Nedko (Milianov) Nedkov Talking about Influencer Marketing & Startups

Hello everyone welcome back to foreign connect podcast today we have a very special guest nerco uh all the way from bulgaria he specializes in digital marketing media buying and startups today he's here to share with us his knowledge around influence on marketing how to manage brand ambassador programs and podcast marketing and more so welcome nerdco and natsun thank you for having me yeah thank you very much for coming coming on so tell me a little bit about yourself i know that you are working on a couple of businesses now can you tell me what they are yeah uh so we are working on uh podcasts advertising marketplace with z and uh we we also have like this is a pivot from our previous project which is uh websites advertising marketplace and currently we are mostly focusing on those two marketplaces to help brands and brands from startups e-commerce uh projects and software companies to find them the best websites and podcasts to work on and to build long-term advertising and partnership partnerships i see can you also share us a little bit about your experience around digital marketing in the past before these projects yeah absolutely so probably like 10 12 years ago i started with uh search engine optimizations marketing since i'm from bulgaria we were outsourcing a lot for uh us uk europe clients and we were ranking their websites in google and we started an art agency here an seo and marketing agency here in bulgaria after after a while uh i've got involved into uh paid advertising network like a co-founder and we were still building uh with seo marketing and all this and uh that's at some point if we were just yet another ad network so i've decided to um it was like a transition probably more entrepreneur and from experience and audience and at some point uh i started to figure out that marketplace is something that is missing on the marketplace on the my advertising market at all and uh that's the good publishers uh the quality publishers with a lot of traffic would like to work with with brands and also advertisers would like to know where exactly they are advertising currently so that's how the concept about brand vertizer came at that point and we we started to work on like making a profile with all the aggregated traffic statistics uh and audience details so you can easily sort and find out like instantly very easy to do your media planning i say it's much yeah i see well thank you very much for sharing so now um i want to jump right on to our next question and this this is actually pretty interesting topic for me so today we're going to talk about how to manage brand ambassador programs and also how to plan for the media media buying for influencer marketing right so first i wanted to talk about uh influenza marketing in general before we go into podcast um like sponsoring so influenza marketing how effective is it uh compared to all the other digital marketing activities yeah so uh it's pretty effective and uh it's great for specific purposes since different kind of brands can use it for example b2c brand uh b2c brands are the best for uh influencers marketing right uh and uh i i believe the it could be uh influencer marketing should be like part of the whole marketing mix like for example if you uh as you mentioned brand ambassador programs for the last few years they are emerging more and more it's like the brand is making uh their creative and all around this and they and they they are giving ability to many influencers to to work together with them it's like influencers marketing him for a structure internal for the brand and they they are sharing like uh all the needs all the links uh products images and everything that you need to to be able to share and communicate with your uh with your audience with your followers as an influencer and you're like percentage uh or sometimes also a commission and uh like patents uh percentage from the sale and it's very effective because uh influencers have a lot a lot of audience and uh a lot of followers that that actually want to look like them and you know dress or follow their lifestyle so it's really a good model to how to say to to to match with the ones that you follow and that's why influencer marketing works like very well on on on this level and also it's it's even more effective if you mix influencer marketing and share sports and all this with uh advertisements like once uh the influencer is sharing they can tag the company in instagram and facebook for example and you can boost uh data and that's uh social viral posts uh with some nice creative or some nice event that is happening in the influencer life and you can boost it and gain a much bigger and much more native popularity among the among the targeted audience because it's not like commercial you know it's more like part of everyday life and it's more close to the user so that was my like intent of the question when i think about influencer marketing i think of it as more like a brand building yeah without another like sales activity yeah absolutely it's it's more like for it's way better for a much bigger brand awareness and much bigger audience reach but at some point this is uh this is the best way to to bring uh user retention user interest and to to make uh more sales at the end right so you know what i've witnessed for example before when i worked in like this some agency like they're they were so obsessed with conversion which i mean makes sense i understand that but you know because they're roi the whole concept of roi was predicated on the conversion leather brand activity for brand building more related to direct advertising here and that's true like searching gnats or even social network ads it makes sense to follow the roi but in influencers marketing uh the thing is you can work if you have lower budget let's say and it's it's problematic to go with uh and you need roi faster or how to say it it's