Is Influencer Marketing Better for Content or Clicks?

Is Influencer Marketing Better for Content or Clicks

Daniel Schotland, COO at Linqia, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss successful influencer marketing and why it all comes down to content.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Content Over Followers

As a market grows and matures, so does our understanding of it, as well as the ability to improve our practices. This is certainly true with influencer marketing, and it’s time to start evaluating what we’ve learned.

The point of influencer marketing is to put your product in front of someone else’s audience. Therefore, the larger an influencer’s audience, the more effective they will be. According to Daniel Schotland at Linqia, however, this is both an overly simplified understanding of the situation and also opens the door to influencer fraud—when influencers buy followers to beef up their counts.

By shifting the focus from follower count to the actual content, you not only sharpen your read on the quality of the influencer, but you can also begin to create what Jay Baer calls “professional user-generated content.” Daniel Schotland also firmly believes that working with multiple micro-influencers is drastically more effective than celebrity influencers. An influencer with a smaller, more dedicated audience is better equipped to create high-quality content for your business and take your marketing dollars further. Influencers are a valuable asset, and with some careful evaluation, you can greatly improve the benefits to your business.

In This Episode

  • How the potential for fraud is affecting the way businesses handle influencers.
  • How the evolution of social platforms is changing the influencer marketing field.
  • Why micro-influencers are often more effective than celebrity influencers.
  • How to measure the efficacy of influencer programs.
  • How to leverage influencers for “professional user-generated content.”

Quotes From This Episode

“For an influencer today, the currency really is number of followers reached.” — Daniel Schotland

“It’s not really about how many followers and influencer has. It’s about the content that they create and whether that narrative is able to move the needle.” — Daniel Schotland

“Micro-influencers can mobilize highly nuanced audiences at scale in a fundamental way that a high-reach influencer just can’t.” — Daniel Schotland

Resources

See you next week!

Influencer Marketing Mistakes Great Brands Don't Make

Influencer marketing is all the rage, but it’s also VERY EASY to botch the job. Based on our many B2B and B2C influencer campaigns, this tight eBook will save you from sadness.

