Simple Tips to Build a Results Driven Influencer Program

A coffee chat with Mallorie Rosenbluth, head of Social and Influencer Marketing at Grubhub and Seamless

On Wednesday, October 24th, we had the chance to sit down with Mallorie Rosenbluth, head of Social and Influencer Marketing at Grubhub and Seamless, to get her thoughts on building a results driven program. We discussed everything ranging from pitching influencers internally to using content across channels. See the full video, key takeaways and transcript below:

Key Takeaways

  • In order to build momentum in the organization to invest in influencer marketing, use metrics the organizations already knows to pitch the program. Many marketers try to convince CFOs or CEOs on the value of "cost per engagement," but they ultimately don't believe. If you can build a program around "cost per acquisition," a well established metric, then you'll have a better chance to succeed. You can read about how one of your users Home Chef does this here

  • When evaluating cost of influencers, base it on your KPIs. If you want to achieve a certain cost-per-impression,  ask the influencer how many impressions they typically receive and do the math with their fee to see if it will work out for you

  • A big opportunity in influencer marketing is leveraging the content across all channels. Influencers can allow brands to unlock local content strategies at scale or help them market better content on product, email or in paid marketing, and this can help reduce your content creation costs or drive higher engagement

The full transcript:

David: Hi Everyone, thanks for joining us today. My name is David and I am a co-founder and CEO of WeFind. I am really happy that folks are attending today to hear Mallorie, Head of Social and Influencer Marketing at Grubhub and Seamless. This is going to be a casual conversation and hopefully give you some valuable tips as you build out your influencer programs.

So we're going to dive straight into the deep end here. So the first thing that is a question that we got from folks is you've been able to build a really robust influencer program at Grubhub and Seamless, but one of the things we hear a lot from brand marketers is they’ll get push back internally on the value of influencers and so I'd love to hear how have you lobbied in your organization to scale investment in influencers?

Mallorie: It's a great question because I think a lot of brands will really quickly just kind of dabble into influencer marketing and, after they've spent a bunch of money, look back and go “what value did this add to us?” It's harder to kind of back into the calculations so what we always have done with this is “what is the goal that we're trying to accomplish?” and then really systematically looking at individual campaigns as opposed to just like an evergreen strategy so that we can test different things. When we started we were testing this a lot from a brand awareness perspective, so we were looking at things like impressions and reach, we were looking at number of engagement we were looking granularly into engagement - so the difference between a like and a comment - and then the really fun part of the job is around sentiment, and so actually reading through all the comments that are left on influencer posts. 

So we really looked at that and then what we did was we just compared the costs per, so the cost per impression, the cost per engagement to those same metrics that we were getting on those channels with our own content. And so we were able to really show a side by side comparison and say influencers are actually generating not only a greater, or a lower cost for engagement but it's also higher.

Another thing we wanted to measure is how do we create content at scale. Well I think that’s a question that brand marketers and content marketers, which I think the social media influencer space for smart brands were all just evolving into being really strong content marketers, are constantly looking at how do I produce enough content on my own channels, social and if you structure your deals appropriately with your influencers you own that content in perpetuity. So how much does it cost to have a photo shoot? How many assets are you able to get if you're working with an agency? How much can your internal team handle? And if you're then saying I’m going to work with an influencer who can create five assets for me at a cost of X amount of dollars per asset as an additional. 

So that's where we looked as we started. And then as we got a bit more sophisticated we started just using the same metrics that our growth team and our retention team is focused on. So instead of trying to recreate the wheel and say to people who are not as in the weeds with this new world form of marketing, hey let me educate you about what a cost per engagement is, let me educate you about how many swipe ups someone's getting from an Instagram story. We went and said we're going to look at a cost for acquisition, we're going to look at the cost per response, we’re going to look at a cost per install and tie this to your DR metrics that everybody's really comfortable with. 

We started building campaigns within the last, probably year, year and a half, that more closely replicate the methodology that our growth counterparts, who are constantly being evaluated for performance, are looking at to provide exclusive codes, to do more localized programs, to just sort of more closely mirror what they were doing because it builds a level of trust - I understand how direct response mailers works for us, I understand how TV buying works. You can mirror those metrics and prove that it has a comparable, or better, rates in greater efficiency. So then there's more room to continue to invest. 

