Tech Influencers, Monetization, and The Future of LinkedIn
B2B Influencer Marketing is one of the hottest trends that has recently emerged in the marketing scene. From brand awareness, ambassadorship, to creator monetization, the win-win symbiotic relationship that this movement has opened for companies and content creators is insurmountable.
On today’s episode of Startups On Demand, I am joined by Pratik Thakker, Co-Founder and COO of Testlify, a talent assessment platform that helps companies hire the best candidate quickly and easily in an automatic way.
Today, we share our thoughts on B2B influencer marketing, efficiently managing multi-channel distribution, the future of content creators on LinkedIn, and the solutions that Testlify is providing to disrupt the pain points of outsourcing.
Omri: What are your thoughts about B2B Influencer Marketing? I would love to hear you talk about it.
Pratik: In terms of social media, for me, there was never a purpose to gain some revenue through creator economy or influencer marketing. But when I grew across 50,000 subscribers, brands came to me for promotional posts. For example, Omri’s podcast is sponsored by New York Tech Media – this is one type of revenue that you can make. So when I go to a podcast, they pay me depending on my following. Right now, they pay me, let’s say $1500 to $2000 for speaking at an event or a webinar. When I do promotional posts on LinkedIn, I charge anyone between $150 to $500. But I don’t like to work with brands that aren’t consistent, because when I’m associating myself with a brand, I want to promote that for a while. So when you say that I’m like a Kim Kardashian of B2B marketing, it’s like being a big brand ambassador for a company for a while. And in that way, it creates a win-win situation for everyone, so you will promote that brand in the long-term and you will have recurring revenue, and they will have a better deal because you will be constantly giving them shoutouts on your posts. This is a strategy that I adopted. Currently, I’m working with 10 brands from different spaces. So if you’re an influencer, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. Companies are willing to pay for it. You just need to be consistent on the platform.
Omri: In terms of brand ambassadorship deals, is it retainer-based or months of commitment?
Pratik: I usually sign a 1-year agreement with the brand. But I don’t charge anything if they feel, at any moment, that I don’t add any value to them. At the end of the day, they come to me for two things: firstly, brand awareness, and secondly, legion. Through brand awareness, I do something with their new product releases, add a link in the comments or posts where users can actually sign up. Through this, I get paid 2 ways: I get a lifetime recurring revenue from those products I’m promoting, and I also get paid for posts that I do as a monthly revenue.
Omri: How are you able to syndicate all your followers on LinkedIn, and how do you manage to convey the message across all platforms?
Pratik: My core platform is LinkedIn. Whenever I post on LinkedIn, I use the same post on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I was able to bring my LinkedIn following to Instagram. The core following also follows you on other platforms. If you’re not active on one platform, they can reach you from another platform. The whole idea is to create noise across all channels.
Omri: Do you think we can monetize on LinkedIn just like on YouTube and other platforms?
Pratik: The short will be: if it happens, it will bring big revenue for you. LinkedIn is not an aggressive content platform yet. They’re focused on HR and B2B marketing, so I wouldn’t expect them to monetize posts in the next couple of years. But I see momentum from LinkedIn and their team in putting a lot of effort into content creation. So maybe they are going in that direction but I think we have to wait for a while until that happens. But even if that happens, it’s not going to be a significant revenue. But if you want to monetize, you need to translate that revenue from a company that will give you a hundred times more than what you’re going to make from LinkedIn content.
Omri: Walk us through Testlify.
Pratik: I’m into outsourcing business, and I do 20 to 30 interviews a day in a 10-minute speed-dating format because I want to meet as many people as possible for my clients. It was a tedious process, and India’s a big country, so you get volumes of applicants. It was a big pain point. My co-founder and I thought about transforming the hiring process and making it data- driven rather than assumption-driven. We came up with a solution that could almost predict who to hire. Testlify is a talent assessment platform that can help companies hire the best candidate quickly and easily in an automatic way.