Episode Transcript

 
Jay Baer: Hey everybody it's Jay Baer from Convince and Convert here on another episode of Social Pros joined by my special Texas friend. He is the executive strategist of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. He is the one, the only, Mr. Adam Brown. Adam, great show this week.
Adam Brown: Great show. Daniel Schotland, chief operating officer of Linqia. Really some really interesting things. I've always been fascinated in influencer marketing. It's something that we talk about on the show that you have done these types of programs. I have done these types of programs. But the entire way I think agencies are and companies are managing their influencing for marketing programs, the ways they're identifying the influencers, and then the content creators themselves, everything in this space is in such flux right now. Linqia really has a beat on how to do it effectively.
Jay Baer: Yeah, their client list is ridiculous, as you mentioned in the show. Almost every large consumer products company in the world uses Linqia, at least in part for their influencer marketing. Daniel brings a great deal of perspective on this space, but you know what I really liked about this conversation today, Adam, is that, yeah, Daniel is right in the middle of influencer marketing, works for a influencer marketing company, but he's not a hype guy. He's not one folks in the influencer marketing community that's like, "You know it's the be all end all. It's all you should do." He's got a really clear-headed view of the strengths and, as you'll hear in just a second, the weaknesses of influencer marketing. I really appreciated the balance and nuance to that conversation we had here this week.
Adam Brown: I did too. It's kinda funny, because that's specifically what you kind of want from your influence marketers. You want them to have that level of authenticity and genuineness.
Jay Baer: Yes. Yes.
Adam Brown: And Daniel definitely articulated that for Linqia itself.
Jay Baer: You're going to love this episode of the Social Pros Podcast, featuring Daniel Schotland, chief operating officer of influencer marketing platform, Linqia. Please enjoy.
Hey friends, before we get to today's episode, I'm just thinking about the two things that are absolutely required for the success of this show. One, you, the Social Pros listener, and thanks to each and every one you for listening to the show for now more than eight years. And two, our fantastic sponsors, which this week include Salesforce Marketing Cloud. You know social is more important than ever for B2B marketers, yet, sometimes it can be confusing on how to apply B2C principles to B2B, how to measure success, which channel to use etc.
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As always, this week's episode is brought to you by Convince and Convert Consulting. If you need help with your social strategy, that's all we do. We do it for the most interesting brands in the world. And I think we can help you to. Go to convinceandconvert.com. And now, this week's episode of the Social Pro's Podcast.
Daniel Schotland is our guess this week. He is the chief operating officer of influencer marketing powerhouse, Linqia. Daniel, thanks so much for being on Social Pros.
Daniel S.: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
Jay Baer: How would you characterize, in three words, how would you characterize the state of influence or marketing today?
Daniel S.: Wow, three words is not a lot. Have to be thrifty. Let's see.
Jay Baer: That's not one of the words. Thrifty is not one of the words I would use to describe it.
Daniel S.: No, no. The ask was thrifty. Let see, I would say highly impactful but.
Jay Baer: Oh, that was a heck of an answer I like that very much. Why do you feel that the but is so necessary to be one of the three words?
Daniel S.: Well let's see. You know if you're keeping up with the latest trends from CAN, obviously, Unilever CMO talking about influencer fraud. I think there's a lot of concern in the industry today around practices by influencers who are buying followers specifically to pump up their following, their reach, to garner higher paychecks for influencing and writing influencing marketing programs on behalf of brands.
I think it is highly impactful, but there's this looming concern over the real efficacy of the channel. I'd love to chat more about it, but I'll let you guys wrap.
Jay Baer: I guess that's the symptom of a maturing channel, right? Of a channel that starts getting some budget and some attention. It feels like I've seen this movie before. A channel emerges, marketers rush into it, because water finds its level, and everybody's trying to have a first mover advantage or the next big thing. Then people start to add scrutiny to it and say, "What about this paid search, are these actual clicks? What about these banner ads, are these actual clicks? What about this email, are these actual clicks? What about this social media, are these actual clicks?" It feels like influencer marketing is just sort of the next addition. It's like Halloween Part 13.
Although, when done well, the highly impactful part comes in, right? That because "real people" in theory, real people are carrying your message, as opposed to the brand having to carry the message. The persuasive power of influencer marketing should, in theory, outstrip the persuasive power of traditional marketing, as long as it's legit, yeah?
