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Social Commerce Is Sparking A Retail Revolution: Learn How To Ensure Your Influencer Marketing Strategies Maximize Sales With Krishna Subramanian Of Captiv8

Ecommerce fastlane ep 29 - influencer marketing strategies for maximizing sales with Krishna Subramanian Of Captiv8.

In today’s Shopify ecommerce podcast, my guest is Krishna Subramanian the CEO and Co-Founder of Captiv8. They are a full-service influencer marketing solution that helps drive real effective results from authentic influencer branded content.

Captiv8 started out as a social listening platform on Instagram to help brands measure the velocity of sharing content, predict virality, and then eventually built an end-to-end influencer marketing platform.

Today, they now focus on the enterprise aspect as well as finding influencers, and managing end-to-end workflow from contracting to approving content for better branding and awareness standpoint.

This is a great conversation with tons of learnings for Shopify brands on how authentic content drives results.

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Conversion Fanatics were able to make some straightforward and small adjustments to the website that had amazing results thanks to their A/B testing concepts and execution method, which was integrated with heat mapping. We saw a 40% improvement in our monthly conversion rate after only one A/B test, Visit their website to know more!

What You Will Learn Today:

  • Integration of Captiv8 with Creator Marketplace through Tiktok
  • Benefits of the partnership between Captiv8, Shopify, and Tiktok
  • Implementing successful Campaigns with Captiv8

Links And Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Captiv8

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Welcome to season five of eCommerce Fastlane. This podcast helps resilient entrepreneurs, marketers, and founders to accelerate growth and thrive with Shopify. And now on episode 249,

You’re listening to eCommerce Fastlane, the podcast show to help you build, manage, grow, and scale a successful and thriving company powered by Shopify. Listen to real conversations with partners and subject matter experts as they share proven practical strategies, platforms, and the best Shopify apps to help you accelerate your business. The time is now for you to improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty. Please welcome your host, startup founder and strategic advisor, Steve Hutt.

Before today’s episode, I have a question for you: how many marketing experiments have you done in the last four weeks? How about in the last year? Now look, if you’re doing seven or eight figures in revenue on your website or more and you’re not doing conversion optimization, you’re leaving a ton of cash on the table.

You won’t scale to the next level, and you’re going to get your lunch eaten by the competition over the next 12 months. Now our sponsor, Conversion Fanatics, runs thousands, I mean that thousands of experiments each year for clients like Clorox, Burt’s Bees, NBC Sports. You have a whole list here, Golf Channel, HarperCollins, ClickFunnels.

I can rattle off a ton. There’s an incredible amount of brands including Shopify brands that they run these experiments on. Now, what Conversion Fanatics do is it optimizes your Shopify store so you can get a lot more customers, scale up your traffic much faster, and see a lot more profit fall into your bottom line.

And they make it easy and they handle everything. So go to conversionfanatics.com for a free site proposal today and tell them eCommerce Fastlane sent you because traffic without maximizing conversions, in my opinion, is sad.

Well, hey there. My name is Steve Hutt, senior merchant success manager here at Shopify, and welcome back to season five of eCommerce Fastlane. Whether this is your first time listening or you’re a weekly subscriber, I seriously appreciate that you’re taking time today to listen to the show. I know there are plenty of podcast choices that are out there in direct-to-consumer and eCommerce.

And I just, I really appreciate the fact that you’re here today. It means the world both to me and definitely to my featured guest. If this is your first time listening, this show really is, it’s all about honest and transparent conversations about building and thriving with your store that’s powered by Shopify or the Shopify Plus platform.

And you’re an ambitious, lifelong learner, which you likely are since you’re here today, you’re definitely in the right place. I bring out new episodes. They come out twice weekly and they’re available on all the podcast apps like Apple and Spotify and Google Podcast. We’re also now streaming live on Amazon Music and on YouTube.

So go check those spots out too if you prefer to listen to your podcast there. I also recommend that to get the full value of today’s episode that you click through from your podcast app over to the show notes at ecommercefastlane.com and there you’ll find the full transcript links and all the resources that we mentioned today on this episode.

Now, today, my guest is Krishna who’s the CEO and co-founder of a company called Captiv8. That’s C-A-P-T-I-V and the number 8, Captiv8. And they’re a full-service influencer marketing solution. They help you really drive real effective results from authentic influencer branded content. I guarantee you, this is a hot topic. It’s gonna be a great conversation with a ton of learning. So let’s welcome Krishna to eCommerce Fastlane.

