in this episode, we go over why influencer marketing is something all ecom brands need to tap into #Adspend
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Ash Melwani (00:00):
And like, I, I believe last year she generated 1.6 million in sales for us and her herself made a hundred to 150 to $200,000 in commission from us, which we were gladly good to pay because like that is just like, you know, insane.
Rabah Rahil (00:26):
All right, folks, we are back a week off. I had my fill of sangria and tapas Barcelona. Spain was amazing. Let's go. But now we're back. DTCs favorite podcast. I have my partner in crime as always Ash want looking fresh in the triple swag. If I may say, if you want some of that and you wanna look as fresh as Ash Ashley, you can buy it actually at store dot, triple.com. I think I said a record
Ash Melwani (00:52):
Rabah Rahil (00:53):
Is they they're really good. They have a hem tag on 'em they're fancy they're they're printed tags. Like there's a lot of little east there.
Ash Melwani (00:59):
I'm not trying to get up right.
Rabah Rahil (01:02):
Time fair, play fire play. It also makes
Josh Durham (01:03):
You look jacked.
Rabah Rahil (01:05):
You do look a littles. You're on that Sharma you're on that Sharma gear. Aren't you? Oh yeah. You're on that. Nick Sharma track
Josh Durham (01:11):
Ash versus Sharma who wins.
Ash Melwani (01:13):
Rabah Rahil (01:14):
Well, it depends. Ash is scrappy as, as
Ash Melwani (01:17):
Is resource until next year. Give me till next year. A little bit of a collagen, a little bit of work there. <laugh>
Rabah Rahil (01:23):
Dude, we've been smashing your protein bars. The, the fruit cereal protein bars are. So those are my favorite. They're so good. Cuz uh, one of 'em melted. So we couldn't give 'em to the influencers. Yeah. And so we anyways and I'm bearing the lead here. I can't believe I talked over that mustache, the man with the plan, JD, Josh Durham, for people that don't know the OGs will know, but Josh was actually the first guest on your NA yours, our other sister podcast that I host with, uh, other crushers that just come on max was actually still on it. Um, you are our episode 0 0 1. And we said, Hey, this guy is absolutely crushing. Influencers. Influencers are so hot right now. We always wanna bring you the most heat. Who's more heat than this Tennessee. Stud Josh, thank you for coming on the show.
Josh Durham (02:13):
Wow. Honored to be here. What episode is this for?
Rabah Rahil (02:17):
Oh, you, you would do that to me. Wouldn't you? It's 15, maybe 14 it's
Ash Melwani (02:23):
Rabah Rahil (02:24):
18, something like that.
Josh Durham (02:26):
Whatever it's I'm honored to be back. I'm just mad. I didn't get on the ad. Spin. Number one,
Rabah Rahil (02:30):
Who was our first oh Cody puffs? We had, we had some, so we had, we had some changes in the old, uh, the ad spins, but it's
Josh Durham (02:38):
Awesome. I'm just here to walk so that you guys can run. I just wanna be on the first podcast. See
Ash Melwani (02:43):
Rabah Rahil (02:44):
Josh Durham (02:44):
Like rabbit, you know, like just all next, you guys are taken care of.
Rabah Rahil (02:48):
Oh man, you're too kind. <laugh> so Josh, you've been making some really crazy inroads and influencers. We're seeing more and more people have success diversifying their spends away from actual, just total paid media where, um, sprinkling a little sauce throughout other people's little, either micro macro networks are really great ways to, you know, put a boon to the economics. So I wanna talk to Ash first on kind of what he's been doing with his influencer strategy. I'll talk a little bit about what we do at triple and then I wanted take you. I want you to take us home in terms of the, the expertise and how we should be thinking about our influencer strategy, deploying capital tracking, that kind of thing.
Ash Melwani (03:30):
Awesome. Yeah. Love it. Um, in fact, like, you know, last week I was talking to Josh about just getting some advice, right. Reaching out to influencers. What does that look like? What's the, what's some of the steps that you should kind of follow after the fact, you know, somebody actually gets back to you. Um, so I kind of wanna take a step back and like talk about the history of just influencer marketing with like Avi and how we kind of utilized it. Um, I think it was like two years ago we had this massive influencer 1.5 million followers on Facebook. Okay. She was huge on Facebook. Um, she plot twist was yeah. Plot twist. This is where like, people like completely like they, they like write off Facebook and it's like, there's some like pretty big hitters on there, like that still get a ton of engagement.
Ash Melwani (04:15):
Um, so she had ended up being a customer of a, like, we never seated her, anything like we weren't even looking at influencers at that time. Right. I think we were doing like $5,000 a day in sales. She posts a 25 minute video to her Facebook page. Okay. Oh my gosh. Immediately gets like couple hundred thousand views thousand comments. Like it's like H her community was like die hard fans of who she was. Right. She was like this Midwestern mom, uh, went through, uh, bariatric surgery. So like adding protein to your diet after that type of surgery is so crucial. So finding like a protein that you wanna take is like, you know, it's important. So her followers are probably, you know, into that information. And that day we quadrupled sales and we had no idea where this was coming from, because I was like, can't be the ads.
Ash Melwani (05:11):
Like the, a, like, I know I'm good, but I'm not that good. And two, it was like, where like where do we find it? Because all the traffic was saying it was coming from Facebook and we're like, this is not, it's not adding up. Right. Until we started seeing like comments, like on like in the community. And like on like some of our, like, I guess other ads like, Hey, this influencer mention, uh, mentioned you, um, you guys should send her some free stuff. And we're like, who is this? Like, we've never heard of her. And we went to her page and were like, holy shit. Like this is, this is like driving so much organic for us. This is driving so much awareness. Like that day, my ads were doing so much better because now all these people are trickling in through this top of the funnel, like discovery through her influence.
Ash Melwani (05:59):
And now everything else is like converting amazingly. Right? So fast forward, you know, a couple months later we, you know, made a deal with her. Um, you know, we, we worked with her on a monthly cadence, a video a month. Um, we got her a discount code. We put her on as commission style structure. Um, and like, I, I believe last year she generated 1.6 million in sales for us. Oh my gosh. Herself made a hundred to hundred 50 to $200,000 in commission from us, which we were gladly good to pay because like that is just like, you know, insane. So ended up what we did was, is we built this relationship with her. She posted on her accounts all the time. Whenever we had a product launch, restock black Friday sale. And we whitelisted all of this stuff to the point where 90% of our ads were just her.