David: Awesome. So a few things that I heard was making sure that you're capturing the whole value of the influencer - it's not just their organic reach of their content but it's the value of the content that their producing, so you don’t have to have a team that goes out there and then subsequently produces that content for you to post in your other channels, which is valuable. Comparing the engagement metrics with what you’re getting across other channels, as well as, and this is something you and I have talked about a lot, is using familiar metrics that your organization has already agreed on. So it’s like everyone in the organization agrees that this metric matters and you don't have to sell a new metric. The value of that in making the argument for influencers, it just makes the whole process a lot easier. 

Mallorie: Yes, that was the more concise and eloquent way to say what I said. 

David: That’s how we’re going to go through today, but, awesome! I’m just taking your wisdom and then just spitting it back out. It’s what I do every day. 

One area of push back that we hear also is it’s not just a question of do we do influencers in a vacuum, but it's do we do influencers, do we invest in Facebook, do we invest in SEM or do we invest in driving more referral or investing in a word of mouth program? If your team says to you why don't we just put more dollars for Facebook ads as opposed to just investing in influencers, how do you have that conversation about balancing influencers versus other marketing channels? 

Mallorie: Yeah, it's a great question and I think it sort of stacks nicely against the end of my last answer which is kind of looking at this same methodology and measurements, and how do you sit down at the table and say I can enhance your performance by using what we have here. I think with Facebook I would love to know at some point - 19 people dialed into this call, minus you and me, so 17 - how many of these people in their companies think that they've nailed Facebook? We know exactly what we're doing, we're driving incremental results to our business model month on month, we don’t need to test anything with that right, we’ve nailed it. 

I think nobody, otherwise Facebook’s client partner team would be tripled and would be constantly knocking on the door going try this, try this! I think, Facebook takes a lot of credit for the things that they do and smart brands are going to do.. just because someone logged in and saw that ad, does that mean that really impacted something they bought 30 days later. It's really hard to connect those things. So if you're able to say, and what we've done here as we build out our testing infrastructure - and that's one of the great things about Grubhub is that we are so focused on test, learn, iterate, fail fast, fail forward, get up, do it again and see what happens - is to sit down at the table and build those things out and go how does influencer marketing and how does that content impact what's going on behind the scenes because it's not just a matter of how you're targeting and spending money and how you're pulling all levers behind the scenes, it's as much of a direct correlation with the content that you're distributing and how you are communicating with not only your own customers but your prospective base. 

Imagine walking into a party and you don't know anybody and just tapping someone on the shoulder and being like “Hey do you want to hang out?” versus you are there with a friend and your friend introduces you and says “hey, meet David. You guys should talk”. You’re going to be much more likely to pay attention to me when you have the sort of endorsement of a friend than you would be if I were to just to tap on the shoulder and out of the blue try to be friends with you.

So it's kind of a similar approach there of saying we can actually enhance what we're doing from a paid perspective with influencer marketing. For instance, we've done a lot of testing around white labelling influencer accounts. So the influencers essentially make their post, build their content and then they grant us access to their ad platform, their business manager. So we can go in and boost the content that they've created. So it’s our dollars, it's our targeting criteria, it’s all the methodology that our brilliant team already knows, but we’re attaching it to this person who has thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people that are connected with them across Facebook and Instagram. 

I always look at it as, you know, we're asking for those dollars it's more how do I provide incremental value in the channels that you are already spending money on and drive more efficient results for you. So I think the Facebook white listing is a great example. I actually just walked out of meeting before I came here to talk about link building. So how do we support SEO working with influencers that have really well trafficked blogs to actually build links back to GrubHub, which provides a ton of value with our SEO folks. It's sitting down, and the most important thing in any marketing department, and probably the biggest challenge, is how do you not work in silos of like I do SEO, I do influencer marketing and actually saying we’re all trying to grow our business and get our brand in front of more people and drive results. Everything we're doing can be stitched together for a really efficient user journey and drive more meaning for us all the time. 

David: Yeah I think that makes a lot of sense and I think one of the things is that a lot of this happens naturally. We've moved into very much a performance marketing world where everyone is looking at CPA versus LTV in terms of how we evaluate things but, to your point, I think an area where a lot of brands miss is understanding what’s the user journey and where does influencer fit into that user journey versus where do all your other channels fit into that user journey. Are you thinking about it holistically versus just running an ad on Facebook and going okay, I want you to buy something tomorrow.