Awesome. Thank you so much, Steve. Excited to be here.

Absolutely. I know that we’ve been bouncing calendars a bit. The work from home thing is quite interesting and there’s been a sickness here and there, and I’m glad we finally synced our calendars to get today because you know what Captiv8 is on my radar quite a bit, and I know of many brands in Shopify that are using Captiv8 as part of their marketing strategy.

It’s a channel strategy that is extremely effective for them. But I can guarantee there’s gonna be a lot of people listening today that may not know about Captiv8 and specifically the platform and the servers that you offer. So let’s just maybe on a high level first, I’ve got a few more questions where I really wanna dig deeper into some specific channel strategies, but what sort of problems does your platform solve for these kinds of growing and scaling brands that are listening today?

To just give you some background on Captiv8, we started off as a social listening platform on Instagram, trying to help brands identify their Oprah effects, measure sort of the velocity of content being shared on Instagram, and try to predict virality. Very quickly, a lot of the brands that were using our platform started to reach out and ask us to help them activate influencers for campaigns. We built out an end-to-end influencer marketing platform, really focused on the enterprise segment.

So being able to do things from a branding and awareness standpoint, so things like, you know, just simple finding influencers, managing that end-to-end workflow. So everything from contracting to approving content and communicating with them and then handling all the measurement and reporting. And I’d say over the last two years, we’ve really started to jump further into performance-driven influencer marketing, and that’s really looking at just commerce specifically.

So we’ve really started to partner with both, you know, D to C and SMB brands. Anyone that has a Shopify store and essentially allowing them to build an influencer program that’s really tied to performance is sort of the ideal goal and performance in this case is selling specific products through influencers and creators.

Yeah. I’m definitely gonna unpack the performance side of med business models. I think that’s the unfortunate kind of bad taste in a lot of marketers most of it where they feel that a lot of times, some creators, you know, they may wanna be paid or they believe based on their follower account and their engagement levels that they believe they’re worth a certain amount of money, but in exchange for recommending and unboxing and using a product.

But then in the end, sometimes they find out that maybe the results were subpar. And so I know your platform has a lot of metrics to talk about success and to talk about previous campaigns and kind of where things may go if you choose to hire this person, and then they can become more of an authentic influencer around the brand.

And so it’s not always the largest follower count. It’s definitely not always the reason why brands do well with these content creators. I do wanna pivot a bit over to your background, ‘cause I think it might set the stage a little bit better about just Captiv8 as a platform in general, you know, you’re a co-founder.

Just would like to understand, what uniquely positions you and your co-founder, I guess on a couple of points, like number one, you mentioned you had this listening tool in the early days, but like where did the desire and the expertise even come from, even building that listening tool prior to that, and then where does expertise come from? And now all of a sudden, now we have this large organization that captivates us in a phenomenal kind of, you know, influencer platform.

Yeah. You know, my background’s been in the digital media and in marketing space for quite some time, I was part of the founding team of BlueLithium which was an online ad network. We were acquired by Yahoo for 300 million. I led product and marketing over there in, you know, there really learned about things like affiliate marketing, lead gen, and you know, retargeting. Back at that time, a lot of platforms and brands were talking about retargeting, but no one was really doing it. And so, you know, just became really interested in data and how data optimize ad campaigns after the Yahoo acquisition took up pretty quickly and then teamed up with the current co-founders, Sunil, and we started Mob Clicks.

Mob clicks was a mobile ad exchange, but when we started, it was very similar. The App Store was just launching on the iPhone. We figured developers want a way to make money off their apps. But before we jumped directly into the monetization piece, we started off as an analytics platform for apps at that time.

A lot of these smaller apps didn’t have a way to make money because the App Store didn’t have paid apps yet, and didn’t have a way for monetization. And a lot of the app developers didn’t really care about the analytics and didn’t wanna pay for it. So as opposed to, you know, launching an ad network, we partnered with a lot of the mobile ad networks.

And we ran the first iPhone ads on the App Store. I learned a lot about just that growing sort of ecosystem. We launched RTB real-time bidding on iPhone apps before anyone else did almost too early because there weren’t enough, you know, buyers from that standpoint. So been in that, you know, sort of digital marketing ecosystem for quite some time, going from online advertising to mobile advertising, mob clicks was acquired by Velti.