Ash Melwani (06:53):
And then we started adding on some additional influencers, this and that. And that is where I think we really went like this. Right. Um, the majority of our budget was influencer marketing, white listing, and then, you know, static ads and, and, and Avi branded ads. Um, we worked with a few celebrities. Um, but like her influence was insane fast forward to the end of last year. Right. So if you guys have been following our story, that is kind of where we saw this like little bit of a dip, post iOS updates. We weren't testing enough content, landing pages, this and that. Unfortunately, she like struck a deal with like NBC or something and she wasn't able to promote any other products or brands. Um, you know, and so that was kind of the end of our like influencer marketing, because we're like, we can't rely on these influencers to give us content on a monthly basis.
Ash Melwani (07:42):
Like if one week or one month, they're like, ah, we can't, you know, provide you guys any content then like our stuff is like kind of drying out. And we're now kind of, you know, scattering for like content. So we went back and we're like, all right, let's control our destiny, this and that, blah, blah, blah. And like, let's create more content in house. Right. So that's what our focus was now after talking to so many brands and talking to like, people like Josh it's like really should have a lot going on on the influencer side. But the reason that a lot of brands are not doing it is it is unless you're working with pros, like Josh is very difficult to handle. Right. So right now our process is we have an intern in house right now reaching out to 200 influencers a week.
Ash Melwani (08:26):
Right. So 50. So she works Monday through Thursday, 50 influencers on TikTok right now is we're focusing on TikTok right now. She's finding 50 influencers with at least a hundred thousand followers plus, um, that has something to do with beauty, wellness, hair, skin, nails, 50 a day. And I'm going in and emailing every single one. You're like, Hey, I'm the CMO of Avi. I would love to just send you some product. Um, and I would love to just talk to you about a long term relationship. Like, that's it, I've got maybe like a 10 to 15% response rate, which, I mean, Josh, you mentioned it it's a numbers game, but the, the interest of those people who like have actually like reached back out, it's like, oh, I really wanna try this. Like, let me know when I can get it, blah, blah. And then we'll talk.
Ash Melwani (09:12):
Right. So that is now what I've been doing for the last two weeks. Just focusing on that and being able to like, I want to, I wanna, I wanna put together a team, right? I wanna put together an influencer team that can post maybe once a month, um, where I can whitelist, where I can repurpose this content on. Um, my other ads on the website, on, in the community email estimate like everywhere. Um, but that is where I kind of wanna hand it off to you, Josh. It's like, all right, once you're getting these influencers right. Once they're ready to go, you've, you've created the deal with them. What is the best way to utilize them in, you know, the most effective manner paid organic social, everything, man, everything good?
Josh Durham (09:54):
Totally. No, you hit on so many good points there that I think we kind of discussed last week via DMS, but it's definitely a volume game. Influencers is a volume game. Like for example, we just had a, you know, one influencer that we reached out to maybe a month ago say that it was like $6,000 per real on Instagram. And she had 20,000 followers. And then we signed a TikTok influencer the next week that had 2 million followers just for free product. And so it's definitely a volume game in terms of your outreach. And so that's the exact process that we follow is about per client. We're doing about 200 outreaches a week. And so from that, you're able to sort out a lot of the people who are overpriced or aren't really willing to negotiate. But I think the important thing too, Ash is kind of just like the steps of the relationship.
Josh Durham (10:44):
So like for us, like when we kind of start an influencer program for a new brand, our whole goal is to sign about a hundred influencers in the first 90 days. So that only on a free basis, only in exchange for free product first to really just test out the relationship. And so kind of like what you're asking in terms of like evolving that relationship is, you know, out of those hundred that we might sign in the first 90 days, there might be 10 to 15 that were absolute killers. So they had awesome organic reach, uh, or they made amazing content. And you know, one of those two factors is really what we're looking at. And then also how did they perform on paid? So obviously you wanna establish the creative rights on that free gifting strategy, but from there, you know, what do influencers want?
Josh Durham (11:36):
Well, they want one of two things. They want a long term partnership, inconsistent income. And so if you can kind of paint the picture for them of that roadmap and really kind of sell on, Hey, you know, if you continue making awesome content, then you know, we're gonna give you a longer term contract from there. And so that's what we've been doing is evolving. You know, after that first 90 days is really looking at deeper partnerships. So just like you said, Ash, whitelisting content deliverables every month and maybe that's across platforms. So maybe it's on their Instagram and their TikTok. Maybe if they're also going into YouTube, that kind of thing. And, you know, really, and especially on like the whitelisting thing, I think there's a lot of opportunity on like percent of ad spent type of deals. So that's one of the things that we did at groove life was, you know, we were spending actually 30% of our budget just on white listing.
Josh Durham (12:30):
So 30% of our paid budget was just on white listing, uh, like ad spin and then they would get a cut, you know, maybe it's five to 10% of that total ad spin through their account. But yeah, there's like all these different ways that you can cut it up, but it really depends on your brand's goals. And then on top of that, you know, is just evolving your campaign. So like if you're having a labor day sale come up in the future, like make sure to include them on the details of that promotion. And so that's one of the things that we're always doing is we're writing an initial creative brief for your evergreen campaigns of just things that make sense. Right. So like talking about your collagen protein product, kind of going after that first and foremost, but then what about like all your sales that are coming up? Well, make sure to include everyone that you gifted in on that next campaign make a new creative brief, email it out to all your partners so that they feel like they're a part of the brand and they're producing content. That's not just made for evergreen, but also is like these one off promotions.
Ash Melwani (13:34):
Oh. In terms of like handling that that's incredibly fast. Are you like, is it just straight up like just email back and forth? Are you like putting these people into like a, a group chat like slack? Like what does that communication style look like?
Josh Durham (13:50):
Yeah, for sure. It's primarily via email. So we build on one or two tools. We either build on grin or we build on dovetail. And so depending on the client, it's generally handled via email. So like GRN has some really cool capabilities with building out new campaigns and being able to just natively, email them right from there. But you know, a lot of clients, they don't wanna do the whole annual contract, expensive, uh, monthly recurring software costs. And so what we end up doing for a lot of clients is building out a new campaign, brief, you know, basically copying everyone into an email that's kind of in a similar range of, um, you know, when they joined or like kind of based off like the content that they've produced already. And then just asking them, you know, Hey, you know, here's a campaign that we have coming up and then managing it from there.
