Influencer Activations that Drive Results w/ James Creech

Influencer Activations that Drive Results w/ James Creech

The Influence Factor
The Influence Factor
Influencer Activations that Drive Results w/ James Creech

In this week’s episode, join Alessandro Bogliari, CEO and Co-Founder of The Influencer Marketing Factory and podcast host, as he engages in an insightful conversation with James Creech, SVP, of Strategy at Brandwatch.

Together, they explore a diverse range of topics, from influencer activations that deliver results to social commerce, creator monetization, Linkedin, and much more.

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Show Notes:

(01:02) – James’ career background

(03:22) – Evolution of influencer marketing

(05:50) – Broadcast platforms

(08:39) – Pros and cons of short-form and long-form

(12:02) – Audience to community

(14:18) – Social platform fandom

(18:24) – Sponsored influencer content

(20:15) – Adoption of social commerce

(24:14) – TikTok monetization options

(26:59) – CGI influencers

(29:42) – YouTube thumbnails

(31:32) – Additional features for creators

(33:16) – Linkedin

(37:46) – Dark social

Check out these other amazing episodes:


(0:00) AI will be able to create a unique piece of content for every user or personalize that content to the user based on what
(0:07) they like so you know that’s what that’s what the future looks like for us hello and welcome back to a new episode of The
(0:12) Influence Factor by the influencer marketing Factory to today with me we have James Creek that is the SVP
(0:17) strategy at brandwatch if you’re new to the show you can follow us and subscribe
(0:23) on Apple podcast Spotify YouTube we have new guests every single Wednesday morning enjoy the show
(0:35) welcome to the show how are you I’m good Alessandro thanks for having me absolutely absolutely you know I’ve been
(0:41) seeing all your posts I’ll link it in over you know the past months and years so finally we’re able to make like you
(0:48) know this episode and go through a lot of things right all your predictions and social media what is happening the
(0:53) Creator economy what happens you know all these social media battles right and so on so it’s gonna be very very packed
(1:00) I already know as an episode and I love it but first of all who is James what what I I’ll like you know what what
(1:07) you’re building lately what they’re working on and tell us a bit more about your journey so far so I’m an
(1:12) entrepreneur who’s worked in influencer marketing in the Creator economy for over a decade I started my career in ad
(1:18) Tech uh working at a startup here in La uh it’s been two and a half years there and then worked in the MCN Heyday right
(1:24) working with uh creators um in in helping them grow their brands and work with advertisers and around
(1:31) that time you know this was still the early days of of helping digital Talent uh we were doing uh brand deals mostly
(1:39) by hand right very manuals it was screenshots spreadsheets email you probably remember those days too oh yeah
(1:45) right so out of necessity my two partners and I decided to start building some software and that was the
(1:51) inspiration for what became Paladin so we launched um our business uh Paladin the influencer marketing platform in
(1:57) 2016 grew that over six years uh sold the business to brandwatch last year
(2:03) brand watch is a big consumer intelligence a social listening social media management um platform and uh wanted to expand into
(2:11) influencer marketing so um we sold the business to brandwatch and I I came aboard to lead strategies
(2:17) so focusing on uh corporate development strategic Partnerships and other kind of long-term initiatives within the
(2:23) business so that’s you know my my background in nutshell in addition to my quote unquote day job right I an angel
(2:30) investor active advisor for first and Founders and early stage entrepreneurs I do a lot of M A advisory work which is
(2:36) fun to help other entrees navigate the the sale process
(2:41) um and uh I’m active on LinkedIn right I’ve been a podcaster for a number of years though relatively uh delinquent
(2:47) about uploading new episodes recently so I’ve been more active on LinkedIn where I share you know news updates and
(2:53) insights around the Creator economy amazing and how did the let’s say influencer marketing changes
(2:59) right because both of us have been in for like 10 plus years I guess right now so
(3:04) how did it change it like is it is it for the best is it like actually for the worst what is what is what is trending
(3:11) right now and also what do you think that is the position right now for Brands and and content creators and
(3:16) influencers like you know as you said before it was very manual work a gas type of like you know numbers and
(3:22) metrics and now we said you have all these platforms and so on but at the same time sometimes because of the everything that you have maybe it is
(3:28) more confusion so what what do you think is happening right now compared to 10 years ago oh gosh there’s been so many
(3:33) changes right in the early days we talked a lot about YouTube YouTube was kind of the first social platform where
(3:38) this activity happened we had YouTubers this was before the term influencer before creators uh became more prevalent
(3:44) uh then you had Vine Instagram right uh obviously over time Facebook Snapchat
(3:50) musically now Tick Tock right a lot of evolution in terms of the platforms that are important the content formats that
(3:56) influencers are using um so it’s constantly evolving and changing at the same time it’s kind of
(4:02) it’s not really anything new we’ve had celeb Liberty endorsements affiliate marketing you know brand ambassadors for
(4:08) a long time these are just the new incarnations of word of mouth or influential celebrity marketing which
(4:15) has taken a new form in the digital era um I guess one of the trends I’m
(4:20) particularly excited about are tracking closely these days is the growing importance of B2B creators right on
(4:26) social platforms certainly like LinkedIn is I think the obvious choice that comes to mind but now you’ve got threads you
(4:32) know from Instagram you’ve got of course Twitter but also people sharing educational content on Tick Tock or
(4:38) YouTube um and even off of social on on newsletters or podcasts so the rise of
(4:45) the B2B Creator these professionals who are sharing their experience is kind of an interesting Trend to watch amazing