always the budget is not enough anyways uh so uh the the thing is uh with influencers marketing you can still reach probably even bigger if you mix properly the the influencer marketing you can do it with micro influencers and then still do the ads on top of those and this way you can mix the best of both worlds and you can still have for sure if you boost uh uh influencer creative or share or post it will make more uh it will make probably better roi because it will be natural it will be way easier to be more liked and shared which will give a much cheaper cpm on the ads after all so it's it's good i see so how like all in all all that we discussed like how what is the optimal way you suggest for companies to like keep on track of roi like it's not the direct conversion but like you said maybe uh like cost per click um costs i mean cost per click goes down or whatever like you know some may trick if you were to suggest something in relation to influencer marketing because you know one of the problems a lot of companies have is even though maybe they are aware of how important the influence on marketing is because they don't have the direct way to show it they kind of have this fear they kind of gain this fear of like not wanting to waste their money without seeing the results so therefore they can't advocate the right amount of budget into influence and marketing how how would you advise these companies yeah i would really say it's same as the advertising you when you do uh media buying and all those you test different sources with a small budget or you test different campaigns with small budget so you can also do influencers marketing with micro influencers and not start with the ones that you read in google lists but you can find them with there's so many uh influencer marketing tools to find even smaller influencers so this way you can not break the budget uh not break the bank and to have uh smaller advertisers more tests to start with and anyways you need time to learn like what works how it works and all this so it's good to start there and i believe the best metrics will be like user retention probably but uh on a on a basic on a first on the first party or how to say on the first level it's uh for sure like like cpms if you do brands you need brand awareness so cpl like uh the reach of the audience is the first thing and then the ctr like conversion rate to uh the click through rates uh from the reach to to the website and from there it really depends on the website if it converts i mean if it converts with with ads uh from social networks uh from display ads uh from facebook ads for example it should work also in the same way with influencer posts which is uh shared to to the page because it's uh the conversion on the website really depends on the website um i see but this is an effort that you have to keep doing right like you you can't just do some big campaign and done with it yeah constantly invest in this uh brand building right yeah that's that's true i've been working with some uh pr agencies and as of what i learned from them actually then i understood it it makes up it's the same logic in influencers marketing like the pr uh experts are never saying like do or you can do massive campaign but after you did four months uh pr uh small like constantly bringing a new news is better than having massive with one use coverage over the place so it's same with the with the influencers because you you you have a learning curve so you need to figure out learn how to make which post converts you need to test different kinds of shares different kinds of whatever sponsorships and all this so you find out which one converts best and then you can boost it with wider audience with more influencers i think so so constant effort is better than at once yeah that makes sense um so they the companies have to keep planning on spending money on influencer marketing not just like one big camera yeah another it's much better to do four months for the q4 for example instead of just in front of like uh three weeks before black friday or something like some other big campaign i say i see so now let's uh shift the gear toward a podcast um i guess podcast influencer marketing right yeah so is it better to do audio than the image like is there a better conversion there so it's very interesting audience the the podcast medium because it's uh the audience there is like listening to the podcast like uh uh the podcast house like episode after episode uh and as you probably know the audience is way more uh dedicated and for your audience to the podcaster so it's uh the the thrust factor is much bigger than when it's you know like a shared picture on instagram it's more like emotion while on the podcasts i believe it's like on uh trust level like uh it's way more uh where more dedicated audience so they they have like way more trust on the on the podcast cost and whatever they suggest and that's why it makes it way more interesting to to for informative products especially and even for e-commerce brands it works uh

not all but many of the of the audience are going to check out what the podcast is uh is sharing with them and is watching uh because he knows best his audience and uh that that makes it very relevant and i'm especially talking here about podcasts sponsorships that are uh host read that read by the host so it's uh it's way more personal when they hear your your voice on suggesting something it it makes more sense for them to check it out at least i see so now let me let me go on to my next question um so you know influence on marketing as of now it's not very liberated you know like people have different pricing they don't know necessarily like how to price themselves some people overprice themselves some people on the price themselves right like yeah there is no standard thing yeah what is the right price like how do you know um what kind of money companies should pay for what kind of influencers yeah so for uh for podcasts or overall overall but let's let's talk about podcasts also i i because i know more about that but overall i believe it's really to to make yourself options like uh their podcast tools they can mention or that are out there and i mean uh i'm sorry influencers marketing tools out there that's uh you can research podcasts and contact them by email and the thing is to not limit yourself with uh with low with low number of uh influencers so literally to outreach and to to make a list and to compare on your own that's that's how i would do it uh on for example instagram influencers and for podcasts it's uh the market standards you can say is like from 20 to 35 dollars from 25 to 35 dollars on cpm is the like the most uh the most used uh pricing rate like on thousands of downloads actually because it's uh