Rabah Rahil (14:41):
Can I ask a question, cuz you guys are so far ahead of the game for me, how do you even go about sourcing? Is this just like, Hey, you have like a certain avatar or you just have, or is this like sliding into DMS? Or like, what does that look like? Is this a personalized email? Is this like a portion that's personalized and then a boiler plate template? Cause like 200 emails a day is like to your point, Ash, I mean, that's almost a full time position. Right. And so I actually have, uh, a pretty much a full time guy. That's just sourcing influencers, but I'm wondering if I'm using them the right way or like how, how do I get this first step? Cause I'm following kind of where you guys, once you get them into the funnel, then you wanna make sure like the economics align, like you're saying Josh, like, I'm not gonna pay somebody six grand for X, Y, or Z, especially if it's unproven. But like how do I even like email these thousand people to get the 200 people that'll actually talk to me? Or like, is there some tips there? Like what, what what's that system look like?
Josh Durham (15:41):
Yeah, for sure. Do you wanna take that ass or do you want me to get it?
Ash Melwani (15:43):
Um, I'll I'll do I I'll give you my take on it just cuz like just cuz of the limited resources that we have, right. Like I literally just turn around and I said, I wanna start this tomorrow. Right? So literally what we had was we had a marketing intern for the summer. We still do. And I said drop what you're doing the first hour that you come in, I want you to search hashtags on TikTok, beauty, hair, skin, nails, mom, life blog or whatever. And just like, if they look even just remotely, like somebody that could put the brand, like we're not we're I would, it's a numbers game, right? Like, like Josh said, it's complete numbers game. Like whether they may or may not fit, like I just want to get people in the door. So literally on a, on a spreadsheet it's she's putting in name, handle email.
Ash Melwani (16:29):
Right. And then I'm, I like, I created a separate email, like just [email protected] and I have this template that I'm just sending out to 50 emails a day. Um, it'll take me about like half hour or 40 minutes. But like within there I'm like saying the things that I want to happen. Right. Like I've I I've mentioned like, Hey, we have our Facebook community. A lot of people have, you know, expressed a lot of interest in, in you as a creator. Um, you know, we, we want to send you some free product just to see if you like the idea of being a part of the brand. And listen, I, I'm not here to pay you for one post. I wanna create a long term relationship. If you can, 10 minutes, let's just sit on a call so I can show you what our other influencers have done and how much money they've made to like come up with a unique structure where it's like, we're both winning and not just like pay me for a post.
Ash Melwani (17:19):
Right. So again, just, just sending out that, that email and then just me following up and just, I personally just figuring out that, like that process, it's still new for us, but like it's now, okay, Hey, they're ready to, uh, they want, you know, X amount of product, here's their address grabbing that, sending it to the girls to ship out this and that. And then keeping in, uh, keeping an order of the tracking information. So that later on I can go and follow up when you know, shit gets delivered and things like that. So again, I'm week I'm week one into this and, and I'll figure out the rest, but Josh, I mean you tell me, what is it similar? Is it, am I doing something a lot worse? <laugh> you're tell me,
Josh Durham (17:58):
Ash, you're playing, you're doing a great job for week two, but you're playing the game on hard mode, bro. You're doing it so manually. Yeah. So let me help you. So, you know, here's what we do is, you know, there's so many tools out there that you can use, right? There's like influencer softwares, a diamond dozen in, um, so like you're doing a great job, but you know, what we do is we primarily scrape emails off Instagram and you know, off of TikTok, all that fun stuff. And so what we end up doing is of the 200 a week that we're doing 100 is through creator marketplace. So we're messaging them through creator marketplace first mm-hmm <affirmative> and then doing that outreach. And then also for email, we're using dovetail
Ash Melwani (18:39):
Brand, we say creator, multi
Josh Durham (18:40):
Features that already have a database TikTok.
Ash Melwani (18:45):
Josh Durham (18:45):
Yeah. TikTok creator marketplace.
Josh Durham (18:49):
Yeah. So we're doing a hundred through there. And then on for Instagram influencers, we're doing primarily email. So using grin or using dovetail where they're already scraping emails, you can have, there's a function on there that has, that says, has email address. And so for anyone listening, dovetail is acquired by Shopify just a couple months ago. Yeah. So it's now free to everyone on Shopify. So go ahead, download it. Add road tip, shout out to Mike co-founder of dovetail, congrats on the acquisition, but super, super helpful to just go in there, scrape emails, export it to a CSV. Then you can upload that into a CRM. So what we do instead of doing it one off and doing it super manually, going back and forth, we make a very great message. You can customize that first line if you like and talk about their content. Um, but then from there we're asking them to apply to our program. And so that's the difference I think too, is they're applying to work with us, not the other way around. We're inviting them to apply the program. Same on TikTok creative marketplace. So then from there they're going into, are you doing
Ash Melwani (19:59):
That on message one
Josh Durham (20:02):
Yes. On message one. Yep. Right out the gate. So then we're asking them to apply on creative marketplace also on, you know, these emails and that helps consolidate the flow. So then they apply and then you also have one more lever saying, okay, do we really want them a part of our program or not accept or deny? And then you can ship out product automatically from there. So it helps a lot of that streamline that process so that a, you know, we used to do this via Instagram DMS. When we first started, we're sitting like 200 DMS a week, you get, you know, knocked with the 50 DMS a day limit. Yeah. Yeah. It's messy. It's exhausting. You have to go grab their address, all that fun stuff. And this really helps consolidate, um, a lot of that effort and you can put more effort on analyzing creative ability and uh, just like high level thinking on your creative briefs, um, and strategy. So that's what I would do. I think you're on the right track, just a couple tools away from really getting that automated and dialed
Ash Melwani (21:00):
In automating it. Yeah. The, the creator marketplace, right. Are the, the creators they're more inclined to respond because they're like kind of signed up there. They're like, alright, I'm waiting for a deal. Like reach out, you know, is that probably
Josh Durham (21:16):
Yeah. 100%. We find that TikTok creators are much more willing to do stuff for free product initially. And so that's kind of how we pitch everything is free product with potential to do pay partnership after that. Um, but you know, there's like lots of people that have a hundred thousand followers on TikTok that just started in the last year versus Instagram creators. Who've kind of been around the block and, you know, might be more expensive than TikTok. So the other great thing about creator marketplace is the builtin spark ads, right? So you can go right away, they make an ad, they upload it to create a marketplace, you know, sync that to your ads manager and you just whitelisted, uh, TikTok influencer a lot more easily than Facebook and Instagram. So that's another advantage. My mind is blown
Ash Melwani (22:05):
Here. So I, I have, I have a, I have a question. I don't know if it's kind of the right segue, but when, when brands are utilizing influencers, right. And you know, they're posting organically, you know, the reach is there and then you're running, you know, just spark ads. How do, how does the overall marketing efficiency kind of far out after that? Right. Cause like for when you kind of signed brands onto to your agency, right. And they're probably just doing paid, right. And then they introduce influencer marketing. What, what is that change like, do you see incremental? Do you just see better efficiency across the board? Um, like how do you, what would, what would be something that you would tell a brand like, Hey, you really need to add influencer marketing into the mix because of X, Y, Z,
Josh Durham (22:54):
Right. 100%. So like we're not even managing ads. Like I have some like legacy clients that we're managing it for, but like we've really transitioned all in on influencer. And the reason is, is because content, how we see content is we think of it as ammunition. It's really just ammunition for the ad account and sourcing all this creative can be such a chore. And on top of that, it's so expensive to have someone run it in house. So like I just talked to a brand, you know, 30 minutes ago and they fired their head of influencer partnerships and they're paying them, you know, 80, 90 grade a year. And so it's just really expensive to have someone in house versus outsourced. And so like the value in how things shake out in terms of Mer in terms of Roaz is a, you know, how much is it really costing you to do all this manual outreach in house?
