The eCommerce Marketing Podcast walks you through everything that goes into ecommerce marketing — from inbound marketing to paid advertising to conversions. Learn the strategies top marketing experts use to grow their businesses.
Marketing Strategies Revealed in this Episode:
Welcome back everyone to the e-commerce marketing podcast. I am your host Arlen Robinson and today. We have a very special guest yogin Patel yogin Patel is the founder of an influencer marketing agency called YP social. And he works with large mobile games some with over 100 million downloads the organ is only 21 years old and has created this company as an undergrad in college YP social has created campaigns with some of the largest female YouTube influencers in the beauty and DYI space including Alisha Marie and Niki and Gabi one particular campaign his agency ran did over 80 thousand downloads for a mobile game in less than six days.
Having the game jump up 100 spots to number 56 in the top charts across all apps on iOS. Please welcome yogin Patel to the e-commerce marketing podcast. Thanks for joining us today yoga, and how is everything everything’s good man. Thanks for having me on yeah, not a problem with thank you for joining us well.
You know you have a pretty impressive. Oh there. You know. I was just thinking that myself out of all of the podcasts that we’ve done. I think you may be about the youngest. Guess that we’ve had so wow I want you kind of get in honor. Yeah, probably why don’t you tell me a little bit about how you got started with your company?
You know in college, and you know kind of what spawned it, and you know a little bit about your background. Yeah, sure so you know I was about a sophomore when I first got started into the whole social media Realm. I’ve been doing entrepreneurial stuff since I was 16 years old from just doing like you know regular sales to you know website sales just stuff like that, and then you know I met a Founder uh back in San Francisco.
He was only about 20 years old at the time, and he was working for an ad agency and basically he was about to leave that at agency, and this was right about the time when Snapchat. Just got launched not Snapchat. Just got Lon. Snapchat geofilters had just got launched basically what you know Snapchat geofilters are there an overlay over a certain location, which you can see on your phone, and then you could use your you know your Brand’s logo or some type of call to action whenever you’re around a certain geographic location so basically.
But if you’re in a hotel like a Hilton hotel you might open up your snapshot, and you might see like you know a couple of Hilton uh geofilters okay, and so you know it was popular with like nightclubs obviously people are pulling out their phones Snapchatting concerts. You know just like things like that.
Snapchats main demographic was about you know 16 to like 44. You know basically all Millennials right and we know we saw this as an opportunity because it just came out and very few people had even heard about it or knew about it, but they they did love geofilters because it wasn’t open to the public and so what we did was once we found out that it released to the public you know me and my partner basically went in and.
Started uh just searching for like you know nightclubs radio shows celebrities DJs and just start hitting them up and saying hey, you know we can create a nice geofilter for you for all your tour dates or for your entire radio show for you know your Venue your nightclub excetera and. It was great.
You know we saw a lot of traction. We built it nice monthly reoccurring business, but we were like all right. Well. This is great. How do we take this to the next level and so we are thinking you know how do we get maybe like sponsors to like you know like basically sponsor the geofilter and we put it over an entire location like a you know a huge concert venue that has like.
You know 10,000 people come or whatever so we had a few sponsors originally, but they weren’t really willing to pay too much. Maybe a couple hundred dollars here and there, but we found this one client that we just reached out to and. Basically they were a mobile game. You know out you know International countries, and they they’re pretty big company and they you know were like here.
We’ll give you a couple thousand dollars. We want you to go from out our game. You know put the logo on it, and then put it on like a huge geofence over one of the largest concerts in Los Angeles, okay, and so uh we did that and within 24 hours we had almost 1.5 million impressions. Oh um. And it was great you know like we had celebrities like Ariana Grande using the filter.
You know Chris Brown’s girlfriend. Just like several different celebrities and really this is awesome right, but the thing that the thing that really disappointed us was the ROI was really low okay, and we’re like okay. Well. You know we can go back to the app company and tell them you guys got 1 million impressions and celebrities were using it.