to 30 download at least and uh that's that's why the cpm is like this uh compared to website cpm for example and then uh that's what we are actually working on advertiser advertisers to list as many podcasts in every category and to while we are on boarding them we are asking them to literally list their offerings and pricing and all this and at some points we're still in product market fit and working on boarding uh important onboarding initial like three months on the market right now so we're still building up but that is our goal to onboard uh like few thousands of podcasts for every category so you have like you know like pricing which you can filter and you have offers that you can filter and you'll be able to cross match and to research among different uh podcast software since will be much easier for an advertiser from specific category or search to find the most relevant podcasts and then to find their offerings and pricing and will be the kind of you know the market will self uh organize because they'll compare each other we're trying to build like five or four podcasts you can say this way like before five are you it was hard to to manage freelancers to find freelancers exactly upwork and all the big websites but it wasn't really easy to compare pricing and all those for different marketing activities and now it's much easier so we're working towards that direction i see um you mentioned about the facebook ads and adwords um as a part of the media buying mix you you could talk about right and then also like can you can you kind of share about that all right so uh it really depends on your uh on your product or service yeah some products uh are where more research and information based it's probably best to to use adwords and as google searches like the best the biggest audience channel to to research for different products to compare and all this and i believe adwords is like 100 percent roi based advertising right are they expensive like yeah it is more expensive but if you if you focus on quality score of the landing page and all those details to convert it could be great also you can you can it depends on the budget you you have to maybe put a little bit more effort but you can you can research for uh broad keywords like uh smaller keywords with small traffic but after all if you if you have more budget it's better to have less paid keywords and you can always research for a few hundred keywords on any two even like the new patel yogurt suggests you can export like csv with hundreds of keywords around your main keyword and for facebook ads it's more like display it's more uh emotional advertising you can say like instagram and facebook with pictures creative and all these videos work very well actually videos maybe work the best for uh i would say for viral and for uh for for audience reach um i can say video if you can invest in making videos it will probably convert way more likes shares and from there even more audience reach and uh facebook ads are really working great with this kind of uh b2cu like ecommerce project on products and all this right so all in all like after we've already disc uh what we've already discussed like you said that there should be mix between i mean it's optimal if you do both influence the marketing and the ads right absolutely in terms of labor like what how do we know if we are successful in terms of like like for example this is one example that i saw before in my previous company we were reaching out literally like you know thousands of influencer and um it didn't feel like we're getting enough influencer to be attracted to our campaign but do you have any insights of like oh like you know out of this i can mention a few tools that could be helpful to automate this process especially for instagram and youtube influencers like there uh like ninja outreach and they're like uh basumo i think yeah and uh there are quite a few like if you search influencers marketing outreach uh tools and uh they they really help you to mate and to send like two few thousand uh emails uh like at once and you can also it's very nice too like it's like open profiles and it's like kind of how we see also the advertising in the internet to be with marketplaces and open profiles and there you can filter even by pricing as they have some kind of i don't know if it's like machine learning or how it works but it says some kind of pricing and you can find like like uh hundreds of influencers and so with like i i'm not sure 50 to 100 monthly fee you can you can outreach to a few thousands of influencers and i believe that is the thing the first part and the second part is once you have like replies and all this to make like more personal not crm maybe whatever to you use for communication to to make more personal relation with those influencers to to to build something like a long-term uh influencer relations and this way when when you have a new campaign you can always outreach to the previous influencers that you communicated and work with and really it's like spending a little bit more time to communicate and to build trusts uh with that influencer um right is it better to have