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Influencer marketing is one of the hottest trends in digital marketing today, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood.

Many brands think that they can just throw money at influencers and call it a day, but that doesn’t work for a variety of reasons.

Nicole Ponce maintains and grows relationships with experts in the digital marketing community to build long term relationships and collaborations with one of the leading marketing platforms on the planet, Semrush. She uses her visionary approach to implement global content marketing strategies, and she’s joining me on Partnership Unpacked to share how she does it.

We’ll talk about how she identifies influencers to work with, how she manages influencer marketing campaigns, and some examples of successful past initiatives.

Welcome to Partnership Unpacked, where I selfishly use this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, and relationship building… oh, and you get to learn too!

I’m Mike Allton, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Agorapulse, and in today’s episode, we’re digging into influencer marketing and how brands can successfully develop relationships and true partnerships with influencers. The kind of partnerships that will result in natural, authentic promotion and sharing of your brand and solutions, beyond just paid tweets. And I’ve got the perfect guest today to help us break this down.

I’m here today with the incredible Nicole Ponce. Nicole is the Influencers Marketing Manager for Semrush, my preferred and recommended tool for search engine optimization and research. She maintains and grows relationships with experts in the digital marketing community to build long term relationships and collaborations. She uses her visionary approach to implement global content marketing strategies.

Nicole has a passion for branding, creative projects, and business optimization. She is also a co-founder of Katarze, a recently launched start-up in Prague which unites art and music from global artists. Moderates and take part of a professional female community, Femme Palette, where international expats gather to connect with like-minded driven women. Nicole is also co-host to her own podcast, “It’s Called Happeness” where she speaks about the art of executing ideas and making it a reality, she believes when a person is aligned with their purpose they can make anything happen; they have invited world renown guests to speak about their Happenness story.

Please welcome Nicole Ponce to Partnership Unpacked!

Today Nicole shares with us:

1. How do you typically go about identifying good potential influencers to work with?

2. When it comes to developing relationships and partnerships with key influencers, what techniques have worked best for you in the past?

3. Recommended Influencer Marketing Identification Tools

4. What are some examples of the kinds of influencer campaigns you’ve run in the past, and how did those turn out?

5. What tools do you use and recommend to manage influencer marketing campaigns or contacts?

6. When it comes to influencer marketing, how do you measure success?

7. And finally, let’s talk about what NOT to do. In your experience, what mistakes or tactics should brands try to avoid with influencers?

Learn More About Nicole Ponce

Resources & Brands Mentioned

Full Transcript for this episode of Partnership Unpacked

[00:00:00] Mike Allton: Influencer marketing. It’s one of the hottest trends in digital marketing. But it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Many brands think they can just throw money at influencers and call it a day, but that doesn’t work for a variety of reasons. Instead, the most successful brands treat their influencers like partners.

Welcome to Partnership Unpacked, where I selfishly use this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, and relationship building. Oh, and you get to learn too. We’re live Tuesdays on LinkedIn exclusively, so make sure you follow me on LinkedIn so you won’t miss any of these terrific interviews.

So over the coming weeks, I’ll be talking to folks from Libsyn, Monday.com and Ecamm. And be sure to check out our first interview with Mark Brigman from Partnernomics. I’m Mike Allton, head of Strategic Partnerships at Agorapulse and inn today’s episode, we’re digging into influencer marketing and how brands can successfully develop relationships and true partnerships with influencers.

The kinda partnerships that’ll result in natural, authentic promotion and sharing of your brand and solutions. Beyond just paid tweets. And I have got the perfect guest today to help us break this down and bring her on here. All right, so I am here today with the incredible Nicole Ponce. Nicole is the Influencers marketing manager for Semrush, my preferred and recommended tool for search engine optimization and research.

She maintains and grows relationships with experts in the digital marketing community to build long-term relationships and collaborations. She uses her visionary approach to implement global content marketing strategies. Nicole’s got a passion for branding, creative projects and business optimization. She’s also the co-founder of Qatar’s saying that right, Qatar’s say, a recently launched startup in Prague, which unites art and music from global artists.

She moderates and takes part in a professional female community, fem plet, where international experts gather to connect with like-minded driven women. Nicole is also co-host to her own podcast. It’s called Happeness, where she speaks about the art of executing ideas and making it a reality. And she believes when a person is aligned with their purpose, they can make anything happen.

They have invited world renowned guests to speak about their happeness story. Please welcome Nicole Ponce to Partnership Unpacked! How’re you doing?