(4:50) and we’re going to talk about B2B influencers content creator later during the episode there’s some questions for you on that because I know that you’re
(4:56) passionate about it I’m also as well and also we touch base on that in a previous episodes so very interesting topic uh
(5:03) but you know let’s jump into that so as mentioned before you have a lot of different predictions that have indeed posted either last year or at the
(5:09) beginning of the year and so very curious to go and you know each of them basically analyze them right because
(5:15) predictions sometimes could be hit or miss sometimes you get it totally other times you think or all Society thinks
(5:21) it’s gonna go in a certain direction nothing changes right especially on social media it’s so sometimes unstable
(5:27) in a way right to really predict what is going to happen so um the first one that you said it’s about robots it’s a robots will take
(5:34) over your social feed and you say like you know Facebook Instagram YouTube will copy it talks approach to algorithm
(5:40) Discovery and content recommendation from these uh from those that you don’t follow right so instead of the typical
(5:46) thing at the beginning you follow certain people and then you go on a network base this is basically on
(5:51) interest based right so how do you feel it’s like do you think it’s that’s still the case it’s gonna are we gonna still
(5:57) see more on the discovery mode from the next years to come absolutely right and to put it in context
(6:03) um you know the first first version of social networking Myspace and Facebook were these broadcast platforms where we
(6:09) essentially brought our real life experiences into the digital world right so you and I with our friends we could
(6:14) connect on Facebook or Myspace and have a conversation but over time we found it was more interesting to follow
(6:20) professional creators right and and that’s where platforms like Instagram and YouTube Rose to prominence still
(6:26) that broadcast mechanism but a professional creator of celebrity does something interesting pretty much every
(6:31) day versus our friends maybe do something interesting once a month right just the the volume of content and experience is slightly different
(6:38) um and now we’ve entered an era ushered in by Tick Tock where AI can curate the
(6:43) best of the internet personalized tailored exactly to your tastes and preferences 24 7 right so I don’t have
(6:50) to be looking for the content you know it learns what I like and it’ll it’ll suggest that to me
(6:55) um and all of the other platforms are following suit right Instagram made a big push in this direction last year you
(7:01) probably remember the backlash right um the Kardashians and others were leading the charge of make Instagram Instagram
(7:07) again and so they backed off but clearly they’re still trending in that direction Youtube with shorts
(7:14) um you know Snapchat with its Spotlight feature and these other short form players are leaning into Ai curation and
(7:20) algorithmic Discovery and we’re only going to see that accelerate as generative AI tools become more popular
(7:26) for creators and on social in general eventually AI will be able to create a
(7:32) unique piece of content for every user or personalize that content to the user based on what they like so you know
(7:38) that’s what that’s what the future looks like for us interesting also when you say about you know the difference between seeing your friends posting
(7:44) maybe once in a while also maybe not that interesting sometimes right because it could be yeah food that you are eating or whatever compared to maybe you
(7:51) know celeb or important influencer that might have a more exciting life right than some YouTubers some tick tockers
(7:57) every day they do something different and that’s why you want to keep like on the network right sorry on the interest
(8:02) base more than that of people that you know and and also on that like you know you mentioned you know of course many
(8:09) times somebody Tick Tock and Tick Tock made a revolution right so you also wrote about the short firm and you say short form videos will remain a key
(8:15) Battleground right so everyone is taking the attention there I have a couple of questions for you on these one what do
(8:20) you think is the future of short form videos and two do you think that it’s gonna stay and and that what I mean it
(8:26) is that everyone start realizing that a lot of the talkers were not able to actually form a strong relationship with
(8:32) their followers but I still determined is that many talkers are Commodities right if they get removed from the
(8:38) Entertainment app right you whatever someone else is going to take your place so what do you think about that the the
(8:44) the the balance between Cony creators with short form videos and also long form videos well the short form video is
(8:51) um really popular among users right we like the ability to kind of quickly see uh snackable short pieces of content
(8:58) yeah it’s also really popular for platforms and advertisers because it gives you longer session times and the
(9:04) ability to serve more advertisements right so if you look at time spent with youth right on various social platforms
(9:10) Tick Tock is heads and shoulders above the competition right like the average user spends over 90 minutes a day on
(9:18) Tick Tock which is pretty wild um and then if you’re watching a hundred pieces of content versus you know
(9:24) average session on YouTube maybe two videos Instagram maybe a dozen photos videos carousels if you’re watching a
(9:31) hundred videos on Tick Tock that’s a lot more opportunities to serve an ad right you’ve got interstitials or pre-rolls
(9:36) kind of between video um and that just means better monetization opportunities for the platform so given those economic
(9:44) incentives right I think short form video is it’s pretty sticky and it’s it’s not going anywhere
(9:51) um you you raise a a challenge though which is that as a Creator you don’t have as much staying power or
(9:58) recognition as you do on other platforms because the AI is gonna make you hop
(10:03) around from you know one video to the next and you might not be looking at the profile or the account you know that
(10:09) surface that whereas on YouTube where it’s more search driven or um Instagram where you follow certain
