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6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Are a Waste of Money
Influencer marketing is the process of identifying, researching, engaging and supporting the people who create high-impact conversations with your customers. Join Matt and Chris for another thrilling episode of the Best SEO Podcast, featuring “6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Waste Your Budget” by Lucinda Honeycutt. TRANSCRIPTION:

Chris: Hi and welcome to the SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. My name is Chris Burres, owner of eWebResults.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram, your sales guy.

Chris: And apparently today you’re selling t-shirts.

Matt: Whoo!

Chris: Is that what you’re doing? You couldn’t–? What’s the story here?

Matt: Well–

Chris: For YouTubers and Facebook Livers, Matt– well, describe what’s going on.

Matt: It’s like whoosh! [00:00:26] [Indiscernible] No, no. I’m not really selling t-shirts I’m talking about my productivity last two weeks, but what I decided is we’ve really started to go with these t-shirts and everybody’s adding–

Chris: Excited about them.

Matt: Yeah excited, and ideas we keep growing. We were going to do like 4 or 5 and now we’re at like 20.

Chris: Right.

Matt: And I was looking at these t-shirts and I couldn’t decide which ones to wear so I just took the printout of all of them.

Chris: And you’re wearing literally all of the t-shirts right now. So we’ve got, “Do you SEO?” That’s nice and simple. I’m going to save that one for last because it’s my favorite.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: “Shikow us,” right? So that’s one. “Marketing is Bigger in Texas.”

Matt: That’s pretty solid, yeah.

Chris: Yeah, we all know that. “Making Marketing Great Again,” with the Trump hair swish on it. That’s pretty cool. And then a lot of text. Even our content writer was like, “That’s a lot text.”

Matt: Well this was based off of a popular shirt about Houston. But we have more, these are just all the ones that–

Chris: Wait, wait. So the one that I like is, “Star Wars Style SEO Results,” right? So imagine “Star Wars SEO Results,” and on the back it says, “May the rank be with you.”

Matt: Yes. Some of you were into that shirt a lot. Yeah, uh-huh. Oh yeah.

Chris: That might be my go-to shirt for the podcast. We should probably order different colors so that it doesn’t look like a uniform.

Matt: Black.

Chris: So if you’re interested in a t-shirt, and you should be, you could get it at

Chris & Matt: Swag

Chris: That actually worked.

Matt: Yeah, looks like we had that one right.

Chris: This is Podcast #436. As always we have a tip from our previous podcast, and that tip is:

Matt: Don’t forget about influence or marketing.

Chris: It’s pretty simple, and actually that’s what we’re going to be talking about today in this podcast, Podcast #436. Last time we’re talking about, “Internet marketing trends you can no longer ignore in 2018.” Make sure that you subscribe, follow–

Chris & Matt: Boom!

Chris: Alright, we are filming live here in Houston, Texas. Matt and I, we are your–

Matt: Results Rebels!

Chris: I got to jump into this review real quick. This is from [00:02:30] [R Graves Jr?] who may be one the best friends of Adam.

Matt: We don’t know.

Chris: Or may not be, he’s at least named similarly or identically I think.

Matt: Jr we don’t know on the Jr, yeah.

Chris: So punch in the face right up front, [00:02:44] [Mr. R Graves?] The title is, “Content great, audio isn’t.” Oh sorry. Sorry about that.

Matt: Whoa!

Chris: Sorry, that was a downer. It is still–

Chris & Matt: 5 stars!

Chris: “Hey guys, keep up the good work. I like the casual approach and the expertise, very enjoyable to listen to. One point of improvement would be audio: voices are not the same volume. The music is then inherently in too loud in comparison. You guys are worth it, upgrade your audio.”

Matt: Dude that. No, I’m telling you, when I listen to stuff, that’s the worst thing. I have to turn up the volume way up to here and then the intro or the exit is so loud. We gotta get that right. I think I was just kind of done with that Chris, and so like we just got a new location. New podcast studio.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. We got a new location that has a specific podcast studio in it. Adam: That’s our fix.