[00:02:52] Nicole Ponce: Hi, Mike. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to chat today. That was such a nice, long introduction. I was like, wow, I can’t believe this. [00:03:00] Mike Allton: Yeah, yeah.

It’s my pleasure. I’m so happy to have you here. So can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and the kind of work that you’re doing these days?

[00:03:07] Nicole Ponce: Sure. As Mike already mentioned, I’m the influencer marketing manager over at Semrush. I’ve already been with the company. It’s gonna be two years now. So I’ve worked with influencers from a company’s perspective, but also from like connected from an influencer, like right hand.

And yeah, this is pretty much what I do. I’m actually from Miami, but I live in Prague now. So it’s kind of interesting for me in the sense that I kind of had an understanding of different cultures. I wanted to do the whole understanding how the world works in different areas. So of course, Europe was my first.

And my family’s origin from Ecuador, so I am also a fluent Spanish speaker. So I just kind of builds globally like ideas. And I know we all speak English in a one way or another because it’s kind of the global language to speak, to communicate. But in order to get your message heard and across, it really takes a level of psychology understanding, being empathetic, and I think you can implement that with anything.

Work, relationships, friends, conversations, and that’s. I do at work every day, and this is why I think our relationship with our influencers is so strong. So I hope you guys learn a little bit. Feel free to ask any questions. I’m here to help as much as I can, and I’m excited to talk with Mike and get to know everybody a little bit more.

[00:04:29] Mike Allton: That’s awesome. And you said a couple key words that kind of explain exactly why I had you on the show. You talked about relationships, you talked about psychology and communication, which I love. So that’s awesome. So let’s talk influencer marketing and, and Nicole, let’s start at a high level. So if someone’s listening and perhaps they haven’t worked with influencers before, what would you suggest are the most important initial considerations before we even get started.

Initial Influencer Marketing Considerations

[00:04:55] Nicole Ponce: I kind of hate the word influencer marketing. I feel like it’s so cliche nowadays. Yeah. Because I feel like everybody thinks automatically we’re paying our influencers or you’re paying someone specifically to do something for you. So I think if you really wanna do influencer marketing the right way.

That shouldn’t even come across. I think the keyword, as you mentioned, is relationship building. Mm-hmm. So before anybody starts a campaign, I would say try to make friends with those people that are actually using your brand so that not just your brand, your product, it being a tool. And I know for us it’s a little bit difficult in the sense that Semrush is a tool.

It’s not a specific, tangible product that we can just give someone like, Pepsi and you know, like what Ronaldo he, he put out instead of coke or water, et cetera. It’s so much easier to do that. But when you’re doing an asset that someone’s gonna be using a tool, it’s a little bit harder. So for someone that’s not used to doing influencer marketing, I would say forget that word.

Scratch it off, because I think in future terms, it’s not even gonna be a thing. I would just focus on relationship building and really understand who is your niche and your market. Needs what you’re trying to give. So if it be a tool, whatever, something tangible that your actual business gives off, that makes a lot of sense.

[00:06:19] Mike Allton: And, and obviously I’m coming from the exact same perspective from, you know, a SaaS. You know, I don’t have physical things to give people, you know, unless I ship them some swag or something like that. Right. But that doesn’t help. Them, you know, understand the value of the brand. Uh, exactly. Yeah. I totally love what you’re talking about in terms of relationship building, but something that I’ve run into, and I know a lot of people watching who are gonna be listening to this on the podcast have also kind of wondered is how do we figure out who the good influencers are?

And I’m gonna have to keep using that word cause we’re gonna have a better one. But who are the good influencers? How do you go about identifying these people that you might potentially wanna work with?

How do you go about identifying good potential influencers to work with?

[00:06:56] Nicole Ponce: I guess if you work metric wise, you would look at who has the most followers and if it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, et cetera.

But I think people forget, even if it’s a lot of numbers of followers, there’s no engagement, and even if it’s a low amount of followers, but it’s someone that’s growing, we’d like to call it now. And I think we’ve all seen a really big boom with the micro influencers, which are just like a normal human being that is just like, A lot of people get intimidated.

They feel that an influencer is someone that I look up to, like a celebrity is what in terms what we used to think of what it was now. But I think the best thing to think about is you want your brand to have someone to, like my friend next door, a neighbor, a friend, someone that I can easily be like, Hey Nicole, I don’t know how to brush my teeth correctly.

What’s the best toothbrush that I can use in order for, I wanna have a conversation. So if you see someone that’s really interacting with our. Someone that is friendly, people have an awesome conversation with, have engagement. They can have a low amount of followers, but that engagement, it’s gonna give you higher retention and investment of your time.