(10:14) creators and you want to see everything that they post you don’t have that same experience on on Tick Tock uh so that
(10:21) creates some anonymity right for these uh these these large personalities which is wild because you know you go to an
(10:27) event like VidCon and um these tick talkers with you know a million plus followers try to do a meet and greet and
(10:34) they have no one show up or a fraction of the attendance of you know a YouTuber with 10 000 subscribers so
(10:40) um just goes to show you that you know a follower has a different value on each platform and I think what each what
(10:46) creators need to remember is that at the end of the day the plan hello is your brand ready to amplify its reach will
(10:53) the influencer marketing factor is here to do just that we are a global influencer marketing agency helping
(10:59) Brands ignite their growth from influencer identification to campaign strategy and they legalities in
(11:05) agreements to managing shipping and Logistics we have it all covered we work with hundreds of Brands across different
(11:10) verticals from Fortune 500 companies to DTC Brands and we don’t just stop there with detailed ROI analysis we help
(11:18) Brands like yours measure success transforming Impressions into actionable conversions you can find us at the
(11:25) or just search to influence your marketing Factory on Google
(11:39) totally and that’s why you know we’re all the time talking more going from audience to community right so an active
(11:46) community that actually can interact with you and I’m pretty sure that you’ve also been in some Discord challenge right and servers were actually there
(11:53) are YouTubers being like hey roast me for this video um you know tell me which terminals do
(11:58) you prefer right so uh do you have any any either case studies or or you think
(12:03) success stories of YouTubers or other current content creators going from Community to sorry from audience to to
(12:10) community anyone comes to your mind yeah absolutely I mean I can just cite some examples of my favorite YouTubers
(12:16) um folks like Cody Coe Drew Gooden um Danny Gonzalez right and look YouTube
(12:21) will remain an important part of their strategy they create content there it’s the top of the funnel it’s the discovery mechanism but increasingly they’re
(12:29) converting people to come to my live show listen to my podcast um you know follow my content on other
(12:36) platforms join my patreon or my private membership and so all of those create
(12:41) additional touch points between the the Creator and the fan so it deepens that
(12:46) fandom experience but it also gives them more of a chance to kind of diversify so they you know reduce risk from their
(12:53) primary platform and then build a relationship and multiple touch points with that that person especially the
(12:59) super fans you know off platform absolutely very important to you know we’ve discussed it many times uh
(13:05) minimize right the risk of being all in one like you know place all the X and one basket also then multiply your
(13:10) Revenue stream even when you’re not working somehow right so memberships you know sponsorship and and uh and uh like
(13:18) a membership and so on uh and so your third uh you know um prediction here so
(13:25) is we go from Tick Tock YouTube they work very well you know Instagram and threads so for everything that works
(13:31) well there are also things that have maybe a peak of visibility and then you know they basically plummet you know and
(13:38) that is be real and you say burial will be gone uh nowadays were like a few months ago I was personally never really
(13:44) bullish on it I thought it was an okay idea but just a feature to be honest and
(13:49) something that you know you do it maybe with your friends but again after a while it’s I don’t know firstly I find it a bit boring to be honest what do you
(13:56) think about it now so apart from be real and you can comment on that what do why do you think that many apps uh they have
(14:04) this peak of you know like you know you know um audience attention and everything uh what was also the other name there
(14:10) Paparazzi and also others right they had like yeah right these people for example you know I mean in the case it was like
(14:16) the Scandal and everything that kind of you know ruined the the growth why do you think that it’s uh for be real was
(14:23) it like you know so successful what happened there why these apps are not able to get retention and traction well
(14:28) first of all it’s hard right like building a new social platform is incredibly challenging uh and you know I
(14:35) made this prediction close to a year ago so it was a hot take at the time it’s probably become a bit more of a
(14:40) mainstream opinion by now and it’s not not a criticism right I think be real um struck a chord and capture the
(14:45) cultural Zeitgeist build something really cool and Powerful it was also nice to see you know a French startup
(14:50) that be very successful right like most of these platforms come out of Silicon Valley and you know very U.S Centric so
(14:56) it’s nice to kind of yeah we want more social platforms we want to have um you know success stories from all over the world uh I think the challenge with be
(15:03) real was first of all you have incumbents who are looking to copy the new features and we’ve seen this you
(15:10) know play out time and time again uh Snapchat gets really popular because of stories of femoral content Instagram and
(15:16) then later Facebook come along copy that you even had um YouTube and Twitter right launching copycat versions over
(15:22) time didn’t really work out most of those platforms have moved away from the story format but it’s become kind of
(15:27) ubiquitous on platforms where it makes sense so you still have you know Instagram stories and it’s become a really popular feature
(15:33) um you had the same thing with live audio Clubhouse Rose to prominence right everyone gets excited about social audio during the panda Mike
(15:40) um the hype cycle kind of plays out and we didn’t figure out a real Community for creators or monetization strategy
(15:47) and so people move on those features get copycatted by LinkedIn Twitter Etc
(15:52) um and now the latest is what you know this dual camera format and then also the ability to have um uh the the two
(16:00) minute prompts right this kind of spontaneous photo where uh we’re capturing real moments right that’s a
