to check out one of our hoodies um and you can have like a really really straightforward message and a lot of them like yeah i’d love to try and then you just kind of like gift them in an open way without having them committing to anything without being like you have to post like why are you how are people gonna be down to accept to post if they don’t even have the product right like they don’t want to put their reputation on the line um and so that’s like a kind of intuitive thing like influencers love posting about products especially like clothing and and it just like makes them feel cool but they want to make sure that they’re posting something that is cohesive with their you know their own personality they don’t want to post like crappy quality and so they’re they might be reluctant to commit i would say they’re probably over reluctant to commit but when they do like the product they’re going to be super down to support you um and then just reach out to them once they deliver once the products delivered and be like hey how did you find the product and just having that conversation is going to make the influencer want to post and then every time they post you know thank them profusely and show them how much it means to the brand that you’re supporting them and they’re going to be trained to kind of you know you’re basically going to they’re going to feel really rewarded and really fulfilled they’re helping your company in a meaningful way um and they’re going to feel that because someone is actually taking the time to thank them and that’s going to reinforce their behavior and so if you do that for you know a couple months right and you maybe seed or activate 25 or 50 influencers you’re going to get 100 posts you know after a couple months maybe 200 posts maybe maybe 75 right who knows um and that’s actually potentially like meaningful so that’s how you can get those influencers activated but again it’s all about being there for them making them feel like they’re actually like a friend of the company um and that’s gonna transform the relationship and that’s what’s gonna be uh that’s gonna what’s lead to them wanting to hook up your brand and that’s what they’re doing right it’s like they have access to like an email list or a bunch of people and they choose who gets access to that for zero dollars who gets access to that for five hundred dollars and it’s literally just like a judgment call they do every day right um and so you really wanna be on the side of like hey you get it for free um and then what you can also do is once you have all of this content there’s a lot of stuff you can do to help um get additional value from it so one thing that’s working really really well for companies that are trying to ramp up their paid social paid social you know we call it paid social but essentially that’s like paid ads on on facebook or instagram anything in the facebook platform is take that influencer content and use it as an ad um that can work really really well and that can mean that you get fresh creative you can even if influencers are posting holiday content you can ask them to like hey can you make it like christmasy or something um and then you can have like a creatively themed piece of content for black friday you can put that on your email on your sms channel on your website right you can repurpose all that content a lot of times you can just ask the influencer like hey can i like reuse this this photo and they’ll be like yeah and if they’re like no maybe you can give them 50 bucks or something or you can you know give them more product and they’ll be down the other thing you can do is talk to these influencers and be like hey um can we you know we have a great relationship can you maybe give them a coupon code maybe turn them into an affiliate maybe do what’s called like white listing which is when instead of running an ad on the brand account on facebook you have the influencer share their facebook account with the brand so that you can run ads on the influencers behalf but still to your own audiences so when a consumer sees this they see influencer joe is talking about this boots company and that can work really really well um and it doesn’t really matter if they’re big or small just the fact that there’s this social proof from the ad coming from another person works quite well so again it’s like it there’s not really like an excuse right if you have 20 30 40 products to give away um do it i think a lot of companies a lot of companies that have seating programs especially ones that maybe have traditional retail backgrounds where product seating is like super super big um they’ll just allocate 10 of inventory to gifting right and you can just use that as like an initial quote-unquote budget and be like okay i’m selling 100 pieces of clothing a month let me gift 10. and you don’t have to give the most expensive ones right you can start with like a t-shirt or like socks or whatever and then if the influence is doing really really well you can maybe reward them with a hoodie so there’s a lot of really cost-effective ways to do it it just comes down to having the time and investing the time and also being thoughtful about who you pick making sure they’re on brand and just being strict about like not paying influencers right then the influencers when they don’t know you they’re going to do the exact opposite they’re going to try to push rate cards on you and so you can simply say oh you know we’re prioritizing this is like a script that we’ve used like we’re prioritizing organic relationships right now we really really love your content and we’d love to work with you but at this point all we can do is like send you a gift and you know if you’re down to support the brand great if not no worries um and they’ll probably post anyway i love that and you basically what you’ve done and what