Daniel S.: Yeah, and I think that's exactly right. To your point, it's, "Hey, I think I've seen this movie before. It's because the channel is impactful." It's because brand marketers are pouring more dollars into it that we're starting to see this. Everything in life can be taken advantage of if incentives are not aligned correctly. For an influencer today, I think the currency really is number of followers reached. I would suggest that while that can still be very impactful, there's maybe a better way to actually do it and look at influencer marketing as a means to driving an actual business result and aligning incentives for driving that business result, rather than having the most number of followers.
In either case, I think as part of the digital marketer's toolkit, there are many issues in digital overall with fraud and concerns. Like all of them, as a market matures, there needs to be greater transparency. There needs to be [inaudible 00:06:44] incentives. It's important for marketers just to ask the right questions and really request that the partners they work with provide more.
Adam Brown: Daniel, to that point, to the influencers, to those content creators, I'm curious, because of this and perhaps it is the tail wagging the dog, how has that content creator changed, even in the short period of a year ago? Are they using different channels? Are they using different channel usage, like YouTube versus YouTube Live? You see a lot of creators here moving to live because the monetization strategy, much less the influencer strategy. Monetization strategy is stronger there. Different types of content that you see them using, I'm curious kind of how they're being impacted by all this as well.
Daniel S.: Yeah, I think we see some of that for sure, kind of maturation of channels and ways of kind of utilizing their craft on those channels. That's one of, I think, the interesting things about social is it feels like every month there's some new feature or function that makes it possible for any content creator, be it your mom, my mom, or an influencer to do more and to do better. I think you're starting to see that.
Really I think it comes down to is the fact that influencers, as they are continuing to grow and earn the respect of their peers and of the folks in the industry, so much really is reliant upon what that follower base looks like. I think that's what we've started to see is that influencers, as they gain more followers, again, hopefully doing the right types of things, providing a wonderful narrative to their group of followers and fans, they're able to increase the level and type of content that they create. They're able to do a lot more with that and able to provide more value to brands. I think that's what we're starting to see more than anything. It's really all tied to today, kind of back to the potential fraud question, follower numbers and follower growth.
Jay Baer: Again, I'm glad you talked about channels and platforms, because just this week as we're recording this program, two announcements were made by Instagram, one that they've crossed a billion users, and second, the announcement of their new long form platform that you can now create videos that are up to 60 minutes in length. Do you feel like that is going to open up even more influencer marketing opportunities on the Instagram platform so that you can actually do longer broadcasts, not unlike what you would see in YouTube, or do you feel like they're just chasing something that isn't really theirs to chase?
Daniel S.: No, I actually believe it's more the former, that that will open up that platform to start providing real long form content in a way that's similar to what content creators do on YouTube today. There's always a question of are these guys going to be able to lead? Is it just a me too type of play? But if you take a look at what Instagram did with Snapchat, taking some of the best features from Snapchat, it looked like a me too play, but it's actually the complete reverse.
One of the interesting things that we see in talking to brands, there's very little interest in Snapchat. There's a ton of interest in Instagram. I think they're building smart features to enable them to really own the entirety of the conversation across different formats of content with respect to content creators and those who watch all of them.
Adam Brown: Why don't you tell us real quick ... We should have started with this, but I wanted to ask you your three words. Tell us a little bit about how Linqia fits into this ecosystem and sort of the problems that you're solving for brands.
Daniel S.: Yeah, that's a great question. We are an influencer marketing company. What we do is we connect brands and agencies with the right set of influencers leveraging AI and machine learning to really understand who the right set of influencers are to drive an actual result. As opposed to some of the things that we talked about with respect to fraud, I think Linqia has taken a bit of a different tact. We work with influencers on a pay performance model. Incentives are aligned across the board to drive actual results, not just reach. That's essentially what we do.