Velti was public on the aim in London. They acquired a desktop list of the NASDAQ and I was CMO over at Velti. After I left Velti, and this is now about like seven years ago, you know, just got really interested in how millennials were changing, the way they consume content, just spending a lot less time in front of the TV and more time in front of these different social platforms.

And the thought was as millennials change the way they consume content brands are gonna change the way they engage with millennials, ‘cause millennials are not likely to click on a banner ad and buy something, but they’re highly influenced by these digital celebrities. And that’s sort of where the idea really came from was how do we start to figure out, you know, what is going on?

What makes things go viral and how do we package that up for brands? And so when we first started out in 2015, Instagram actually didn’t even have APIs. And so that was just a starting point because we love data and that was let’s start there and let’s, you know, sort of go from there.

This is lovely. Thanks for sharing that. I had no idea about that whole trajectory all the way through the Yahoo and then all the way through to Velti and that whole kind of public side of the business. That’s really interesting and I think that just shows kind of like your commitment to SAS and then commitment to these sets of industries.

It’s like pretty amazing. You know, one thing I noticed I did a tiny bit of research kind before recording today and one of the things that I noticed about Captiv8, which I thought was quite compelling was the fact that you’re one of the first integrators for TikTok kind of there have a, I think they call it the creator marketplace APIs when you just mentioned APIs, but it’s so interesting.

And TikTok is definitely on. So many brands radar right now, they know that the engagement levels younger skew to a much younger audience, but still social selling on TikTok is the real deal. I mean, I think, one of the big trending hashtags is TikTok made me buy it. It is one of like a big trending one.

So, it’s so interesting to me. So I just would love to understand, like what do you believe it means now specifically for Shopify brands? The fact that Captiv8 is now tightly integrated with this creator marketplace API through TikTok.

It’s been super exciting to work closely with TikTok. And I think the biggest thing is now you’re getting access to first-party insight directly from TikTok and so this helps you in two ways. One is when you identify the TikTok creators you’re getting. You know, audience data directly from talk’s APIs. So, you know, you would assume that it is the most accurate data that is out there and you don’t have to deal with creators providing you screenshots and, you know, things of that sort and it gets pulled in directly into our platform.

The second piece is around measurement and reporting and, you know, I think this puts it on par, puts TikTok on par with let’s say Instagram, for example where you’re actually able to get all of the reach and impression data directly from the APIs. And I think it’s really important because to create scalable campaigns, you just can’t be, you know, dealing with screenshots and, you know, in sort of inaccurate data sets.

And I think this helps streamline that entire process, but, you know, TikTok’s done a lot of awesome things with their API. Where, you know, we’re able to add creators directly to TikTok’s creator marketplace. You know, when a brand reaches out to a creator, the brand can message the creator directly into their TikTok inbox.

So there’s a lot of exciting things, you know, TikTok is done on it, and they’ve been super committed about building this awesome ecosystem for brands and creators, you know, specifically around creator monetization.

I know there’s also been some public announcements kind of recently, obviously with Shopify and TikTok and they have that partnership allowing people to buy from within video and have it, you know, literally, check out like on TikTok physically and then have the orders show up in your Shopify admin.

So that’s done, but can you give us some details on how maybe your partnership with both TikTok and Shopify, like how do you believe that benefits, maybe someone who wants to get involved with Captiv8?

I think it’s all about like streamlining the process of activating influencers and just the efficiency that you’re able to create. And so, you know, I think part of that is you know, a brand can, you know, when they’re integrating or connecting their Shopify store directly into our platform, they can more, you know, easily access and manage TikTok’s updated capabilities such as the shopping tabs and creating mini storefronts on TikTok profiles, as well as better integrate product links directly into the content.

And that goes directly into the creator, you know, the creator tab itself, you know, I think that’s like the main advantage of it. And then I think our TikTok API partnership again, essentially ensures that metrics are being reported on for these campaigns. You know, they’re extremely accurate and we’re able to provide marketers those in-depth audience insights for the most authentic partnerships.

So let me get into, I guess, a little more tactical part of the show and you know, obviously, there’s a big rise of social selling right now. It’s just, it’s in social commerce. I mean, there are all different terms and languages around. But at the end of the day, it’s just like, you know, people are trying to expand their channel, reach more than just their direct-to-consumer site or more than just their own list of its SMS or email and push and whatnot.

But like, what do you recommend? You obviously have a front-row seat to, you know, what great looks like from a D to C brand using your platform, but what are you recommending that a Shopify brand do to best take advantage of the fact that this is a hot market to be involved in?