(16:07) reaction against the perfect polish you know beautiful image you portray on Instagram so there’s something there
(16:12) that I mean they really they struck something but the challenge is converting that initial success into
(16:18) sustained momentum right if if Tick Tock and others are going to roll out a copycat feature you need to continue to
(16:24) innovate you need to develop you know native Talent on that platform give new creators a chance to grow in popularity
(16:30) but also have a monetization plan you can’t just say you know we hope you get big and then you can figure out how to
(16:35) convert to Brand deals because that’s not sustainable anymore creators need you know a really a solid plan on how to
(16:41) build a business yeah I totally agree with you you know back in the day was like oh it’s a hobby maybe I’m gonna
(16:46) make a few bucks now you need to have a plan then what happened at the time with Vine right I feel that they didn’t have
(16:53) a plan for monetization and all these people were like yeah I’m all doing all this content for free let me let me go
(16:59) around to YouTube right many of them they become big YouTubers right and then it’s such a shame I mean some incredible
(17:06) talent that started on Vine and you’re right like many of them have gone on to be successful king bash and um obviously
(17:11) like Logan and Jake Paul served online and and figured out how to become the reality TV stars of YouTube so there
(17:19) clearly was an evolution there but such a missed opportunity I think from Twitter um that this was the first short form
(17:25) video app it was incredibly creative um incredibly uh you know amazing
(17:31) content and talent that grew up on that platform and Twitter ended up shutting it down and and here we are fast forward
(17:36) you know and Tick Tock is so successful if I had figured out out just how to kind of continue to innovate and expand
(17:43) on that opportunity it could be a very different world today yeah it would be interesting you know you know sort of a
(17:48) variation of the world that we have right now uh with with Vine still is not Tick Tock would be still different very
(17:56) different apps in my opinion many people said that they were like similar in my opinion they were like quite different on on many aspects but absolutely would
(18:02) be been interesting to see if Twitter capitalized on that right uh and uh and and that was like something that I’m
(18:08) very interested in also and this is your fourth prediction is about you know influencers he said influencer will
(18:14) become a direct response Channel and you say affiliate marketing will overtake pay to post as Brands Embrace
(18:20) performance driven influencer campaigns can you can you expand a bit more on that so even for people maybe they might
(18:25) not be familiar with the concept of affiliate market and performance driven if you can just you know explain me more
(18:32) what what do you mean by that you know most influencer campaigns today are pay to post right the brand um as an
(18:38) influencers producer piece of sponsored content they pay them a fee and then it goes live on the influencers channel I
(18:45) think increasingly we’re going to see what we have seen right a shift from overall awareness so top of funnel
(18:51) campaigns to moving down funnel and focusing on conversion and influencers building longer term Partnerships with
(18:58) Brands and driving uh you know whether it’s affiliate deals through platforms like ltk or magic links but also uh
(19:07) increasingly doing these kind of always-on branded sponsorships and so
(19:12) um given that influencer marketing is so effective right Brands continue to come back and spend with influencers because it works right these creators have a
(19:19) loyal engaged audience they’ve built trust with their fans and that allows them to convert to customers very well
(19:25) we’re going to see more and more Brands leveraging creators as a direct response Channel not just as you know a top of
(19:32) funnel vanity metric or awareness uh play since we’re you know talking about
(19:37) we went through from like you know these just like you know you pause to like you know pay to post and then you know like
(19:44) looking more into the affiliate marketing so on one of your predictions also it’s about social commerce right we
(19:50) also work on our report about social commerce when it was like this is gonna be the next big thing actually didn’t
(19:55) happen uh the US is still struggling with that what is happening in China is working well now for 10 years Indonesia
(20:02) also are doing a lot of things there the UK like Tick Tock UK has the opportunity the possibility to buy in-app directly
(20:08) without leaving the app so in a very smooth uh like you know uh process there
(20:13) so why do why do you think that social commerce is not taking like you know
(20:20) it’s not having the right Traction in the US and the I would say the majority of Europe as well obviously there are
(20:26) significant cultural differences between us and Europe and China um so that is you know a large part of
(20:32) of why we haven’t seen as as strong adoption here um I think there’s opportunity just
(20:38) takes time right we’re educating the market you know more and more people are getting comfortable shopping online shopping from influencers and what’s
(20:45) surprising is we’re not seeing the success driven necessarily by the platforms you have Instagram shops Tick
(20:51) Tock shops and the platforms will continue to invest there but um increasingly like the real success
(20:57) stories in the west seem to be these off-platform Solutions like what not um Orca uh Network Talk Shop live right
(21:05) all of these um interesting combinations of media so
(21:11) creating unique content hype and drops around a specific influencer or a specific piece of unique content and the
(21:17) social shopping experience uh they’re they’re combining that technology and that Media or entertainment expertise
(21:25) um in you know in a new environment off off the core platforms I think that’s where we’re going to continue to see the
(21:30) success here in the west what do you think of like technically speaking because sometimes I found that social commerce is still you know for certain
(21:36) like you know platforms is still a bit difficult to navigate right you basically
(21:41) um not all the products you can buy them directly on the app you have to go through a third-party website that