I think the problems that we're solving really are understanding how to drive that business result. We have this technology platform that enables us to service the right influencers. We have proprietary data where we understand every image, every piece of text that an influencer has ever written, how that relates to the needs of a particular brand or program that they want to run, and then more importantly, we have historical data, right? How have these set of influencers performed relative to the particular program goals or KPIs in driving that result? We're able to match the two together and create just a very impactful and effective program that's based on performance and driving real results.
Adam Brown: Daniel, I'm curious. As this platform, as Linqia has matured and as this whole idea of influencer marketing has matured, have the marketers that have come to you to find and assist with those endeavors gotten more precise, in terms of who they're trying to reach and the outcome that they're asking for? On the same note, has the way that you've been measuring someone's influence on a particular topic or sub-topical level also evolved?
Daniel S.: Yeah, so it's interesting. From the brand perspective, the result that they want to drive hasn't necessarily changed over time. They want to drive folks in store to buy a particular product. They want to drive folks to sign up for their email marketing program or whatever it is. That hasn't necessarily changed. What's changed, to some degree, is there's a lot more focus, and there still is, but we're starting to see a little bit of it wane, there's a lot more focus on exactly who the influencer was. Does this influencer have blue hair? That being really important to the aesthetic of the influencer themselves, less so the type of content that they created.
What we've been trying to really show the market is while influencer very important, it's not really about who they are. It's not really about how many followers they have. It's about the content that they create and whether that narrative is able to really move the needle specific to the KPI that is important to them. We're starting to see some buy-in to that. I think it's a real big change to the way influencer marketing is looked at by brands overall. They're looking at these ambassadors who carry a very specific aesthetic and look and behavior, but really the content in itself is really what allows influencer marketing to be so impactful. That's what we're starting to see.
Jay Baer: You mentioned at the top this idea that we're in this point in the influencer marketing lifecycle where reach is held out as sort of the holy grail, but ultimately you're not paying for reach. You're paying to change behavior. Do you feel like influencer marketing will naturally become more performance based? Will we see a merger, either explicitly or implicitly in the influencer marketing and affiliate marketing communities?
Daniel S.: Yes. First question, I think, again, given everything that we're talking about with respect to fraud and concerns over what are my dollars really getting me? I think that performance has to be a piece of it, right? At the end of the day, we're hearing this rant, and I'm sure anyone who works in social media is hearing this, show me the dollars. What is the return on ad spend for the investment that I'm making? If you're working with an influencer marketing or an influencer who you're paying to provide a post, and that's it, and you're paying them a certain amount based upon the number of followers they have, that says absolutely nothing about the return you're going to get. To add that level of accountability, we saw it in Programmatic for sure. I spent the last four years there. I think performance has to be a piece of it, that the level of transparency and accountability has to be there.
With regard to affiliate marketing, it's interesting. There are a lot of similarities, but I think there are enough differences between an affiliate and an influencer such that an influencer will remain fairly separate as its own kind of discipline. Again, if you're able to leverage influencer and specifically the content that they develop as the means to generate pretty massive efficiency across your paid, owned, and earned media, especially paid. We have some amazing results from some clients where we've run tests head to head, ran the creative versus influencer creative. To me, it's really its own thing and it will remain so.
Adam Brown: Over my career, I've had an opportunity, Daniel, to do a lot of kind of influencer marketing programs, some more successful than others, but one of the challenges I've always had is kind of what I call the influencer circle. You realize you're reaching the influencers, but the influencers are only really talking to the other influencers. You're kind of in this circle, and you can't get out. You can't get gravity to fling you out or the force to fling you out of that. How does Linqia kind of deal with that? How do you make sure the influencers aren't just influencing themselves, but actually getting to your end customer or your end audience?
Daniel S.: Yeah, so some of this is about measurement and understanding, again, how are we moving the needle for a particular program? If it's influencers influencing other influencers, you're not going to see the same uptick in results and metrics that you would normally expect to see from a successful program. It's not something you would deem a success. If you are seeing the right
Adam Brown: It's not bad, but you're right. It's not what we're trying to do.