Matt: That’s our fix. I ain’t dealing with this stuff anymore.

Chris: So this is interesting, I like how this works. We make the podcast in a different room, but the editing is the cause of the problem.

Matt: We will hire– actually we’re looking for– I know this is later on in the podcast. If you are in Houston and you do editing, and you do photography, and you do videography, and if you do social media it’s a big plus. We are hiring.

Chris: Yup.

Matt: If you know anybody in this area: we need you. All the podcast listeners need you too.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: So please give us a call, reach out to us, get on my calendar, let’s talk.

Chris: 713-592-6728 is that it?

Matt: 24.

Chris: 6724.

Matt: How do you not know that? It’s been the same phone number.

Chris: I’m looking at a different phone number from an old time. Alright, so if you’re visiting us again, then you might be interested in tip. You can get, “5 Online Marketing Mistakes that can Tank your Business.” I don’t if you can– can you get that?

Matt: Yeah no, it’s there. Wo got that up, and we got a bunch of other stuff.

Chris: Yeah, so just go to and go to Resources.

Matt: Mini-guides.

Chris: Mini-guides, yup.

Matt: Aja.

Chris: And you will get that. Teaser: the article we are talking about. So we mentioned in our tip the article is, “6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes that Waste your Budget,” this is by Lucinda Honeycutt. Punch in the face to you Lucinda, we really appreciate the article that you wrote. It was really good, we’re going to dive into that soon. If you’ve never been to the podcast before:

Chris & Matt: Howdy!

Chris: And welcome to the podcast, we are glad you’re here. We’re going to get through this potatoes and we’ll be to the meat here very shortly. Again, if you’ve listened before: we run a contest each and every week. The way the contest works is if we get 10 shikos–

Matt: A share, a like and a follow. Right here, right here, right here.

Chris: Shiko us is the t-shirt that he’s wearing third from the left. All at the same time. If we get 10 shikos and a review then we move to the end of the show how you can connect with us, where you could leave us a review, just kind of as a courtesy fun thing that we do.

Matt: And if you sign up for a profit plan, get a t-shirt and a book.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. And a book.

Matt: And a book, I just threw that in.

Chris: You’re just throwing in the book.

Matt: I’m just throwing in the book. For the next 5! For the next 5!

Chris: We had a meeting earlier today and he was like tossing out books, “And you get a book, and you get a book, and you get a book,” like the table next to us was like, “I don’t know what this book is for, what do we–? Thank you.” And you get a book. Again we do have shirts that said: Please check those out. If you would like a free website analysis, you can get that from us. One of our internet marketing specialties here are eWebResults. Just go to and then click the link.

Matt: Yeah, click the link. Well, we should add a button at the top because you like to say button and people like to click the button, but you said on the last podcast: the next 5 people–

Chris: Get a shirt.

Matt: That sign up for a free website analysis get a t-shirt, well we’re just giving stuff away right now. We’re just pfoosh.

Chris: Yeah, next five.

Matt: So, sign up.

Chris: Sign up, get that started. Let’s see, I think that’s it, that’s the potatoes of the podcast.

Matt: Alright, let’s jump into this.

Chris: Time to get into the meat. Alright again, “6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Waste your Budget.” By the way if you have some sort of electronic device and you’re in a position to shikow us– or when you shiko us, there’s a sound you should hear in the back of your mind which is Shikow!

Matt: We got to get into this article, people are trying to fast forward. We can’t– yeah, we’ll do that later.

Chris: So we do want you to tweet, and we also definitely want you tweet Lucinda, right?

Matt: Yes. We do, we do.

Chris: #SEOPodcast, this is Podcast #436. @BestSEOPodcast, @eWebResults, @MattBertramLive, @eWebResultsChris? eWebChris?

Matt: ChrisBurresEweb.

Chris: ChrisBurresEweb. Thank you, somebody has to know that. And then @LEHoneycutt. I do think the caps matter with Twitter. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m just doing that just in case. And let her know you’re listening to the podcast and we’re talking about her article, “6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Waste your Budget.” She says that actually influencer marketing is really valuable, potentially returning $11 dollars and ¢20 cents for every paid media dollar spent. Used improperly, it’s just a waste of your budget.

