Step into the fast-paced world of ‘Real Marketing Real Fast’ with me, Doug Morneau. Each episode is a power-packed journey through the twists and turns of digital marketing and website acquisition. Expect unfiltered insights, expert interviews, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. This isn’t just another marketing podcast; it’s your front-row seat to the strategies shaping the digital landscape.


Tips on understanding influencer marketing with Rev Ciancio

  • I used to write one of the world’s top three hamburger blogs and now I run four food Instagram accounts
  • If you engage with an influencer or share something on their Instagram account or their YouTube page about your service or product there’s no ad blocker for that.
  • I think the first thing that you really need to think about if you’re going to put together an influencer marketing program is what’s your goal?
  • Where does influencer marketing fit and when is the right time to do it?

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I think the first thing that you really need to think about if you’re going to put together an influencer marketing program is what’s your goal?

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Doug: Well, welcome back, this is another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. So today we’ve got a really exciting episode lined up for you, but it does come with a warning. You must have eaten shortly before this episode or you’re going to be very hungry when we’re done. My guest today is David, or they call him Rev Ciancio. He is a digital marketing expert, but he is also a food blogger and a food influencer on social media in New York City. So we’re going to talk a little bit about food, the hamburgers, bacon, but most importantly we’re going to talk about influencer marketing. What is it? How does it work? How do you get started? What does it cost, and is it a fit for your business?

Now, in terms of Rev’s credentials, he serves as a director and an industry insight for a company called Yext where he works to ensure customer success as they deploy the Yext knowledge engine on behalf of their businesses. In his over 20-year career, he has managed business development, digital marketing, social media strategies for a wide variety of entertainment and hospitality companies. When he’s not preaching the gospel of digital knowledge management, you can find this expert burger taster delivering and discussing virtues of what makes a truly great hamburger on his Instagram account @RevCiancio and hospitality and marketing tips on his blog. Without further ado, now that we’re all suitably hungry and interested in influencing our marketplace. So I’m super excited to be talking to you today. Welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast.

Rev Ciancio: Doug, thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here and talk with you today.

Doug: Well, I don’t know what I was most excited about when I was looking at your bio and your background. Obviously looking from a business perspective what you do and your experience in business, in small business and with agencies and influencer and know I discovered this picture of you holding a burger with a big piece of bacon out of it and that led me to your Instagram account and I immediately got hungry. So do you want to share a little bit about your background and how you tie all those things together?

Rev Ciancio: Sure. Well, I’m going to say this to you and then to also any of your listeners who end up going to look at my Instagram account. I do not apologize for making you hungry. I clearly like food. I will talk about it a whole lot today during our interview. I think that food is something we can all relate to and actually, it’s a really good way to sorta frame up marketing as can you talk about it through the means of food? Because we all eat every day and we appreciate food. But yeah, I started writing food blogs in 2004, 2005 just as a [inaudible 00:02:33] something on the side, something to scratch a creative itch I had.

And over time it sort of developed. I used to write one of the world’s top three hamburger blogs and now I run four food Instagram accounts that are based in New York City and I’m sort of known as a food influencer here in New York City. The difference between my account, which is just my screen name Rev Ciancio and anybody else’s account who also likes to share gratuitous, cheesy, greasy dripping comfort foods, is that typically I will actually write in the text not just, “Oh my God, you got to get this pizza. Check out Joe’s Pizza shop blah blah blah.”

I will actually have hospitality and local marketing and reputation management marketing tips. So if you’re looking for that type of advice and you’re looking for some tips to improve your marketing you can follow my account and see not only handfuls of cheeseburgers but also ways to increase your reputation management.

Doug: Well, there you go. We can maybe have that discussion over those juicy-looking fries you’ve got in your Instagram account with cheese and bacon.

Rev Ciancio: I do like French fries.

Doug: There you go. So let’s dive into the marketing side. So you said and when we talked a little bit before we got on the air here that you do a lot of work in local search and in influencer marketing. In influencer, there seems to be a lot of heat and light on that space. So I’d like to kind of dive into that. And for our listeners that aren’t familiar with it, let you kind of walk them through a bit of the process.

Rev Ciancio: So specifically influence of marketing?

Doug: That’s a good place to start.