Daniel S.: It's not what you're trying to do. It's by combining the program with good measurement. Looking at things like brand lift, are you able to accomplish an increase in brand favorability or awareness or consideration or intent? Are you able to actually see sales lift as a result of what you're doing and working with partners to do that. I think that's really the critical piece is being able to really connect the dots and close that loop and understanding from program inception through completion and measurement, did you actually reach the right people? Are they taking the right actions based upon it? That's what you would deem successful.
Adam Brown: Now to that point, obviously to be able to do that, and I think you hit upon the Holy Grail, I want to show direct attribution of everything that we're doing. There's an art and science to that. There's the art of crafting the programs to measure that, but then there's the science of plugging into all the back end systems where you could kind of see whether that green button was hit or that transaction occurred. How does your system kind of work with all that so that you do have that beautiful KPI that you're articulating?
Daniel S.: You hit the nail on the head. It's not easy to do, and it is the Holy Grail. What we're doing today is partnering very closely with a number of different measurement partners to provide that type of data so that on the back of every program that we run, we can combine it with a brand lift study or a sales lift study or working with partners who actually have sales data that we can then tie back through our proprietary identifiers to a particular program that we've run to make it very easy for clients to really understand the true impact.
I'd love to be able to say it's push button, and now it's all completely done, and you have all the analytics in a single platform. I don't think anyone is there yet, but we are very close to it and feel that it's a necessary part of being a responsible and effective partner to a brand.
Jay Baer: Daniel, one thing I wanted to ask you about is the research program that you undertook recently and published the 2018 State of Influencer Marketing Report. Really excellent. We'll make sure to provide a link to it in the show notes at socialpros.com. Just as an aside, ladies and gentlemen, if you have not been to socialpros.com, you should do that, because all 335 episodes of this program or whatever number we're on are there, complete text transcripts, links, the whole thing. It's a you can lose yourself for weeks and come out with a full beard, if you go to socialpros.com.
I wanted to ask you what was the most surprising fact that you uncovered in that research?
Daniel S.: That is a good question. I think there are a lot of things that came out of it. One of the interesting facts, and unfortunately I don't have the specific percentage in kind of top of head or in notes in front of me right now, but we've for a long time started talking about this vision of influencer content and how that is the true worth and value of an influencer program. When you take it from the organic nature of a program itself, which can be very impactful, and we believe there's a tremendous amount of value there, if we take it outside of that and you use it across these other channels, again, it can just dramatically reduce costs, for example, with respect for your paid media. What brand does not want to do that today?
One of the facts that was somewhat surprising is that clients are actually starting to agree with us. They are starting to see value in that and have clear plans to really repurpose this content in an efficient means, in an efficient way to drive more efficiency, much more effectiveness, make their dollars work harder in these other channels. Encouraged to see that, but also somewhat surprised. We've been talking about it a long time. Sometimes it takes the market a little bit of time to catch on.
Jay Baer: Yeah, so you would say it's more about the content than it is about the click. Then this may be the data point that you're referencing. I know one thing that was in this study said that 38% of the people you surveyed who are using influencer marketing come from the advertising side of the house. 15% come from PR. That surprised me, because typically, classically we think influencer marketing, you think PR. It's earned media. It's their thing. Your results would indicate that it's more ads, which is fascinating. I think this idea of, "Hey, influencer marketing can actually save you money, because you can rely on influencers to create ad materials, to create content," if you will, sort of professional UGC that otherwise you'd have to have an agency create I think is fascinating.
I wanted to ask you about it in this context. Linqia primarily does work for consumer products companies, but if one of the benefits of influencer marketing is less expensive content creation at scale, it seems to me that the audience for that would be B2B, who are really struggling with not the mechanics of account based marketing, but the creative needs of truly hyper relevant account based marketing. If you say, "Look, we're going to go after these 300 accounts, we have to make a separate graphic, a separate version of the e-book, a separate version of the webinar for all of them. That's a huge hassle and really expensive. If you can somehow tap into influencers to do some of that, it feels like there's a real opportunity for B2B. Do you think that influencer marketing either now or in the near future is relevant for all companies, or is it still mostly going to be a B2C play?