like a literary one full-time person dedicated to influence or like management kind of like a community builder person probably is a very good idea because it's uh it's after all you you need to keep the communications warm with uh influencers and you can maybe always open different kind of uh if they trust you and if they work with you already even first time you maybe pay for for their posts and services but on the second time maybe you can work out like commission days like uh you build a brand ambassador program if you build this kind of program you you definitely need to have somebody to keep relations with podcasters with partners because there will be even websites that may work on affiliate model and all this so i i believe it's it's a very good point to to have someone dedicated to this process maybe part-time if it's not possible full-time but to be dedicated only to this process is very good because you it it will be roi properly because it's uh you know if you build some great relations next time they they can do work on commission with you and you cannot invest i see yeah so let's move on to my last um two questions actually i i had a three the next one is uh seo right so vista podcast and audio coming into the internet like how is it changing the ceo how where do you see it's going yeah yeah seo is way much different than like 10 years ago right now it's way more like uh journalism kind of because you need to build relations uh even backlinks or shares from the industry leaders you can say or the industry influencers so you need to build like really quality content and then you need to communicate it with different even for both guest box and all this you need to really have a super quality content research with big data or infographic and all this and then you can gain uh links which will rank you higher actually i that brought me another question um it's actually regards to the seo uh not sorry uh social media okay you know i'm a big believer of quantity over quality well quality is uh i mean as garyvee said too yeah people don't even even broken content because it's natural well it it it makes sense i i believe but but uh if you for for seo is a little bit different like uh at least of my experience with google if you write like uh 2000 words great article with research with maybe video built around it and uh content infographic and all this this will rank for tens if not hundreds of keywords while if you build 10 smaller articles by 200 words they will not rank as high but that's specifically for seo because i believe it's more like gaining uh rich and better kind of gaining momentum so maybe maybe you're right that's quantity brings quality also so like if you write tens of articles one will be but in seo i think it's a bigger article and uh more quality content is ranking better it's a bit different yeah in social media it makes more sense to build i believe more content because it's like momentum is going in five minutes you know hashtags and all this and it's like you never know which kind of creative or which kind of posts will help like maybe something at home will convert way better and will feel more natural to the audience and they'll like it and share it so in social it makes sense to be to be doing that yeah but in google because the competition is bigger per keywords you know they're they're even big brands are already invested like in big content and quality and all this so that's why so when you say um journalism that's very interesting way to explain that like can you elaborate on that a little bit yeah yeah i mean it's more like you know in to to get featured in quality in big media that have a lot of audience you need to have like quality material quality content and all this which uh to to be interesting to the journalists to cover when you outreach him and hear the same thing hey what do you think about this and you build like some kind of case study or whatever that could be interesting to like his previous writings and all this and it in seo it's like same nowadays it's like you need to outreach to to uh influencers or to blogs you know that's already writes some good content and you you send them another good content that is relevant to their topics and then they may consider to cover you just for one thing so it's uh it's turning that it's there is no point to have hundreds of uh you know blocks comments on what on blocks that are not very famous instead it's better to have two quality links from two authority blocks it will help way much for seo rankings so that's how it works i see i see i mean you're talking about like authority right the domain authority yeah yeah exactly and there is also even called contents page fail to authoritate do you think audio will give more authority to sites maybe yeah actually yes because uh actually there is one very good uh how to say advantage for for podcasters that's uh i don't know why they don't monetize enough on that but i can see that there is a uh like the podcast have great coverage in audio and if they use this uh same content that they already have with transcript and to build blocks around it it will for sure help a lot because it's a lot of content like 30 minutes one hour it's a lot of content at first and then when you mix it when you link it and embeds uh the podcast or even if it's uh youtube video or podcast and then uh the the block will rank actually higher because it has