Everybody wants to be an influencer now. Everybody wants to have their name out there. Everybody wants to be on video. Everybody is egotistic and just wants to be out there. So I think another thing. Are the people really using your SaaS tool or the product that you have, or they’re just saying that they’re using it?

Our clients and just everybody out there, they can straight spot up and be like, that person just got paid to say that. I don’t trust them. And the moment that you lose that trust, you lost them, you lost them, and then you lose credibility as a company because you’re clearly paying someone to do something that it’s not fair.

All goes down to being honest and being truth to your customers and catering to them before you cater to yourself. It’s like the old saying is like, if you really wanna have retention sales, the customer’s always right. Listen to your audience, and I think that helps a lot.

[00:09:09] Mike Allton: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more.

I often tell this story about the Conklin Pen company back in 1903. They were based in Toledo because they were considering finding a spokesman for their company. And so they, they make pens, right? And at the time, the biggest influencers were baseball players and there were some actors, but it’s mostly like athletes, right?

Those were the celebrities at the time. Right. So they could have gone and gotten Babe Ruth to pitch their pen. Babe Ruth isn’t really known for writing and using pens. That’s not his thing. They, they, they can’t relate to Exactly. So they got Mark Twain. Okay. Mark Twain is a writer. It made sense. So someone tells me if Mark Twain comes up to me and says, Mike, I’m using this pen and I love it, and here’s why.

I’m gonna listen to that. That makes sense to me, right? So yeah, you’re absolutely right.

[00:10:00] Nicole Ponce: That’s a super, it’s just gonna click, and then I’m just gonna say I trust that person. That’s why a lot of influencers, I also look into their profile, specifically what they’re about. If they’re all over the place and they’re just doing a lot of campaigns just to get the bunny out of it, then obviously there’s not trust in their audience.

It’s true. A lot of people do it. I mean, I don’t blame them. Hey, the internet is a crazy place. You can do as many things. And get paid for it. So I think don’t hurt your brand either, because we can’t just throw a campaign with just anybody just because of the numbers. Of course. If you’re doing a paid campaign, I would say if you’d wanna get some metrics out there, it depends.

I’m not saying yes or no. Every brand teach their own, but I’m just telling you, this is what we consider as something for our brands. Definitely.

[00:10:44] Mike Allton: Yeah, so we’re talking about finding some good influencers. Obviously we’re talking about developing relationships and partnerships with them, not just throwing cash at them to do a one-off campaign.

What kinds of techniques have worked best for you in the past when it comes to developing those relationships?

When it comes to developing relationships and partnerships with key influencers, what techniques have worked best for you in the past?

[00:11:01] Nicole Ponce: Let’s say that this is not about what is company thing out of it. It’s w how are you helping the influencer as well. It’s a one-off trade-off. I’m talking in the sense that we don’t pay our influencers.

It’s all based off relationship. We know who they are, we know where they’re located. If they have kids, if their birthday is coming up. And that’s why I hate the word, I don’t hate it, it’s a very strong word, but I’d rather push away the influencer marketing, but it’s relationship building cuz I’m gonna remember influencer has birthday next two days.

I’m gonna reach out to them and say something. Or if they need something from me, vice versa. They’re gonna think of me and they already see a name pop up. That’s another thing. You want an influencer to automatically know that they have a feeling that they’re speaking to a person, not just a brand. And that’s so important.

So important cuz. You can’t imagine all these experts, and I’m talking on the, from our end, because we work for a SaaS tool, and of course they’re extremely busy. A lot of them are doing freelance work and I don’t expect them to answer back to me. In 24 hours, there is no urgency. I also understand that they, they are humans and they have a family and then maybe they have kids and they have other things to do.

So that understanding that it’s a human to human interaction and we’re both helping each other out. I’m coming from a brand site, you’re coming from a personal freelance site. Doesn’t matter. It’s the same transaction. But I think establishing that from the beginning really is what helps long-term wise, not short-term.

Again, this is what we do and this is what I’ve done, but if you’re trying to just do. A short term campaign. I’ve done it before, vice versa. I worked for an NBA player and we used to do campaigns with him and he would just really do it for the money. So it was just, okay, three day campaign, I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna send it off.

It’s all good. It’s fine. So it depends on your brand, but if you’re really thinking, if you’re starting up it’s small company and you’re trying to do a campaign to kick off brand awareness, I would definitely recommend that the moment you’re starting off, People and influencers talk, they’re all within the same niche.