Daniel S.: I think for right now, it's still going to be more of a B2C play, but I completely agree with you that once the fundamentals are there for achieving content Nirvana by having this what I truly believe can be or as close to programmatic creative as possible. Once you have that kind of working and a well-oiled machine, then it's applicable to anyone and everyone who needs content. B2B needs content B2C needs content. The size of the company doesn't matter. Truly impactful to truly everyone.
For now though, I think there's still so much value driven from the original kind of organic influencer program for CPGs and these larger B2C type companies that you'll start to see them leveraging content outside of those programs, which again, goes back to the finding we discussed in our influencer marketing report. I think again, once we kind of sort out some of the hurdles with respect to making it really easy and seamless for folks to use, it's kind of opened the flood gates for anyone and everyone to leverage influencer as real content creator, and not just as media.
Adam Brown: Going back to two things that Jay spoke about, B2C as well as, I love that term, Jay, of professional UGC. That's a great coined term. One of the challenges I think a lot of marketers are having or have predicted is that younger people, millennials and below, are not responding to the traditional advertising unit. They're either fast-forwarding or their brain completely ignores it. I'm curious if you're seeing that the influencer marketing, especially the influencer marketing programs that you're doing at Linqia, are there different demographics or audience types that seem to have more resonance with influencer marketing? Are you finding those younger people clicking more out of average than other demographic groups?
Daniel S.: Yeah. It so much depends on the actual specific program that's being run or the product that's being promoted. But on the whole, for sure, we see much higher engagement from millennials just as a crowd in general, which isn't a surprising rate. They have a lot of their peers who are, in fact, influencers. That is their main profession. They get out of college and they say, "What do you want to be?" "I want to be an influencer." My kids fortunately or unfortunately who are 10 years old and less, when I talk to them about what I do, like, "Fantastic, dad. That's my job. That's my profession." You see a lot of that, and the narrative that they're able to tell is very persuasive to that group. It's highly relevant. It's very trusted, so not surprising.
That said, though, we do see across an older age group, so kind of the mom group in particular, you see a lot of folks who are turning to, think of the mom group bloggers being the genesis of this, who are turning to influencer marketers and influencer marketing as their primary means of understanding what should I be looking at for my kids, in terms of nutrition, in terms of products, in terms of the cars that I drive from a safety perspective? That's another group that you see a lot of action and you see a lot of response.
Jay Baer: You know as much about this as anybody. You're the head of operations for Linqia. Your kids are 10 and below. They come to you and say, "Dad, we want to be professional influencers." Would you encourage that or discourage that?
Daniel S.: It's funny you should mention that, because I have that same debate every day when I see them. I think there's a wonderful thing to being an influencer. If you have the right message, you can use it for good. I think there's also, quite frankly, there's some vanity that is associated with it as well. I think if you use it for good, then fantastic. I'm more than happy to have my children go ahead and do that, whether that's their entire profession, I don't know. I think there's a little question mark there, but happy to have them pursue it. I think it is a slippery slope though and you have to be real clear kind of what you're willing to support, what you're able to do, and quite frankly, what types of products you're willing to actually promote. Are they things that are of interest to you or are you just trying to make some money?
Adam Brown: How is your team, Daniel, finding those next influencers? They haven't kind of hit that threshold yet, but are there tells, are there flags that say, "Okay, this person has something?" Then the second part of that question is are these people getting agents? How are they going through? Or do they see kind of the service that you're providing at Linqia kind of providing some of those same types of kind of partnership and kind of matchmaker type of roles?
Daniel S.: We look out across a set of 100,000+ influencers. We're constantly evaluating what people are writing, what they're posting, and understanding who is a good content creator. Again, for us, it's really about that content. Has nothing to do with reach. But with the technology, and this is where kind of the core IP is, we're able to understand and predict who is likely to be a very good content creator and for what type of program? Of course, influencers reach out to us. We do a lot of outreach to them based upon our analysis and assessment of would they be a good content creator for a Linqia program?
