A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to chat with James Creech, Co-Founder and CEO of Paladin Software, on his All Things Video series, a podcast dedicated to discussing the future of the online video ecosystem.
Our topic for the day was “Social Commerce in a Connected World.” With the proliferation of consumer engagement on social media platforms, e-commerce is quickly being driven by social commerce, where Influencers carry enormous cache in shaping purchase decisions. We spoke in depth about a number of technical measurement challenges which collectively drive brands to understate the value of Influencer marketing.
MagicLinks is working to educate both networks and brands, on behalf of our influencer base, to address issues such as multi-touch attribution, cookie duration, mobile and cross-device tracking, and global consumer experiences. We also dove deep into the mindset and mechanics of entrepreneurship and why Influencers are key to the current zeitgeist.
The podcast touched on many topics; below are the three most salient ideas:
1) How To Measure Social Commerce Value?
In a world of free SAS companies with multi-billion dollar valuations, actually measuring value on advertising spend within top-of-purchase-funnel channels is an industry challenge. Video creators in particular often deliver tremendous value by introducing their fan base to products for the first time. However, more often than not, influencers are not credited for the eventual purchase – which instead gets scooped up by cash-back, coupon, or other last-minute touch points on the consumer journey.
Of course, each touchpoint plays a role in the ultimate purchase. The essential question seems to be: “What can existing technology platforms do to accurately measure the value of all touch points in the online shopping ecosystem, and how can they reward those touch points fairly?”
2) The First Step is the Hardest
Vinod Kholsa, tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist of Khosla Ventures, said that the “absolute hardest step is the first one” on the journey to become an entrepreneur. After you begin the journey you have put yourself on a road where new opportunities begin to unfold. Taking the leap requires a change in mindset, which can be the most challenging move to make.
My desire to make an impact and have full creative expression lead me down the entrepreneurial path to start MagicLinks. In a short period of time we now empower thousands of leading Influencers on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. For anyone wanting to be an entrepreneur, whether it is starting their own venture or launching their own channel on YouTube, the hardest part is just taking that first step and my best advice is to go for it!
3) 2017: The Year of the Influencer
In terms of the future, without a doubt, 2017 will be the year of the Influencer. With their organic relationships with fans, increasing clout in the e-commerce space and authentic approach to content creation, 2017 will see tremendous attention and growth in Influencer marketing. Live streaming, where influencers interact in the moment with their fan base, will be a key growth driver. All the major platforms are have launched compelling products, such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live and the live streaming function on Instagram Stories. Expect to see more influencers broadcasting in real-time in this year.
I encourage you to give the podcast a listen and share your thoughts in the comments section.
*Image courtesy of Supply Chain Shaman