Josh Durham (23:50):
And then two also having to think through the headache of strategy and communicating with them and thinking through like long term, you know, promotions and stuff like that. And so like in terms of lift, you know, we have clients at scale spending, you know, half a million month on ads. And so we'll have like a batch of UGCs that will increase click through rates by 30% and then increase row ads by 20%. So right there, that's the lift. And then, you know, the back end of that is you didn't have to hire someone in house. And then also, you know, the gravy on top is the distribution of the influencers following. Right? So one of the things that we like to look at is media value. We love to use mighty scout. It's a great tool in terms of grabbing creative, looking at the value of that media. So like, think about, you know, for organic following, if you're getting $10 CPM on Facebook, which not many people are, you know, what does that translate into organic? So if they get a hundred thousand views at $10 CPM, then what is that $10,000 worth of media value. And so that's kind how we back in the math, outside of just affiliate sales from their affiliate coder link.
Rabah Rahil (25:01):
Yeah. So it's a bit like same, same, but different in terms of when you're looking at, um, like organic rankings in terms of SEO traffic, right? Like this is the SEO traffic in like S SCM rush or a Fs will show you like, this is equivalent to X amount of dollars or something like that.
Josh Durham (25:18):
Yeah, exactly. It's also kinda like, how do you, you know, how do you put a value on athletic greens having like hundreds of influencers, whitelisted and hitting you from every angle once you go to their site? You know, like I freaking was watching YouTube one time and then athletic greens is like sponsoring an end stream ad with one of my favorite YouTubers. And it just seems like they're armed to present. Right. Yeah. And I think that it's hard to put a price tag on that as well.
Rabah Rahil (25:45):
Yeah. And I think that there's obviously it needs to be a function of the business model, but that's kind of like just slowly transitioning to my questions. Like that's, what we're trying to do is kind of like the omnipresent whale, the one challenge. Um, and I don't know if you have any ways to circumvent. This is we don't have a really easy way to give people product. And so we lose out on that, if that makes sense, where it's like a D TOC brand is super easy, where it's just like, Hey Josh, I'm gonna send you my water bottle, or I'm gonna send you my, you know, uh, pickle ball paddle, go play with it. And then, you know, maybe we can get a video out of it for us. It's really challenging to do any sort of digital distribution. Um, that makes sense. And then it's also kind of like the, the free product loses, its like gen set quo because it's like, you're not really getting anything tangible.
Rabah Rahil (26:41):
If that makes sense. Do you have any digital clients or do you have any people that are in the like SAS space that are leveraging influencers? Well or like using this system? Cause to me the system makes total sense. Like I, I have high margin, low cogs. I send it out to a bunch of people. I don't even ask them to promote it. Like kind of what you and Ash are saying. Like, Hey, you guys are awesome. I like your stuff apply to our program and then possibly we'll send you some product and then we'll take it from there. There's no obligations, nothing. And then eventually like to your point, the numbers will just start to net out and then you get these nice long relationships. You figure out what works, what doesn't and worst case scenario, you're out a bunch of product that, you know, isn't gonna cost you. It's better than burning a hundred dollars bills on Facebook type of stuff. But when you have a B2B SAS company or not even just B2B, just a SAS company in general, do you know anybody that is doing well in terms of influencer marketing with SAS?
Josh Durham (27:35):
Good question. Yeah. I think SAS is a challenge. I really do like, um, I know a couple guys that are doing SAS. Well, I, I don't know what their names are. Um, off the top of my head, I just met 'em off Twitter like two weeks ago. Yeah. Um, but yeah, SAS is tough because of that value exchange. Like the value exchange needs to be high. And so, um, we've had clients that are like, I just had a client that they do like giveaways, like massive, massive giveaways. Like they're giving away, you know, a G wagon or a cabin in the woods. And uh, we, you know, we managed our influencer stuff and what we actually ended up doing was sending a box with some of the instructions plus like a Yeti mug inside the box. And it's kind of like this cool unboxing experience for the SAS.
Josh Durham (28:21):
So I think that's one thing to test is like, it's a good idea. Ash is wearing a triple whale. T-shirt like, what if you sent a t-shirt plus a mug and kind of had that visual type feel? Cause I think another good example is, you know, like Ty Lopez in his, uh <laugh> whatever his like mentor box was like, it wasn't actually a box. It was like a library of like videos or something like that. Like, I don't know. That could be like a fun example, but yeah, SAS is tough, man. Like I've had another, I even had another client last year and theirs was like a meal prep service. Yeah. And so the challenge too is like for the average influencer, how are they gonna display that on camera? So like
Rabah Rahil (29:00):
It's another huge issue that we run into.