Most of them are friends. If you’re specifically focusing on one area, they’re gonna be like, yes, Nicole, from Semrush. I’ll email her If I need something, she’ll answer me back as soon as she can. Or if I need to help with something, I know I can count on her and that will help.

[00:13:31] Mike Allton: Oh my gosh. Yeah. And it’s funny because I’m listening to what you’re saying and I’m relating to it so much, and you and I have never had this kind of a conversation before.

I’ve, I’ve worked with you guys, I’ve been an influencer for Semrush and I, cause I talk about it in my content marketing campaigns and, and. Courses and everything, and so I’ve always had a good feeling about you and what you’re doing and the work and the company and that sort of thing. Oh, I never really thank you, Mike.

Thought about why, but now I’m hearing why, because I have a lot of the same approaches when I first meet somebody who’s, maybe they’re speaking about social media marketing and that’s the kind of person that I’m gonna want to partner up with and, and build a relationship with for Agorapulse, I consider them a friend.

I actually have a tag, right. I mark them as friend, and hopefully they progress to the level of partner and hopefully maybe even beyond that to an ambassador. We don’t refer to them. She’s an influencer, right? Yeah. In internally, I’m thinking about them as a friend and a partner and and beyond. Those are the levels I’m looking at, so I, I can see we’re very much aligned in that approach.

Yeah. I love that. Yeah. Mm-hmm. , so if you’re just tuning in, We’re talking about influencer marketing programs and how to make sure that you’re targeting, that you’re developing relationships and you’re working successfully with the right influencers. And I’m talking to Nicole Ponce, influencers marketing manager for Semrush.

And Nicole, we have a quick question in here from a LinkedIn user. They’re asking for, looks like recommendations on programs or platforms that might aggregate and segment influencers by industry or availability. Basically programs that make it easier to find what we would call qualified influencers.

Have you had any suggestions for that person?

Recommended Influencer Marketing Identification Tools

[00:15:20] Nicole Ponce: I would say there’s two or three that we’ve used. Most of our influencers are on Twitter, so that’s something that we look for. And I know some campaigns are done mostly on Instagram, but. We have no experience on that, so I’d rather not suggest anything further there.

But for Twitter, we use BuzzSumo, definitely. And even just a Twitter search works really well. Hashtags are amazing. And if there’s any influencers listening on, please make sure your bios make sense to what you do , because we, that’s how we find people. I swear it’s so important. So definitely BuzzSumo. Really big one also for YouTube, and for customer management, more like just profile management.

We’ve used Nimble, and it works pretty well. It has pretty much everything on there that we need and you can justify it and kind of plan it out how you want it, for it to look like your dashboards, et cetera. Filters, pull downs, anything possible. And for anybody that is starting, I definitely. Suggest to put it somewhere because after a while it’s gonna take some time to put a bunch of Google sheets together.

And I think another suggestion I would say is that to really not be so focused on making some scoring and, uh, understanding of, okay, this person has, and we’re gonna go back to, sorry, I’m, I’m jumping back to the metrics, but be more focused on. This person gives back to their community. So we have a lot of notes, basically like what is this person doing?

What projects they’re working on. I think that’s important because if there’s something hot news, let’s say serve features or any new update on Google, we know because of the notes that we take of our influencers, like what they’re working on and. Speak to them, get to know them a little bit more. That way, when you do have a campaign, you actually automatically know, Hey, I know this person is working on such and such updates, so they would be perfect, or they’re already well aware of what’s going on, and they will help us the most.

That will help you guys. In the long run as well, because sometimes you have last minute updates from Google or maybe something that’s going on in your campaigns, and you’re kind of just strangling. You’re like, okay, I have 30 people that have 15,000 followers, but I don’t know what they’re working on. Or if it even makes sense to pair them up with this campaign.

So in the long run, definitely a management tool will help a lot, a lot, a lot in keeping those notes checked and up to date as much as possible.

[00:17:59] Mike Allton: Oh, absolutely. I’m glad you mentioned Twitter and Nimble cuz I’ve used those two tools together really successfully. On Twitter, you can do searches, you can do some really advanced searches, you can even plug those.

Save them in a Agorapulse. Mm-hmm. . So let’s say you decide that you are looking for influencers within a specific geographic range. You’re looking for people who are talking about specific things, having conversations around specific hashtags. You can geofence that and then you could save that search, uh, in a Agorapulse, the free plug there where you could see those results and see those people who are having those conversations.