Mallorie: Yup 

David: Awesome.  One other thing we're hearing a lot from an influencer perspective is people taking that content and then subsequently leveraging it on multiple channels. You kind of talked about this a little bit, whether it's white labelling that content or using that on organic channels for different places. What are your thoughts on this and what are some of the things that you've seen that have been really successful? 

Mallorie: Yeah. I think that this is an untapped area that most influencer marketers aren’t considering enough. For Grubhub one of the ways, while we are still figuring out what the true value of influencers are, and candidly and what's exciting is that I don’t think we’ll ever figure out the magic bullet and what is the lightning in a bottle moment with an influencer, because it keeps changing - the space has changed, the influencers change, right? 

One of the things that we can look at a lot is GrubHub services sixteen hundred markets around the U.S. with 85,000 restaurants. There is no way I'm going to be able to get pictures or videos from a restaurant in L.A., in Austin, in Chicago, in Des Moines, in Miami. It's impossible for me to either send my scrappy team out to all those markets or, even more cost prohibitive, pay photographers and have photoshoots in each of those markets. So we've gone with the really strategic approach and said hey, these are key markets for us. We’re going to activate 10 influencers in those markets to take 10 photos each and one, they perform super well, two it allows us to like build a relationship with the restaurant because the influencers usually are like “Oh hey, I’m working with GrubHub and I love this place. I know they want to feature you guys.”

It helps build those partnerships, the feel good moments of just working with a restaurant, in a way that we aren’t able to do as efficiently and so that's been huge for us. Like tapping them as almost photographers and then the added value comes from the influence they provide when they post the content, but we're really using this in our e-mail, on our social channels in our blog, we're using it in various placements across our product. What we've actually found is that when we place those assets on products - and David you know the exact placements I'm talking about because you launched those bad boys - they actually drive a slightly higher click through than by traditional photography that we’re using, so it’s been incredibly meaningful for us. We have everything stored in a shared space so people can go and find it and use it and that's been, as we talked to various influencer partners, if they don't have some sort of like content library and support teams and that say you know we get rights to those assets to use across at least our digital channels right, it would probably be a conversation if you were to put in your billboards or what not. But we’ve used that organically and we've also used it a lot in vertically oriented channels like Instagram stories, Snapchat ads and Instagram story ads as well because it just looks more organic and natural if you're kind of taking it and re-cutting it. 

So when we build our requests about what they're going to post we always build it in mind with what do we mean and what are we having a challenge producing internally, whether it’s the certain type of content or location. But that's critical and when you do a cost to cost comparison of everything, you get from an influencer that’s shooting content for you and then what you would have to pay per asset at a photoshoot it's really astounding and it's such an efficient way to get that content. 

David: Yeah, I can tell you from our experience at Grubhub how many times you're going through photo shoots and you're trying to make something look natural. There’s always this exercise of what if we adjust it this way or adjust it that way versus just having someone who’s in that experience creating that content for you. 

Mallorie: Yeah, and you pick these people because they're aesthetic is amazing and because they know how to capture the content that’s in line with your brand. I think the biggest questions for us is always we’re a food company, how much food do we need to feature versus occasions versus people. It’s very expensive to do a photo shoot that has actors and various locations but we can work with an influencer and say hey, we want you to have a Sunday brunch party and we want you to invite a bunch of your friends and we're going to give you money for a trip to Party City to buy decorations and whatever else you need and we are expecting that you provide X Y and Z assets for us to use plus stuff to post on your channels. Then you're getting people, you're getting scenes you're getting things that would cost us 10 times as much in some cases and a whole lot of time to scout locations. Some of these people live in nicer apartments than I could ever dream of and they’re holding up their pancakes with a gorgeous view of some skyline and I'm like yeah, that would cost me so much money to have a photoshoot there and I only would have gotten that one photo and here I got everything.

David: Yeah, that's awesome. So one of the things that goes along with this, which I think is a big challenge for a lot of brands, is a lot of the influencer work still requires a lot of handholding. So, actually getting an influencer to give you access to their account to boost that post and get advertiser access or getting them to do that and reaching out to them . What's your process for reaching out to folks? This is actually a question from Jen, the Influencer manager at Warner Brothers who is joining us today, but also I think it could be interesting to hear how have you learned about structuring your team in order to sort of manage that whole entire process. When we talk to a lot of brands oftentimes they’ll have one individual who is charged with reaching out to influencers and is essentially charged with everything but it would be interesting to understand, one, what are the things that you’ve learned in terms of reaching out to people, as well as how you structure your team for success. 

