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Affiliate Marketing Podcast S11 Ep5 Shopify Collabs: It’s WOM Marketing – but on steroids!

Join Lee-Ann in the Affiliate Marketing Podcast to discuss trends in affiliate marketing, including WOM marketing, with Shopify Collab’s Product Leader, Mike Schmidt.

You know Shopify. Its adverts are fast-paced and all over YouTube, showing how even you can become a merchant by selling your clothes and items on the Shopify platform. Shopify Collabs, however, can help you build your business and your relationships with influencers. Find out what you can learn from Mike Schmidt when it comes to marketing your brand to this new generation, and just what has WOM marketing got to do with it?

What is WOM marketing?

WOM, or Word-of-Mouth marketing, is pretty self-explanatory but very impactful. The sad fact for marketers is that nothing will really beat word-of-mouth. We consider who gives us references and reviews on products very carefully, and at the top of that pyramid are people we know personally. On the bottom are brands, and in the middle are the para-social relationships we make with influencers.

In listening to Mike explain how Shopify works, Lee-Ann said: “It’s kind of like word-of-mouth marketing, but on steroids. This is what kind of sparks my mind when you’re talking about this influencer content-created community because everyone’s talking about Gen Z and how they interact with digital, how they interact online.”

“They’re not even going to websites anymore. They’re just going straight to TikTok. And they’re buying from people that are telling them, showing them, promoting these products as part of their lifestyle and the whole content curator community is becoming a much bigger piece of the partnership economy.”

Mike agreed, mentioning a collaboration with Moonboon: “Moonboon is a super cool company. You can see our case study on the website that they are absolutely crushing it with mom influencers. And you could say if you put Shopify Collabs plus your brand, you generate sales.”

Find the case study here.

What can brands learn from Word-of-Mouth marketing?

There are ways that you can get higher on that pyramid without being a direct friend of your customer. For example, the main lesson that Mike is taking from WOM marketing is authenticity, which is what makes Word-of-Mouth marketing so powerful.

Mike said: “Word-of-Mouth advertising is the key, but authenticity is this other piece that creators and influencers can really exploit.

“I love this too because so many brands come to me and they’re like, ‘I have this really polished material. I spent like 10 grand on this content’. I’m like, ‘You know, people want to see your content with an iPhone 6’.”

“They want to see the closeups of your packaging, they want to see what an unboxing looks like, they want to see how it’s made. Talk to your supplier, talk to the CEO [and ask] what makes these brands tick. Like making that authentic world feel a little bit more real through the advocates, the influencers, the creators that are really supporting the business.”

Mike’s take on the AI hype

There is a lot of talk around the idea of AI even since ChatGPT’s introduction in November of last year, but it seems like that’s been dialled up a notch with this new release of ChatGPT4. People are feverishly talking about it, whether it’s simply saying “Nothing will change” or “Everything will change”.

Mike, for one, seems to be taking a more middle-of-the-road approach, appreciating the merits it has now.

Mike said: “I really do think the world of machine learning is catching up to a place where it can like automate a ton of these amazing things that we can do with creators and influencers.

“That being said, a human will always be necessary to build a relationship. Amen. That being said, you can automate a ton of the nitty gritty, you know what I mean? Finding people, sending comms, reminders, etc. You can do all these really, really simple things to make it easier on both sides.”

If you are interested in more affiliate and social media marketing insights, take a look at our blog for all the latest news and advice. Or for a more personalised approach, book a free call with a member of our team.

Or, for the very best advice from industry peers, register to gain access to our Amplify Action Day. Taking place in January 2023 doesn’t mean you’ve missed it. Amplify aims to bring you the latest affiliate, performance, and partner marketing insights from across the globe and it’s all available to stream from our website.

Listen to find out more about:

  • Background on Mike’s marketing career
  • The rapid change in the landscape of affiliate marketing and customer acquisition
  • The “disruption” of working with merchants over influencers

Key segments of this podcast and where you can tune into go direct

[10:00] – Levelling the playing field for small businesses with Shopify

[20:00] – The power of simplicity in your products

[30:00] – Key trends that Mike predicts in the affiliate marketing industry for 2023

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