Then you. Click through, look at their profile on Twitter, and if you’re using Nimble, you can have Nimble’s Chrome extension installed and you can Oh yeah. I look that add them automatically into Nimble. And then what I love about Nimble is it’ll go out and find every place else on the web that that person exists.

Yep. It’ll give you their. Website, their LinkedIn profile, which is super critical. Everything else that they’ve publicly put out there, and that makes it just super easy for you to tag them and sort them and keep on top of them. Then I see Spencer asked, uh, is Sumo BuzzSumo? No, Nicole’s talking about buzzsumo.com.

B U Z Z S U M o.com. Another fantastic tool. They’ve got some really. Tracking mechanisms to keep track of influencers and the, the projects they’re working on and everything. It’s really fantastic. Mm-hmm. . So getting back to some of the work that you’ve done in the past, I know you’ve worked on lots of different campaigns with some wonderful partners.

Can you give us some examples of the kinds of campaigns that you’ve run in the past and, and how they kind of turned.

What are some examples of the kinds of influencer campaigns you’ve run in the past, and how did those turn out?

[00:19:34] Nicole Ponce: We’re actually working on a couple of new ones now and they’re really creative. What we’re trying to focus is kind of giving the shine light on new influencers in the SEO fields. We’re, I don’t know if you guys have followed or are you guys interested in the SEO O, but if you go on hashtag SEO threads, so pretty much we’re getting our influencers to take over our Twitter account.

Has 150 K thousand followers. So it gives the influencer a shine light for them to share what they’re working on or on a specific topic that they’re pretty much an expert of. It’s been extremely successful. Not only because we give ’em a space for them to speak about it, but you can see the engagement and the conversations that everybody from our community that already follow us, they’re already engaging with them as well, and they’re getting to know them and.

Honestly, I was not a fan of Twitter before. I don’t know if it’s because I’m more like an Instagram generation gal, , but it is insane. It’s such a great place for people just to have a genuine conversation. So if you get a face, a name, and a topic, which is what we’re doing in our threat, and hopefully you guys can go on just hashtag SEO thread in summer.

So you guys will wait to see it visually, then you can go see the thread, and then people are asking questions and the expert has time to just. Pretty much answer anything at that moment, and it’ll stay there long-term because I know we also have summer’s chat, but that just lives for an hour and then the guest leaves.

So we really like this, that it’s like a long-term thing and it stays there. So anybody wants to go back, they can go back to the thread and just kind of learn. So it’s like a mini session. That’s one of my cool campaigns. We have two other ones that we haven’t launched yet, so I’m not gonna talk about those.

But another third campaign that we really worked on, and I think this has helped us the most, but internally, Was that we asked a couple influencers for feedback, well, not a couple, a good amount. So it was specifically we would help them out with something externally. But internally, we asked them, we know that you have been using X, Y, and Z tool, and we would love to get your feedback, really dig down what is the issue, what would you like to see more?

How do you see it evolve? So we give them a space and a time for them to give us feedback, and they’re also gaining the appreciation. Wow. The brand actually cares about the users because again, our influencers are our biggest users, and there will talk to their community and their community will talk to the other community.

So we really showed them that we care what they say. We care, and we want to see how our tool is evolving, not because we care to grow as a brand. Of course, it’s a perk. But mostly because we hope that our tool is better for the user, which is a k r influencer. So I think implementing something like that internally also helps kind of understand where you guys stand with the, the influencers.

And how you guys can grow and maybe get some ideas on who is working on what, so you can help push another campaign afterwards. Cuz that kind of helped us kick off like, okay, this is the direction we wanna go in. And that’s how we kind of evolved our new other campaigns.

[00:22:49] Mike Allton: I love that approach. I’ve done something.

Mm-hmm. kind of similar. We have a Facebook community that’s just nice for our ambassadors. We’ve got about 50 or so, you know, really, you know, heavy Agorapulse users. They’re also out there teaching or blogging about social media. So we’ve identified them as ambassadors and there’s two things that I do every once in a while I’ll could post in the community that just ask them what are we missing?

Yeah. What features are we lacking that you still wish that we had? Like one of the ones that come up. That’s funny cuz you mentioned Instagram. They always want the Instagram. Preview. Yeah. Right. Yeah. They wanna do more than just schedule Instagram posts. They wanna see what their grid is gonna look like when they’ve scheduled out these posts, you know?

So that’s finally coming because that’s awesome. I listened, which is what a brand is supposed to do. Right? Exactly. And the other thing that I’ve done is I just had this in, in my scheduling tool. Once a month a post goes out that says, Hey, what are you working? Right now, and that’s amazing when it’s a blog post or a new course or something like that because it speaks to what you were talking about before.