And they’re happy about that yeah, but they’re like you know there’s zero. You know we can’t justify us spending thousands of dollars into this to continue our efforts right and then that’s where you know brain started turning, and we’re like okay. Well what if we had you know direct access to these celebrities to use their influence to Market this app or product.
And then once we started thinking like that. You know we started reaching out to a couple influencers like large YouTubers. I don’t know if you’ve heard of like Fouseytube. You know just as an example and reached out to him okay, and he actually just boarded his email to his agent luckily and then from there.
You know we got in contact with some of the largest Hollywood talent agencies from CA 2 WM. Okay. These are agencies that are representing like Talent. Jennifer Aniston you know Brad Pitt any major Hollywood actor you can think of and so we basically had a huge portfolio of celebrities, and we knew they were rates we knew what they would do they what type of products they’re interested in yeah, and then from there we had already built up a client base.
And you know we started talking to our clients about different marketing strategies. We’ve been seeing if they would be willing to run a couple tests here and there you know we started running these tests and the results seemed really promising and one of our first campaign. You know drove the app all the way to the top charts the app was like around 53 or 54 across all apps wow so and so yeah, and then kind of from there.
We just been you know working with a lot of tech products mainly mobile games and mobile apps, and so yeah, okay, yeah, that’s that’s it for you press event the growth that has that we’ve seen you know with Snapchat. It’s I mean you know. It’s crazy. It’s. A new it’s really kind of a new world here with the way that you know like you said Millennials engage.
You know through mobile devices, and so I I what I see now and from talk to a lot of other businesses that are have been around for a while is that you know? They’re they’re having to rethink their entire marketing strategy. Especially if you know they’re complete consumer based businesses, and they have a younger demographic they you know they’ve got the basically you have to keep up, or you will get left.
Behind and so you know most of the listeners to the podcast are small business owners business owners that have launched eCommerce websites, and you know everybody hears about you know influencers influencers this influencers that celebrities. How would you actually Define influencer marketing? I mean, what is what exactly is influencer marketing for say.
Yeah, sure so influencer marketing is basically just another type of marketing where you’re using you know someone’s audience to Market your product. You know it could be anyone. You know it could be someone as small as you know your friend who has like a couple hundred people on Snapchat, or his YouTube channel to someone as big as like someone that has like 5 million subscribers or 5 million followers right you’re basically using their audience and using their influence.
To promote your product, you know so whether that’s you know sending them your own product for free and then them just doing a review on it, or just showing that to actually paying them, so there’s different types of influencer marketing product placements or advertising strategies that you can do yeah, gotcha yeah, that makes sense, and I like the way you broke it down because I think a lot of people these days when they when you say influencer marketing a lot of businesses.
Shy away from that because I think when. You hear influencer you immediately think of celebrity and a lot of the businesses that are you may just be getting going or you know fairly smaller like oh, you know I can’t approach a celebrity there. You know. I’m that’s way out of my league, but the way you broke it down.
It really makes sense. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an influence is really not necessarily. Just a celebrity of course. They’re in that influence around, but a an influencer really could just be you know their friend on YouTube that just happens to have you know. Tens of thousands of subscribers and and gets lots of views you know he’s not a celebrity, but you know maybe he does online cooking videos or whatever.
It is and so yeah, that’s an influencer. You know so it really in the term really does cover the gamut from you know kind of a small seemingly unknown person to all the way up to uh celebrity and the Really the main common denominator, there is Their audience, and that’s what a business wants to tap into and so kind of brings.
My next question in that is with a small business does it make sense you know for a small new e-commerce business to do influencer marketing. Let’s say they are start up like we are not at OSI affiliate software. We deal with a lot of startup companies and a lot of our listeners are just getting started does it make sense for them to even think about influencer marketing.
What is what your take on it. I would say. Yeah, mainly because well. I mean it depends right so if you’re generating some type of sales, and you have some type of profit or budget. I would definitely try to run a few tests with influencer marketing on just because they’re they proven so successful for other e-commerce businesses.
