#50 Alexis Bourgeois – Behind the Scenes Of Influencer Marketing From Global Mass Media Company to Sugatan

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Alexis is an influencer marketing manager working at Sugatan. Until recently though, she has been working extensively in the New York media space, mostly on the publishing side. 

More specifically, she was working at Condé Nast – the publisher of Vogue, New Yorker, Glamour, and other similar publications. There, she was on the marketing team, working with centralizing outreach and influencers. 

In this podcast, she peels back the curtain on the industry-standard best-practices she learned working on influencer marketing for global mass companies and her experience adjusting to Sugatan.

First thing Deividas wants to know – How does it differ?

How does the environment differ working at huge corporations – compared to Sugatan?

It’s like a different world, she explains.

There are specific teams working on everything. With over 3,000 employees, it’s hard to have a good read of what everybody’s doing. 

Knowledge sharing becomes difficult too.

But on the bright side, when you’re coming from an organization like that (especially in the influencer marketing space), because you already have clout established with known brands – you’ll have a much easier time getting celebrities and other big-name partnerships.

Best thing to take away from companies like that? Build relationships while you’re working at a big publisher that you can carry with you through your career. 

It’s always easier to do outreach when you can say you’re working at Vogue…

There are pros and cons, explains Alexis.

As for the working environment – different people succeed in different environments. Working at large corporations, you stay in your lane with your specific executables.

With a smaller company, there’s more cross-functional cooperation.

If you have an idea you want to execute in a smaller company (like Sugatan), you can easily contact the Facebook team or the video team to work on it. Compared to a bigger company, where the idea has to go through a few managers up first.

Working with influencer marketing, Alexis says that the 2 main things most people want to see are authenticity and video content.

Gone are the days of one-off partnerships and throwing money at the wall to see what sticks. 

You need to establish proper, long-term partnerships to give any brand you’re working with actual authenticity. To capitalize on the influencer’s audience, you need to have a real relationship with them. 

It’s not just a transaction. 

They need to live and breathe the product and be an extension of your brand.

Obviously, you need influencers who have a real relationship with their audience and can influence them.

Alexis explains there are 2 types of influencer outreach methods:

  • You can cast a deep net – To reach people in a deep, meaningful way to influence them.
  • You can cast a wide net – To reach as many people as possible and hope some bite.

She tries to do the former.

The first thing she does is try to get the influencer to use the product beforehand. Especially, if it’s a celebrity. She’ll get real feedback and thoughts from the influencer and then think about the video content.

To identify influencers that work well, Alexis recommends using an influencer marketing platform to evaluate their audience.

Check out our influencer marketing process article to see how we generated $350k+/mo and what platforms we recommend.

She looks at it like a pyramid:

You need a few celebrities at the top of your pyramid to introduce your brand to new audiences. 

Someone from 500K-2M followers with a wide net that’s still specific enough.

The bulk of it though, still needs to be nano, micro, and macro-influencers.

Micro-influencers are harder to scale but they almost always have a better ROI because of their relationship with their audience.

To make their influencer marketing efforts more scalable, Alexis gave the team she’s working with each a tier of influencer to go after. This way, they have a more structured, pyramid-like approach with their outreach.

Most larger companies look at EMV – earned media value.

They assign a dollar amount to engagements, reach, comments, shares, and so on, based historically on what they have. 

Because someone might look at a sponsored post and buy the product a week later, it can be hard to track everything. So, the industry-standard for influencer marketing and what most larger companies is based on earned media value. 

There aren’t always links involved, so tracking everything can be difficult.

When creating user-generated content with celebrities, there are contracts involved down to the details – e.g. recording a video for a face cream with no make-up to show something new that their audience hasn’t seen before.

Next, Deividas and Alexis explore different influencer marketing channels.

Alexis says Instagram is very popular nowadays, but there’s also huge, evergreen value in YouTube. The content you create on Youtube can live forever and can still give you traffic from videos created 4-5+ months ago. This is just not the case on Instagram.

TikTok will be interesting to pay close attention to in 2021. It’s not particularly brand-safe, there’s a lot of provocative content on it, and it’s very young. With this combination in mind, it can be harder for brands to get involved in a meaningful way.

Finally, Deividas wants to know – if Alexis had to give a TED talk on a topic outside her main area of expertise, what would it be?

Right now – immigrating and traveling (check out her Instagram below!).

On that note, Deividas recommends that if you want new ideas as a marketer or business owner, you should travel and speak to lots of new people

     Here’s what we cover during episode #50:

  • How Alexis got hired in Sugatan without Deividas even reading her CV
  • How Alexis went from working with Condé Nast, to traveling for a summer, and how she ended up at Sugatan 
  • Why building relationships is one of the biggest and most important things you can do working in influencer marketing (or marketing in general)
  • The biggest contrast and takeaways when working at huge corporations compared to smaller agencies
  • Here’s why smaller companies are so much more nimble compared to corporations
  • 2 Main things most people want to see from influencer marketing 
  • Why the consumer has gotten more educated and what this means for influencer marketing
  • How Deividas explains the relationship between the influencer and their audience, under the scope of the Sugatan effect, and why people love to hear recommendations from  people they trust
  • Alexis’ approach to influencer marketing and why she always prefers to cast a deep net instead of a wide one
  • Why Alexis recommends using influencer marketing platforms to evaluate influencers’ audiences
  • If influencer marketing is like a pyramid, here’s who your roster of influencers should consist of starting from the top (celebrities) all the way down to nano, macro, and micro-influencers
  • Why micro-influencers almost always have a better ROI for brands
  • A pyramid-like approach to influencer marketing, here’s what Alexis did differently so that her team would have a more structured approach to outreach and everyone know what they were doing
  • Keep trying to evolve – what personality traits Alexis thinks are important to grow
  • Alexis peels back the curtain on the industry-standard influencer marketing practices and why they look at earned media value
  • People don’t convert at first sight and there aren’t always links involved, here’s what Alexis recommends you should so that you can have a clear picture of tracking your variables and metrics
  • Here’s what’s different in influencer marketing once you’re past the $30M hurdle and when you should start focusing on branding
  • Contracts and user-generated content 
  • Here’s why YouTube as an influencer marketing channel is so underrated, compared to Instagram and other channels
  • Why TikTok is the wild west of social media and brands should pay close attention to it in 2021
  • The buying power just isn’t there yet, but the CPMs are much cheaper compared to Facebook. Here’s why you don’t have to spend a lot to gain quick traffic (from TikTok)
  • If Alexis had to give a TED talk – here’s what she’d choose
  • Why Deividas recommends traveling and speaking with new people if you want to generate new ideas as a marketer or business owner

Follow Alexis:

Find Deividas:

Links mentioned in the episode:

Condé Nast

eCommerce Growth Hacks | Facebook Ads, Creatives, Email & More | by Sugatan

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