you’ve given our listeners and guests advice on is how to take something that traditionally might cost brands hundreds of thousands if not over a million dollars or millions of dollars to do in terms of uh not only marketing with the influencer but creating entire marketing campaigns around that influencer down to turning it into a relationship in a community in a very very accessible way for smaller brands i i absolutely love it and that’s the key right it’s you don’t want to do an influencer campaign you want to build a community of influencers that are going to support your brand over time because when you think about it um the the crappy thing about facebook is that if you stop giving facebook money you’re not gonna get anything from them you’re not gonna no one’s gonna see your ads anymore seo people really like seo because it’s like a proprietary channel or like an email list it’s proprietary if you stop paying google for whatever or if you stop i don’t know like advertising to get people in your email list you still have access to those people and it’s actually a similar thing with influencers if you work with them and they become real fans of your brand they become reliant on your product and they’ve spoken to their audience you can reactivate them and get additional value for like super super cheap so you activate them for the first time just on an ongoing basis and then you can reactivate your community on a monthly basis on a bi-monthly basis imagine you’ve been doing this community stuff for six months you now have maybe 200 influencers or 100 influencers and then you have like a new product launch and boom you can send them all the new product and you get like this big splash well it’ll be a relatively big splash compared to your your typical marketing budget if you’re at that point um for you know super super low cost so it’s something you can really invest in um and it’s hard to overcome because once an influencer is really really really loyal to a brand and they’re truly fans of the product it’s going to be almost as powerful as having like a contract that’s saying they can’t work with other brands because they’re maybe not going to be super super cohesive if they’re shilling hbm nfc or oil powder one day and then the competitor sometimes they’ll do that and they’re like both are great but you know it’s still kind of like they might be like look i’m really happy with my other in steel powders like i don’t want to try this product right so if you’re kind of like first to market and if you invest in those relationships you know these influencers will really want to go to bat and protect and support your brand and that’s a really really powerful thing and so yeah if you do that for six months that’s awesome if you do that for two years three years four years that can be super super powerful i love it so this year when it comes to the holidays um let’s end on this this one question to bring it back to a crazy holiday season do you do you have any examples of influencer holiday campaigns you’ve seen and admired in the past and how would you suggest that brands incorporate ideas like that into this year’s campaigns um i yes so once you have your community the way you can get additional value from it and you don’t need to do this you can just send them like standard box products and that’s that’s still great um so i think the timing is important for holidays right you want to get as much awareness as possible coming into the holidays why because you want if you’re an underwear company you want people to think of your underwear brand a week or two before black friday so they can be like ah i’m gonna like maybe put a bookmark or star that email or make sure i act on that sale right so you want to build a lot of brand awareness during that time and so it can be valuable to activate that community the second thing is um you know activating influencers can drive a lot of you know what’s called like top of funnel right you’re going to get page views you’re going to get at the cars you’re going to get all of these rich events on facebook and so that can build your retargeting pools your warm audiences so that when you then do paid social when you then do your retargeting ads you have a lot more higher quality traffic so that’s the kind of like interesting thing if you sequence your influencer marketing a little bit before you can actually get like additional results from all of your campaigns the second thing is how do you go from getting good value from an influencer activation um to great value i think the key is just making them feel really really special there’s a lot of ways to do it the um expensive but easy way to do it is just to give them more value just like i don’t just give them like five times as much product 10 times the product they’ll feel way more special but that’s more expensive sometimes you can do that sometimes you can’t do that um an interesting way is to give them something that’s like really special and relevant um maybe you can personalize a card for them you can be like hey literally have the founder handwrite happy new year or whatever the campaign is and there’s lots of services that can do this for you for like a dollar or like 50 cents you can print literally handwritten customized birthday cards or whatever cards for people and and just outsource it to this service no one will ever know um the other thing is if you have so personalization is also a really really good cheap way to make influencers feel special you can give them a if you’re doing uh if your products work well with socks maybe you you give shoes with like personalized socks or something you know you give like a sock with like the name on it or whatever in so many different ways right if you’re selling suits you can maybe give them like a little you know cufflinks or something that are