Leveraging Influencers To Drive Product Momentum

Sep 8, 2022 3:00 PM3:30 PM EDT

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

When launching products, the three most fundamental components to emphasize are credibility, visibility, and availability. But, with so many factors influencing product success, how can you develop an effective marketing campaign to drive traffic and generate conversions?

The principal course of action to leverage is the flywheel marketing model. This framework generates product momentum by focusing on the buyer’s journey and experience. Optimizing the potential of the flywheel involves outsourcing influencers to boost credibility, traffic, and sales. Selecting quality influencers who can produce relevant content allows you to obtain reviews, ratings, and visibility for your product. 

In this virtual event, Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson chats with Tim Wilson, Chief Revenue Officer at ProductWind, about leveraging influencer marketing campaigns to generate product revenue. Tim shares how to capitalize on the flywheel model to launch products and drive sales, the factors influencing product marketing campaigns, and how ProductWind measures influencers to boost credibility. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Leveraging the flywheel marketing model to launch products and drive sales
  • Strategies for generating product exposure
  • What are the different types of influencers?
  • How ProductWind measures influencers to boost credibility
  • The factors influencing product marketing campaigns
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Event Partners

ProductWind

ProductWind is a developer of an influencer marketing solution designed for brand promotion. Their platform facilitates brands to find, negotiate, review, track and rate influencers and help them to launch their influencer marketing campaigns, enabling clients to improve their online retail business.

Connect with ProductWind

Guest Speaker

Tim Wilson LinkedIn

Chief Revenue Officer at ProductWind

Tim Wilson is the Chief Revenue Officer at ProductWind, an influencer marketing company that helps eCommerce brands generate instant momentum on their products. He leads all of ProductWind’s revenue in areas including sales and client success. As an experienced sales and business development professional, Tim has spent more than 14 years helping the world’s largest advertisers better understand how eCommerce impacts their businesses. His skills include retail, consumer products, digital strategy, and customer relationship management (CRM). 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Event Moderator

Tim Wilson LinkedIn

Chief Revenue Officer at ProductWind

Tim Wilson is the Chief Revenue Officer at ProductWind, an influencer marketing company that helps eCommerce brands generate instant momentum on their products. He leads all of ProductWind’s revenue in areas including sales and client success. As an experienced sales and business development professional, Tim has spent more than 14 years helping the world’s largest advertisers better understand how eCommerce impacts their businesses. His skills include retail, consumer products, digital strategy, and customer relationship management (CRM). 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

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Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect


BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Senior Digital Strategist Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.


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Discussion Transcription

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  0:18

Happy Thursday everyone I am Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson, a digital strategist at BWG Connect, we are a network of knowledge sharing groups. And on top of the latest trends, challenges, whatever it is that shaping the digital landscape, we're on track to do over 500 of these virtual events this year due to the increase in demand to better understand everything in the digital space. And we'll also be doing at least 100, in person small format dinners this year as well. So if you happen to be in a tier one city, feel free to shoot us an email and we'll send you an invite, these dinners are typically 15 to 20 people having a specific discussion around a digital topic, beautiful dinner, great time, I would love to invite you. We spend the majority of our time here talking to brands is how we stay on top of the different trends that are going on in the market, we'd love to have a conversation with you. So feel free to reach out at Tiffany tiffany@bwgconnect.com. And we can get some time on the calendar. It's from these conversations, we generate the topic ideas that we know people want to learn about. And it's also where we gain our resident experts such as product one who's here with us today, anybody that we asked to teach as a collective network has come highly recommended from multiple brands that we work with. So if you're ever in need of any recommendations on anything within the digital space, don't feel free or feel free to reach out to me or our team. And we will give you the shortlist of the best of the best service providers that we got. So we also know that a lot of people are hiring right now. So do note that we have a BWG talent agency that we'd be happy to put you in contact with as well. So a few housekeeping items. We want this to be fun, educational. Please put in any questions, comments you have in the chat q&a bar. If you feel more comfortable, you can send me an email, Tiffany@bwgconnect, and we will make sure to get to them. Also, just to reiterate, it's a 30 minute format. So we're going to be moving pretty fast here. So with that let's rock in, started to learn about leveraging influencers to drive product momentum. The team at ProductWind have been awesome friends in the network. So Tim, I'm going to kick it off to you. If you can give an introduction on yourself, and then we can dive into the presentation. That would be fantastic.