Rev Ciancio: Okay. Cool. I like to start with the definition. Some people don’t necessarily quite understand what the specialized version of word of mouth marketing is. I just gave you a clue. I like to define influencer marketing as a form of promotion where an entity like a business or an agency or a brand partners with an outspoken market leader who has curated their own audience and you’re doing that basically to augment your brand’s message or product or services. Some modern marketers see it as a form of growth hacking where you would leverage these market leaders to allow your brand to grow through awareness exponentially faster than you might through traditional advertising or paid media.

But one of the points I like to throw out there is I mean, you can Google I don’t know the latest stat is, but I read something the other day like 40% of browsers out there have ad blockers on them. Well, if you spend all that money on a Facebook ad or you’re doing PPC or whatever it is, banner ads and nobody sees it, well what was the point of that? If you, on the other hand, engage with an influencer or share something on their Instagram account or their YouTube page about your service or product, there’s no ad blocker for that. It’s a channel. People want to see it and so it’s a way to get around that and it’s a way to have somebody who can believe or augment the awareness of your product in a really genuine way.  

Doug: Well, and I think the other thing that I’m seeing for my site change is I’m looking at the heightened awareness around Facebook, wanting to make sure that everybody feels good so you put a picture up of somebody that is too thin or not too thin and they say it may offend you so they ban your ad. And then you look at regulations around cryptocurrency and CBD and medical marijuana and even now the drug and alcohol treatment centers are now under scrutiny that they can’t run ads until they’re approved by Google as having successful outcomes. So you can’t even buy an ad if you really wanted to in that space.

Rev Ciancio: Yeah. There’s a lot of headaches.

Doug: So we move over to influencer marketing. We find someone like you that’s got 100 million people following you, looking for the next place to go eat and you say, “Hey, go eat here.” And they blow the doors off.

Rev Ciancio: Yeah, that’s the expected result. Not always the case. But yeah, basically you have a brand or a product or a service that you want to get exposure to other people who might be interested in that and you partner with one of these market leaders who’s already built an audience that trust their opinion on things.

Doug: So how do you get started? In the days of technology and 100 shiny new objects. This is one more thing to add to your marketing arsenal to probably a team that doesn’t have enough time or doesn’t have enough budget anyhow. So what’s a good way to start and get a test and see if this is a good fit for your company or your brand?

Rev Ciancio: Sure. That’s a great question. Let’s talk about how to start. And then I want to actually work backward from there, is how do you get to the start. I think the first thing that you really need to think about if you’re going to put together an influencer marketing program is what’s your goal? You could say that about any marketing campaign, but this is really kind of a newer thing and nobody’s not quite sure how to measure it or what am I looking for? But all the other questions like What’s my budget, what’s the right type of influencer, how long should I do this for, how do I measure it? All of those questions can be led or you can be led to how to answer them is if you have a goal. Why are you doing influencer marketing? What’s important about this? Some examples of goals are, and this is my favorite one is it’s a part of a campaign. It’s just one piece of what you’re doing. You could be looking for earned media coverage received on the backend.

Did they click on my page and then to your page? Did it drive traffic to your website? Did you gain followers? What was their actual sales revenue generation? What’s the number of online brand mentions that you got from it? What’s the number of times the content was shared? What’s the sentiment? What are their lead referrals? There are other things. So if you know what your goal is, it’s all the rest of the questions about influencer marketing will be answered. And I think where it’s important when you’re trying to figure out what’s a goal is, how do you get to this. When is it right to do influencer marketing? Is that a-okay topic to go down now?

Doug: Yeah I mean that make that makes sense I mean, I’m assuming they’re a lot of people who say, my goal is to sell stuff or build a list. But yeah, next question is how do you get there?

Rev Ciancio: Right so I would tell somebody if you’re looking at your marketing stack, where does influencer marketing fit and when is the right time to do it? Well, look my primary function in life is to help businesses with their digital mileage management. So I would tell you that the very first thing you need to do in marketing is making sure that your brand’s information is correct everywhere online. And that’s everything from your name address phone number hours of operation to your products, your services, what credit cards you take. If you are a healthcare provider, what insurance you take, all that kind of stuff.

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I think the first thing that you really need to think about if you’re going to put together an influencer marketing program is what’s your goal?