personalized maybe to the brand and the company right so just make it feel like super special and then the other thing is to kind of like take what typically works really well with like advertising where if you think of a super bowl campaign the best campaigns are really special they’re really memorable that they people connect with them they connect with culture they connect with the times it’s just like a great piece of advertising well think of your influencers as billboards think of it as like at the super bowl do you want to you know you’re paying for the super bowl do you want to just put your standard like facebook ad on it or do you want to just come up with something really really creative really really engaging so something that hbmn did that was really awesome is we launched a new flavor hazelnut and the campaign was like all about like going nuts for mcts and we actually sent the package in a plush squirrel backpack that was branded and oh my gosh really nuts like these squirrels are going nuts for mcts and so all of these influencers opened these packages they were so surprised we got like dozens of stories like for each influencer because they’re like wow like this really happening like why is there a plush squirrel backpack and people talked about a lot more it was much more memorable and the cool thing was that these our target market was largely like moms especially for like msc oil products and all of their kids loved the plush backpack and so we got dozens and dozens of photos of and videos of like moms showing their kids like going literally sleeping with the squirrel backpacks


and so we didn’t expect it right but that’s like an example of like hey it doesn’t matter there’s like so many ways to do it and like it’s fine if it’s like a little bit silly or like humor but making it really special is gonna drive like way more results and like memorability right like who remembers the campaign with the big discount last year nobody you know people remember companies like you know what hbmn did or you know cars against humanity is a really good example just like really really clever campaigns and so being like really out of the box is is a great way to do that um and then just bringing it back to like the holidays like again um one thing you can do is um if you’re a clothing company you can put together like looks here’s a lookbook or like five ways to style this t-shirt or socks for new year’s i know just like some random idea and maybe you can even do a partnership with other brands they can go buy those outfits for cheap or you can even give them those outfits and make it really really special if you’re a food company um you know maybe give them a recipe kit so they can bake a pumpkin pie with your fancy you know maybe you sell like i don’t like pie filling and you give them all the other ingredients so that not only do they get the ingredient but they get this whole experience of like making the pie and then these influencers are actually gonna have fun with it they’re gonna show the experience online and people are really gonna get your brand story and then like remember it and so again like if you’re able to tie it to like a specific experience that’s gonna go way further than just gifting product yeah i think that’s really important for people to remember and you could even take it into customer relationships but specifically with influencers so much of it is storytelling and so much of it is sharing life experience and to be able to give someone a life experience they can then document on their platforms get just compels them to almost immediately take that action and share your story as opposed to getting like a jar of protein and you’re like okay well one day i’ll make a smoothie and you come back to you but if immediately you’re like oh man i got this with like a a shaker bottle that’s shaped like santa claus i’ve never seen something like that before it’s crazy um then you actually have a really documentable experience yeah and people are going to watch the stories i’m like what is the santa claus or like yeah why why is this why is this fitness influencer posting about squirrel backpacks like yeah people get kind of like intrigued and then follow on the story and so sure maybe it’s not maybe it’s not the most standard like call to action driven advertising but you’re getting someone to pay attention for like 30 seconds to your brand which you know compared to like a facebook ad that’s that’s you know that’s lifetimes yeah that’s like an average of like 60 times more or something yeah that’s so true and it’s it is reflective of just the broader times in the sense that advertising now has to go beyond simply information and in a lot of ways it’s held to the same standard of most entertainment and if you think about entertainment that’s really really successful a lot of it almost descends into the absurd like it always pushes the limit on like okay a normal person would think put the protein in a cup how do i push that almost to the limit of the absurd to the point that it’s entertaining and like someone’s going to choose this over watching netflix yeah yeah so you have shared so much incredible information and i’ve learned so much from you i know people listening have learned so much from you uh for people who want to connect and continue learning or discuss ideas how can people connect with you online where can they find you um so email me is probably the best way always happy to kind of like share and discuss so you can email me at paul um i’ll respond just happy to be helpful always fun to think about that um also twitter my twitter is at b-e-n-i-g-e-r-i my last name um so those are probably the two best ways and then yeah that’s that’s basically it perfect thank you so much paul it’s been fantastic all right

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