Matt: I’m interested in that study. I need to go back to that link and see where she’s getting those numbers.

Chris: So she talks about marketing methods, the old chestnuts: product, place, price, and promotion. She says those are out.

Matt: Oooh.

Chris: What’s in now is preference, personalization, performance and promotion.

Matt: And podcast.

Chris: And podcast.

Matt: And profit plan.

Chris: Profit plan. From problems to profit plan.

Matt: All the P’s, all the P’s.

Chris: “Good influencers know what their audience want, and deliver it in a way that’s highly personal to their audience.” So this is why you should be listening to this podcast and influencers, and kind of engaging influencers. So the Number #1 Influencer marketing mistake is “Being Seduced by the Numbers.” So this is not one of those obvious things. You’re like, “Hey, I’m going to pay somebody to promote my product, they’re an influencer, they’ve got all of these followers.” And you got to keep in mind, a lot of followers may not be a good thing for you, right?

Matt: Well, there’s a couple reasons, one that she doesn’t actually go into. I’ll hit this one and then let you go into it.

Chris: Yeah, yeah.

Matt: But as I’m like vetting influencers, okay? You got to look at the engagement rates, okay? If you’ve got 100,000 followers and you have 2 likes or 1 share–

Chris: You don’t really have 100,000 followers.

Matt: They probably bought these followers and it’s probably a huge waste of money. So there’s actually a couple really big influencers out there – I’m not going to say – but they have no engagement. There should be an equal kind of ratio between the number of followers and engagement. I’m just saying look for that because if they don’t have that, they’re not getting the reach, and there’s something fishy. But go onto the rest of it.

Chris: Well she just jumps into this and saying you know, traps of assuming that lots of followers an influencer has, the better return they will. Bigger profile equals a higher level of authority, those things just aren’t– like Matt was saying, just aren’t necessarily true. So those with 100,000+ social media eyeballs, we should exercise caution. A lot of those followers will fall outside your target range. So even if they are engaged, maybe those because of the variety of followers, they’re not your target market. We always talk about target, offer, copy. Target: you want a 9 out of 10. If you get 9 out of 10 on target you’re going to make it, that’s one of the things. Then you’ve got to get the offer, right? And then the copy’s okay.

Matt: That’s like: do you want 100 leads or 10 great leads? Or whatever, something like that. You get it. LEft off here at 10:30

Chris: Paying money to have your message shown to people who have zero interest in what you’re doing is just a waste of money. “Engagement levels actually fall dramatically as the number of followers rise.” That’s what you were talking about, and then she really kind of sums it up. “Instead, we would be wise to identify exactly who we’re hoping to reach – that is of course the oldest trick in the marketing book, and use a smaller ‘low-level’ influencers to reach them.” These are typically going to be non-celebrities, and they’re packing a small but devoted – and most importantly – trusting group of followers.

Matt: So Chris I feel like this is the perfect time for you to do a little promotion on your other business.

Chris: Right.

Matt: Okay? Just for the sake of the influencer marketing. So we had the launch today with some great prospects. You shared with what you were doing on YouTube, and you were talking about [00:11:06] [Clif High] and you want to kind of tell that story a little bit?

Chris: So, I can–

Matt: The power of influencer marketing.

Chris: Yeah, so the company is SES Research, and it ends up– ultimately it started off as a carbon nanomaterial manufacturing and distribution business. It still is and now is in the supplement business just because of some research that was done back in 2012. Last year there was a gentlemen of the name [00:11:29] [Clif High] who’s on YouTube, he’s clearly an influencer. He’s more an influencer in–

Matt: Bitcoins.

Chris: In the Bitcoin space, right? Investment in Bitcoin. And he started talking about C60, that’s the product that SES Research sells, and all of the industry – except for us because we’re the supplier of that raw product – ran out of stock, like everybody ran out because one influencer talked about C60 in one YouTube video. Yeah.