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Because here’s the deal if you don’t have your information correct everywhere and you’re not managing your reputation management, you’re not replying to reviews or responding to customers who are talking about your business. Those are essential core pieces of marketing, that’s like table stakes. Here’s the thing. Let’s use food example, you’re a restaurant chain and you’re launching a limited time offer for the summer and you’re pairing with a bunch of influencers in three or four major cities, you’re a small chain whatever and you bring them in and they take pictures of your food and they share. You’ve got this new, I don’t know it’s a triple ice cream sandwich covered in know fruity pebbles deep fried and served with a firecracker in it. Right?

Doug: Yeah. Yeah.

Rev Ciancio: That’s going to look awesome at Instagram, that’s going to get a lot of engagement. It’s going to get a lot of likes and a lot of talking and whatever, the YouTube is going to get shared. What happens if I as a consumer see that triple ice cream sandwich with a firecracker in it and I hop over to my favorite search engine or even a third party review site like Yelp and I Google, triple ice cream sandwich firecracker near me. Or dessert restaurant near me or any sort of keywords that would apply to that campaign and I don’t get your restaurant? Well, it is kind of a wasted effort to spend all that money on influence or marketing in social media, if nobody can then actually find your business. So before anybody ever thinks about influence or marketing you have to manage your digital mileage.

You have to make sure that you can be discovered at the moment that matter for the reasons that people are looking for you, including whatever is going to go into your influencer marketing campaign. Does that make sense?

Doug: Boy that makes a lot of sense. I mean, I’m so happy to see that people are still using Yelp. I started using it so long ago when I traveled. And that’s my travel buddy even in my own city. When we’re in New York I go to the [inaudible 00:10:33] and say, “This is the place I want to go.” And he says, “Well they’re tough to get into.” So that’s your job. I hope them [inaudible 00:10:38]. But you’re right. I mean so the other side of that is, does the information match and can they find you if they search for you on the search engine? And then the next thing is, what are your reviews look? Are you amplifying a problem?

Rev Ciancio: Yeah I mean and you’re right. And look that’s going into influence marketing coming out on the back end. So let’s say, let’s go back to the same example, you’re the rest of the small chain or the large chain and you’re releasing this new limited time offer. Once people actually start coming into your restaurant and trying this new sandwich or this new product you’re offering, they’re going to start to leave reviews or at least you’re going to hope they do. Right?

Doug: Yap.

Rev Ciancio: You can see in real time how do people feel about this thing if you’re monitoring your rings and reviews. Right. So let’s say you have an influencer marketing campaign and we’ll get to why you should have more than one here in a minute. If something goes wrong in that first round and you’re monitoring your reviews and you catch oh hey people did like this the firecracker blew up their mouth and we were being silly now. Or it was too big or they didn’t like the price or the ice cream melted too quickly. If you’re monitoring your reputation, if you actually have the ability to look at how people are talking about this product. You can go back to your influencer marketing campaign and adjust it. You can go back and adjust your product, you see what I’m saying?

Doug: Yeah. That’s perfect, real-time monitoring yes, so you can do at real-time changes. Yep, that makes sense.

Rev Ciancio: So that’s sort of the, how do I get started conversation. But I think really to sort of tie that up as like K manager DKM, make sure people can search you so you don’t have that leaky budget from what you’re going to do with influencer marketing. And then I would always suggest that a business tie influence marketing into a larger campaign, and I used that example of a limited time offer like, if you’re a restaurant launching LTL you’re not going to do influencer marketing, you’re going to update your website. You’re going to update your listing, you’re going to buy some Facebook ads. Maybe you’re going to take out TV ads maybe you’re going to do a press release, maybe you’re going to do … I don’t know what, you’re going to have a launch party or you can do something on Facebook.

Influencer marketing works best when it helps to drive awareness and when it’s part of something bigger. It shouldn’t be the only thing you do. It should be part of a campaign. That way it helps drive awareness and it helps drive people through the consideration funnel.

Doug: I totally agree and my approach is like you said that the influencer marketing, the influencer is as one of the pieces of the puzzle but I don’t want to rely solely on their followers and the people who may have seen that Instagram post go by to respond. So what I want to do is I want to amplify their posts and I want to spend media and send them there to say, “Hey look so-and-so says Pierluigi has got the best steak in New York and if you missed that I’m going to make sure that my ads are going to point to you saying that instead of me saying that.”