Now I’ve got visibility in Right. What they’re working on, what it is that they’re really passionate about. Right. Exactly. Now, maybe it’s a blog post, but maybe it’s a big project and they’re like a hundred percent focused on that, which helps me be aware. Of what is going on in in their lives. And it also gives us stuff to talk about on social.

They’ve got a new blog post. Right. That’s great. Let’s share that out to Agorapulse’s, channels, cuz I’m, it’s gonna be a hundred percent related and it’s gonna be relevant to our target audience. Absolutely. That’s easy.

[00:24:17] Nicole Ponce: Yeah, super easy. And from an influencer’s perspective. I think they really appreciate that, that they’re being heard and that they know they can have that relationship.

And I’ve seen a lot, especially people that work in tech, there’s so much out there that maybe they change course of direction and maybe somebody was doing the social media, now they’re doing Python, and you had no idea unless you talk or you ask. And this is why it’s so important to. Like, I really like the idea that you just mentioned that you do once a month just catching up because they’re like, people wanna be heard.

We’re at the end of the day behind this computer email. Our titles, our LinkedIn, we’re humans and we wanna be heard. And if we give ’em a space to be heard and what they’re expert about, they’re just gonna flourish. And of course your brand is gonna benefit from it because you believed in them and that they’re gonna appreciate that from you.

[00:25:08] Mike Allton: Absolutely. Yeah. Totally. Mm-hmm. so. We’ve talked about some tools, we’ve talked about Nimble and BuzzSumo and of course the native platforms. Are there any other tools that you’re using to either manage your partners or manage the campaigns? Anything along those lines?

What tools do you use and recommend to manage influencer marketing campaigns or contacts?

[00:25:22] Nicole Ponce: Uh, Semrush. We definitely use Semrush.

Great. Or social media tracker for, sorry, more engagement . Yeah, sure. Here I go with the pitch and I’m kidding. . Yeah, we use our, uh, social media poster to track the metrics of our. So to kind of just get the understanding of the engagement, the replies of our recent threads. We have a couple of campaign sheets, so we have our own templates, but it just kind of makes sense for internal purposes.

But other than that, externally, no. For people that are interested, I know they are a couple out there, I would just search like top 10 best tools for. Instagram search influencer tools, and you’ll find some, I know some are really expensive, so that’s why we didn’t really jump on there. But I would say give it a try to just search on your own, not just be focused on one platform.

Really see where your community is at. So for us, it’s on Twitter, maybe for your account. You think it’s on Twitter, but you see there’s more engagement on Instagram. Let’s now forget about TikTok because TikTok is insane to me. I. Really obsessed with it, but that’s a whole other world.

[00:26:28] Mike Allton: That’s a whole nother show. [00:26:30] Nicole Ponce: Yeah. That’s just, let’s leave it for another day. But just really focus on that and the platforms itself, I think they’re easy to find if you use zero hashtags and you find the right communities in like how you said Facebook groups. Et cetera. You can really do a lot within there. And then if it’s necessary, if you’re a really big company, I would suggest looking for bigger and more expensive tools.

But if you’re small and you’re starting out, just try to save the bucks and just use the tools on its own hashtags to really make a difference.

[00:27:00] Mike Allton: Yeah, totally agree. I would say that, cuz you mentioned Instagram. Again, squarelovin is a really interesting tool. They’re based outta Germany. They’re gonna be on our other show, agency Accelerated.

Cool. I’ve never heard of them with them in the past. It’s super interesting. They’re, they’re really focused on helping agencies. With U G C, you know, so, oh, nice. An agency watching, and you’ve got clients you know, who are trying to tap into like consumers on Instagram who are talking about your brand.

This is probably more appropriate for, you know, people who are selling tangible products. That’s a great tool to look into. I do wanna know a little bit more about your social tracking, how that works. Are you tracking just all the posts to your channel? Are you able to track specific hashtags? Tell me more.

[00:27:40] Nicole Ponce: Yeah, so we can track specific hashtags, but basically we’re just tracking on our own. This is why I would highly recommend creating a specific hashtag for one campaign, because if you’re gonna keep tracking at least some metrics, this is the way that you can go back. We create usually a, like for the latest one that we did was SEO threads.

So we’re keeping track of it, and we’re just kind of understanding how our engagement in our Twitter account changed previously from us starting this campaign until afterwards. And then just keeping track of each campaign that we have, meaning each thread that we push out. And if you guys. Need a seven week trial for summer.