Mallorie: Yeah, I wish I had a really eloquent, sophisticated way of doing things like, oh my God yes that's amazing! We work the way a lot of other brands work and we do a lot of manual outreach. So a lot of it is through the platforms. We do a lot of direct DMing to people we want to work with, which actually works really well - it's coming from me, when it's coming from the person in my team who does most of, all the influencer management. It’s not his full time job, he has other things as well. Because it's like hey we love you at Grubhub, we’re working on something we'd love to partner with you and I think it means more if it’s coming from an individual or you sign it from your name or you give them your email.

We do a lot of that format that allows us to message within the platform which has helped to streamline things quite a bit, because you can kind of put out a mass kind of reach of like hey we’re working on X Y and Z and people come to you or you can message through the platform and it kind of tracks things up a bit nicer. It’s super manual and there is no, at least to the best of my knowledge, way to avoid any of that. 

In terms of how my team is structured, I think maybe a misconception about Grubhub is oh my God, you’re a huge brand you must have like a massive team. I don't. So I oversee social influencer content. I have one person under each of those disciplines though they each work on a bunch of other things I have for influencer marketing The guy on my team, Nick, he does influencer marketing but he also manages all of the content for our paid channels within social particularly, so he has a counterpart in growth and is like, these are all the tests we’re doing and he works to kind of produce all of the content. I have community manager who's also handling all of our calendar management. I have a content strategist who's personally writing every single blog that we create, all of our brand email. We do a lot. I do not have a troupe of like 20 influencer minions who are like just cranking through stuff on the team. We’re just super lean and work very hard. 

David: Got it. So I guess the message is to some extent as you're investing in influencer marketing it’s important that you embrace the craziness that goes with it. 

Mallorie: Yeah man. It's like the Wild Wild West in a lot of ways and I think depending on the industry that you’re in, some industries are much more sophisticated when it comes to the influencers that are in there. I think the fashion space, I think beauty, I think those are the more established spaces. I think food, I think travel are getting more sophisticated. I think we were in the second wave of really big influencer pushes and then you've got other things like I have had a lot of people come up to me after various conferences and stuff and their like, I’m working B2B I think I can use influencers but I have no idea how. I'm like, wow, that becomes a whole other challenge. 

I think it’s also challenging when you don't have products to give people. That’s something that's really hard because everyone you know wants to work in a goods exchange. Fashion brands had it a bit easier and beauty brands because it’s like hey, here’s a whole new outfit. Post about it, share it and it becomes harder for other brands, so it's kind of industry specific. 

It’s also influencer specific. Some of these guys have been doing this for ever and they're like, talk to my agent. And you're like, you’re going to be expensive right. But they command it because they know what they're doing and they've been doing it for a long time. Other people you know you have to sort of say “hey can you put this slight bubbling in your Instagram string” and they’re like I put the link in my bio say “yeah, you have more than 10000 followers can you do a swipe up” and they’re like “oh I haven't done that”. That’s like an extreme example, but you really have to know your space and know your brand as well as, or better than, the influencers do because you know, if they're not thinking about this as a hundred percent their full time job then they might be leaving things on the table, and you need to kind of steer them in the right areas. 

David: To what extent do you think, I mean you bring up a really good point which is, you've been working with influencers with GrubHub in the food space for a long time. To what extent do you think your guys have been able to build up the competitive advantage from a content perspective because you know what these influencers are looking for? You know how to reach out to them, you've gone through a lot of these learnings so at this point as you move forward, and are able to create more content, you sort of know where the mines might exist. 

Mallorie: Yeah, I think it's a couple things really. I think the bright shiny objects that maybe some competitors have gone for like the celebrities - you know Kendall Jenner is using us or this athlete. I know how much those people cost and I know the return that you're getting because we’ve done so much analysis. 

We've really built programs to understand the bottom line impact and yeah, it’s frustrating sometimes seeing , but, at the end of the day, I'm also like that’s a flash in the pan. It's a whole lot of engagement because it's typically a picture of them and everyone's like you’re beautiful. I love you, I wish I could be you, and they're not like oh that hamburger looks delicious. That is never what they're looking at. So I think we’re just smarter in terms of how we spend our money and how to get the best bang for their buck. If a competitor wants to spend that kind of money on someone, I’m like cool. It's not ultimately, you're going to maybe see a share of voice for a flash and then we have the right social listening tools to go in and go oh that’s the day they posted, but then it drops back down. I think we just understand the space in a more sophisticated way than a lot of, not just competitors, but a lot of other brands, do we because of the DNA of GrubHub just being so testing focused. I think that's good. 