Rev Ciancio: Oh yeah, definitely reusing content that an influencer creates as a brand. The advertisement is a great idea for influencer marketing. Now you have to make sure you have that lined up in your agreement with the influencer like, “Hey I’m going to take your content and then use it for advertising.” As long as you’ve done that. That’s a great use.

Doug: Yeah we do that with one or two native ads as well. I mean the native ad, we want to drive traffic and I just had that conversation with a publisher we were running some native ads with, and I was trying to explain how we wanted the tracking on the back end done, and he said, “Well why do you want to do that?” I said, “Because we’re running large Google campaigns sending people to your site.” And said, “Well, why would you do that?” “Well it’s because we’re running a native ad on your site because you have a brand reputation and we don’t really care if they click back to our site, we want them to go to your site and read the article.”

Rev Ciancio: There you go.

Doug: Was super cool. So you do mostly work in the restaurant industry, do you have an example that you can share with our listers of how you took that strategy of kind of clean up your online stuff and then roar the campaign moving forward?

Rev Ciancio: Sure. So I’ll give you a small business example that’s a little easier for people to sort of understand. But a friend of mine his name is Peter. His family owns a chain of restaurants in New York City called Jackson Hole and they’ve owned it for decades and decades and decades. And Aunt some aunts and uncles own one and dads and grandmas own the other, kids own the other whatever. Well, Peter is a third generation family member bought one the flagships from his family and said, “Look I finally want to be in the business.”

Took it over and Jackson Hole is known for one thing, they’re known for burgers. It’s a great late night place. It’s a great afternoon place. They steam clam their burgers they’re delicious. Well Peter calls me and he says Rev, Look I’m managing my DKM people know where we’re located. They know what hours of operation are. I’m checking out my reviews like I’m doing all that.” He’s like, “I realized that the neighborhood that I’m in has a really strong brunch crowd and we don’t draw anybody on the weekends for brunch, I want to draw a brunch crowd.” I said, Okay cool, you have a goal.” Right?

Doug: Yeah.

Rev Ciancio: Draw a brunch crowd. So he was managing his reputation. He knew what his goal was and he said I went and I talked with my chef and we came up with a bunch of really like Jackson Hall style brunch items and they were like peanut butter and jelly pancakes, carrot cake waffles, hamburger Benedict, it’s a really like a slightly over the top fun place. But he said, “Can you help me do some influencer marketing?” And we called about 10, 12 influencers and we got the man and he let them try all the food he brought out cinnamon roll pancakes and dish after dish and he just left the influencers to go at it. Take the pictures how they wanted, do the styling they wanted. And his only caveat was like, “look I need these photos live by X date.” Which is like two weeks in the future.

And he said, “And the only thing I’m asking of you guys is to make sure you tag my brand. Use my hashtag and just say hey, these are being launched at brunch at Jackson Hole.” And what happened from there was kind of incredible. So he didn’t really put restrictions on the photos people could take, he gave them wiggle room to do things their way. Now you’ve seen my Instagram account so you know what it looks like. Mine is not like, hey here’s a single hot wing or a salad. Mine is like just over the top and grabs four orders of pancakes. I stack them on top of each other. He poured the cinnamon sugar all the time and then we added 150 and we added Funfetti and we added whipped cream.

Now that’s not how the pancakes are served in the restaurant and all the other influencers saw this was like, “Oh my god this is like a viral moment.” And I’m making a long story short here sorry, I’m making a short story long. Anyway, all these pictures go up on Instagram of these giant stacks of pancakes and some have frosting rolling down the side, some are candy sprinkled or whatever. But what happened is those photos went up on Instagram and not only were there 10 or 12 influencers there sharing it, but a bunch of repost accounts picked them up. So suddenly within two or three weeks if you’ve been in New York City, every time you turn on Instagram you saw these crazy creepy pancakes. And almost immediately Peter’s phone started to ring, “Hey where can I get those pancakes that I saw on Instagram?”

people were banging down the doors, I don’t wanna give you that impression. But two or three phone calls a week people were saying, “I saw these pancakes with his brunch.” So his goal was to draw attention to brunch. And he let influencers do things the way they wanted to do. And if you go look at some of the posts that some of these influencers put up, they even wrote in there, “Orders do not include sprinkles and four stacks or whatever.” But he kind of let them do their thing. And what actually happened, this is the best part is when people did come in they wanted what they saw in the photo. And Peter would say Okay, but it’s four orders of pancakes it’s not one.” They’re like, “I don’t care.”