Josh Durham (29:02):
Yeah. They're like screen recording on their phone, then they're going back to face to camera. It just, it just gets really messy, really fast. And so I think that then SA the best strategy is probably a paid strategy in terms of like paying content creators to make stuff. Cuz that then that's like the incentives is, is the payment structure versus free product, you know?
Rabah Rahil (29:23):
Yeah. So candidly, that's what we've been doing where my head of content, Colin basically just sources kind of like the same, same, but different what you guys are doing. It's just, the numbers are a little lower. Um, because one, the economics like, you know, we're paying 500 or $3,000 per video. So it starts to get really spicy really quick. Um, and then the other challenge that we've found, and I don't know how you guys deal with this and maybe again, it's just kind of the bifurcation of that value exchange. I like how you put that, um, is that people make videos for us fairly reasonable and people let us whitelist fairly reasonable, but if we wanna use it as an ad, they become Tom cruise. And it's so odd to me where it's like, it pisses me off because we'll get, well, we've had like three or four really great creators that we pay.
Rabah Rahil (30:12):
'em a reasonable, like really actually decent price. And then they want like three X that for us to actually run it as an ad, but they don't only want like a few bucks for the white listing. And so it like breaks my brain where it's just like, we'll, we'll find a hit. And then that person wants to like renegotiate all the contracts and it's like, well then you start to have to do again a new economic calculation. Is there any cuz the other thing is like, you don't want to negotiate pre because if it doesn't hit, then you want, you don't wanna pay that nut for no reason. So we're in this like weird kind of chicken and egg problem. Is there any solutions there or is that
Josh Durham (30:49):
Uh, I don't know. I feel like, I honestly feel like every influencer like went to a conference and at the conference they were like, don't do whitelist. They'll take advantage of you. Like when in reality they're gonna get so much like impression shared from that. Like if you just think about the click through rate of the link, click through rate versus like, if they're just clicking their profile, it's like so high. Um, but yeah, I don't have a great workaround for that. I think like the approach that we have is like I said, start on the free basis. Yeah. Then for white listing, like the creators really want a long-term contract. So yep. What we're doing is initially a 90 day contract testing that out, putting them on retainer for 90 days. Here's some deliverables we get white listing access, let's test this partnership out and then go from there. And I think that's kind of our strategy. It's definitely early on that in terms of like setting up these white listing agreements.
Rabah Rahil (31:46):
Uh yeah, that makes sense. Let's get back into the DDC stuff cuz it, I think it makes a little more sense there. How do you guys kind of work that Ash, when you find a hitter or a winner, I guess you've only been doing it for a little while, but like cuz it is challenging, right? Yeah. To ensure those economics work or do you, I like the long term strategy though. Josh. I think that's something that we could probably revisit to say like, Hey, you know, you made this hit, we don't want to pay you five grand for this one ad, but maybe we'll bring you on for say seven grand for the next two months. And then something like that, where in the absolute, it's a bigger number, but as we amortize it across, you know, three or four creatives, we can start to get our return back. How do you think of that Ash?
Ash Melwani (32:27):
Yeah. Um, I mean I'll give you two examples, right? So the influencers who probably like your product and want to use it and probably use it on a daily basis are probably more willing to kind of give it a shot. Right. I mean, yeah, at that point it's like the, the people who like come out to me and, or like some of the responses I've gotten so far, it's like, um, oh it's a, it's a, if this isn't a paid promotion, then we don't, we're not interested. Right. And I'm just like, you haven't even seen the product. You haven't tried it yet. Like, shouldn't that be the focus of like you building your brand, right? You should want to have something and you should want to promote something that you like. Right. So the initial conversation is like, Hey, let me check it out. Let me try it.
Ash Melwani (33:14):
If I like it, then I wanna promote it. Right. Yeah. Then it's like, so for those types of creators, I would, I would actually prefer to pay them first if I need to. But like the people who are like, yeah, like this is a paid promotion. I don't wanna hear anything about it. Right. It's like, like what? Like I don't understand. So there are, so for example, this, this one that I was, I referenced in the beginning, is it, was she posted organically for free? We didn't even send her free product. Right? This was, this was, this is, this doesn't happen. Right. This just doesn't happen. It was a very lucky thing that happened to us. And like after that is where we said, we'll pay you. Like mm-hmm, <affirmative> a fixed fee to post once a month, but we will also pay you commission on the discount code sales.
Ash Melwani (33:59):
Right. So she was making money two ways, um, from posting and like organically like her sending traffic to the website and then me taking her content, mixing it up, this and that, and then running them on ads behind her account. Right. Yeah. Um, that crushed now there's there's creators where like, we, like, there was a few like celebrities that we like hit up because we just had some people in our network. Like we used some real Housewives. Um, we worked with like Jamie Lynn Spears and like, we were just like, they all wanted, you hear that, that was name falling over there. But they, we, these girls wanted like fees up front. Right. And we said, okay, well they have a little bit more brand equity. Like these are like celebrities, like, all right, let's see if it works out. Right. Some of the creators, like they were like all $3,000 for like two or three pieces of content.
Ash Melwani (34:53):
And you said were, were like, all right, let's just try it and see what happens. Mm-hmm right. When they posted to their accounts, we saw nothing like nothing coming burgers, nothing coming. Right. You know, like just zero. But the thing is, is that when we were running the ads behind their page and white listing, because we are controlling it, we were able to make our money back just cuz like it was a great ad. Right. And people are like, oh I know the celebrity, this and that blah, blah, blah. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, that's how we made our money back. So there's two sides to it. And like I want to explain to the influencer that I am talking to, which is why I like, Hey, just talk to me for 10 minute, five minutes. I will show you a quick case study of how much money we spent behind a single ad and how much that influencer made off of that.