I think part of this is just really aligning on what their goals and marketing objectives are, you know, for the holiday season or what their approach really looks like from an influencer strategy standpoint. And so, I think part of that is are you looking at driving, you know, sales of your product specifically, are you looking at creating brand awareness? Is there a new product launch? A lot of DDC brands are, you know, definitely, you know, doing partnerships with like Olta or Sephora or, you know, in-store distribution partnerships, I think really figuring out what the marketing objective is and once you have those goals in place, you know, I think then you can really, you know, as a marketer, start to build out the appropriate campaigns and figuring out you know, which platforms are gonna make the most sense, you know, right now we’re seeing Instagram and TikTok really step up their social commerce features.

So, if the goal is around boosting sales, then you know, one of those platforms might make the most sense. You know, Facebook or META, I should say is doing a lot around even just affiliates and launching affiliate programs as well. Another sort of channel that we are recommending and actually helping brands extend their content onto is OTT streaming services.

So, streaming sites like Hulu, you know, essentially provide a whole new audience for influencer-branded content. And especially during the holiday season, when everyone’s strategies are, you know, at their most competitive you know, finding, you know, creative ways to break through on a new channel can be a huge advantage.

Yeah. The smart TV is an interesting angle that I slowly have been nudging brands in that direction saying, you know what? There is an affordable way to actually advertise and get on these streaming networks. And it’s so interesting because you know, this could go off on a tangent, but it’s interesting where, you know, traditional cable still has an IP address associated to them giving you service to your location and with these smart TVs and through Hulu and other different types of like set-top streaming boxes that you’re talking about, there are ways of even retargeting people that like, you know, when they watch the ad because you know what they’ve been watching and then, you know if they purchased or not because you’re tracking their IP address.

And then you know that, hey, well, if they’ve already purchased, you know, what sort of ad we wanna run moving forward and can that ad go online now instead of the set-top streaming service, it’s so interesting how they can work in conjunction, but you’re suggesting that Captiv8 has the opportunity to find influencers, have content created, and then choose to push out outside of like the traditional kind of like going to TikTok and Instagram or Meta. You’re suggesting that maybe there’s an opportunity inside your platform for creators to actually get their content published on streaming these OTT smart televisions. Is that how the platform can work now?

Exactly. I think it’s looking at, you know, creators are great at building content and they’re great at distribution, but if you have this amazing content that’s super engaging, you know? Sure, you take that content from a crater and you put boosting or paid dollars behind it, you know, you paid dollars behind it on Facebook, Instagram, you know, TikTok, you can do that directly from our platform today with the click of a button. And we are also facilitating, being able to take that distribution onto OTT platforms and make it super seamless.

Pretty impressive. So, what’s good a story right now? I think, you know, as humans, we all really love stories. My feeling is that you know, a story really can educate and really inspire people to take action and, you know, there are 20 some thousand people listening to this episode right now. And I know they love this part of the show because I feel that maybe they put their selves in that founder’s shoes and saying, hey, they made this choice to maybe to use whatever platform that I’m discussing today being Captiv8.

But it’d be nice to understand maybe like a recent journey, a Shopify brand or two, I don’t know if you don’t put it in the spot here, but just nice to understand they have seen the need to want to get an influencer slash creator platform to help them execute these strategies, whatever they are, of brand awareness or true conversions, or you know, as Eugene said, this performance-driven kind of commerce, but it’d be nice to understand a little bit about just the whole process of implementing a campaign and how it worked and then maybe what happened. What were the KPIs of the business outcomes at the end of running with your platform?

There’s a brand called Live Tinted and Live Tinted is essentially more than a beauty brand. It’s a community that celebrates multicultural beauty. They have a line of clean vegan cruelty-free products and, you know, Live Tinted essentially serves a community of all shades. As a brand and a community born from a viral video Live Tinted, really wanted you to know, essentially leverage authentic word-of-mouth recommendations to drive sales for, you know, one of their new products, which is called a Huestick. The founder herself, her name’s Deepica Mutyala, she, you know, had a YouTube video that went viral when she put, you know, red lipstick under the dark circles under our eyes got like 10 or 20 million views and started to create this whole community and movement.

And she sort of took that and created this movement in a brand around lived tinted. And before she even launched products for it, you know, she had a community already talking about the community that she was looking to serve. And so, you know, I think one of the big goals for them is, you know, they do sell products online.