Doug: That’s cool.

Rev Ciancio: Not only did he drive awareness people, “Oh you’re doing brunch now.” He had people calling him on the phone and people that actually came in then wanted to order four dishes. So-

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I think the first thing that you really need to think about if you’re going to put together an influencer marketing program is what’s your goal?

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Doug: That’s amazing, that’s so cool.

Rev Ciancio: It didn’t transform his business and he’s not … Open for a new location. But it’s a very simple story. He knew what the market could bear. He had a goal. He knew what he wanted to advertise. There were other forms of marketing he was doing around it as well, he had his income going. He let the influencers do things the way they wanted, they respected his business and they told customers, Hey I did this [inaudible 00:18:48] how they come.” And it all worked out.

Doug: Well for me and maybe it’s just the way that I operate with the people that we partner with, or vendors we use is, I prefer to let them do things their way because if you’re thinking of the social media, I mean if I’m looking at your channel whether it’s Instagram or YouTube you’ve got a certain personality and persona and style. And if I get in there and if I give you too many rules to follow, the post isn’t going to match, it’s is going to be like old Sesame Street thing. One of these things is not like the other which wasn’t the … Belongs, the one that looks like an ad doesn’t belong. And I would assume the engagement will be way down.

Rev Ciancio: Yeah I mean this is a super important thing to consider when you’re putting together an influencer marketing plan, is I say it all the time, plan together. Limit the restrictions, give the influencer creative freedom and give them adequate time to produce something. Right?

Doug: Yeah.

Rev Ciancio: If you’ve done your due diligence and you know who that influencer is, and you understand what kind of content they create and you understand their audience and you respect that that audience is one that will appreciate what you offer as a business. Then let the influencer deliver it to their people in their storytelling method. If you want to dictate how the photos should look or what the content should be or what the talk track is. And basically you need a 100% control over it, just go higher photographer and do some Facebook ads like it’s pointless.

Doug: I agree.

Rev Ciancio: If you want it your way, anyway just go do that. That’s not influencer marketing, that’s buying an ad and I’ve had that happen and it left a bad taste in my mouth for that brand. And what happened is when I push that content live on my own channel it didn’t do that well right?

Doug: Yeah. Not surprising.

Rev Ciancio: And so I think that’s a really bad way to go about influencer marketing, you can’t walk into it and go okay here’s all my ads specs, plan together, let them create the way they want to create it, give them the freedom to do it the way that you want to do. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have some guidelines. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have an agreement. Those are necessary but you got to plan together.

Doug: Yeah, that makes sense. So here’s a quick tip. I don’t know if you’re a fan of The Rock, but he is known for his, what he calls his Epic Cheat Meals.

Rev Ciancio: Oh yeah, those are my favorite days to check him out on Instagram.

Doug: Yap. Okay, so you’re aware of his big pancake stack when you’ve got all the people that are the paleo people going, “Oh you can’t eat all those carbs.” And he [inaudible 00:21:14] like a monster and he’s like, “Yeah, here is my 20 pancakes for the day.”

Rev Ciancio: Yeah but he is eating grilled chicken 14 meals a day for 30 days going into-

Doug: Absolutely it’s perspective. But I mean he’s still there he is, yeah so. Anyhow that’s really cool. So budget wise, give me an idea of a starting point. So we’ve got listeners going to be agreeing, “Okay, this sounds kind of cool. I could get into that and tie that into my existing marketing.” So I guess two things, we need to find people that are fit for our brand and approach them. And then we need to figure out how much money we need to send them.