Ash Melwani (35:34):
You're asking me for 10 K for video. What if you made 150 K off commission for one video? Right? So like that's where I want to just talk to like these, you know, whoever it is, the influencer, even in their managers or whatever, it's just be like, listen, stop thinking. So short term think long term. And that is how we create that long term partnership. So that's just, I mean, that's just how I'm thinking about it and it, and it's, it's tough to get that in like into people's heads. And especially like you said, these TikTok creators are newer. Um, and like sometimes they're just like, they're just happy to be included. Right. And then, but some of them are like, well I want $2,000 for a video and you have like 20 K views per video. Like I can't spend that. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, like a hundred dollars CPM,
Josh Durham (36:20):
So right. I feel like you made a good point there Ash too was, you know, starting with your warm audience of people who already love your product. And that's one of the things that we actually have had a ton of success with is, you know, for each influencer program actually launch it to your existing existing customer list first. And like, you never know who's on your email list, so have them apply and maybe they have 50 to a hundred thousand followers kind of like you said, you know, that original gal that was from the Midwest, you know, crushed it on a 25 minute video. You just never know who's already bought product from you. And so even for you Reba, like looking at, you know, who's, you know, who's an influencer that already uses triple oil, like
Rabah Rahil (37:01):
Yeah. Usage. That's a great idea.
Josh Durham (37:03):
Yeah. I mean I use triple oil, like why aren't you hitting me up for a brand deal? Are we gonna sign
Rabah Rahil (37:07):
A deal off the contracts? The contract sent
Josh Durham (37:11):
I'll you white list? My Instagram all day. Let's
Rabah Rahil (37:13):
Go in the mail baby.
Josh Durham (37:16):
But anyways, just starting with your worm audience, I think that's a great
Rabah Rahil (37:19):
Point. Yeah. That's a great point. There's
Ash Melwani (37:22):
That helps with that.
Rabah Rahil (37:23):
Um, that's amazing.
Ash Melwani (37:25):
Have you heard of carro? I think it is.
Josh Durham (37:28):
Yeah. Yeah. Ex yeah, that was the, like the OG app.
Ash Melwani (37:32):
Yeah. That like, what does it do? Orders like scans your customer base and then it tells you if somebody's like has a decent size following I think. And then you could just, oh, that's interesting. Talk to them. Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (37:44):
I gotta dig around amplitude. Um, that's so fascinating. So let me say this back. So I understand kind of the orders of operations. So the first thing I need to do is essentially source and that sourcing is gonna be that numbers game, Josh, where I have like, I can either pound the pavement, like Ash or be smart, like you and get some automations around it. Look that obviously the first batch of people I want to touch on is those warm audiences using that Vero tool or something like that or the dovetail stuff. And I get this nice little pool of audiences. And then from there you can either qualify or meet them. Like Ash, I feel like the meeting is hard though, Ash to scale. Right. Or it's, it's important for you because you wanna qualify them more, more, or do you like the Josh thing about, um, applying to the program? Flipping the script?
Ash Melwani (38:36):
Yeah. I mean, there's probably two sides to it again, we're just still figuring it out. It's like, for me, I want to get to a point where I'm, I guess, working with the bigger influencers right off the bat. Got it. Got it. But like explaining to them what the potential is versus like trying to go back and forth with somebody with 20 K followers. Right. Who's it like asking for the world so it could, and I agree. I think I'm gonna check it out after this and, and see how I can better the approach. But, um, I, I, I would agree that maybe Josh's way makes a lot more sense to just have them apply to the program and then kind of discuss after the fact, you know?
Josh Durham (39:17):
Yeah. I think it just depends on your goals. Cause I think that ultimately you're trying to whitelist more and you're trying to build these larger partnerships. So like, I don't think that's a bad strategy of just like going super directly, but,
Ash Melwani (39:30):
Josh Durham (39:30):
We built this relationship with, with five,
Ash Melwani (39:34):
Like would wanna
Josh Durham (39:34):
Ash Melwani (39:37):
Yeah. It just, when you build that relationship, I feel like you get more out of it than like, cuz what if, what if, what if the business could take off with like five really big names and like, what if I'm like texting with them every day? Be like, Hey, like this is what's happening. Here's how much you're making this. And that like that like that personal touch, I feel like could just, I don't know. I that's what was working. That's what I'm trying to implement now. But if it's a numbers game, maybe it's like, you kind of have to play it like a volume game instead of like, you know, hold somebody's hand through the whole process.
Josh Durham (40:12):
No. Yeah. I think like what you just said is a great strategy. Like one of our best clients, they drive like literally like 600 K a month in influencer and they've been doing influencer for a long time. And like, it's exactly what you said, Ash is like having that personal relationship. Like if you look at like even some of the biggest influencer programs out there, like cuts clothing, great example conversation with their team and like, you know, they have a dude, they have some tight regulation on the cuts, cuts, clothing ambassadors. Like these guys, like initially maybe get some free product. If they're like have all four channels, like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, you know, everything. And you know, they cut people if they're not performing and they limit that to a hundred
Rabah Rahil (41:01):
Josh Durham (41:02):
And yeah. Plus, you know, they're getting on zoom calls every month, you know, getting them incorporated to the brand, all that fun stuff. And so, you know, I think that like if with the more intimate relationships, like I think that's a great long term strategy. I think that, you know, my version is probably a little bit more geared for an outsource partner and you know, that just makes sense when a brand needs to help get scaled up.
Rabah Rahil (41:29):
Yeah. That's really amazing. And I think actually personally, we're gonna try a blend of two because we haven't had the big hit on the big, big influencer yet the micro to like mid influencer have been way more, uh, uh, impactful for us. Um, but we are still, we actually just landed a pretty big whale <laugh> unintended, um, that we're gonna lean pretty heavily into, um, that did take a little TLC, um, kind of like the Ash part. And so Colin is a bit of my sourcer. And then when there is a kind of somebody that warrants that, that bigger discussion around, you know, more economics, more retail touch, I love that. Okay. So now I have my deal sourced and then I get to, uh, a place where I'm either sending product or qualifying them. And then from that messaging, when do you get the, the, the videos, do you guys ask for stuff when you send them product? Or is it just a kind of, Hey, we like you guys here, some product, if you want to do this, we're happy to work with you or like what's that next step?
Josh Durham (42:33):
Yeah. So on our end, I mean we're pretty straight up like at the beginning. Yeah. With the brief and so amazing. You know, I think a lot of people, you know, they do the, the no strings attached type philosophy, which I don't think is a bad philosophy just for us. We've just been a little bit more straight up of like, Hey, we want like these kind of deliverables. Here's some examples of great content that we've had in the past. Here's four to five intro hooks. Here's a couple here's about our company in our benefits. And so building out that creative brief, you know, one of the things I like to say is your content is only gonna be as good as your creative brief. Ooh. And so you really want to be really diligent and building that out. So like we're building that out on notion. It's really clear, love
Rabah Rahil (43:17):
Josh Durham (43:17):
It's really it's dialed in. There's great examples in there we're educating about our brand so that the influencer and that creator has all assets, they need to win. And so I think just being straight up and asking for what you want is always great strategy.