They sell products at Ulta and, you know, I think it was really just looking at there’s a lot of influencers and creators that are actual customers of theirs as well. And so they wanted to, you know, leverage captivates platform to essentially identify real women who were talking online about, you know, the difficulty of finding specific shades of makeup.

And, you know, that worked for their skin. They were able to use Captiv8 to essentially find the 42 micro influencers where, you know, they gifted products to them. And these creators had anywhere from let’s say 650 to 30,000 followers. Each creator received a free product to try in a 15% off coupon code to share with their fans.

And so over a two-week period, they were able to drive over six figures in sales. They had over 2300 transactions, you know, they were reaching over 600,000 people and, you know, really were able to drive significant traction in those two weeks. The purchases that those creators drove, you know, on average were two skews of the specific product, which is, you know, which was much higher than what they were typically expecting.

I’d also add to that the benefits of that success in that campaign, I just think from the retention standpoint, you know, now that you know, through these influencers, thanks to your platform and these creators, they got the product, they found out they actually love the product. And then their fans and followers agreed.

And, you know, and voted with their wallet, so to speak. And now all of a sudden retention manager at a brand is like just having a heyday now because they’re thinking, wow, okay. It’s very clear that this product is great. People love it. And you know, they voted with their wallets and purchased it. And now, like, how do we get the second and third sales?

How do we build loyal customers? That’s just the typical growth curve that can happen and it all happens to top a funnel by just exposing this product to a new range of customers. And then what does the retention team have going on inside the brand through SMS and through email and just loyalty programs, things like that? It’s just such an amazing, kind of a big win right across the board.

It’s a huge win, right? And creators get excited about having these discount codes, right? Because it gets them closer to becoming this VIP, you know, sort of part of this VIP ecosystem. And so being able to share that discount code, you know, across TikTok or, you know, Instagram, things of that sort on Instagram, it’s easy. You have a direct, you know, link that’s clickable. You’re able to track that going through the N10 funnel through Shopify. On TikTok, it actually blew my mind to just see the amount of traction that these creators were able to generate off of videos.

Where someone was looking at the coupon code was typically the creator’s first name, taking that, dropping it into, you know, the website and going into Shopify and getting the discount. But just seeing that the transaction volume over such a short period of time was pretty amazing. What it really allows a brand to do you know, you start to see a great, you know, you sent this product out to 42 creators of them. Let’s say there’s a subset of them that are actually posting. Let’s say maybe there’s like 50% of them that are posting.

And then of the 50% that post, you probably have like top five that are driving the majority of those sales. Now that allows you to go out and build a true long-term partnership with those creators that are having the largest impact on your brand. And I think it’s very easy, right? For an SMB or DTC to be able to do that because you’re lowering the risk and you’re tying it more to performance and the creator gets excited because they know they can drive, you know, X amount of sales because you have a data point already.

Any other case studies that come to mind? So it’s livetinted.com. So I’ll make sure I put that in the show notes. Now is anybody else that’s, on your radar?

Another customer that’s super exciting is called Byte, B-Y-T-E.com. So they have invisible aligners. You could think of it as like aligner that you can wear during the day or at night and the average treatment time ends up being, let’s say like four months or to five months, and they provide like a guarantee to sort of around your smile and things of that sort. But I think one of the big parts about it is you’re able to do at-home impressions. So there’s a product that’s shipped to you, you know, it super easy instructions takes a few minutes.

You’re able to get those impressions done at home. The doctor will then use those impressions to set up a personalized treatment plan with clear aligners that are approved by a licensed dentist or orthodontist, and then you’re able to track the progress of your treatment completely remotely. So, you know, super exciting sort of set up and alternative to braces.

So what happened with this campaign though? So obviously this is a different kind of use case. Like it’s different maybe in fashion and skincare and beauty, you know, so were influencers interested in having their teeth straighter and were willing to go along with this whole process, if they were gonna send them this product kind of in exchange for some kind of content?

Yeah. Believe it or not, I think, you know, having a beautiful straight smile is something that lots of folks really want. And I think influencers and creators have been, you know, provided a lot of demand for Byte specifically. And I think it’s really interesting because this is a subscription product. Right. And so this just sort of goes to show you that brands that have subscription products are still able to see how things are happening. They’re able to see, you know, have success on platforms or using creators as well.

So, you know, you think about two upfront costs as a brand. So, one is going to be the commission that you pay out to a creator, and then perhaps a discount that you are providing to a consumer. And I think if you think about those two pieces, then what you really need to do is back out what is your total cost that you’re willing to spend to acquire that customer? And what is the LTV going to be? And I think if you can really nail that LTV, you can really start to back out what your customer acquisition costs should be.