(21:46) usually is embedded in the browser of the social media that doesn’t have the same cookies or login you have to
(21:52) re-enter your credit cards and so on why do you think that social media are not offering yet like a real integration
(21:58) with with that and also and also second question on that why do you think that majority of social media have not yet
(22:05) included um either promo code or a discount code for influencers so they can also made money again with sort of
(22:13) affiliate marketing like why are we so slow on this process it’s shocking right you would think some
(22:20) of these things would be so easy especially the idea of promo codes or coupon codes because if the influencer can provide something of value to Their
(22:26) audience hey yeah here’s the discount you get from being my fan and then that gives you nice tracking to report back
(22:32) to the brand you know it seems like a win for everybody I I do hope we see more of those types of activations but
(22:38) um it is surprising that the platforms haven’t really natively figured that out yet yeah it’s it’s very like you know I
(22:44) don’t know all the time that I see what is happening in China and you know they have all these uh things happening
(22:49) during let’s say live stream shopping for example right so it’s time sensitive is there is fomo there are like very big
(22:56) like promo uh discounts for example a if you only join now during the live streaming it’s gonna be 70 off or if you
(23:04) do research or Commerce maybe you’re gonna have like a big discount on shipping or shipping for free I’m not seeing the same like in the west so
(23:09) that’s why I think it’s missing enough incentive I don’t know if you agree on that but I think that he’s ending part is missing and you know at the in that
(23:16) in that case I’m gonna just go on Amazon the right to find the same whenever I want instead of being being there so I
(23:21) think you’re right there’s too much friction in the process right now we need to uh make it easier for people and
(23:27) then we also um yeah need to provide the right incentives to creators and Brands to align the shopping activity and talking
(23:33) about incentive I want to also jump back to one other of your like you know prediction that is about Tick Tock
(23:39) um ad right and all the time you know incentive might be interesting for everyone involved right so social
(23:45) commerce should be incentive for the user that is the customer but also for the brands right and and then another
(23:51) incentive should be also for Content creators right so one of your predictions was Tick Tock will expand at
(23:57) the monetizations right so what do you think there might be some other opportunities because YouTube as the CPM
(24:03) models you can put different you know ads segments in with Tick Tock is something more difficult they’re trying
(24:08) to do something similar to put ads next to your post and everything how can you
(24:13) uh help content creators potentially if you were Tick Tock so tick tock has a
(24:19) few monetization options for creators today they have the pulse program which is AD Revenue sharing available for the
(24:25) top four percent of videos every month um they have a variety of Creator funds uh sometimes they run challenges and
(24:32) bonuses and then you know through live streaming you can get kind of tips and donations and in fact Tick Tock outperforms all of the competitors when
(24:38) it comes to live monetization from fan tipping so they’ve gotten some things right but I really do think that ad
(24:46) Revenue sharing that ad monetization piece is so essential for most creators you look at YouTube which is really the
(24:51) gold standard for Creator monetization and they pay out roughly you know 50
(24:57) percent of of the revenue they click from advertisers every year to creators right that’s a that’s a pretty powerful
(25:02) thing and it’s billions of dollars and a lot of that comes from ad Revenue sharing so they launched with shorts
(25:08) back in February uh the the monetization program which allows creators that qualify for the YouTube Partner program
(25:15) to be eligible for ad monetization now you have to meet certain environments in a certain number of uploads and
(25:20) viewership but it’s a lot lower threshold than just the top four percent of content so I think that puts the
(25:25) pressure on Tick Tock and other platforms to really figure out ad monetization
(25:30) um I suspect Tick Tock will announce something before the end of the year I think they have to to remain competitive and um you know then all eyes will be on
(25:37) uh on reels for both Facebook and Instagram as well as potentially Spotlight you know from Snapchat to uh
(25:43) to provide better ad Revenue share yeah this feeling that as you correctly said if if this top integrating new things
(25:49) and all the time incentivized like you know people at the end of the day it’s not a hobby anymore for anyone here
(25:55) involved right it’s it’s it’s a proper job you spend many hours in editing in for like getting your follower base and
(26:01) everything so yeah I do agree like the moment that either one of these is gonna stop giving enough to contact creators
(26:07) they’re gonna fly somewhere else right at this feeling so um and and on the contrary of like
(26:14) content creators that you know they are human beings right their feelings they have have their own like you know things
(26:20) to take care of and families and and jobs and and and and and school then on
(26:25) the other side you have virtual influencers right that they are basically they don’t have feelings apart
(26:31) from maybe the developer that is like writing the code or the graphic designer designing the CGI
(26:37) um and and so it’s so much different right because you can still have something there but without uh necessarily having to you know fly
(26:44) someone in or asking for availabilities right so you said that more Brands will
(26:49) collab with virtual influencer uh and you also select your Brands will seek to cash in on the growing popularity of CGI
(26:56) influencers so first of all for people listening who is a CGI influencer like if you had to describe it little
(27:03) Michaela is an incredibly popular example right these um uh AI generator computer generated uh influencers that
(27:10) that uh speak and sound like a creator that you might follow and people build