Rabah Rahil (43:34):
Ash Melwani (43:35):
And is that happening on message two? Is that what that looks like?
Josh Durham (43:40):
No. So that's happening kind on the back end as they're, you know, coming through. So like they're, you know, oh yeah. I guess it is message two you're right. So, you know, we're sending the outreach message, they're applying, then we're sending them product and then we're giving them the brief for an exchange for that product. But like on the application page, we're talking about, you know, product expectations. Yeah. Just expectations and it depends on your platform. So like it varies like on gr you can build out some awesome campaigns that you can invite them to that camp specific campaign, whereas dovetails kind of more of a general, you know, app general application page. Um, but yeah, that's kind of where it's happening.
Ash Melwani (44:21):
So just so, just so I'm clear, right. Are you, so you're reaching out to 200 a week saying like, Hey, we love your content. We'd love to have you apply to our program. Then they apply to the program. And within the program, you're basically saying like, Hey, we're gonna send you some free stuff, hopefully in return for some content in the hopes that we're creating a long term relationship. Is that what that looks like? Yep.
Josh Durham (44:46):
Yeah. With the links and brief. Yeah.
Ash Melwani (44:48):
Got it. So like, if they want, basically you're telling them you're not getting paid to, to start, you're gonna, you're gonna get free product. You're gonna create content and you're gonna post it. And then we create the law. So like then when they actually create the content, then you see how it does. Like, are you giving them like discount codes? So you can track sales? Like how are you tracking like
Rabah Rahil (45:08):
Ash Melwani (45:09):
Josh Durham (45:10):
Yeah, yeah. So we're, we're tracking with affiliate codes, so we're giving them the code, giving them discount code, all that fun stuff. And then, like I said, on the back end, we're using mighty scout to look at, you know, total impressions, media, grabbing that creative, that kind of stuff. And just, you know, measuring it based off of the media value and or the additional sales. Um, but usually this strategy is really geared for content versus sales. And so we're really going after the content for paid. Um, so yeah, that's, that's kind of how we have it set up.
Rabah Rahil (45:44):
So like the volume of creative is more of a KPI than the actual efficacy of the creative.
Josh Durham (45:51):
Yeah. That makes sense. Most of our clients are getting like three to 10 pieces of creative a week that we're delivering to their inbox every Monday. And we're reporting on impressions, creative output, outreach, acceptance, all that fun stuff. Um, and
Rabah Rahil (46:06):
Yeah, this is kind of in the weeds, but are you using like air ink, Google drive? Like where do you house your assets?
Josh Durham (46:12):
Uh, we use air and we also use drive air.
Rabah Rahil (46:15):
Okay, cool. Yeah. Yeah. That makes tons of sense. Yeah. Air is good now, now. Yeah. They're awesome. People. We're actually doing some fun stuff with them in October. Okay, cool. So now I have the creative, I do that. I'm tracking it with the affiliate codes. If I am car, if I, obviously I care about return on investment, but possibly the return on investment is just the velocity of creative that I'm getting through to help the lift on the ad account. One question. So when we were doing some affiliate stuff, a couple codes get leaked out to like discount code sites and stuff like that. What do you do in that case? Do you kill the code new code? Do you just let it ride? Like how does that work? Does that make sense? What I'm saying?
Josh Durham (46:53):
Oh yeah. honey.com. Just murdering,
Rabah Rahil (46:56):
Just still in money. Dude.
Josh Durham (46:57):
I used to have some like top secret ad funnels back in the day that was like for like customers, who'd only purchased four times. They're getting like a 30% off code on the back end from email flow, honey grabs that shit and then automatically everyone has it. Uh, I don't have a perfect, I don't have a perfect workaround for that. I think it's case by case basis, but okay. Um, generally those codes aren't getting taken up versus, you know, the bigger codes cuz a lot of these are like 10%, 15% off, um, versus 30, 40%, you know, sale.
Rabah Rahil (47:33):
Well, the challenge for me is sometimes like that code is tied to a commission. And so now it's like, I don't want the sales to stop coming in on that code. But at the same time, like I wanna make sure that like this influencer, it's actually this influencer driving the demand, not people searching, like I wanna save on Avi or Avi codes and then I see Ash 10 and then I grab it and put it in there. And then now I'm paying Ash all this money, which I obviously wanna pay him, but like it needs to, does that make sense? And so yeah, I need to think on how like, because for us it's a little different where it's like, oh, if somebody gets 10 or 15% off, we don't care. Cuz it's like, Hey buy the thing. We have a we're in a different, uh, a business model of recurring revenue.
Rabah Rahil (48:16):
So it's like if somebody buys or 10, 15% off, we're not really like that put off, but like if it's a DTC brand or something like that, and they're just constantly getting hammered with 10 to 15% cuts or 20% cuts. And then because for us too, it'd be a double dip where we're paying, we're losing money on the front end sale. But then we also have to pay out this commission to the affiliate because they get a little sauce on their code and stuff. And so yeah, I think it's just a, a bit of a quagmire.
Josh Durham (48:42):
Yeah, no it's heavy. Like, and we do links to like, it's not just codes. We give them codes.
Rabah Rahil (48:48):
We, I think that's the move
Josh Durham (48:51):
You track it that way. I think that's and like I said, like this for us, like usually the first 90 days of the program is geared for content, not sales, love that. And so after that, if it makes sense for the brand, what we'll do is evolve those into paid partnerships and go more after, you know, swipe up on Instagram stories. So it's a clear link kind of thing. Like I don't think beautiful making bank posting on Instagram feeds these days, right? So like just doing more direct response type deals plus you know, white listing agreements, that kind of thing.
Rabah Rahil (49:26):
Amazing. You guys just built my whole influencer system. I feel like Kenny's gonna be mad. I'm not, I'm not gonna spend any money on mentor pass. Now I got my, these two influencers already giving me the system, just say
Josh Durham (49:38):
My contract after bro.
Rabah Rahil (49:40):
Of course I do. No seriously. We I'm gonna connect you with Colin. We're gonna get you on. It's gonna be amazing. Um, Ash, do you have any more questions we're pushing up against it?