You know really it also depends on. The type of product you have certain products are going to really work well with consumer consumers and especially with a lot of like social media influencers a lot of their target base is just you know regular people that are just looking for everyday products so really depends on the type of product you have and if you have some.
Budget to even test with I mean I’ve seen a lot of e-commerce businesses blow up due to using influencer marketing you know whether that’s like something as simple as like a type of Shaker for you know protein shakes right you know you seeing all these like girls promote these teas on Instagram, you know like skinny bunny.
Yeah, you know to just like random stuff, you know and these brands have blown up. They don’t really spend much marketing. Swear, They Don’t Really spend Facebook ads or YouTube ads they just find you know thousands of influencers to promote their products every year yeah, and that’s that keeps them alive.
Yeah, yeah, definitely, and so yeah, I think you really hit the nail on the head when you said as far as creating a task to small task just to see if it makes sense because you know like with anything and that’s what I tell a lot of the businesses that we deal with as far as marketing is concerned a lot of it is testing and trial and error.
And and you know making you know because there’s only one way to really determine if it’s going to be a good strategy for you is to try it out test a small set and you know see how successful. It is and so you know your Outreach efforts could be like you said if you have a consumer-based product where you think dealing with an influencer makes sense, then you know do a fair a small amount of Outreach.
You know, maybe set a schedule where you’re going to be reaching out to a certain demographic. Of individuals that fit your criteria for influencers, you know reach out to them several ways you know via Instagram via cold emails vehicle however you have to do it, but you know set a small criteria and be consistent with it, and then just you know measure results if you’re able to get some of these influencers.
You know see what your your Roi is on it, and and if it’s really going to make sense for you to continue down that you know to down that path and so what are some of the best. I missed a couple just now. What do you think are some of the best ways that a business can can find and approach influencers?
You know if you’re just a a new business just coming out of nowhere. You know. What do you think is the best way to try to get in touch with influence? Yes, but yeah, so if you’re a new business you probably don’t have much of a marketing budget, so it doesn’t really make sense for you to go through an agency or anything like that.
I would recommend you look into platforms like bit isn’t influencer marketing platform that Google actually bought okay, so you know directly related with YouTube and a lot of influencers are on there. Some extremely small to you know some that are incredibly large right and what you do is basically create your own campaign on there.
You know so if you are selling. Let’s say coffee mugs. You know you say influencers for coffee mugs as the campaign title you set your demographics as you know male female ages 25 to 55 or whatever and then which category you want them to be from and you set you know your budget. You know. It’s $100 to $10,000.
You create that campaign, and then you’ll start noticing a lot of proposals come in from different influencers, and you can kind of just get through all of them, and you know choose which ones you want to work with Okay some of these platforms obviously charge Hefty commissions right percentages.
You know like famebit. I think charges about 20%. There’s a couple other ones like Grapevine logic. They charge. I think a monthly fee plus a small. Signage, so you know you just have to like go through a couple of these platforms, and I think that would be like the easiest and fastest way without you doing too much research right, but if you want to go really like bootstrap.
I would just you know start hopping on YouTube Instagram. You know and start like just start with one influencer that you know that would be in your industry, and then just kind of. See who they’re following or who follows them and just go through their lists and just kind of like you know kind of manually just go through each influencer and see if they fit your target demo and then usually they have their email available.
So use that email send them a cold email. I really catchy headline or something that grabs your attention and just ask them. You know whether hey man. Can I send you some free product in our company really loves what you’re doing speed genuine and. You know if that doesn’t work, then you know tell them.
Hey we have a small budget to work with really would love to work with you right that makes sense because I think a lot of the businesses that are that are listening. You know our are in the category where you know they budget is limited, and so the bootstrap method is probably going to be the best route those other solutions that you mentioned are.
Are pretty powerful though to I mean, I know you do have to pay a commission like you said for the famebit and some of the other ones, but as far as kind of accelerating your Outreach and contact to these influences. That would be that would definitely be the way to go because you know they’re dealing with a pool of you know kind of ready and willing influences that are just looking for the right opportunities, so you know you do have to just kind of way things out, and it really just so it’s going to come down to what stage you are in the business and what your budget is and what makes uh?