(27:16) these relationships these pairs bonds with virtual influencers much like they do a regular Creator but it gives the
(27:23) brands a little bit more comfort and control over you know who this person is what they’re going to say right it’s a little bit more of a polished presence
(27:29) another good example is Barbie right like Mattel has leaned into uh revising
(27:35) or revitalizing the Barbie brand and bringing Barbie to Life as a virtual influencer you have the Barbie movie now
(27:40) right kind of continuing to showcase the power of that marketing engine um and so they’ve been really Savvy with
(27:46) their their social strategy and leveraging virtual influencers to um you know invite a new generation of
(27:53) of fans to to support Barbie do you think that is mostly for younger generation because it’s something that
(27:58) it’s uh it comes from maybe more the gaming side for example so people are used to CGI or do you think that can be
(28:06) also adapted to let’s say older generation that are not very familiar with that type of relationship between
(28:12) human being and some that is not real it it probably appeals primarily to um to
(28:18) kids and younger audiences but I think that could change over time right you have um you know anime and animation content
(28:24) becoming more popular even for adults yet some of the most popular you know TV series are animation content and so if
(28:31) you can bring those characters to life or create you know content for older audiences that um that leverages virtual
(28:37) influencers I think we will absolutely see you know more of that activity happening and people um being excited
(28:43) about uh virtual influencers interesting interesting I’m also curious too you know there was like a sort of peak and
(28:48) then it went down and then Peak again so he’s trying to stabilize a bit more uh similar to other categories in the
(28:54) influencer marketing and fantastic so these were the majority of the you know like predictions that I wanted to to check on but after that many other
(29:01) things right appeared on social media you know like uh industry of course and some of them it’s uh that I’ve been like
(29:09) asking for more than a year and was like why the heck like YouTube doesn’t have an A B testing for thumbnail and it was
(29:15) like more than a year ago and finally you know the the news came out and everything it’s just for I think a few beta right users to test it out so first
(29:23) of all what do you think about it and and also do you think that this can be the not the beginning but can can it be
(29:29) a big support to going from again you know um homemade sort of like videos and also
(29:35) trying to understand like you know your your data and metrics to a more professional uh approach to uh you know
(29:42) video making and and content creation yeah absolutely uh so yes YouTube announced the a b testing feature it’s
(29:49) in a beta uh testing phase now primarily for large creators they’re going to roll it out um to a a broader beta over the
(29:57) course of this year and then plan for a general public release in 2024 um people have been clamoring for this
(30:03) feature for a long time so yeah very uh strong excitement around VidCon in the announcement
(30:08) um and look you know I think a lot of people uh on YouTube a lot of YouTube creators are data nerds who love
(30:13) obsessing about thumbnail performance and click-through rates and impression view through rates all that kind of fun
(30:19) stuff so this is another just tool in the toolbox that helps creators really understand what’s important and if you
(30:24) think about it the thumbnail is you know the front page right it’s the the listing the advertising that invites
(30:31) people to come uh you know a to watch your content and for a big Creator like a Mr Beast
(30:37) um you know that can mean the difference of of uh hundreds of thousands or millions of views right if you get it
(30:43) right so they spend a lot of time care attention money resources you know obsessing over these thumbnails and
(30:48) making sure that it’s reflective of the content you want to have a effective click-through rate but also a high
(30:54) view-through rate the watch time needs to be strong so getting that just right is so critical
(31:00) and that’s why I think YouTube wanted to to release a native feature for ab thumbnail testing absolutely can good
(31:05) time and I could make or break right the numbers that they’re gonna you know like uh achieve during the month and uh
(31:13) do you think there are other social media are missing anything for Content creators so now the EB testing YouTube
(31:20) has now I think more like metrics for example so for shorts so like they’re integrating but do you think that they
(31:27) are still and this could be for tick tock Instagram whatever it is we think that anything crucial in missing right
(31:32) now to make it this even more professional for Content creators oh gosh you know there’s a laundry list of
(31:38) features on my wish list for various platforms um you know in general uh a lot of
(31:43) platforms could improve the analytics they provide the creators there’s been a bigger push for this over the years to you know have
(31:49) um a better Studio or or uh Creator analytics experience um sometimes that also involves you know
(31:56) providing API access and support for API metrics to third-party developers so they can build you know tools and
(32:03) functionality on top of the Native platform analytics that they offer um I spend most of my time on LinkedIn
(32:09) these days so I’ve got a whole uh laundry list of features I wish LinkedIn would provide like
(32:14) um you know better audience demographic data um you know ability to kind of filter or
(32:20) search for your historical posts um so that you can share them or you know revisit analytics and post
(32:25) performance uh so yes there’s always you know things that the platforms can improve to help creators out and I love
(32:31) now they don’t mention about you know link it in because many people yourself miss out many others we have the Creator
(32:37) mode on right so for people that don’t know it’s basically just this way to have more features and tools to help
(32:43) being a content creator on LinkedIn right that is primarily B2B uh but uh
(32:48) but it’s uh I think that they did a great job right in in going from just network based to expanding right so you