There is a finite amount of influencers in any industry, particularly in the food space. I mean probably we can name 20 of the big ones. And so it isn't thinking about who are the biggest. There is only, you don’t want to work with somebody that your competitors work with because you want to maintain authenticity through and through. You don’t want to just go with someone who's chasing like, I am going to do a promo with this brand and then I went with a competitor six months later. We want you to want to be authentic and we want you to authentically be a consumer and like our brand and want you to be part of that narrative with us. You are fighting for sort of a similar people. I think as time goes on, and as the space evolves, the micro influencer is going to be as meaningful as the macro influencer. So there’s a lot more fish in that pond if you will. 

David: Got it. So we just got a question from Lauren at Warby Parker and I'm just going to read this, to keep this live and fun as much as possible. And she said that we find a lot of times we set budget for influencer campaigns and influencers will throw crazy rates back at us. After being firm with our offers they’ll often end up working with us for what we've asked, which sometimes makes me think that their rates are, to some extent, pulled out of thin air. Do you have any suggestions for assessing the validity of influencers rates or anything you should be asking about pricing structure?

Also, sorry Lauren for reading that directly but, you know, we’re fresh.  

Mallorie: Oh yeah. I mean how often does it feel like “oh how much do you cost?”. “Well how much have you got?” “Well, that's exactly how much I cost”. That's kind of how some of these conversations go. And it's super frustrating, right. I think there are some people that have an outlandish idea of what kind of money they can command. You have to kind of stand your ground but you also have to understand, the biggest thing to understand when working with influencers is that this is their job. Imagine you were interviewing for a job and you were like I'm currently making, or I’m looking to be making seventy five thousand dollars a year at this, and someone says back “You know, I can really afford like 40”. You're like 40! Come on, this is your budget. You’re so far off then it’s kind of insulting. You're like this is a Director level position. Think about it as their job and you’re a potential employer. 

I think there is a level of respect and courtesy that you need to have.

I think there are some level negotiation that has to happen when you're going through and thinking about what are the costs that you should be considering. Back to the very first question, what are your existing benchmarks for the results that you want to get. So you were like hey I want a cost per engagement of 10 cents, 15 cents, 25 cents whatever your benchmark is and you go to an influencer, start asking the questions and say what is your average number of engagements that you’re getting on your content. And so if you can work that through and say listen this is $4 dollars an engagement, this is out of control, I need you to get down to something more like 25 cents per engagement. Or if you won’t get out of bed for less than five thousand dollars can you increase the number of content pieces that you’re providing me so that I can get more value out of that budget. 

So I think those are things to look at. You have to know what you're going to be measuring it on and, as much as they shouldn’t just come to you and say well, it’s five thousand dollars, you shouldn't go to them and say well I only have a thousand dollars. Why that is your budget is as important as it is for them to justify why they're charging that much, so you have all your ducks in a row and you're doing all that math and you're like okay, this works out to X Y and Z, I need you to come in here. Then you are treating them the way that you would treat any business partner. What we've heard feedback from people is the way that you guys approach this space is really interesting. Not a lot of other brands are doing it like this, thank you for kind of doing it like this. So that would kind of be my advice. Make sure your numbers are iron clad so that their numbers have something to stand up against and it becomes very easy to say we're either outside of each other’s league or not and then we can work together . 

The other advice I’d have is, depending on your brand, if there is a way to sort of combine product or goods with payment, depending on who your influencer is, he might be able to reduce some cost. For Grubhub we might say hey we can give you like a thousand dollars but we're also going to give you another thousand dollars in Grubhub credits for you to redeem. So if we can’t meet there we could potentially do that. If you’re a clothing brand you could provide something extra, or you might want to build some sort of affiliate partnership. Hey, we can only pay you this much but we’re going to give you a custom link and a custom code and we'll give you X number of dollars per customer that you drive for us, so there is a ton of upside and you have the potential to actually make extra money based on your own performance. 