Rev Ciancio: So that’s a big, big question mark, how do I create a budget for influencer marketing? There’s no real super guide for it. I would tell you to do two things. If you are a business, you know what your marketing budget is. If you have 500 bucks or 500000 you have a budget. Don’t go outside of your budget, try to get something done that’s within your budget, so start with creating your overall budget for the campaign and then figure out how you’re going to divvy up that campaign. Now, here’s a great way to get started on how to figure out a budget for influencer marketing. There is something out there and you’ll have to Google this. It’s called the Influencer Sponsored Post Calculator. I guarantee you Google that, you’re going to get it.

And what you can do is, you can go in and it’s for Instagram and you put an influencer screen name in there and it will tell you the estimated earnings per post that that influencer is getting. So it’ll be within a range of 100 to 200 bucks. And so if that influencer is the type of influencer that you think can augment awareness of your brand, well then you have a general idea of what’s going to cost you to get one post on their Instagram page. So your budget is 10 times that you can do 10 posts or you could work with 10 influencers. That’s a good way to start. Just A, have a budget before you even start to wonder what to spend now and then go look at the calculator and understand people’s value.

There’s a number of other tools out there but that’s a really simple way to get started. And most influences are negotiable. I mean I’m even sure Khloe Kardashian is negotiable, is just going to have a much lower bottom than I would. But again, you’ve got to figure who is your audience, what’s the right influencer to work with and that will help to figure out your budget.

Doug: Okay that’s really cool. So now how do you find these guys? I mean I’m thinking target, target, a target like I want people that are going to enhance my brand but I also need to look at people that have my audience that is attracted to them?

Rev Ciancio: There’s a number of ways to identify influencers and I should back all this up. If you are a brand and you’re thinking about influencer marketing and you kinda don’t know how to do it but you’re really kind of convinced that’s the right thing. Hire an agency, just hire an agency. There are companies out there that do this really really well, they understand all of these points that we’re going through today and more and they can literally just get started. I’m glad you’re listening to the show and it’s important that you understand all of these things because they will help you find the right agency. But this is a really difficult, difficult water to tread. And there’s a lot of egos involved. I would say this is a great education hire an agency.

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I think the first thing that you really need to think about if you’re going to put together an influencer marketing program is what’s your goal?

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Now with that, they will know how to identify those influencers. As long as you know what your brand goal is, or what you want to get. But if you want to go out on your own here’s what you got to do. Start with your own followers. If you’re on Instagram go look at who’s following your account and look at what kind of content they’re sharing. If they have a really nice looking photos or really interesting videos or lots of followers, they are some form influencer. That’s a great place to find somebody that already likes your brand. The other thing you can do on Instagram is you can go look at your geolocation so you log in to your Instagram find a post that’s tagged to your business, click the geo and see who’s posting to your geolocation.

Maybe you already have influencers coming by or talking about you. Reach out to them, that is the best place to start because these people have already touched your brand, they’ve already been involved. It’s going to be easier to convince them to be a part of it and they might also be cheaper. That’s a good place to start. Another good place to go is your competitors. So same thing. Find a business that does something like what you do or may have a similar audience. Go look at who’s posting about them, who are tagging their locations. Could be a great way to find an influencer that could be interested in your brand.

Another good way is search, you can just search, LA blog influencers. That’s actually a thing. I Googled it the other day I found 6400 LA blogs. So go to search see what you can find. Hashtags are a great way, #LAblog. Go look up what you think may or may not be obvious. There’s a great way. And lastly, there’s a ton of really great third-party tools like BuzzSumo, Clear and Ninja Outreach that can also help you identify influencers. So there are some good ways to get started.

Doug: Excellent that’s great advice. So do you a minute to answer a couple more question around agency? You brought up the agency, hire an agency and I know that you’ve got experience and I had talked to one of your partners in the office a few weeks ago as well. Do you have some high-level tips of how to identify how to ask the right questions if you’re gonna go with this route say, “Hey sounds good, I’ll find an influencer agency, what do we do ask them?”

Rev Ciancio: That’s a great question. So if you are looking to hire an agency just for influence or marketing and they do exist, again I would make sure the rest of your marketing stack is clear, you’re managing a DKM, you’re responding [inaudible 00:26:42] reviews, all the good customer service. If you’re not doing those things, find an agency that does all of it. Find an agency that does DKIM, rep management, Facebook ads, and influencer marketing. So that way you get to that campaign level, you can work with them and have influencer marketing be part of your campaign. If you already are taking care of those things either internally or you have an agency and you want to add influencer on its own, just Google influencer agencies and understand what it is you’re looking for. Do you want to be able to meet with them in person? Well, then you’re going to want to need … You’re going to have to do influencer marketing agency near me.