(32:56) are very active there um what what works and what doesn’t like if you are a content creator or someone
(33:01) that is a professional that wants to grow more on LinkedIn can you can you give us a bit of some tips and tricks if
(33:07) you go now to the link in how to enhance your profile or like how to get I don’t want to say about I I don’t like that
(33:13) term but like you know can you get in front of more um I would say targeted people they
(33:18) might become your customer tomorrow well first of all LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful platform particularly for
(33:23) professionals like us in our industry because um it the audience is is tailored specifically to the folks you want to
(33:29) reach uh so B2B decision makers marketers industry professionals are on
(33:34) LinkedIn and as you highlighted the the platform has been investing significantly in moving from just a job
(33:40) board right a resume drop where you go once every few years to look for a new job or keep in touch with old colleagues
(33:46) to becoming a daily content destination right and more and more people are getting their news from social media and
(33:51) that extends to LinkedIn right people look to LinkedIn for news announcements insights from the their trusted Network
(33:58) and if you think about um the Creator mode which which I absolutely recommend for people who are
(34:03) interested in sharing their expertise or becoming a Creator on platform fewer than two percent of LinkedIn profiles
(34:09) have around two percent have LinkedIn Creator mode activated so it’s still pretty early and they said there’s a
(34:15) chance to kind of be an early adopter and lean into leveraging the Creator functionality what that means is you get
(34:22) the ability to um uh you know showcase topics that you write about so you can
(34:28) include up to five hashtags on your profile um you also change the default behavior
(34:33) from a connection to a follower so you can start to attract followers who just want to kind of read your comment
(34:39) content or follow along um and look yeah you ask for tips so there’s there’s so many things I could
(34:45) get into about how to improve your performance um the first is figuring out your style and tone of voice like what is your your
(34:51) audience care about and how do you master you know writing for the platform um the second piece is is uh you know
(34:58) thinking about the The Hook and the the format of the post right so even just the kind of the layout and the design of
(35:04) how you structure the writing how you break it up and use um you know visuals or or other media to
(35:10) kind of tell the story is important you also want to make sure you’re optimizing for the algorithm so they’re best
(35:17) practices around when you should post and how to engage your community to ask
(35:22) questions or or share their perspective in the comments um you know you want to convert uh a
(35:27) viewer into someone who follows you so um like on YouTube where you invite people to like And subscribe with your
(35:33) content that tells the algorithm hey this is a valuable piece of content that you should share with more people you want to kind of follow those similar
(35:39) best practices on LinkedIn um you know I could go on and on I I share a lot of these tips on LinkedIn so
(35:45) for those who are interested I would encourage you to just connect with me or follow my my content on LinkedIn and I
(35:50) also teach a course with Dylan Harari called um Li Mastery so if you go to LA or visit my profile you can
(35:57) learn more about the courses that we we teach training people how to do thought leadership and build their personal
(36:03) brand on the LinkedIn platform amazing yeah you I know that people can get so much from LinkedIn because you know
(36:09) apart from the vanity Matrix is where the connection happens right on the contrary maybe of a one million like you
(36:14) know views on Tick Tock that yeah they can bring also sales of course and everything but maybe not that type of relationship only B2B side we link it in
(36:21) and maybe you can all accumulate 20 likes about the quality ones and maybe a couple the comments that can open to a conversation and who knows right it’s
(36:28) all about the people they might know in in the future career right I mean I’ll share my experience I think you and I met on LinkedIn years and years ago even
(36:34) before maybe Creator mode launched but um it’s been such a valuable platform for me in my career uh certainly to
(36:40) connect and meet really interesting people fascinating entrepreneurs who are building good businesses but also to keep in touch with old friends and to
(36:46) learn you know about what’s going on in my industry and uh you know I really started being more active on the platform kind of 2020 2021 I have
(36:55) friends encouraging me for years literally years like hey you know you should you should start to share your thoughts on LinkedIn and I made all the
(37:01) excuses that I think everyone does so I’m too busy I don’t know what to say right like how do I how do I figure out
(37:07) how to do this but something um ultimately inspired me to just kind of commit to it and the results blew me
(37:12) away right I’m still surprised to this day the you know the opportunities that I’ve gotten for investing advising you
(37:19) know new clients uh meeting really Fascinating People so I highly recommend it it’s it’s a edible place to to share
(37:26) your content and um to learn and become a better leader in the process James we discussed about many things again I knew
(37:33) it was a very packed episode I love love that um but maybe I didn’t ask you something
(37:38) is there anything that I either like you know again you know we didn’t go in depth or is there any main topics that
(37:45) you are either excited to talk about or something that you are following closely lately well I may turn the tables on you
(37:51) and ask for your perspective on dark social right this is a trend that I’ve been tracking and more and more people taking to
(37:57) um private messaging platforms like Discord WhatsApp uh uh even telegram right so are you seeing uh Brands
(38:05) embracing these dark social these harder to measure in a private conversation platforms for uh leveraging people
(38:12) who’ve built kind of big communities it’s a good one I think that especially you know like you know new generation we went from like you know being on