For you, so it’s really just you know on an individual individual basis, but yeah, it’s really incredible these days that there’s so many software as a service solution SAS solutions that you can really get just about anything done. You know by just paying a monthly fee, and yeah, it’s really a different world or something.
We got started when we were a web application development kind of pre SAS Solutions. You know where you have to actually buy software. Installed on a server and do that whole deal, so it’s it’s a lot different. You know. There’s really the world is really out there for you for the taking. You just have to be yeah, you know these companies are pretty much in every industry yeah, and they’re really making the world a lot better in terms of efficiency.
Yeah, definitely. I just said I kind of wish these Solutions were around we got started. I think we would be a different company, but we learned a lot. You know we learned a lot in as a company now. We were kind of in at the ground level. So we’ve uh. I’m a long way now. You know at the beginning when you talked about your background and what you guys have done with Snapchat.
You know and Instagram one of the things that I’ve I’m always wondering is is advertising through Snapchat and Instagram is really just only appropriate for certain businesses, you know, and if so how exactly does a business really create an ad plan for you know like Snapchat. Yeah sure so for the most part.
I would say. Snapchat has one of those things where if you have a product that’s geared towards Millennials, then you’re in the clear. I mean so Snapchat has different ad products you have the geofilter. You know where you can brand your logo, or you have the snap? Or like the video ads and so I would say for like geofilters.
You know if you just want to Market your product, and you know use Impressions and show people like if they’re in your like so like let’s say if you have like a restaurant if you have a geofilter. You know like families are going to come in with their kids, or you know anything like that. Probably gonna Snapchat your food if it’s anything worth taking a photo of right you know, and if there’s a geofilter, then that’s great because then you know it’ll go up to their story and all their friends will see it, and they’ll be like.
Oh wow you’re at you know this Mexican restaurant or Italian restaurant same thing with hotels. You know if you have something great. You know take photo of in your lobby or or whatever. You know you might want to have a geofilter there just to capture. A percentage of an audience right for SNAP as I would say if you have you know any type of consumer based product that Millennials would be attracted to I would go for it anyting anything that you’re targeting a little above like 45, maybe maybe not such a great place just because Snapchats audience is just so like tailored to the Millennials.
You know so I mean I’ve seen people like promote info products like. So you’ve heard of Tai Lopez he’s always promoting his stuff, but you know his audience is these college kids right now that are trying to buy into these marketing things and so it really yeah, so like I said, you know mainly I would say Millennials Instagram has a little bit of a bigger audience in terms of age, so I mean you could like I said test it out.
It’s not it’s probably not going to be anything older than 50 or 55 say so yeah. I would just say like if your product if you think your product is geared towards the Millennials test them out. You know spend maybe like five hundred dollars on each platform and see if you know what type of traction you’re getting yeah, but like I said with geofilters.
You can pretty much use that only getting impression, so it’s just you know increasing your brand overall. So and I don’t think Instagram has anything like that so far so you can only run Instagram video ads or program photo ads yeah, so yeah, that makes sense yet like you said it looks like the really kind of defining criteria is you know if your audience is a millennial audience if you lied segment is Millennials, then it’s you know it’s really worth.
You kind of looking into as far as Snapchat and then possibly Instagram as well, so that’s you know definitely. Nearly makes sense because it’s like you know the Millennials. Are you know are there? And so yeah basically? You’ve got to you got to put your product and services where you’re already into and if that’s if that’s where they’re frequent.
That’s what you had to because you know most Millennials these days. Are you know they’re not watching TV. They’re not watching cable. Everything’s on demand these days, so you have to exactly you’ve got to be a little bit different. You got to be strategic about it exactly and you got to understand.
Millennials are going to be the future so if you have a brand or company that you know your you see in the next 20 years still being alive. You might want to start. You know at least on these platforms to build some type of Base because you know not going away anytime soon right and so it just makes sense for you to start building that brand and then getting that lead star over here.