And, you know, you might provide the product for free completely to a customer like the impressions, right? Like, so being able to get the impressions at home for free and paying, you know, a creator on top of it. So maybe you take a loss as a brand because, you know, if X percent of those customers sign up, you are going to make out a profit over the course of, you know, four to six months.

Right. Right, right. So I just wanna talk a little bit about the platform itself. I know we talked a little bit more on a high level about specifically what it is, but you have a very large pool of creators. Can you walk us through that whole process? Because I think it’s interesting where, you know, there are some tools in the marketplace right now that maybe understand the social footprint of opted in either customer, if you have an email address or a phone number, and you’re able to maybe cross reference or understand their social footprint based on them being a customer or opting in with their email and then choosing, you know, potentially working with those sort of influencers, you have a little bit of different spin on that.

So someone logs into your platforms like what’s usually kind of step one, two, and three to saying, hey, we have an idea. We have, you know, I don’t know this electronic water bottle. I’m just thinking something up here off the top of my head. Let’s say an electronic water bottle with an app that tells me when it’s time to take a drink.

And I have, you know, I wanna drink 60 ounces a day and yada, yada, yada. Okay, great. This is a campaign and it’s launching, it’s a stainless steel new bottle, let’s say. So they log into your platform. Just walk us through. What’s supposed to happen next to maybe find the right creators? Maybe could be impactful to want to talk about how the app works, how the water bottle works, and then like, how you hire them. And then like the revenue share opportunities. And then I guess on the back end is just like, what does great look like at the end of the campaign?

I do love that question around. What does great look like? Because I think that’s so important. I think the first part that you can sort of really think about is you come into the platform and you can do two things, right? So one, if you’re looking at just finding influencers directly from the platform. We have a Google for finding influencers, essentially, where you can come in and you can find influencers based on things like age, gender, household income, ethnicity, brand affinity, personality, archetype, you know, engagement rate by certain platforms.

There are over 50 different filters that we’re able to provide data across. And we get that from a few ways because we get craters from a few ways. One, we partner with probably 80% of the top 30 talent agencies. UTA is an investor in us and a lot of the talent agencies use our platform to accept deals on behalf of their talent, and get their talent paid.

They also use it from an analytics perspective to just provide more insights into their creators for brands as well. And so those talent agents are constantly updating data within the platform. And so we get a lot of you know, data that might not necessarily be public, that brands can leverage. The second is brands that are onboarding their talent directly.

So when we get a brand that comes in, who might have, you know, 500 creators or 50,000 creators from a lot of these larger affiliate programs that we provide, they’ll onboard all those creators as well. And there’s a lot of data that comes with that. And, the third piece is just creators, signing up themselves.

Throughout any of those processes, anytime that a creator logs into our platform, we’re asking them a series of questions. Like, are you a parent? Are you married? How old are your kids? Are you allergic to anything? And you know, are you a Verizon customer? Do you own a Nissan? So we allow brands to actually survey creators and that provides additional first-party data.

And I think that data becomes really valuable for a brand to go out and identify which creators they really want to work with. And so a beauty brand might you know, the question might be like, how often are you buying specific products, right? Based on what they might be selling or how important is haircare to you and just thinking about what that CRM might look like as they communicate with those creators over a period of time.

So that’s the first part, the second part of that is once you’ve identified the set of creators that you wanna work with, or you’ve had creators apply to your program specifically through your own landing pages, you essentially set up the entire campaign. So, you would go out and you would build out, you know, the creative brief that you’d be able to put in. You can set up the deliverables with the creator. You can handle all the negotiations with the creator, and make sure everyone’s aligning on marketing objectives.

You can improve the content within the platform if that’s something that you wanna do as well. And then of course you can handle all the payments, within the platform. So that end-to-end workflow, what we really do is bring efficiency to that entire program. So this also includes you know, when you’re setting up tracking URLs or coupon codes or commissions, right?

You can pay creators based on a percentage of the total sale. You can pay ’em a flat rate. All of that is completely customizable within the dashboard. And that payments are automatically calculated based on what you’ve set up. And you can improve those payments at any given time and, you know, get real-time updates in terms of when creators have received their payments, whether it’s an ACH check, PayPal, Venmo, things of that sort. So that becomes sort of the end to end, I think, in terms of what success looks like, it’s, you know, when you’re setting up the campaign, you have the ability to select the actual objective and goals. And so within that process, you’ll have a benchmark, so you’ll know, are my creators actually hitting those benchmarks overall?