Linqia itself works with micro influencers. Influencer marketing means so many different things to so many different people. You have high reach celebrity influencers, which is where there's a lot of budget being spent. These are people who have, let's call it, 500,000 to up in the millions or tens of millions of followers. What we found is they're great at driving awareness. They're not so great at driving an actual business result. We really clearly care about driving a business result. We're working with folks who have between 5,000 and roughly 250,000 followers. Much smaller scale. These aren't folks who have an agent. It's possible, and we do see this occasionally, that folks, they'll not age out necessarily, of kind of the Linqia program, but as they grow, they may want to take it on as their true profession with an agency and have someone who represents them. But for the folks we work with, we're great at effectively finding the right type of program, helping kind of represent what they do, and getting the very best out of the content that they create.
Jay Baer: I'm really interested in the convergence of your personal use of social media, and then what you do professionally at work. You are, of course, surrounded by influencers. You're working with these micro influencers on behalf of brands all the time. Have you discovered micro influencers, or like, "Man, that person's rad. I love their content, and now I'm going to follow them as Daniel?" Have you sort of said, "Man, I want to be in that person's crowd?"
Daniel S.: Yeah, you know what's funny? This is maybe not a well known fact. Despite being COO of Linqia, a clearly a social and influencer marketing company, it's kind of like when you're a chef and you spend all your day in the kitchen, is the thing you want to do when you go home get back in the kitchen and do a lot of cooking? For some, the answer is yes, and for some it's like, "Heck no. I don't need to step foot in a kitchen until I show up for work the next day."
I'm in the latter camp. From a social perspective, I'm probably the least social person in all of Linqia. I spend my day kind of in it. When I'm at home and I'm outside, I'm almost social free. It's really kind of funny.
Adam Brown: Daniel, COO, Daniel Schotland, COO of Linqia, I'm going to ask you a question that you probably charge many of your customers thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it's something that I think is interesting. It's a hypothetical question. I know we all hate hypothetical questions, but if you were in a situation where you had a customer was asking you, "Daniel, should I bring you on board and focus on five, as you said, of those top tier influencers?" These are the people with half a million followers are more. "I've got the budget to do a program with them, or should I focus the same dollars towards 50 of, as you said, those micro influencers?" Is it going deep or wide? What strategy seems to be working here in 2018 better, everything else being equal?
Daniel S.: Yeah, and clearly somewhat biased in my answer to this in this hypothetical situation, but we do get asked this literally every day. It comes down to what you want to accomplish. If your goal is solely awareness and that's really it, I think there clearly is a place for micro influencer. I would suggest taking part of the budget and putting it towards micro influencer, because they can help activate audiences and mobilize people at scale in a much more nuanced way than kind of a very, very high reach influencer would. I think that's important.
It should be part of every single program, but if you care about driving a result, I would suggest not even touching the super high reach influencers, because they're really not capable of doing it. You can't work with them on any type of performance model. I have five million followers. You need to pay me $50,000 to do a single post for you. If you spend a lot of money on relatively little content with really no accountability, versus working with 50 influencers, kind of these micro influencers. They're going to drive a result for you. They're going to make sure people are doing what you want them to do. They're going to mobilize these audiences, highly nuanced audiences at scale in a way fundamentally that a high reach influencer just can't. To me, at least, that is the clear answer.
Adam Brown: I think that's extremely helpful as we look at that. I'm so impressed with everything that you're doing personally as well as Linqia. You're a young company. You're about six years old, founded in 2012 and have grown with such an impressive client list, Anheuser Busch, Kraft, Heinz, General Mills, [inaudible 00:30:22] Unilever, Walmart. Really, if they're in the retail CPG, if they're doing things big in social, you've done it. How long have you been with the company and how long have you been in your position as COO? Kind of how did you get to this point with this organization? I think our listeners are going to be fascinated by your career?
Daniel S.: Let's see. I am still relatively new to the organization. I joined seven months ago in December of last year as COO. Prior to that in a previous life, I was working at a programmatic video company by the name of TubeMogul. It was acquired by Adobe in late December of 2016. Very similar role, kind of overseeing. I'll go to market functions for that company.