 

Tim Wilson  2:27

Thank you. Yeah, thanks. Thank you, Tiffany. So my name is Tim Wilson, I've been I've been some ever working with the head of eCommerce or the head of Amazon as a person or to support for ces 2008. So I've been doing this for a long time in terms of helping different companies with different sizes, solve all different problems. That helped start a company named commerce IQ for a lot of you know, that was their first sales leader there went over spent some time at pattern, the world's largest three P seller on Amazon. And one of the things I've noticed throughout my career, but definitely during my times with commerce, IQ and pattern is doesn't matter what what your product is, or a category you're in really, everyone's trying to do the same thing, which is just how do I get more momentum? I get more momentum here. How do I how do I make things happen faster. And that's what we do here ProductWind. That said the presentation I have for you today is fairly short. And I'd love to not even get I think it's like three slides, maybe four, I'd love to not even get through them and much more open to having conversations and answering any questions somebody might have. So please ask them. I think he just put it right in the chat.

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  3:47

Is that right Tiffany? Chat, or the q&a? Either? We're

 

Tim Wilson  3:51

human. Okay, perfect. So let's go through that. But my my presentation today is it doesn't you don't have to use ProductWind it doesn't matter. Do whatever you want. But like these are the things that we see to make you successful. And you know, it doesn't have to start off here. It doesn't matter what industry you're in for almost everyone. Amazon is like the beast, right obviously got things like chewy and pet and other categories. But when we talk eCommerce, because there are nuances with every retailer. For today's discussion, I'm going to focus it on Amazon. within Amazon, right, this is I think everyone's seen this. This is the famous flywheel that Bezos supposedly wrote inside a napkin.

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  4:39

What's that? And it's on a napkin? Yeah, he

 