David: That's awesome. To your point, I think balancing it with your existing metrics is a really great one and essentially saying here’s the target of what we're going after and here’s what this influencer is offering for us and then, right then from the start you're on track. I think that’s a really great point. The other thing, one thing I heard from another influencer manager, that’s a good tactic for folks, is she actually keeps a database of all of the influencer rates that she hears back from influencers on an ongoing basis and just continuously tracks that and has built that up over time. As a result if she talked to an influencer six months ago and they said Okay well it's $2,000 for a post and then six months later they reach out to the same influencer and then all of a sudden it's $20,000 for the post she can go back and say well you know your followers grew by X amount or your engagements grew by this, how can you jump from 2000 to 20000? How does that math make sense? And she often finds that when she grounds people in the logic it’s possible for her to get a much more honest price as a result of that 

Mallorie: Exactly, and it’s through the same thing of saying like I know how much I want to pay, at a cost per whatever, and the numbers you're providing back to me aren't making sense because I think where we do have to educate as the brand, as the marketers, we do have to educate the influencers, that this is our space we live and breathe it. We’re crunching the numbers and building the metrics, you're not. They’re not doing that every day so we can help educate them and say this is where we see the value in the partnership. Then we’re sort of giving them the tools to go to other brands and say, not just how many followers I have, look at the amount of outreach that I get and I'm sure most of the people online get. I have a community of a hundred and fifty thousand people that I think would love your brand. But what’s your engagement, what's the meaning behind that really vain metric of followers? You are educating them in helping them become better business people and be taken more seriously as a partner in this space and not just someone who like sleeps till noon and takes pictures that’s it. 

David: Awesome, very cool. I’m going to try to jump to more questions that folks have submitted. 

So this is a question from Holland who is the Affiliate Manager at One of the things that she asks, which you touched on a little bit, is how does your marketing team manage and coordinate influencer relationships across channels? So that can be influencer rate relationships on social, affiliate relationships, which I'm not sure if Grubhub has tested into that, but also relationships with influencers through PR. They’ll manage influencers across five different teams, from a few separate brands, so I'd be in interested to understand how you're thinking about that across channels as well as across teams. 

Mallorie: Yeah. When it comes to affiliate our team doesn't really touch that. We don't do a lot of individual affiliates at this moment in time and our affiliate partners tend to be much larger entities, which then sits in our partnership team, so that that kind of falls separate and apart from it. 

We, again, haven't really dabbled into that space too much at this point. In terms of PR I think what's interesting is there is no specific home for influencer marketing. You don't have a V.P. of influencer marketing in most companies, right. 

David: One day, one day 

Mallorie: One day it will happen. We’ll have a Chief Influencer Officer. So anyway I think sometimes it fits into the PR space, sometimes it fits into brand, and I sit under the brand marketing team I just happen to be more like an awareness channel team within brand then I handle more of our digital content like I talked about. That's where we place it and I think it just depends on the brand and it depends on your results. Again we’re looking at influencer marketing as part of marketing that drives growth and drives awareness and engagement and ties really closely to those metrics. Our PR team, their goals and metrics are much different, so there may be opportunities to overlap. 

I think a great place where we do overlap is when we have influencer events, or we want to host something and bring influencers in, or we want influencers to host something and bring their community in. I think that's kind of a PR moment. When I was agency side I worked with a lot of brands that did, particularly in the beauty space, not to keep bringing up beauty, but I think they got into the influencer space as an industry much sooner than most others did. And it's that and PR because it became a natural extension in terms of like mailers and press kits. When I was at Baked  by Melissa, our influencer strategy was always built in conjunction with our PR strategy around product launches, again, around mailers, a new product launch, a new flavor cupcake etc. It became part of the PR of the launch. So I think that was kind of the natural first place for it, but again, as we think about it at GrubHub we’re thinking about our bottom line metrics as well as our content creation needs and it comes much broader than just PR, but it really does depend on what you want influencers to do and how your organization is set up. 

Everyone's marketing is set up differently. There are some people that have a Head of PR and Social. I was on a panel 2 weeks ago and the person to my left oversaw PR and social, I was social influencer content, the person on my right was social community, so there is a lot of ways this space kind of evolves and comes into play depending on what the primary roles of your organization are.  

David: Got it. I think that ties back to something you said earlier, which is understanding how your different channels are working together and not thinking about things in silos. So there’s how does working with this influencer build value from an SEO perspective and thinking about it that way. 

One other question we had, and we only have five minutes left so I’m going to try and get in as much as possible, was from Natalie at Honeybook. It was actually Nathalie’s idea to do this, so kudos to her.

Mallorie: Thanks Natalie!

David: One question she had was are all of your influencer relationships contractually bound. I think a lot of folks in this space have questions about that right now. To what degree do you need contracts from an influencer perspective and how would you handle that? 