You know competitors. Yeah sure sure and that actually brings up my next question. You said you know they’re good. They’re really going to be around for a little bit. But I guess one thing I always do question with a lot of these platforms these new social networks. You know of course Snapchat and Instagram.
There’s you know there’s billions of dollars Behind These companies, but do you really see do you see the reach that Instagram and Snapchat has dropping off anytime soon. I mean, do you do you see like the next best social media platform coming out of nowhere, and then people abandoning you know.
Abandoning Instagram and Snapchat we do you think yeah, so you know that’s a very interesting question. I get asked by ask this question so many times. You know what I noticed is Snapchat was built by like a bunch of like like I mean, you know you have like the main guy who just like hustled his way to create this app, and now it’s like 350 million people are using it.
And then he went did an IPO, and now so many people are looking down and seeing like they’re not pretty any Revenue profits or anything like that and so, but I do see that he still has that hustle mentality, and they’re still coming out with new things. You know they’re buying out the latest tech companies, and they’re trying to introduce new type of.
Functionality into their platform, whether that’s like the face filters. You know like that was totally new and people didn’t that people just caught off guard by that and I was like a new phenomenon you see all these girls and just like kids with like the puppy filter on their face or whatever you know, and then you also have like things like geofilter, which is kind of uses augmented reality, and you have like the discovery section, which they’ve used like all the biggest Publications like.
And you know NBC News MTV things that you know kids. You know like for example like CNN most kids probably don’t watch that but like on Snapchat. They probably seeing these feeds and it’s tailored to what they’re like what they want. You know it’s quick. You know you have five different snaps information is easily readable, um you know so a lot of this stuff that Snapchat is done.
I think is really great and has the core to their platform, and I just don’t see like. Lenny dropping off anytime soon off of that. Yeah, maybe advertisers are going to be a little bit more wary. Maybe they’re not seeing return, and I think what’s going to happen is it’s gonna for Snapchat to really develop the eat and even better product because there is so much money behind it, so it just can’t it can’t disappear like you know out of thin air like that just can’t go away.
Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking like you said just mainly because of the. Amount of users that they have and like you said the amount of money behind them um. This is not going to disappear the only thing I always wonder is you know with Millennials, and of course you’re a millennial, so you kind of know that you know Millennials from what I see you know they want to just kind of everyone is once the latest and greatest thing.
You know they want to tell their friends all month Snapchat. I’m on Instagram. I’m doing this. I’m doing that um but after a certain point of time is that gonna is that newness? Listen greatest going to just wear off where you know they’re going to tell their friend. You’re on Snapchat, and then the friend is going to be like oh yeah, that was that’s all moves.
You know. I’m on I’m on whatever it is is the next thing that’s coming out. Yes. The only thing is like is there gonna be a point where you hit that or will they continually get you know more and more new user than to it that are you know hyped and Heights about the new so I think right now. They are getting there right now.
They’re in the face. The game new users you know and I think for the most part. They’ve nailed to the millennial population like I think if you go up to any Millennial they view the heard about Snapchat, or they’re on it for sure now the type of audience that they’re getting a little bit older. You know obviously 30s to 40s to 50.
So what I mean like the same thing happened to Facebook. You know it was all the Millennials jumped on it or like you know all the kids jumped on at first, and then you know ten years down the road. You know you see like your parents jumping on it, and you know older people and so what happened was then the Millennials were like looking for other platforms where their parents weren’t on so that you know they could have their own little privacy and so they jumped onto Instagram, and then now you’re seeing all the parents jumping onto Instagram.
Right now. I mean Snapchat is probably like one of the newest platforms on that you know the older people haven’t really jumped on yet, and some Millennials are really using that to their advantage, and yes, it is you know geared towards Millennials so but I mean a lot of parents are hearing about it, and they’re jumping on a lot of advertisers a lot of big companies or hearing about it, and they’re you know spending their dollars on it.