Tim Wilson  4:41

wrote on a cocktail napkin. I you know, is in banking days in New York City, right. This is how I this is the flywheel where one thing feeds on the other, which makes the other thing more and more powerful. Right. So I don't know this is this is this is clearly a cocktail napkin that was at a bar Look at the state. But it's right. So the idea of the flywheel is that each thing enables the other, right. So the more selection that I have will drive more traffic, which will drive more sellers to the site, which drive more selection, and so on and so forth. Right? This is, this basic concept is actually really hard to pull off. But it's what's made Amazon super successful. Right? Just this this notion, and other retailers are following suit, right? You saw, like Suresh Kumar, go over to Walmart, he spent 15 years at Amazon. He's now the CTO of Walmart, and you see all the effort that Walmart's making over the last year or two to be much more technology driven themselves, right. And this is, this flywheel is really just another name for an algorithm, right? All these things, all of these, the success, the success of your business, on Amazon is really about how well you play with the Amazon algorithm. That's really what it boils down to. And on all of these sites, as commerce itself is becoming more and more algorithmically driven, what that means is there's less and less manual intervention cannot take an algorithm out to some kind of event, you can't take them to Flushing Meadows and watch the US Open right now. Right? It's all about the data. And what does the data say? I can do? Right? How many of you on the phone have have called up your vendor manager at Amazon? And they basically say to you, I can't do anything, my hands are tied, right? They play well help. So this flywheel is really what determines your products destiny. It's really about a series of these algorithms that determine the success. And the moment your product goes live. This algorithm is saying to itself, okay, what do I do with this new Asin? What do I do with this new thing? And every day, really, every hour, your product goes live on the site? It's looking for signal, it's looking for signal to beat what do people think about this? Do people want it right, Amazon's not the business to help you sell. They're in business to help people buy. So it's looking for external validation. What do the people want? What does the market want? And no signal is a signal, right? Like you want your product and nothing happens for a couple of weeks. That is a couple of weeks of data points, like nothing is in fact a data point. So visits clicks, sales, obviously, maybe a review, right? Like these are all the data points the algorithm is looking for. And so if everything is algorithmically driven, and you launch your new asin, like, what can you do? Well, I, you know, it worked for Bezos, I made my own. This is a cog, this is the type of napkin we have in my house, it's not a bar, you know, there's no, there's no like, Manhattan stain on the corner. This is the product flywheel. And you can do this however you want. People can do this in lots of different ways. But there's fundamentally three different kinds of pillars of what people are looking for when they're shopping, right? They need, they need to believe in the product, there has to be credibility about your product, right, there has to be visibility, they have to be able to see it. And of course, it has to be available. Right? It can't be out of stock or have an ad on court pulled or be suppressed for whatever reason. So credibility, visibility and availability are kind of the three sectors if you will, for success. And what drives the product flywheel is simple. You need to have traffic you need to have excitement and buzz, you need to have traffic to the Asin. That traffic is going to boost its SEO, making it much more visible, right Search Engine Optimization meaning organically high, you're not paying for that placement per se, right traffic will lead to SEO, which is going to drive sales when that product is available, and people can find it. That's how you're going to drive your sales. The more sales you get, the more likely you are to get product ratings and reviews, which is going to drive a lot of credibility, which will boost your conversion rate, right, which is going to help those ratings and reviews are gonna help drive more traffic, and so on and so forth. So this is the flywheel that all of you on the phone right now. Need to get rolling. For your product to be successful. on Amazon, or really any other retailer. There's a lot of different ways you can do this. One of the most common ways that people have done is what Amazon has done a great job capitalizing on is you do retail media, you're doing sponsored brand sponsored product, you're doing whatever the mechanism is that you Want you start paying typically, I've seen in my career, customers will two to 3x, their traditional their typical retail media spend on a product launch, right, and they'll spend that two to 3x for some amount of time, before the product reaches its kind of mature state where they'll then go back down to the more typical percent of spend, right, call it 5%. And that goes up to like 13. Maybe. But that's, you know, one way to do it. Another way to do it that we've seen successful, especially as you see, platforms like Instagram and really tick tock become more and more successful. Amazon highly validates are highly values, I should say, highly values, external traffic and external traffic from competitors, they want to take their competitors dollars. So when they see traffic coming in, from Tik Tok, that algorithm that we looked at before, that says, hey, here's a signal, here's a sign external traffic from a tear one site, property right, tick tock that I want to value, I want to steal tic TOCs lunch. And it starts to send a signal to that algorithm. And it's going to tell it, this is something people are interested in. Right. So you need to drive that traffic, however, you can. Maybe it's through Google, right. But again, Google search is not valued as high as like a tick tock visitor is. And that's going to drive traffic, which will drive your SEO depending on how that traffic is brought in. Right, and what what people are doing when they get there. But it's just how you drive and then you can drive your sales, which leads to ratings and reviews. But it all starts right up at the top there. And all starts with driving traffic, generating buzz and bringing traffic in. And the faster and better you can do it. And the sooner and closer to the launch date. The more powerful and impactful it is right? If the asin sits dormant for 3060 days, that's a lot of data that the algorithms already picked up on it. But you now have to kind of overcome with your hype after the fact. So like anything else, early intervention matters. You start early on literally anything in your life, it compounds and makes things so much better and easier. If you can do your own product flywheel here and get this spinning, right at the launch or within the first really a week or two, you set your asin up for a dramatic success. Our data has shown that when you do this, you typically will see, you know, a 40 to 50% improvement in total revenue over the first year, right? It comes from a form of a 12% increase in glance views over the first 12 months and up to a 30% increase in conversion because of the credibility factor you get earlier on. positive reviews beget more positive reviews, which begets higher conversion rates, then you do the math 12% glance view improvement, up to a 30% improvement in conversion that equals a 48% improvement in first year revenue. So it really can be super powerful. That's it, anyone can do it. This is the one slide right. This is what we do. If anyone's would like to talk through we train that algorithm through influencers, we have a strategically constructed way where we hype this product week over week. Right? What one of the things that the algorithms are going to be looking for is, is this a one hit wonder how do I go backwards? Anyway? You know, is this a one hit wonder? Or is this something that's growing interest? So we want to each week what you're doing is you want to show more and more external validation of buzz and hype. So the algorithm is getting signals that show week over week. This is the new thing that people love. This is thing is getting more and more exciting. And that's essentially training the algorithm to really love your product and then the the world in your favor a little bit. But that's it. No, no, no rocket science any any questions.

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  14:07

It makes so much sense. It's like my background for 10 years working in home furnishing, managing Amazon business. And we have all this awesome new product product development team is just pumping out new skews, right and left. And then it goes to that whole credibility, we launch a new item. And we don't have any ratings. We don't have any reviews and the clock is ticking. And now that first impression, opportunity is lost. Like you were saying, Now you actually go the opposite. And now you actually look negative because nobody is touching on your listing. And you don't have any sort of credibility to even get any momentum even if we were putting in marketing dollars towards it. We don't have the credibility so they're driving traffic but it's still not converting. So I love this idea of the credibility outside of the ecosystem of Amazon and then work with influencers to show, yes, this is an awesome product, and it's almost my background is also in Home Shopping. So it has this element of like home shopping, personality trust you love that host. You're like, yep, if they're selling it, I'm buying it, I'm gonna convert over here on Amazon because Amazon ZZ. So maybe if we could go in more of like, influencers, this whole new world of like, Who Who are they you know, and there's different types of them, like the macro nano celebrities, maybe just touch on all those and we do have some awesome questions coming in. So

 