Mallorie: Yes we have contracts for all of our influencers. I don't even know how we would manage it if we didn’t, especially thinking about management of scale. Having that contract just makes sure that everybody is adhering to certain guidelines and rules and expectations and it's clear what you can and can't do. It’s as much to protect the brand as it is to protect the influencer. Make sure they get paid in a reasonable time frame, make sure that the brand is providing what they said they would provide in terms of not only compensation but for us, we’re compensating in cash or also say hey, we want you to post about a meal you got with GrubHub, so here’s a credit to use and GrubHub to get that meal, right. So making sure they get those things. 

I am also just so cautious, and I see people in this space, both our competitor space and outside that, who just don't adhere to guide lines around disclosing partnerships. I do not mess around with that so I need to be able to go to an influencer and say like you did not disclose properly that you were working with us in a partnership capacity and it was a paid promotion, a paid sponsorship. So those things are huge. We’ve run into problems, where an influencer maybe is, they post about it and then only keep it up on their feed for like two months or something and then they delete the content and it’s like, no the contract says you can’t delete the content for 12 months, six months or whatever it is. So, I would caution against not having a contract, particularly when you're spending money on this. If you're doing mailers, if you're saying hey, here's a product we'd love to gift this to you and you build like a really cool gifting experience there is no obligation to post, it’s like, fingers crossed. But you've done everything you can to make this really compelling, you’ve reached out to them, like, “Hey we’d love to send this to you if you would post about it”. “Oh sure, send me something”. That’s different but, if you’re like, I've got a campaign, I've got a budget, I'm paying you this much money, there has to be a contract. You’ll get burned once and you’ll learn really quickly, you wish you had a contract. 

David: Yeah, and I think you bring up a really good point in relation to leveraging content in different places. The more you can say okay, we can use this content across the site, we can use this content in email, it just gives you more flexibility and comfort in that. And then one thing we see a lot of brands do, is often times the influencer will delete the post 4 to 5 days later and just being able to have a way to prevent that from happening I think is important.  

One last question that we got from a lot of folks, I think Steve from the chat as well as Laurie from Peddler and Katherine at Honey Book is do you have any platform recommendations or you can even sort of bring this into agencies as well, in terms of finding new influencers that might not necessarily use your product and has anything been successful for you? 

Mallorie: So, new influencers… WeFind is amazing, if you're obviously trying to build your list and manage that database. 

David: Thank you Mallorie, appreciate that :-)

Mallorie: Obviously. I think you know one of the things, and David, you and I talk about this all the time, how do you be able to put in certain search criteria like, I want people who are in this geography, I want their followers to be interested in these categories, I want them to be posting about these sorts of things I want their engagement rate to be roughly x to x. That's hugely important when you’re trying to build a campaign where we only want to target people in this one demo and I need 200 people – where the heck do I start right? So tools like that I think are hugely important. There are a ton of SAAS platforms that do this. I'd recommend looking into a bunch of them and see what best fits your needs, and also understanding from the budget perspective, like some are really expensive and is the amount of money you’re going to spend each month worth paying that platform a fee. You might want to look into a system that's more of a freemium model or something along those lines. 

But yeah, we've used both full service agencies, when we’re working with the big guys. When we’re doing campaigns on Twitch, when we’re doing campaigns on YouTube, some of that becomes all a bit harder to negotiate with one person who's 50 percent of their job doing this. But for the most part we manage 90 percent of our influencer partnerships with those tools. 

David: Awesome. Very cool. 

Well, we've reached the end of time. This has been incredible. Mallorie I really appreciate you joining us today. Thanks everyone for attending. I’ll send follow ups to everyone who joined the call. If you're interested in starring in a coffee chat and wanted to share your insight with the group we're really trying to build this into a community as much as possible, so just message me and let me know. I think there's a lot of insight that I've heard from people who’ve joined this call that can help others as well. 

The other thing I would say is if you want to meet, if you saw anyone one the invite and if you want to meet them and have a conversation with them individually, just message me and I'll shoot them a message as well just to make sure they're comfortable with the introduction. And then I'm happy to do that as we want to help build this community as much as possible. 

Thanks everyone for joining in and thank you so much Mallorie for spending the 45 minutes, it was a lot of fun.

Mallorie: Thanks, this was great.

David: Awesome. Alright everybody, have a good one and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.  

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