So yeah, I mean I think in general like Snapchat will probably keep growing until a certain point you know where then it becomes outdated, and there is something else. You know there’s always going to be something else that’s popping up and trying to take everyone else’s attention away. Yeah, so I mean at least for the next couple years.
I think Snapchat will still be pretty good, and it’s still worth. You know testing your marketing efforts on there even Instagram. Yeah, so. Yeah, definitely like you said there’s a nest with every business. There’s always going to be competitors trying to take your market share. There’s always others on the outside and looking at you know kind of the dominance you have and figuring out ways in which they can try to get some of that so yeah, it’s just gonna be a matter of time like you said there is going to be the next best thing.
There’s going to be the next social platform that everybody’s going to go crazy for but at this point. You know they’re not going anywhere anytime soon at least like I said the next few years. So as a small business they have a huge market share. They’ve got a huge pool of Millennials, and so you just need to see how you can fit into that take advantage of it and see what type of business you can get out of it while they have that audience.
Yeah, bring me to my last question yogin, and this is something that we always ask all of our guests on the podcast and that is uh? What is the one thing that an e-commerce business can do right now to help their business grow you trafficking and get sales, and you know just on your experience doesn’t have to be related to what you do, but just what you think in general.
Yeah sure I mean with an e-commerce business. I think the one thing you really have to nail down is what your audience is and like the target demo of that audience or like of what your product is selling. You know whether if it’s a SAS company, or if it’s just a regular. Like Shopify store you really have to nail down like what does your audience want and figuring out a way to grab their attention you know grab their interest you know desire, and then have them you know call to action like Drive action to your product or store, and so if you if you nail down what your audience is all about and from there.
You can really go into any marketing effort marketing plan and really Target like I said you know if you. Find out your audience’s males ages. You know 25 to 44. You know jump on Snapchat or Instagram and test your efforts there. You know go on Instagram find a couple big pages that you think that could you know Market your store product.
I’ve had friends create Shopify stores. Go on to Instagram and pay maybe $100 $200 to a couple pages that have 1 million followers and within like an hour of posting their link you know they are jumping with sales so really I mean like I said just really nail down what your audience is and from there.
I mean you can just pretty much do anything. You know yeah, so yeah, yeah, that makes total sense yeah, I was listening to something. I think it was a online video. Last week about marketing, and they mentioned the same thing which talked about what you said really figuring out what your audience is in creating.
What’s called a customer Persona, or a customer Avatar, which is basically who your ideal customer is who’s your typical customer, and you know it could be several different types of personas, but typically a business has a you know you can really kind of formulate the average customer and what they look like what types of things are interested in and.
Once you do Define that it does make your marketing efforts a lot easier because you’ll be able to to Target specific efforts rather than just kind of stabbing in the dark, so it definitely makes uh makes total sense well yogin well. I definitely appreciate you joining us here in the e-commerce marketing podcast your Insight has been has been great a lot of our listeners are new to Snapchat Instagram as well, and so I think what you mentioned and what you what your background is definitely been very insightful.
For us so if any of the listeners would like to get in touch with you. How do they do that? Yeah sure they can tweet at me on Twitter my handle is the yogin Patel, and you know if you have any questions about influencer marketing you know or if you have product and you want some help on it. My email is yogin at YP social, so yeah, you can reach me any of those places.
I’m on Instagram Snapchat, so just uh you probably able to find me. Easily okay great well sounds good yoga. Well. Thanks again, and we’ll yeah we uh wish you much success. You know at the beginning of your journey, but I’m sure you do well. No I appreciate. I hope all the tips I mentioned today.
You know helps a couple people out and thanks for having me on man. Yeah, not a problem you take care and have a great day you too. Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing podcast to access eCommerce videos and other resources to help your business grow please visit get forward slash videos subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for e-commerce marketing podcast and please leave a rating and a review.
Thanks for listening. See you next time.
Founder of YP Social
The eCommerce Marketing Podcast walks you through everything that goes into ecommerce marketing — from inbound marketing to paid advertising to conversions. Learn the strategies top marketing experts use to grow their businesses.
Marketing Strategies Revealed in this Episode: