Fancy becoming an influencer? Or would you rather tap into the power of others’ influence? What exactly is the best way to harness the power of influencer marketing in your live video shows?
As a globally recognised digital and social media marketing consultant, speaker, university educator, host of the Maximize Your Social Influence podcast, and author of the influencer marketing bible, The Age of Influence, Neal Schaffer is clearly the man to ask. So I did!
Neal kindly agreed to let me pick his brain on my live show (catch our chat here) but if you’re short on time, you’ll find all of his top advice on using influencer marketing in your live shows, right here.
Download my live video confidence guide and get notified when I next go live → https://confident.live/subscribe (🤖opens in Messenger)
What you’ll learn
- [9:50] How you define influence
- [15:15] The importance of choosing your platform
- [20:00] Why the word ‘influence’ has a bad name
- [25:50] About using influencer marketing in your live shows
- [32:55] How to reach out to potential guests
- [38:05] Being an influencer vs using an influencer: what the best option?
- [40:20] How to use live streaming to become more influential
The Basics: How do you Define Influence? And what is an Influencer?
Listen at [9:50]
You know I’m a believer that there’s no such thing as a silly question so I start our conversation by going right back to basics.
Because, while most of you will have heard about influence and influencers in connection with marketing, you might be wondering exactly what folks (and Neal in particular) actually mean by these terms.
As it turns out, as a consultant and educator, those are the very questions Neal found himself fielding all the time. and his book charts his journey towards the answers.
At the heart of it, an influencer is a content creator who has built up a community (which usually takes a bit of time) using digital and social media. It’s about having conversations with people via the medium that you feel most comfortable with. @NealSchafferClick To Tweet
"What happens is, people create content based on a subject or a niche, they’re active on social media platforms, and from that they gain influence. So when we think about influence, we usually think of Instagramers.
And yes, you can gain influence there through photography. But what about YouTubers? They’re gaining influence through video. What about bloggers? They’re gaining influence through their blogs.
At the heart of it, an influencer is a content creator who has built up a community (which usually takes a bit of time) using digital and social media. It’s about having conversations with people via the medium that you feel most comfortable with."
So that’s how you gain influence, but how big a community are we talking here? What are the levels we need to reach to be considered an influencer? Celebrity status? Millions of followers? Tens of thousands of followers?
Well, before you rush off to check your own metrics, Neal wants to point out that there’s more to it than that.
"When you get to 1000 followers you have a certain scale and it’s not necessarily about the number of followers. It’s about who you’re engaging and the impact you have on them.
There are some markets, B2B for example, where it’s not about volume, it’s about the quality.
And while it can feel like everyone around you also has 1000 followers, it’s really not the case. When you step outside of your bubble you realize that very few people are showing up and creating content consistently on a daily or weekly basis.
Not everyone is showing up all of the time and it’s really consistency with that content and with that subject matter that lets you yield influence.
So, Ian, you’re an influencer, and I guess you could say that I’m an influencer too. And while that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re making billions of dollars working with brands, we do have a certain amount of digital influence that other people want to tap into."
Reassuring words if you’ve been stressing out about not having a million followers on your own platform of choice!
Choosing Your Platform
Listen at [15:15]
When it comes to yielding influence, not all platforms are created equal. As Neal points out, becoming an influencer via blogging is incredibly difficult these days — there’s just so much competition.
Ditto Instagram, unless you happen to be a stellar photographer or videographer, or have the resources to hire someone who is.
However, Neal explains,
“Video and podcasting are two areas where, I believe, people have a competitive advantage over businesses. StreamYard, Ecamm, businesses like that could be doing things like that but they’re not, they have different priorities.
So if you were to ask me where we should try to yield influence today on digital and social media, I’d say video and podcasting; you can be more authentic as a person rather than as a business, and there’s less competition. Even on YouTube, depending on your subject area, there’s still plenty of opportunity there.”
As I’ve said many times before, you may have a tonne of competition, but no one is doing things exactly like you and, of course, there are different audiences for different people.
“Do searches for content where you can show up on video and see what’s out there. I think you’re gonna be surprised; there’s a lot of subpar content. Sure there are some absolute superstars out there, but for every one of them, there’s someone else that you can compete with, and win”
So don’t let the volume of existing videos put you off and don’t ever compare someone’s 1000th video with your first!
Why does the Word ‘Influence’ have a Bad Name?
Listen at [20:00]
There are certainly some negative connotations connected with the idea of influence and influencers but are they justified? And is there anything we can learn from some of the less positive stories we come across?
Here’s Neal’s take on it:
"One of the reasons I wrote the book, and the reason I’m so passionate about the subject is I believe that businesses and marketers have been completely misled about influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is everywhere — and it existed before Instagram. We had Mommy-bloggers, we had affiliate marketing, we had brand advocacy. So the concept has been around for a while.
However, there’s a whole new industry grown up around Instagram and, to a certain extent, YouTube and Tik Tok. There are actual talent agencies, it’s crazy, and in the beginning there was a lot of money being funnelled into the industry.
And when there’s a lot of money being funnelled into something, especially when vanity metrics are involved, people will try to dupe the system. And there was a lot of that happening. For example, people with millions of followers but no website in their bio. When you googled their name, you wouldn’t find anything. So you started to question how much influence these ‘influencers’ really had.
There was definitely some fakery there and I think it’s that that has put some marketers off of leveraging influencer marketing."
But Neal suggests looking at the industry in a different way.
"Instead of always going after the person with a million followers, take a step back and use what I call ‘The Brand Affinity’ model.
If we can define influence as having 1000 followers, look at people that already know, like, and trust your brand.
Because what happens with social media today is that it’s ‘pay-to-play’. But even when you put a lot of money into advertising, people still just see it as an ad. It’s never going to go viral and it doesn’t have the same trust and authenticity as when someone talks about your brand or your product.
So in order to have impact, you need to incite word of mouth and to do that, you have to collaborate with other people. But collaborating isn’t always about paying someone, it could be you saying, ‘we’d love to use your content’, ‘we’d love to ship you our product’, or ‘we’re doing a day-long summit and we’d love to have you speak at it’.
We can leverage influence in many different ways so look at the people that like, know, and trust your brand and see how you might be able to work together to meet a variety of marketing objectives.
Most podcasters and live streamers have been tapping into this for a while by interviewing influencers for their shows. Not only does the presence of the influencer give the show credibility but there’s always the hope that they’ll share the content with their own network so you can leverage their social footprint too. It’s influencer marketing 101 and a lot of people are already doing it without even realising."
Using Influencer Marketing in Your Live Shows
Listen at [22:50]
We’ve already seen one example of how you can leverage the power of influencers in your live shows, by having them guest on your show (just as I did with Neal!)
So what else do we need to think about when bringing that influencer element into our live content?
"When you tap into the power of influencers for your own show you should be very strategic about who you choose. Ideally you want to go for someone that, of course, has influence, but also has relevance.
Because you’re working with a content creator, you never know what benefits you might have above and beyond the live stream. For example, I was on a podcast as a guest and when the episode ended the host suggested we might work together, that person is now a client. So don’t just randomly pick people for your show.
And when you start to build influence and have people reaching out to you, really think strategically about who could push the ball forward in terms of promoting your episode to their audience. Do they promote other people’s episodes? Is it relevant for them? But also, is this someone I can learn from? Is this someone I might want to do business with?"
It’s also worth remembering that while going after big-name guests might seem like a great idea, they’re often so busy appearing on other people’s shows that they just won’t have the time to promote yours even if you do score them as an interviewee.
And if you do have guests on your show, make sure you make it really easy for them to share it with their audience afterward by giving them the specific link you’d like them to use along with maybe a sample tweet or LinkedIn post and relevant image: ‘common sense things that people often forget and so miss out on an opportunity to share their show.’”
Reaching out to Potential Guests
Listen at [32:55]
If you do want to invite influencers to be a guest on your live show, Neal has a few words of warning about how to reach out to them.
Cold-calling isn’t the best idea so try to forge some sort of a relationship with them first. In fact, this is so important that he dedicated an entire chapter of his book to teach us how to engage with influencers in a way that’s far less one-sided.
"Social media gives you the ability to send social signals to start creating rapport. Then it’s down to personalising what’s in it for them, spinning it so they can see how it’s going to be of benefit.
