I spoke to Mak about his entrepreneurial venture from Makerzone to SushiVid back in June. Here’s a refresher of what he said:
SushiVid is a marketplace which connects brands to influencers for marketing purposes. – Mak
To be honest, when I first heard of influencer marketing, I had the impression that it is working with opinion leaders. For example, it’s like inviting Satya Nadella to speak about latest software trend in a tech conference.
But with the proliferation of social media and technologies, people have been empowered far much more than before in speaking their thoughts. We are witnessing people like PewDiePie, JinnyBoy or even Jordan Yeoh rising through social media through their own sharing.
What SushiVid does is to identify these influencers and connect them with brands. In a nutshell, brands can submit campaign briefs while influencers can propose what they will do for the brand. As every influencer caters to different audience, brands get to enjoy omnichannel outreach to their target market.
I manage to speak with Yuhwen to pick her brain on influencer marketing (with some tough questions) and how brands can tap onto SushiVid.
1. Can you do a quick introduction about yourself?
A klangite, a dreamer, an idealist who believes in good out of everyone. Naturally competitive, loves challenges and won’t give up without a fight.
I am also an animal lover who is kind to everything and everyone. I’m super defensive of the people and things that I love. 🙂 Not sure if this is what you’re looking for.
[Editor’s note: Haha, I like the humane part of this reply! Of course this is what I’m looking for. You can also check out her profile at LinkedIn]
2. Why SushiVid? What do you see in sushivid?
[Editor’s note: Before you read this part, I suggest you read here, here and here on her business reason to start SushiVid. I actually wanted to know the intrinsic reason on why insisting on SushiVid. The “why” is really important for me.]
There was a person I once loved a lot who told me I was good for nothing, I have achieved nothing, and I will amount to nothing. That I was a spoilt kid that feels entitled and can’t suffer a minute of my life.
What he said to me, the verbal abuse I endured motivated me to prove not just to him but myself that I can do this.
If this horrible person, whom I respect a lot and loved a lot could say this to me, I won’t let him be right. I will fight till my last breath to succeed in my life.
3. What is influencer marketing? How does it work? How does SushiVid identify people as “influencers”?
Influencer marketing is about recommendation and word of mouth.
Even if you had a kid, you would ask around other parents which is a good school to attend near you.
Influencers are simply people who have above average influence over a bunch of people.
Their recommendation is like a 98% positive review on trip advisor. likewise, their bad review could also break your product.
We identify influencers through their niche. If I’m looking for people with influence in fashion, we’d find someone who has many followers in fashion. If we’re looking for a foodie, we’d find someone who loves food and shares about food alot.
4. What is the fundamental difference between Bloggers / Youtubers / Instagrammers? How should brands tap onto that?
Bloggers and YouTubers are more long lasting, they are also more SEO friendly and it has a longer impression because it is an article or a video. You could tell a better story through it.
Instagrammers are amazing for competitions and countdowns or deals – because they appear on the news feed and is good for the moment. You won’t search them again, you just scroll past and it’s over.
[Editor’s note: I think Instagram and Snapchat is an extremely good attention grabber, it is also very underutilized at the moment. I’ll take Instagram as an example, brands can consider to take over micro influencers’ stories / gallery by asking them to upload a certain picture, the effect would just be extraordinary.]
5. In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between engaging influencers VS social news site (e.g. says / viralcham / etc)?
It’s how targeted it gets.
Sites like Says and Viralcham is very broad based. Influencers, the smaller ones at least, have a strong niche or vertical, for example, like makeup and beauty, food and lifestyle, tech, games, so on so forth.
So if brands just wants views and awareness, a social news site might be good, however, if brands want to target people with purchase intent or people who would likely buy one specific product like printer or camera or make up, a subject matter expert would probably do a better job.
6. What should brands consider when they are engaging influencers?
Consider the following:
- What is the objective of this engagement?
- Is influencer marketing the best way to read your audience?
- Does your target audience watch YouTube or scrolls through Instagram?
While influencers are entitled to their own opinion as they are the subject matter expert, brands will need to know how to manage their own & influencer’s expectation.
7. How can brands leverage on this platform on a strategic level?
SushiVid is amazing for newbies to try out influencer marketing. No matter how small your budget ($100) you can create something with influencers, sometimes it is hit or miss, just like A/B testing landing pages, but it’s a small price to pay to test out your market.
The downside is minimum as the video or post will last much longer compared to a 30 second TV spot.
We always tell our clients to create more than one, test a variation of things such as audience, gender, demographic or even video types to see what if it suits the audience’s preference.
Never create one and give up, learn how to test, optimize & analyse.
That’s why our price point works, you can test and test until you get a fairly good formula, then increase the basket size.
8. What are your thoughts on platforms like Snapchat / Instagram / Facebook / Youtube?
Snapchat is hard to track and a little too advance for some malaysian companies.
Instagram is great for visuals.
Facebook has a more mature audience set.
YouTube is search friendly.
[Editor’s note: At the end of the day it’s about building content and engagement. I would probably build a set of content and slice it down small enough to be seeded out through different channels, here is how it would work (for me at least):
Youtube – video
Instagram – Quote from video
Facebook – Actionable insights extracted from video.]
Snapchat – Mix of quotes and actionable insights on stories.]
9. In 5 minutes, write down 5 influencer marketing ideas that brands can deploy.
For the purpose of this exercise, I’ll take KFC as an example, we could do
- 10 Creative ways to pair your KFC
- Giveaway free meals for the first 50 comments
- Influencer day vlog- to KFC
- KFC vs Ramli Burger poll
- Surprise party at KFC
- KFC or Popeyes?
- How to create a chicken sandwich with leftover KFC
- What would you say to Colonel Sanders if he was alive?
I came up with that in less than 2 minutes, but really the creativity knows no bounds because every influencer is talented in their own way.
10. What is your long-term plan for SushiVid? What is your aspiration?
Long term plan is to really provide a clean and transparent environment in which influencers can find jobs and also to help turn everyone and anyone who wants to become an influencer, an influencer.
Hopefully someday, when children tell their parents that they want to be a YouTuber, their parents would be supportive of it as a career path because of how lucrative it can be with SushiVid. Then all of us can start having good quality content to appreciate!
11. What about you – yourself? What is your personal goal?
My personal goal is to achieve this, then retire and buy a farm and have pet animals, horses, dogs and grow my own fruits and vegetables. It doesn’t have to be big or industrialised, it just has to be quiet and peaceful. 🙂
[Editor’s Note: Haha, great thoughts. My retirement plan is to sell char kuey teow at beach side.
Btw I can loan my beagle & labrador to your farm lah, free of charge, free preview too on the left.]
I hope you guys have enough insight from Yuhwen on how to tap onto influencer marketing. If you’re still unsure and need more insights on this, you can refer to case studies by SushiVid.