Matt: That’s powerful. I think there was like 1.2 or there might even be more views on just that one YouTube video.

Chris: Yeah, and so the power of influencer marketing is absolutely there.

Matt: Put an industry on lock out of business for a minute.

Chris: Yeah, a whole industry.

Matt: That’s pretty crazy.

Chris: Yeah. So engagement levels per follower are typically higher when you’ve got these people who have kind of got a smaller, more devoted, trusting group of followers. So don’t just be seduced by the numbers. Number #2 mistake that you can make is, “Automatically Paying.” So let’s say you like an influencer, you identify that they’re speaking to your target market and you just send off a check, and the point is, “Congratulations – you just paid for something you might have been able to get for next to nothing, and the whole summary of these couple paragraphs is, “If you’re product is awesome and you gave them a free sample, they might rave about it for free.”

Matt: Well, not only that, if you pay sometimes, they just post and then they’ll take it down. So you want them to legitimately–

Chris: Be engaged.

Matt: Like legitimately interested in it and wanting to share it, because a permanent post, and it really fits into what they’re doing. So yeah, I think you need to wait before you pay. Like maybe send them a product, have them test it out, build a relationship, that’s what outreach is about. Pick up the phone, pick up the phone.

Chris: Yeah, build that relationship.

Matt: Yup.

Chris: Alright Number #3: “Failing to track ROI.” So one of the beauties of internet marketing over a lot of traditional marketing is that you can actually track the ROI, your Return On the Investment that you’re making. Because remember marketing is not an expense, it’s an investment.

Matt: Yeah!

Chris: Sometimes the investment has zero or negative return. If you’re working with us, we’re focused on making that positive Return On Investment.

Matt: Okay, we won’t talk about the call that I just had, but someone was paying a lot for a website and we web-shamed them.

Chris: We did, we actually web-shamed him. We felt a little bad afterwards because he probably overpaid for his website.

Matt: Yeah, but to call the whole team over and have them look at it with them on the phone. Yeah, no. I felt a little bad about that, but he took it in stride.

Chris: Yeah. You know, sometimes you’re at a business, you’re trying things, you’re making things work and sometimes they could be more efficient. Alright so “Tracking the Return On Investment of influencer marketing can be tricky, especially if you’re running a number of different campaigns at the same time.”

Matt: I don’t feel bad. This is punch in the face marketing. We tell it how it is.

Chris: Yeah. So we punched him in the face.

Matt: We punched him–

Chris: Actually we kicked him in the shins.

Matt: No, we punched him in the face.

Chris: Yeah, and kicked him in the shins at the same time.

Matt: And we tripped him, yeah.

Chris: “Don’t just distribute the same links to all your influencers. Provide each of them with a different, trackable link so you can keep track of exactly where your traffic is coming from.” That’s not rocket science, it’s pretty straight forward. It’s just a little bit of extra work and it could slash– you know, if you can recognize which influencers are actually contributing to your traffic and ultimately to your sales, then you can spend more money with them and more time.

Matt: Well, so I had a call with that company again that I was talking about on the last podcast, and basically we really got into on: if someone gives you an email, it will track– and it’s not rocket science either, but it tracks to an infinite degree if this person sent an email or gave you an email, then this person did. And then it’s track and share something with like a java script on like some of these pages, and so you can actually see what influencers are–

Chris: Driving the traffic.

Matt: Driving the traffic. And then I think that’s good for influencers too because they think, “Hey–” You got to think of like CPM, Cost Per Thousand, right? If you’re getting 100 for whatever, $10 bucks, like what is–

Chris: What is that return?

Matt: What is that return and could I get that return on Facebook or Google or somewhere else, right? You got to be really carefully with influencer marketing, not just think, “Hey, I’m going to give this person, they’ve got 100, 000 followers and I’m just going to get a bunch of sales.”

Chris: “Clearly my $100, or whatever $1000 is going to get a return,” don’t assume it.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Yup, don’t assume it. Because maybe it’s true and really you shouldn’t spend $1,000 you should spend $10,000 with them. Or maybe it’s not true and you shouldn’t spending at all with them.