So let me know and I can always jump on and have a chat with you guys to kind of show you how it goes, because you can also see engagement from competitors. So that would be interesting to see. But it would depend if you’re doing a specific campaign so you can see the engagement rate or engagement post on those specific competitor accounts.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, no, but just mostly on Twitter. And you guys can check the numbers. That’s pretty much it. But we have engagement, right? Also includes replies. So it’s cool to see, okay, who has the best replies? Is it the best time to post at this date or at this time, why is this topic a bit more reply to?

Maybe it’s a little bit more trendier, or people wanna talk about it more in the specific, so it’s obviously how you analyze the data, but it’s always. Best to see where are the numbers coming from in the sense of where the community is at or just they’re fishing around. That way we know what to push out the most.

Obviously we have a really big community with a lot of different likes and dislikes, so we try to push out as much as possible from different avenues. But for people that are starting out, I think it’ll be easier for them to see the change. Specific topic. I don’t know. I’m just gonna say something simple like tomatoes, nobody replied, okay, so maybe nobody wants to talk about tomatoes and pizza.

There was like 10 replies. So great. People love pizza. Let’s work with pizza. What are different topics or different topics of pizza? You can kind of see the trend of what. Gives them better vibe for your community because at the end of the day, we don’t create content just to create content. We create content to help our community, educate them, push them, and give them the best.

If you’re just writing to write, then you’re just got it all wrong, , because no one’s gonna read it. It’s true.

[00:30:11] Mike Allton: Yeah. Well, okay. First of all, that was a tremendous soundbite right there. We’re not creating content just to create content, we’re creating it to engage the community. I love that. And that’s super interesting what you were just talking about because I’ve used other tools like Metricool to look at hashtag performance.

I was really looking at it from a live realtime event perspective, you know? Cause I had like events like, you know, hashtag agency summit and so on in the past, which is really interesting. But it didn’t. The kind of robustness that I think you’re getting at, you know, in terms of being able to track it over time for a campaign.

Cause like with Metricool. Right. I think I had to pay 10 bucks for a 24 hour period of report , you know, so that’s, that was great for a live event. Not so good for trying to attract a campaign over the course of a month. Exactly. I’ll to dig into that a little bit more. Yeah, that’s, that’s super cool. But we’re talking about all these different numbers and all these different metrics and tools.

What actually defines success to you? What does that look like?

When it comes to influencer marketing, how do you measure success?

[00:31:11] Nicole Ponce: That’s such a hard r I don’t know to answer. [00:31:15] Mike Allton: I’m hoping you’ll tell me so that I know. . . [00:31:19] Nicole Ponce: It’s funny enough that we were talking about this because within our team, we were discussing, I was like, how do you quantify how much you love your grandma?

Like that’s so hard to say. From one through 10, how much do you love your grandma? I don’t know. I just love her. You know, that’s how relationship building is for us. Like we can’t just put a number to how successful that’s been. That’s why we do use these hashtags to kind of have that number around so we can have some sort of proof of if this is working or if this is not.

But I would say in success rate, for us internally, it’s more if this influencer was proactive, if they had fun, there was good engagement, and if we’re willing to do something again, if it looked like it was just, Kind of forced, then I wouldn’t call that as a success because at the end of the day, you have somebody else that’s putting your name of your brand out there on your behalf.

So if it feels like it’s just being an item to be sold, then I can just do it. An affiliate marketing, you know, I really would like to have someone that. How I just said, like if it’s my cousin or a family member that I know I can count on. I think that’s the word. If you know that you can count on the person for the next time and it’d be the same quality of work, then that’s a success rate.

I think we figured it out. That’s what it is.

[00:32:33] Mike Allton: Mic drop and I’m showing that with my boss. You knows what success looks like. [00:32:41] Nicole Ponce: Don’t quote me though, [00:32:46] Mike Allton: And we’ve got, uh, Yvonne Heimann who’s here. And she says that Agorapulse and I have been amazing supporting them. And Ecamm Networks another great company. I would actually That’s amazing. Ecamm’s fantastic. They’ve got a great community over there. That’s awesome. So I love everything that we’ve covered today.

We’ve talked about, you know, what influencers even are and why we don’t really even wanna call ’em influencers and we don’t wanna. Say influencer marketing is a bad word. We’ve talked about tools and metrics and success. What about what not to do? What are some mistakes maybe you’ve made, maybe you’ve seen some other people make that you’d say, let’s not go there.

And finally, let’s talk about what NOT to do. In your experience, what mistakes or tactics should brands try to avoid with influencers?