you know it has a very good the podcast's content is i'll say it's it's more authority for uh for google to to like it to rank it and all this because it's a new medium it's uh something that is very quality wait hold on sorry let me let me make sure i understood right yeah you're saying that um you should extract transclip from the podcast definitely and build a block around it and then to embeds like uh through whatever hosting you're using you can embed uh the the audio and put it into the into the blog post and this way yeah this way at some point google will understand okay they always share this content and then they share in the embed this audio or even if it's uh youtube some podcasters are making video it's also helping a lot like when you make a channel of youtube like when you mix two to three types of uh two three environments mediums you know uh like video audio and content and then sort it all into uh one block i believe that will help you a lot and uh for ranking in google hmm interesting okay so let's talk about customer acquisition for startups and b2b marketplace um yeah yeah do you have any specific strategy that you can share with us yes so for our for our marketplaces one of the one of the main like our goal to market strategy was exactly to make uh was exactly true seo actually with uh profiles built around every podcast or uh website and then we aggregate all statistics and all those details and make content around it and this ranks in google so when somebody is looking for advertise on or dice on podcasts x they can find us in google and this is one of our main traffic sources another another model that we use for customer acquisition is really especially for startups and b2b uh b2b startups is uh to use linkedin outreaching like you literally can find on their tools like apollo dot io i think and they there you can find like uh list with uh decision makers and star and target companies like for specific industry how big the company to be and like decision makers could be cmos if it's for marketing and or cto if it's for development or something like this and then you literally start to uh it's a numbers game outreaching but if you mix the outreaching part on linkedin is the first part and then if you if you make a forward by email and and the third to make like a custom audience in facebook ads or uh or linkedin even better but the cpc there is a little bit expensive uh and if you can make custom audience from those people that you added they accepted your connection and you already messaged them uh on linkedin and an email and then you retarget them with advertisement i believe this this this worked for us to to gain some interest from the decision makers like after two three touch points the thinking b2b is you need to have like as many touch points as possible like some are using follow up for strategies to to email like outreach to io i think it was the startup they help you with uh uh with email follow-up up to seven or eight times so it's like really uh multiple touch points and if you again it's some it's the mix of a few models like linkedin outreaching email and facebook or linkedin retargeting cuts i see interesting so let's move on to my very final question which is so you you've worked in startups uh for quite some time now right yeah um we as a company we also help a lot of startup startup founders all right even like corporate innovations but like where in the usa or i mean where you are even how do you find angel investors okay so uh i the we've been into like uh into uh small pre-accelerators like startup school and pioneer up and those are all like uh part of like combinator so those kind of communities are great to find uh other startups to work with and mentors uh but also you can find them like in angel call and in quality dot fm you can research for mentors where it's like uh pay-per-call this is one model another model is again you can research on linkedin i remember uh there was a tool where you can search for uh angels and this is like to research and they're they're literally global they're from the leading uh this is to smaller uh like you can sort there by city as well and you can literally find from everywhere and the thing is to be i believe for startups the best thing is to be part of startup communities like uh also indieca is a great startup bootstrapping startup community okay can you can you spell that for me founder what is it uh sorry founder yeah founder s u i t e suites okay okay okay okay and then the other one is yeah so quality uh it's c-l-a-r-i-t-y dot afm oh okay guarantee okay i got it yeah yeah and then sorry one more very last question you said that you worked with uh you work with other startups or these places allow you to work with other startups right like do you like exchange services when you work with other startups do you partner like how did how does it work it's more like you you know you learn the what's working and what's not like in india india you can search every day there is a like different growth case study like multiple that people share and you just receive them by email so it's really cool also in pioneer dot app we are like multiple startups and every monday you review startups of other like other startups and they review you so you help each other and at some point yes you start to work with some of them like you share your skills they like you they work with you then they need some then you need something and you can ask somebody else to to help each other so it's great to you know to to know to keep your watch what's going on what's happening and then you you also start to understand even the slang you know how to talk how to sell how to start communicating with other startups and then from there with bigger companies that's interesting yeah yeah it's it's really great to be part of those communities because you you start to feel native things with those and to understand like there are also weekly calls in startup school and in pioneer up every thursday so you really kind of you know you start to feel gain confidence into that you're actually there are many struggling like you yeah you're building up and then you start to feel more confident on what you're doing and yeah things oh that's awesome well thank you very much for sharing this this is awesome yeah that's nerco this was all my questions so i sincerely want to thank you for your time and for that very much for having me not soon

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