Matt: We haven’t got up into that, that extra one yet. But I mean we’re testing a lot of different things out, and you’re seeing people that you don’t think are providing a lot of influence are and others aren’t. You know? So that’s interesting.

Chris: Alright, so here we are on #4, “6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Waste Your Budget,” by Lucinda Honeycutt. It is, “Failing to Disclose,” right? So this is very important. I know like there’s a big hoopla about the Kardashians when they were doing tweets and they actually weren’t labelling them as ads, that’s what this is about.

Matt: That’s pretty big right now. In that industry no one’s really going, “This is an ad.” You know, and people don’t want you to say this is an ad.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: So it’s a really interesting thing that we’ll see how transparent it becomes with the FDC, so yeah.

Chris: So, “Businesses operating in the United States must abide by the Federal Trade Commission guidelines or face potentially severe consequences. And they say– this is the FTC that if the post or image is an advertisement, it must be clearly labeled as such. It’s already happening. So they gave an example, and really people are putting like #ad, and the place you’re putting is in a place that– In the sentence, at the end of one sentence, and then you go into the next one.

Matt: Yeah, you can still do it effectively. Yeah.

Chris: Yup. “Ads that look spontaneous like spontaneous endorsements are powerful, but disclosure is required.”

Matt: Yes.

Chris: The good news is that perhaps surprisingly engagement doesn’t necessarily suffer when you label that as an ad. So that’s kind of cool.

Matt: No. I mean you think about all the– what are they called? Celebrity Endorsements? Like they’re clearly getting paid for that toothpaste or whatever.

Chris: For those shoes, whatever. Alright Mistake #5 is, “Providing Insufficient Guidance.” And this is more in terms of– well this in general, right? If you’re going to get an influencer to post once, or you’re going to get them to maybe engage on an ongoing basis with your brand. “Some influencers acquire knowledge of your product through ordinary use. And you will only need limited assistance primarily related to the brand itself. Others, typically those who aren’t that familiar with your product, will need to be taught about it.” Then you need to teach them the USPs, Unique Selling Proposition, “How it works, what it does, how to use it and some basic troubleshooting tips for those followers who may encounter difficulties.”

Matt: I think that this goes for like life.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. Make sure that you provide the guidance.

Matt: You got to manage everything, you know?

Chris: Yeah, yeah. Or it’ll quickly get off the rails. And finally, “6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Waste Your Budget.” Number #6 is, “Putting your influencer in a straitjacket.”

Matt: Ooh, how do you do that?

Chris: Yeah so, “Your image is who you are, and it can be disastrous to deviate from it,” right? So we all agree with that. When dealing with influencers, we should remember that they also have a certain image they’ve developed and need to uphold for their followers. “Forcing them to move away from that come across as fake, which will damage whatever message they’re trying to send on your behalf,” and also potentially damage them. “By all means, provide guidance as we discussed,” in Number #5, “but don’t try to zip influencers into a corporate straitjacket.” And this is probably a big caveat: “You’re paying for an authentic voice – let them use it.” I think that’s some of the best advice.

Matt: So I feel like you want me wearing a suit when we do this.

Chris: I sent that memo on Podcast #340 or whatever.

Matt: Well, we were walking into a few meetings and I’m remember you’re like, “Is that what you’re going to wear?” And I was like, “Yeah, I wear that for you!”

Chris: I dressed up!

Matt: I dressed up specifically, when you see the quote.

Chris: Actually we should start going to high end meetings with just the t-shirt.

Matt: Well, we’re not in Silicon Valley, but we’re trying to bring it here. I mean we haven’t worn the sandals yet or the shorts.

Chris: Yeah, and the unclipped toenails.

Matt: Whoa! No one do that.

Chris: So that is the meat of the podcast. If you liked this podcast, we ask you to do one simple thing: please tell three people about the podcast.

Matt: Share it and we’re going to start tracking influence and so we’ll know.

Chris: Who it is. Who isn’t sharing it.