Tim Wilson  15:36

then we'll get to that next. Sure. Yeah, no, it brings up a good point, there are all different kinds of influencers, which are, they are today, influencers are typically categorized based on the number of followers that they have. You know, I don't necessarily think that's the best way to categorize them. But that's how it is done, right. So Nana will be typically influencers of less than 5000 followers, micro is gonna be 5000 200,000 macro is going to be you know, 100,000 to, you know, a million and a million plus will be a celebrity. And, to your point about credibility, what we've found is the best blend is really working with a lot of micro influencers, because the person with their 20 30,000 followers, you know, that the handyman who does would work would shop out of his garage and has a following of people helping, you know, watching him do woodwork or whatever the case may be. There's just a, it's a much closer community and connection, the follower followers relationship with the Creator, and the creators relationship with his followers is just much more authentic. And real. And it goes a long way to your point about the credibility here, right, when they are directing their audience to, you know, check out this new product or this new thing. It that's the credibility they're looking for. They don't need the ratings and reviews necessarily as much, because it's coming from someone that they trust so much. Exactly. Love it.

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  17:08

We can go into the questions here. So we had one, do affiliate links have the same elbow impact from those platforms? The same weight as other external traffic?

 

Tim Wilson  17:19

Do we feel Yes, absolutely. Amazon highly prioritizes the affiliate. So Amazon has like an affiliate program where you can sign up and get get a link, right, which tracks sales and you get a you get a kickback, you get a commission on the sales that you drive. And it does Amazon absolutely prioritizes the Amazon affiliate link. Awesome. And then

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  17:45

how do you determine the quality of influencers you use to boost credibility of the product? Have you tried and trend IO? And the content created was a we tried trend IO and the content was

 

Tim Wilson  17:58

subpar? Yeah, no, that's a? That's a great question. So ProductWind. I can only speak to that what we do here a ProductWind is we were measuring everything. So we have everyone has the same access to influencers. First of all, please understand that we're all we're operating off of the same API into tick tock and an Instagram like, it's, it's this community, it's this world of whatever it is 44 million or so 48 million creators, it's really about understanding our vision is in the fullness of time to make influencer marketing as scientific and data driven, as all forms of marketing that exists today, right? All these other forms. So to that end, we're measuring everything our creators do, and we're benchmarking against everyone else. Demographic psychographic behavior, propensity to develop great content that our creators love versus propensity to drive sales and may not be the same person. Right. So on our side, first of all, we're we're measuring and benchmarking. That's one thing we're doing. The other thing that we're doing is we were scoring what they do, and we're giving our brands when they want, we have enterprise controls built into the platform automatically. We you can easily approve, edit, reject content. So we work you know, we're working with one brand, that's a I mean, a fortune 200. Anyway, company, I don't know if you know how big they are, but big, big multibillion dollar brand. They're super conservative and about the products and how they're being represented. Right? And we expect that we have a workflow built right in where you can approve or disapprove or edit, Hey, you can't make this claim about this product. Right? Like that's, you know, we can't say that our vitamin does this or does that. So have them edit that hashtag, please. And so like there's there's automatic controls and workflows built in Um, and again, we can, you know, run that for you or you can access it yourself.

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  20:06

What are some standard influencer KPIs for a successful campaign?

 

Tim Wilson  20:11

Yeah, so I guess I would start with wondering what are your campaign goals? If we pick two different buckets, right, a typical influencer campaign, a lot of times people will look forward as they think of influencer marketing almost as a new form of PR, they're looking for top of funnel awareness. So typical metrics to track there would be things like reach, and various expressions of interests, you know, likes, comments, etc, we have a CPM function in our in our platform as well, you want to really understand trying to make things, again, our point to try and be much as data driven as possible on this. So those are typical, top of funnel things. Other things, though, that you can measure, and monitor and track, especially if you've wondering, you're thinking more of like, an eCommerce sales thing? How can I make sure this product has the fundamentals necessary to be a best seller one day, right, like, how do they? How do I give it a strong start to its life? We're going to track things, like we mentioned before, but also things like, what's your SEO position? Right, we, we have our influencers, use specific language, and how they talk about the product, you know, which ends up conditioning the audience to search for your product in a certain way, if everywhere they go, and everywhere they see, it's always talked about this, you know, I don't know seaglass. I mean, it's bad example, I'm drinking my glass of water. You know, whatever, whatever the term might be, you know, elderberry gummies, or I don't know, you know, whatever it is, condition it. So we're going to track SEO, we're going to track its its placement there, we're going to track sales, we're going to track how quickly we can move, move the needle to getting you to your first, your first review your first 50, your first 100. Right, making sure that there's a lot of buzz that's going towards driving those econ fundamentals.