[00:33:22] Nicole Ponce: Yeah, I got stories for this. So I would say to definitely check who your competitors before you reach out to them. , that’s a big one. So maybe there are people that you can work with, but if you have a small. Of specific topics that your company is going around, I would check the competitors or maybe close to be competitors because that can kind of harm your company if you’re trying to work with an influencer that also works for another competitor, or if maybe they’re a competitor on their own, you obviously don’t wanna work with them.

So if you’re onboarding someone in your team and they have no. What their crowd or the community educate them before you get them started. Because remember that the campaigns that they’re gonna be running is going to really show who your brand is gonna be next to your future clients, your future faces of your brand, pretty much.

I think I had just started and I was just eager to get started and I wanted to talk to everybody and I’m just a talker, so I was like, let’s just blast an email subscriber list and see how it responds. God, it was the worst campaign I had ever done. The numbers were horrible because everybody was like, why are you selling me like, If I wanted to be sold, I would talk to somebody from sales.

So, and it was just kind of things that I got at that moment because I had obviously private conversations with influencers and we kind of based off of it was my first impression. And then the moment I started. Pacing off a little bit more. I really got personal, like I stalk their Twitter and I was like, Hey, how was a Yankees game last Thursday?

Not that crazy, but you know, I hope you had a great time, by the way, , do you wanna blah, blah, blah. They’re like, okay, this girl either is a creep or she really knows that I’m on Twitter on the Yankee game on Thursday, but at least I got their attention and they know that they’re talking to a human being and not a robot.

And I think that’s key. We’re gonna start a relationship building, be as personal, and I try to write how I speak. So if someone’s reading my emails, they know, oh great. Hey Nicole, how are you? Okay. I know it’s Nicole. It’s not just a robot or a templated email, which God we know we get those so much and on LinkedIn as well.

And do you even look at them? You don’t. So why do you think other people will so bad? Exactly. It’s like, uh, makes you wanna put your hair. So imagine if you can take the extra effort to actually do that little bit of research and get a little bit personal. It really does wonders it really.

[00:36:01] Mike Allton: That is such a fantastic tip, and I love that you mentioned earlier paying attention to who amongst your influencers are working with certain competitors.

Yeah. Because if you don’t, that’s such an opportunity to embarrass yourself and, and my favorite story on these lines is I was actually sitting in person. At Social Media Marketing World a couple years ago, and Goldie Chan, who I’d met a couple times, she’s a, if you don’t know where she’s considered the queen of LinkedIn, right?

She’s a big time LinkedIn influencer. She’s amazing. Uh, we’d met a couple times in, in private settings, so she knew who I was and she came down and she sat next to me and were having a conversation. One of my competitors, my competitors came up and tried to talk to Goldie about their tool and he tried to give her a shirt or something like that, and she’s.

I am talking to Mike. Alton. Why are you here talking to me? , it was such an awkward moment, right? That they just kinda just walked up and stepped in it and we’re like, this was really, really a bad idea. Yeah, yeah, it was. It was rude because they knew who I were. I mean, we had a booth. Okay. We had a giant 20 foot wide booth.

They knew who I was. Right. I was probably dressed head to toe in orange. So it wasn’t like she was just sitting with a random person.

[00:37:15] Nicole Ponce: Exactly. Like they knew what they were doing. [00:37:18] Mike Allton: Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Totally new. And I remember, I think he even said something to me, acknowledging who I was. So don’t do that.

Don’t ever do that. Yeah. Nicole, this has been fantastic. I have, oh my. Enjoy. So great. All of your insights. I can’t wait to take a lot of these things back to a gore pulse and I can you so much for having this drop as the podcast, let everybody know where they can follow you, where they can find you, where they can learn more about Semrush.

Sure.

[00:37:44] Nicole Ponce: You can find me on Twitter, Nicole c Ponce, and it’s P O N C E or on LinkedIn. Same thing. Nicole c Ponce. My LinkedIn messages are open. My Twitter messages are open. Email me, tweet me. I’m happy to help if you need any questions afterwards, and if you want to get a little bit more info on Semrush. [00:38:03] Mike Allton: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you. And that’s all we have for today, folks. Thank you so much, Mike. You’re welcome. Thank you. We’ve got coming up, Rob Walch from Libsyn, he’s the VP of their podcast relations, and then Katherine Heisler from Monday.com and Katie Fawkes from Ecamm Network.

And if you’re watching the replay or you’re listening to the podcast, don’t hesitate to comment or reach out if you’ve got any questions. See you next time.





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