Matt: Who it is, and we’ll give you a t-shirt if you do good.

Chris: If you personally are looking to grow your business with the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet.

Matt: The internet!

Chris: Call eWebResults for increased revenue in your business: 713-592-6724. I got it right that time. I don’t know I’m just happy, I practiced.

Matt: It’s Friday.

Chris: I practiced.

Matt: I don’t know very many numbers, but I know there’s a 4 at the end.

Chris: Hey if you want to connect with us on our profiles on social media, you can do Pinterest, which is

Matt: eWebResults

Chris: YouTube is a little tricky it’s

Matt: YouTube


Matt: BestSEOPodcast or eWebResults.

Chris: Both of those, yeah. Tumblr is

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: And then– how do you pronounce that? Imgur, I think it’s Imgur.

Matt: Sammie is active in that. If y’all are active in some of those like tier 1, let’s say tier 1. If you’re really active on tier 2 or tier 3–

Chris: Reach out to us.

Matt: Reach out to us, we’d love to talk to you. Maybe we can exchange some kind of value. Yeah, let us know.

Chris: And then Face– we did Facebook already. So that’s good, you can leave a review.

Matt: You can find us guys, just Google us.

Chris: Where do we want them to leave us a review?

Matt: My book! No one left a book review! You haven’t left a book review!

Chris: Go on to, look up Build your Brand Mania and buy the book. How much is it for the ebook? I don’t remember.

Matt: It’s $2.99.

Chris: It’s $2.99 for the ebook. Then just buy it and leave a review immediately, and the review can be about the podcast.

Matt: And we’re going to send out an email to the email list. Please, like I really– it looks sad.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: It looks sad.

Chris: Poor book without the reviews.

Matt: Poor book with not enough review friends.

Chris: Yeah, we need reviews.

Matt: Chris, I need a review.

Chris: I know. I’m telling you–

Matt: I’m calling you out on the podcast.

Chris: It was the most brilliant review possible. I just didn’t hit send.

Matt: But I gave you my Amazon login and you asked me for that for two weeks.

Chris: Yeah, you finally–?

Matt: Okay, so now–

Chris: So I could help you promote the book. Now that you’ve given me what I need to help you promote the book, I need to leave you a review.

Matt: I mean, I know that they’re mutually exclusive, but–

Chris: We’ll get this done. By the way, Matt is literally wearing all of our t-shirts right now.

Matt: Not all of them.

Chris: Well, not all of them. 5 of them.

Matt: All of my favorites.

Chris: 6 of them actually.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Again, go to

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Let us know what t-shirt you like the most. That would be really cool.

Matt: Yeah, we’re going to run a little contest, or vote or something.

Chris: Do not forget that if you sign up for our 15 to 30 minute website analysis, first 5 get a free t-shirt of their choosing.

Matt: Yeah, I think two people have signed up, so there’s three more.

Chris: Three more left. Alright, so this bring us to the end of our podcast. We are the most popular internet marketing podcast on iTunes, that is because of y’all. All of you all. Thank you so much for listening, for engaging–

Matt: Not because of the sound.

Chris: It’s not because of the sound.

Matt: Not because of the sound, and we’re working on new thumbnails. A little more pro, professional.

Chris: Professional thumbnails?

Matt: Because we’re like just a party here.

Chris: What thumbnails? Which?

Matt: Like on the different slides.

Chris: Oh, the actual images.

Matt: Yeah, we’re upgrading.

Chris: Oh, oh, for the portfolio? Is that what you’re talking about?

Matt: Like on like Stitcher and iTunes.

Chris: Oh yeah.

Matt: Like the thumbnail of the podcast.

Chris: The podcast image.

Matt: Yeah, it’s just a picture of us.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: Like there’s no text. It’s just like, “Argh, whatever.”

Chris: I feel like that’s a good thing.

Matt: No, it’s fine.

Chris: Thank you guys. Keep reaching out to us, keep connecting with us, we really appreciate you. Until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.

Matt: Matt Bertram.

Chris & Matt: Bye bye for now.