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  22:13

Yeah, and it goes back to what you're saying about Amazon not being a platform for selling, it's a platform for buying. So if you want to sell something, you have to think like the buyer, and how is the buyer searching? And that organic experience? And what better way to do it than when you're working with that audience through somebody who's able to, you know, convey that on the front line and direct them to then be able to go and find your product? So it's brilliant. I love this question, because I feel you quarry 1500 skews been their new product launches. This is how expensive is it? And where do you start when you have that many new product launches?

 

Tim Wilson  22:57

How expensive is it? It's it's all over the board because it for products when the price is all over the board? I'd be I'd be embarrassed to give you a range because it would almost be insulting. Well, here's what I'll say this is this is what determines pricing. And then I can tell you typical for people when they typically start, you know, the initial price is going to be I don't know 20 to 40k in that window, and there's levers you can pull to make that cheaper than that and levers you can pull to make it much more much more expensive than that. You know, we're doing several launches for for half a million dollars coming up. So it's really all over the board. But the levers you want to think about is how much hype? How much hype do I need to get this going? Right? So one of our I'll give you an example one of our customers is a company named Frida. I don't know if anybody on the phone knows Frida. One of the more popular products if you do not there they make a lot of products for parenthood and kids. They have this thing that it is just

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  24:01

a nasal thing that you I had this for my daughter loved it.

 

Tim Wilson  24:06

Yeah, of course, but loved it. The things you never thought you would do. I have three girls and I'm like I can't even believe the things that I anyway. It's, it's a booger sucker. But free calls it like infant nasal aspirator. Like, there's not a lot of competition for infant nasal aspirators. Right, like there's not a lot of noise you got to break through. But if you want to go after and your product is laundry detergent, and you're going after tide and the big boys and you're trying to like really break into the laundry detergent market or headphones for consumer electronics, right, like there's a lot of competition. There's a lot of hype, you got to really bring the noise kind of on that next point right here but you got to really push hard to get this flywheel going so It is hard to say because it depends on the product and the category. But it's easy to give you a price once we do know what your product and category is, did you in theory,

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  25:10

like somebody who has 1000 Plus skews, pull out the ones that you believe are going to be your star skews. And then that could help bring traffic to your brand like storefront page on Amazon. And then maybe the other ones organically? Keep moving? Because you focus on those core?

 

Tim Wilson  25:28

Yeah, I mean, a lot of our customers, you know, will do like an evergreen campaign, too. So there's a one of our customers that a consumer electronics firm said, you know, anecdotally, not literally, he's like my conversion rate triples, when I go from four to four and a half stars on Amazon Can I just make sure that certain products are always loved. And so we can just let you know, the three use cases people use us for as one product launch. Two is to capture an upcoming surge in demand. You know, again, anybody can do this, but Prime Day, Thanksgiving, cyber five Turkey fives coming up, whatever it is, there's always some event where there's going to be a surge in demand, if you can hype your product ahead of time. So it's already organically positioned, then all you got to do is ride the wave, right? And it's so much, you're just gonna ride the wave. And then the third thing is understanding which one of your products is that like a four, one or a four, two, because once it gets to four, three, or four to five, it gets displayed as four and a half stars, and your conversion rate on almost every category. I've been doing this 14 years, your conversion rate jumps, when it's four and a half stars, it jumps. So high, I've got a bunch of products, there were four sixes that are down to four fours, I'm concerned, can you hype this thing and give it a nudge? Right, especially with the holidays coming up? Or it's a 4142? We got two big plans. So those are threes get hyping something to keep it above a four and a half star capture a surge in demand for product launch? Yeah,

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  26:54

a lot of ways to slice and dice it. That's awesome. And then I guess for the final question is how long on average does it take to get the cash flowing?

 

Tim Wilson  27:03

So our programs we find for us, you guys may do it a different way. But for us, we find, you know, roughly eight weeks two months is the right amount of time to run the program. And you start to really notice result that you can see results kind of like right away, but you start to really notice the results, right around weeks, three, four or five, again, depending on if you're an infant aspirator or if you're, you know, headphones. But right around that. So call up call it four weeks, I guess. Awesome.

 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  27:34

Well, we are right at time, Tim, thank you so much. This is fantastic information. We definitely encourage a follow up conversation with the ProductWind team and we'd love to have a conversation with you as well. Always feel free to reach out and email me at Tiffany@bwgconnect.com. And with that. I hope everybody has a fantastic remainder of the week. Have a great weekend. Take care of yourself and somebody else if you can hook me up Take care. Bye all

 

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BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
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