(38:18) Facebook where I do remember at the time you know 10 years ago 15 years ago we were going out for maybe a party and
(38:24) then posting a full album of pictures with 300 pictures of them right like it was a over sharing because it was the
(38:30) first time we were able to share every single part of our life now you have gen Z that basically they do maybe a photo
(38:36) dump of five pictures and then if they don’t like them after a few months they’re gonna go on Instagram and remove them right so it’s it’s it’s now it’s
(38:44) like we don’t want to post it everything online but as you correctly said you have more people in uh the only challenge I would say with dark it is
(38:51) that it’s already difficult sometimes to track things online when it’s public let alone when it’s like you know in a in a
(38:57) closed uh you know group of people uh think just about privacy right you know
(39:02) it’s very difficult to say boo so the post if you let’s say you know if you want to do like you know WhatsApp for
(39:08) example somebody is like what software business is a bit different because still like you know sort of like inside but it’s a B2B Channel but if I start
(39:15) talking about maybe a Discord channel for example or you know sorry or server
(39:20) like you know or anything like that it might be interesting absolutely but when comes to tracking things even if you
(39:26) want it then it’s like can I actually like you know look at this data can you can you can I extrapolate things if
(39:32) they’re supposed to be private messaging right can they actually get back to the brand and be like hey this is what you
(39:37) know we we got right based on this ad and so on so I think interesting to do maybe drop collections things like
(39:44) something that is more like having this feeling of private drop you know of a
(39:50) new item on the on a menu or a new thing so maybe hack type of things from Brands
(39:55) to make them more personalized custom and having that feeling that you are in an enclosed group of community more than
(40:02) for the mass uh and then when it comes to uh private messaging I think that if
(40:08) social media are able to if they’re able to bring them together the promo codes uh on social media that would be great
(40:15) because if you see an influencer that you like right promoting something imagine if you were able to copy the
(40:21) link and send it to a friend easily right with the same promo code that is gonna still be in the in the social
(40:27) media in that case uh everyone is winning right you get a discount the investor get more money the brand sells
(40:33) more and that I think is going to be even more prevalent in the dark messaging right the dark social so
(40:39) message private messaging because you want to send it only to friends and family compared to the maths so a big
(40:45) opportunities but it’s I think that between privacy and apis and everything is going to be a bit difficult but what what do you think uh about that do you
(40:52) think there is opportunity there are you seeing any case studies yeah I think it’s interesting that as we live more
(40:58) and more of Our Lives online we express our identity uh in different places
(41:03) right so you’ve got places where you speak to uh close friends and family more acquaintances or strangers but you
(41:10) share you know an affinity group or a bond maybe like the same sports team or the same musician
(41:16) um and then you’ve got you know these spaces where uh you want to learn so maybe you’re following real estate
(41:21) investing or crypto tips and tricks right so you’ve got kind of these different expressions of your online
(41:27) Persona and and uh different places where you connect and and share content and dark social has grown in prominence
(41:35) as a result right that you know sometimes I want to be anonymous right like on Reddit or other times I want to
(41:41) um Express a different aspect of myself my professional identities on LinkedIn and my personal identities on Instagram
(41:47) so um dark social seems to be kind of another reflection of that and also the
(41:52) ability to create groups and community and Foster you know these smaller circles but also tighter knit
(41:59) conversations rather than just you know the big broadcast platforms of he hears everything about my life where we used
(42:04) to do that you know on Facebook um 10 years ago where it was a monolith now you’ve got kind of more fragmented
(42:11) uh expressions of identity online but uh I’m very curious thank you for asking that that point it’s I think that no one
(42:17) talks enough about it but it’s a big chunk of the internet right like the majority of things happens probably and
(42:23) not publicly so you’re totally right it would be something that is right now it’s not like overseen so might be an
(42:29) interesting topic for for uh for Brands to look at I just feel that there are still looking at things publicly so you
(42:36) know the other one is too hard for Brands to measure and get involved in but um maybe if Brands want to launch a
(42:41) private Community hey how do you find your Chipotle super fans and make a Discord for them or how do you you know
(42:46) if you’re Starbucks have you uh lean into your app experience and your rewards and provide social elements to
(42:51) that you know maybe with web3 we’ll see more Brands um embracing that sense of community and finding ways to reward
(42:57) their super super customers absolutely and if you put gamification in that as many brands are already doing with their
(43:03) apps then you have a killer type of like a driver for for traffic foot traffic traction and so on so absolutely
(43:12) um James thank you so much for joining me today uh we we went through a lot you know but I’m pretty sure that people
(43:18) listening got a lot of like you know Knowledge from that you are very knowledgeable about these have been in
(43:24) the industry for many many years so you saw it changing and and it’s interesting
(43:29) to look into predictions and what is happening every single day in social media so again thank you so much for uh for sharing that like you know
(43:36) predictions plus anything else that you know like in the is happening right now in the industry
(43:41) um yeah I really enjoyed the conversation thanks for having me absolutely amazing James thank you so
(43:48) much again uh this was the influence Factor by the influencer marketing Factory and I’ll see you next week [Music]