Ash Melwani (49:50):
No, I think I'm good, man. I mean, I, I think one of the things that I, I think like you mentioned, right, this whole process is for like content, right? Um, I, I, I, I would hope that the organic side to it also helps create some type of like lift, right? If you're getting, you know, 10 pretty big influencers to drive, you know, a couple hundred thousand views or whatever it is, it's like, that just becomes a source of top of funnel for, for brands. Right. I think a lot of people are mentioning that like Facebook TikTok is so very middle of the funnel. Like there's not much discovery happening. Right. Um, outside of like whatever you're just running. Right. So like I'm just hoping that that helps that lift, um, across the board. So let's see.
Rabah Rahil (50:43):
Yeah. I really like how you think of this stuff, Josh. This is really, really mind blowing. Um, okay. You wanna get into the creepy question?
Ash Melwani (50:52):
<laugh> yeah. Oh wow. What's the creepy question.
Rabah Rahil (50:54):
We always have one weird creepy question. What was we had shower in and out we had, what was it? Windows and or wheels and windows. I forgot. We always have a creepy one. This one's, it's not as creepy, but it's fun. What do we Gina? Oh, Gina with the, uh, elephant influencer. Yeah, that was pretty strong. She, she crushed that one. Um, this one's not super weird, but it is fun. Like I said, I'm tired. I just had a vacation. But um, if you had a documentary made, who is the movie star that you wanna be played by, who is gonna star as you I'll go to go to Ash first to, to give you a little time to think Josh Ash, who who's gonna be playing Ash. Mowan
Ash Melwani (51:35):
Rabah Rahil (51:36):
It's good one. Right? Not
Ash Melwani (51:38):
Horrible. It's so tough. It's so tough. I mean,
Rabah Rahil (51:45):
But Josh has his answer. I can tell he's happy. He's smiling over there.
Ash Melwani (51:50):
I don't know. Maybe like Hasan Minaj might be a good one. I don't
Rabah Rahil (51:56):
Know. Is that, is that a Bollywood star? I don't, I'm not familiar. Who is this Patriot
Ash Melwani (51:59):
Rabah Rahil (52:01):
Oh, he's the best. He's fantastic.
Ash Melwani (52:04):
Yeah. Yeah. I gotta think of somebody's ground. Right? Come on
Rabah Rahil (52:10):
Ash Melwani (52:12):
Bollywood actors. Nobody's gonna get it, but <laugh>
Rabah Rahil (52:16):
Dude, those are my favorites. When I will come across Twitter or something, just those scenes are so over the top and I like physics fucked. Who cares? Like, let's just have some fun with it. I love like there's some Bollywood scenes that are just 11 outta tens. Okay. That's a good one. I could see that you guys both have really nice hair. The beards are there strong? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Min
Ash Melwani (52:37):
In it'll work
Rabah Rahil (52:39):
Min. All right, Josh. Who's playing you.
Ash Melwani (52:41):
I got Tom Hardy.
Rabah Rahil (52:44):
Oh, that's strong. That's a great pick. That's a great pick heart thro. Definitely. Yeah. I love Tom Hardy. I'm gonna go with another Tom as well. I'm doing Tom cruise. You got me with the top gun stuff. I don't know. What's I'm a little taller than him, but yeah, he's Tom, but, but pre uh, like top gun, Tom cruise. Not like vanilla sky, Tom cruise. Not like kind of ladder Tom cruise where he went, went a little, little crazy jumping on the Oprah couch, like pre pre-op Oprah couch, Tom cruise. But that's, that's what I think I'd play my epic. I don't know if you guys love it. Um, alright folks, that's it. In the books. Josh, tell the people where they can find you. How can they get more involved with the agency? Pop off their influencers? This time is yours. My friend.
Josh Durham (53:25):
Cool. Yeah. Follow me on Twitter at Josh J Durham. And uh, if you wanna chat, come to a line growth management.com.
Rabah Rahil (53:35):
Awesome. Awesome, Ash. You know what to do? Mentor pass. Vitamin shop drop the line, baby.
Ash Melwani (53:41):
<laugh> mentor pass. Oh man. If you need any help with any paid media, Facebook TikTok hit me up on mentor bass. Um, if you need some collagen in your life and you got a vitamin shop near you, go check it out. <laugh> take a picture, send it to me. Tag me on Twitter.
Rabah Rahil (53:58):
Um, don't forget the picture.
Ash Melwani (53:59):
Have the support there. Yeah. Don't forget the picture and follow me on, uh, Twitter at Ashvin Melani um, actually looking for some U GC creators. So if you like the brand name and everything, um, just, uh, DME.
Rabah Rahil (54:14):
Oh, amazing. You've been on here too. Couple threads that you've been dropping have been, been catching fire. Been impressed. I'm good.
Ash Melwani (54:21):
Got, got some new stuff coming soon. Oh,
Rabah Rahil (54:23):
You do. Huh? You damn man. Come with the heat. All right folks. That's all we got. I am also on mentor pass. So go support my ridiculous sneaker habit. If you wanna get more involved with triple well it's triple whale.com. Now we drop the try. Finally, we are triple.com. Huge, huge. Um, we're on the bird app at triple well, and then we have an incredible newsletter that goes out every Tuesday, Thursday called whale mail. We would love to have you subscribe. And then this will drop after DTC after dark, but you should subscribe to the YouTube channel. Anyways. We're gonna have some fun behind the scenes stuff there. And then in a couple weeks, we'll have the, uh, DTC after dark episodes, um, dropping on there as well. So thanks so much. Love to guys. Josh. Thanks so much, brother. Come out to Austin. Come say hi. We have an awesome Austin. Awesome. Here. Don't tempt me. Oh, I, I will tempt you with a good time, sir. We can, we can talk influencer marketing. I can get some budget. It'll be fun. It'll be a good time. We'll do it big.
Josh Durham (55:19):
As long as I get a t-shirt
Rabah Rahil (55:21):
Oh yeah. We'll send you actually I'll send you some gear. We got a water bottle, a bunch of t-shirts. We got some cool socks. We'll hook you up. We'll get you the, the homey package.
Josh Durham (55:30):
I see it, bro.
Rabah Rahil (55:31):
Amazing. Thanks Josh. Ash. It's always a pleasure. We'll talk soon guys. That's it. Another ad spend in the books.
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