If meeting with them in person is not important then that doesn’t matter. So you just look for a marketing agency and then I would also include maybe what is your niche or genre. So again if you’re a lawyer or you’re a home contractor or whatever it is, I would search for an agency that specializes in that. The first thing you’re going to ask them is, “Hey can you send me some examples of campaigns that will be relevant to my goal.” Not my business, my goal, again, if you’re a restaurant and you work with an agency that has never worked with the restaurants. But they understand how to get people to talk about something that gets way to your goal and they have a connection to the right influencer. Then it doesn’t matter if they’ve worked with a business like yours, it’s that they understand your goal and they know how to get there.

So make sure you give them your goal, ask them for examples, ask them for, what are some ways or some campaign ideas that we’re putting behind that? You definitely want to ask them for a budget. Most agencies are looking not to do one and done. They typically want a contract. To find out what their contract terms are and then I would also ask them, “Hey how would you define a successful influencer marketing campaign?” And if their only answer is, “Well, we based that on your goals.” Don’t buy it. Ask them to say, “Hey look, maybe I don’t know the right answer. Here’s my goal. How would you help me get to that goal? What is the right type of influencer marketing campaign?” Goes back to what I at the beginning. Have a goal.

Doug: Yeah I think that’s really good advice. And so listeners, what we’re talking about here is that, that influencing company or the agency doesn’t have to work in your industry. They have to have worked with at the same set of goals that you want to meet. Often I’ll go to people that don’t work in the same industry that I’m looking out for clients because I don’t want to take the bad habits [inaudible 00:29:04] developed over the years. So I’m looking for a fresh set of eyes, people who understand how to get to the goal but don’t necessarily have experience in that particular industry.

Rev Ciancio: It’s a great point you made, I was talking to somebody that works for a yogurt brand the other day. And so all of their influencer marketing campaigns were around food. So they were going to food bloggers and recipe writers and home cooks and yadda yadda. And they just kept fishing off that pier and one day they kind of woke up and said, “Well you know who else eats yogurt? People who like spin classes.” And so they went in and did like a whole spin class and started going down to exercise and beauty. And they realized that there were all these tangential conversations happening out there that somebody who likes yoga also likes.

And their agency he was able to then just take their product and speak to a different audience in a very similar tone and so to back up what you were just saying, then that there’s a great example. Yeah absolutely. I mean, I’m a yoga guy every night before bed to scoop a protein [inaudible 00:30:02] and yoga. So I want a Greek yogurt to metabolize the protein slower. I get up in the morning and get my butt kicked in the gym but I don’t normally eat it as a pleasure meal like, oh want to have a big bowl of yogurt, flavored yogurt. I want the plain Greek stuff with the protein powder and that’s it. You’re right to an opportunity to niche down as what you’re saying and target at another audience.

Doug: Sure. That’s really cool. So two questions for you. This is the tough one that stumps everybody so, I’ll see how you make out, who’s one I absolutely have to have on my podcast?

Rev Ciancio: Oh man, that is a stumper, who is one guest you absolutely need to have on your podcast? Well, let me ask you this Doug, what is your goal for this podcast?

Doug: My goal is to reach people in the digital marking space and bring them new tools opportunities and technologies to expand their thinking so they can grow their business.

Rev Ciancio: Love it. Have you spoken with John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing?

Doug: I have not.

Rev Ciancio: I would put John on your radar list. John is a really smart marketer, he has his own podcast as well but he understands marketing from a local SEO to an agency, to social. He really understands sort of like the grassroots of marketing that people often forget about.

Doug: I really like him. I heard him speak at an event in London last year and he’s a great speaker and delivers awesome content.

Rev Ciancio: And I’m a huge fan.

Doug: So the important stuff. So where can people hunt you down, and if they want to connect with you?

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[just click to tweet]


I think the first thing that you really need to think about if you’re going to put together an influencer marketing program is what’s your goal?

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"Innovation isn't just thinking outside the box; it's about setting the box on fire and building something extraordinary from the ashes."

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