And are they hitting them individually and who’s exceeding those benchmarks and who’s not, when you start to see creators that are exceeding those benchmarks, one of the great pieces that you can sort of leverage within Captiv8 is being able to boost that content on a platform like Instagram or TikTok and just extend the let’s say the value of that content within a few clicks. But yeah, that gives you, you know, sort of quick overview of Captiv8.

Yeah. I love that. I was reading a book recently, Derral Eve’s big Youtube guy working with Mr. Beast, Jimmy Donaldson. And he’s talking about some of these sorts of things and like one of his comments, two comments that he brings up quite a bit in his book is the fact that you know, just throwing money at a creator’s content really is, especially, he’s talking more YouTube side of it. He’s really, it’s actually a real waste of money because there’s no longevity out of it. There are so many other pieces of the puzzle.

And I think that’s really on the creators from a YouTube side of it, the thumbnail, you know, the title, is it click-worthy. Is the quality of the video? There are you keeping people engaged. So he goes through a lot of things like that, which I think is quite interesting. I think weeding through with your platform, finding the right influencers, figuring out what the campaign strategy is around well paying and or product or performance side of it.

One comment that he did make in the book and I just wanna throw back to you, he was talking about the fact that he finds a lot of creators now are starting to build personal brands. So, instead of being kind of inside your marketplace or through some of the talent agencies, and then you’re aggregating that them into your platform, what he’s saying, that’s happening and I can see even in Shopify where there’s a lot of creators that actually are creating personal brands on Shopify or some platform. And this way they have a home that is theirs and they can take their audience with them on whatever platform they work with.

Are you finding that to be true? With your creators on your platform where, you know, yes, they have these different social networks where they have reach, but you know, are there ways of not just the social networks, are there ways of actually working with a creator directly on their own Shopify store?

Just I guess instead of maybe coupon codes and affiliate links, which sometimes there can be some challenges about session tracking of affiliate links. There can be some abuse with coupon codes. I know a lot of brands I manage it’s like, wow, I have one creator. They were great for a while, but then their coupon codes were out under the wild and it’s non-expiring.

And I just wonder about the attribution or am I bleeding margin? So it goes down a really, really weird path. So my question to you is just like, do you see it’s possible? And is it likely now that people are creating their own personal brands, these influencers, and then does Captiv8 still play nicely with standalone personal brands? If they do wanna still sell the product themselves on their own website.

You know, as a partner of a brand. Yeah. So we definitely do the holy grail for a creator is to become a brand themselves in, you know, to launch products beyond that. Right. Like, I can’t think of any, you know, let’s say influencer who loves being referred to as an influencer. I think there’s definitely, you know, something about being called a YouTuber, which, you know, people love that. And maybe it’s like an evolution, but whether we look at someone like AKA and Live Tinted, who, you know, created her brand and now that’s become a business or like, you know, Jake Paul who’s turned into this massive entertainment, you know, sort of empire or Mr. Beast or whoever it might be.

I do think that taking that product and either building the product themselves and using them, their platform to help drive distribution to that, or just, you know, white labeling a product and calling it their own, I think is something that everyone wants to do it aspires to do. And I think being able to execute that, you know, becomes something that is like that ultimate goal.

So let’s talk about the future of the product. I mean, I’m going to definitely give people some links on the show notes and we’ll talk about kind of a, like a little promotion we have here at the end here, but I just would like to understand maybe what your north star is I guess we’re kind of just rolling into Q2 right now of 22. I just would like to understand, like, where are you at today? And is there any kind of a public roadmap or anything that you can talk about kind of where the platform is gonna iterate over the next, year or so?

Sure. As we’ve gone from an influencer marketing platform, that’s really tied towards, let’s say enterprise, brands and looking at things like, you know, just branding and awareness. And then, you know, you start to move to this performance-driven platform. That’s really tied towards Shopify and commerce. You know, thinking about, you know, just affiliates. We’ve started to make this transition to enabling that same product, to launching our own affiliate programs with enterprise brands.

And I think that becomes really interesting. The difference is, you know, you’re going from a brand that might be working with 25 creators to a brand that might be working with 25,000 creators. And I think as you start to do that, there’s a lot of interesting things that come alongside that. And part of that is also tied to, you know, building out a lot more of the creator aspect of our platform.