When I left Adobe, decided I didn't want to be at a large company, really wanted to stay closer to my entrepreneurial and startup roots. I left to actually start my own company. As I was out meeting with early potential investors and building a team and working through some concepts, I actually met with the primary investor for Linqia and encouraged me to connect with the company, which I did. Very, very similar kind of background. Thought there might be a way for me to be helpful in some way, shape, or form, or vice versa, quite frankly, with some of the ideas I was considering. Really just fell in love with the company. Felt like similar to Programmatic, influencer marketing is still relatively new. Quite nascent, but maturing at a very fast clip.
When you take a look at the industry, there aren't ... No clear leader just yet. There's not a lot of technology. There's very little accountability and transparency. Linqia's sole purpose for existence is to leverage technology as a tech startup to really solve the influencer problem, to connect with the right set of influencers, to do so in a very accountable and transparent way and in a way that drives business results. Just felt like wouldn't it be such a fun journey to join this company at a really early stage and really help them take off? So here I am.
Jay Baer: Before you were at TubeMogul, you were at Cheetahmail.
Daniel S.: Correct. Correct.
Jay Baer: You went from email when email was hot to video when video was hot, to programmatic video when programmatic video was hot, to now influencer marketing now that that's hot. I predict that your next company will be in telepathy. The next big thing. You seem to be the man on top of the trends. If I need to know what's happening next, wherever you go next, that's the company I'm going to invest in.
Adam Brown: Invest there.
Jay Baer: Yes.
Adam Brown: Well done.
Daniel S.: I appreciate that.
Jay Baer: Good track record.
Daniel S.: Thank you.
Jay Baer: As you know, we ask all of our guests here on the Social Pros Podcast two questions. Now more than eight years of this show every single week, and thank you to each of our listeners. Adam and I love each and every one of you. Daniel, if you could give people just one tip on how to become a social pro, what would you tell them?
Daniel S.: I think this is a skill that you craft by doing. It's not something that you sit on the sidelines and you read about. You really got to get in there. You got to roll up your sleeves and you just got to do it. We talked a little about this earlier in the program that the piece of change in social media overall is just enormous. We talked about Instagram coming out with some new features to support longer form content. You got to get in there. You got to test it out. You got to do it. What works today very likely is not going to work next year. May not even work tomorrow. It's important to be an actual practitioner who's executing, who's out there doing, versus looking at the trades and talking to other people. There are a lot of industries where you can do a fairly good job of doing that in social. You got to be in there. You got to get your hands dirty.
Jay Baer: Well said. I couldn't agree more. Last question for Daniel Schotland, who's the COO at Linqia. If you could do a Zoom video call with any living person, who would it be?
Daniel S.: This one took me a while to figure out. Having listened to the podcast before, I knew this question was coming. I think it would be Elon Musk. I find him truly fascinating. He's been willing time and time again to put his entire fortune at risk to support these really kind of nascent business ideas that have the power and opportunity to fundamentally change the world, whether it be transportation, whether it be energy, whether it be space exploration, flamethrowers. You name it, right? He's got a little bit of everything in there.
I just find him truly fascinating and would love to understand really how he came to be, how he was able to be successful as he was and put so much at risk with the fundamental belief that he'd be able to succeed. That's who I'd choose.
Jay Baer: That's a good one. I love it. Are you a Tesla driver?
Daniel S.: I'm not actually a Tesla driver, but I love the brand and I love Teslas. I was a very early almost adopter of the Roaster. It was hard to get my hands on one back in the very early days.
Jay Baer: Exciting. Very exciting. We're going to try and get Musk on the show. We've had a few people mention Elon Musk as a person they want to talk to. We got to work on that. Adam, you're a Salesforce guy. You need to send him a tweet. He'd probably answer you right back and say sure.
Adam Brown: You would think so.
Jay Baer: He's not a busy guy. I hear he's got plenty of time, so I'm sure he-
Adam Brown: yeah. That sleeping bag there under the assembly floor where the Model 3s are coming off, he's got plenty of time just laying there.
Daniel S.: Plenty of time.
Adam Brown: He's probably a listener, Jay.
Jay Baer: Daniel, if people want to get ahold of you and Linqia, go to Linqia.com, yeah. L-I-N-Q-I-A.
Daniel S.: Correct. That's exactly right.
Jay Baer: We'll make sure that happens. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Jay Baer, he's Adam Brown. Our guest this week has been Daniel Schotland who's the Chief Operating Officer at influencer marketing powerhouse, Linqia. Daniel, thanks so much. It was great having you on the show.
Daniel S.: Thank you, gentlemen. Pleasure as well.
Jay Baer: Friends, we'll be back next week with another terrific edition of what we hope is your very favorite podcast in the whole world. This has been Social Pros.
 
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