And here’s the interesting thing: if you want to be on someone’s live stream and you try to pitch them, tell them that you also have a show, that it has 75 episodes, and you’d love to have them on. That alone might be enough incentive for them.
When you start to have influence, you need to yield it."
Being an Influencer vs Using an Influencer: What is the Best Option?
Listen at [38:05]
If you’ve decided to start a live show (or already have one in progress) what’s the ideal aim, to become an influencer or to leverage the influence of others? Or is it a bit of both?
"Trying to ‘become an influencer’ is sort of like the Wild West dream; if you want to make a full-time salary just from being an influencer…best of luck!"
However, he also points out that the type of live stream show we’re talking about isn’t the end goal.
"It’s a means to the end, it’s an extension of your business, it’s another way of marketing your business. In that respect, as you create the content and build a community, over time, you will yield more influence whether you like it or not."
But at the beginning, before you’ve reached the stage where you have much influence of your own, Neal definitely recommends trying to use the influence of those who are more established. Then, as your influence grows, you can become more strategic about who you want to reach out to and which direction you want to go in.
How can we use Live Streaming to Become More Influential?
Listen at [40:20]
If you are still in that beginner phase of live streaming before your influence has really taken off, is there anything you can do to ensure that you get there sooner rather than later?
Live streaming is awesome but don’t forget traditional marketing too. Leveraging multiple channels is how you get the ‘surround sound’ effect and that’s how you yield true influence. @NealSchafferClick To Tweet
"It comes down to who is your audience and who is influencing them because those are the people you want to have on your show. That’s a no-brainer, right?
But to really increase your own digital influence over your own show, you need to show up. And it shouldn’t be on just the one platform, but multiple platforms.
Now, I’m not going to say you have to be everywhere but there are many ways to yield digital influence and one of them is through search. So are you actually publishing your live streams as blog content that can be indexed by Google?
Podcasting is obviously another way to go. Have you picked one or two social networks depending on where your audience is? Do you have an email list? You need more than one channel if you want to have an impact.
Live streaming is awesome but don’t forget traditional marketing too. Leveraging multiple channels is how you get the ‘surround sound’ effect and that’s how you yield true influence.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts but once you invest in your content, tap into the influence of others and work hard at creating your own influence, you’ll reach your marketing goals much faster. Live streaming offers a great opportunity to do just that, I hope you all take advantage of it!"
If you want more advice from Neal, he’s taken his own advice and can be found on multiple platforms, so feel free to reach out to him and connect.
This Episode's Sponsors
This episode is sponsored by Content10X, InVideo and StreamYard
Watch Episode 75
Do you want to find ways to create more content?
You won’t after you meet the team at Content 10x!
My friends at Content 10x are a specialist content repurposing agency, they can take one live-stream, or a blog post, podcast, or video, and explode it into a plethora of new platform-specific, on-brand content..
If they don’t do all of this for you via their service, they teach you how with their podcast, blog, book and toolkit!
They’re smart, responsive, creative, and effective. If you want to take the stress out of content marketing, Content 10x are the people you want to go to.
Visit www.content10x.com to find out more.
StreamYard is my top recommended live video streaming web app tool. Because it works in your web browser it works for both Mac and PC users.
It's so incredibly simple to use and has so many amazing features such as:
Being able to highlight comments on the screen and add your own titles
Have up to 5 guests on your show without any extra software
Being able to share your screen
Add your own brand colours
You can stream to Facebook, Periscope, LinkedIn Live and YouTube
And now you can use greenscreens!
All of that on the free version!
The paid version gives you even more including being able to add your own logo, overlays, backgrounds and videos and multicasting to up to 5 destinations.
StreamYard has got a great deal for Confident Live Marketing viewers and listeners. You get a 30 day trial with a 16% discount on the annual plans.
To find out and have a play, visit iag.me/streamyard
Who is Neal Schaffer?
Neal Schaffer is a globally recognized digital and social media marketing author, consultant, speaker, and university educator. He wrote the new book that is re-defining influencer marketing, The Age of Influence, and also hosts the Maximize Your Social Influence podcast.