So, you know, today they do get analytics in detail on growing their audience. Making it easier to get paid, but you know, we’re also making it easier for them to find programs and branded content opportunities on their own, versus it, just being inbound, allowing them to be somewhat outbound and proactive.

So you’ll start to see a lot more of that that comes into play. And our goal is really not to have this like a two-sided marketplace between you know, brands and creators, but it’s really thinking about it from a three-sided marketplace standpoint between brands, creators, and consumers. And I think that’s, you know, where we sort of look at the next, you know, two to three years and how, you know, the ecosystem really evolves.

Yeah, and I can see just the whole API side of it. Just the fact that you’re involved with TikTok and I can see it, hopefully iterating more to YouTube, more to Twitter. Twitter’s obviously growing, surprisingly doing its thing now. And I’ve even seen platforms now where we can even upload the video to YouTube, like high res and, and HD format.

And it’s so interesting. Some of the things that are happening are kind of on that side of the world. So there are lots of opportunities. And I guess in closing, I’d love to understand where you wanna send people. Like to learn more. I have subscribed to your blog for a while. I think I’m even syndicating some of your content over on eCommerce Fastlane right now, you really have a lot of great content marketers that are helping, kind of, I guess, frame the narrative around creators and influencers and brands.

So interesting. Some of the topics that you brought up, but you know, where do you wanna send people today? And I know we also chatted a little bit about a listener-only kind of promotion or audit and things just to see if they fit into that category being a good customer of Captiv8. So maybe you can kind of unpack that a bit for us.

I think the easiest place is going to captiv8.io and you’ll see a link for just getting more details around. TikTok as well as more details around Shopify and our solution there. If you submit a request for a demo or a request for info, when you mention eCommerce Fastlane, we’ll do a free audit of your current program. We’ll do a deep dive in terms of looking at what your current setup is on Shopify, the types of influencer programs you’re running, and see if Captiv8 is a good fit for solving your immediate objectives.

Okay, so that’s excellent. So we’re gonna offer a free audit basically. So yes, just actually just go to captiv8.io. I’ve just gone there myself to have a look. So it’s in the upper right-hand corner. Just says, book a demo, get your demo. It’s fast and it’s free. So fill that in there. When they bounce back an email to you to let you know, to book, date, and time mention that you’re on Fastlane, it’s more than just a demo, but actually getting a full audit of kind of what your current workflow is or not.

I think your agents will know by looking at the brand kind of like their maturity and complexity and kind of where they are at today and you know, what could great look like by getting involved with Captiv8? I think you can probably offer a couple of nuggets to them and saying, no, we are a good fit. Look at this slice and dice the data.

Do you kind of know your target audience? Do you know, kind of, is there a certain particular product or a promotion that you’re trying to achieve? And if you are, then here’s how we would do it. You know, based on that, you should give us a try very notable that you’re actually gonna do that. ‘Cause I think a lot of maybe platforms don’t really, it’s kind of a DIY approach you kind of just, you know, put out to the wolves.

So I appreciate you at least getting a demo of, and then see if it’s a good fit showing the platform exactly how it works. So I really do appreciate that. So, other than that, thank you so much for coming to the show today. I really do appreciate it. I know, you know, one thing that I’m pretty sure, you know, but Shopify really is on a mission to make commerce, better for everyone.

And you know, based on this conversation today, I like I’ve learned a ton. I mean, I have like, you can’t see the papers, but I’ve written two pages of notes. Just it’s a life of learning I have. And you know, I believe that both you and your team are really are also entitled alignment with Shopify to improve efficiencies for sure and grow revenue and lifetime value, you know, through this creator economy or this influencer economy. I think it’s quite exciting. So, just wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your vision and just giving back to the Shopify ecosystem.

Awesome. Thanks so much, really appreciate the opportunity here. It was really fun chatting.

All right. Have yourself a great day.

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All right. Go check them out. conversionfanatics.com. Well, that’s it for today’s episode, I’d like to thank you. A loyal listener of eCommerce Fastlane. It’s my hope that this podcast is offering you a ton of value through growth strategies, tactics, and exclusive insider tips on the best Shopify apps and marketing platforms.

All with my personal goal, to help you build, launch, grow, and scale with Shopify. Thanks for investing some time today and listening to the show. I’m so proud and excited that you have a growth mindset and our constant learner. I truly appreciate you and your entrepreneurial journey.

Enjoy the rest of the week and keep thriving with Shopify.