Influencer marketing as a growth engine

November 20, 2019

Can't remember that password? Worried about your online identity? Need someone to keep track of any security breaches that may impact you? Dashlane can help. But even Dashlane needs help once in a while, and the app company is turning to influencers to spread the word about its services. Find out how influencer marketing can help you grow your app's audience in this exclusive interview.

Peggy: Hey, hi, I'm Peggy Anne Salz here at Mobile Growth Summit, where we have been talking to our speakers, our sponsors, some amazing app publishers, great show all around. And I'm excited to have Michael Melia. He is head of influencer marketing at Dashlane. First of all, Michael, great to have you here. Dashlane, you know, it is like I've outsourced my mind actually with Dashlane. My brain is there. So you don't need to tell me about Dashlane but tell our viewers a little bit about it.

 

Michael: So, Dashlane, as you well know, it's a one-stop shop for your digital identity protection. And it goes beyond just being a password manager, it goes beyond just being sort of a simple tool for your online identity, because it touches every part of your online existence and keeps you safe. Dashlane does all the things that you don't want to do, like helping you create really strong passwords, helping make sure that you don't reuse passwords everywhere, and automatically telling you alerts when one website you belong to, or having an account with is breached, and tells you, for example, all the other websites where you use the same password, because I'm sure that you will still have the same password for different websites. And it's really cool. I mean, we've made a lot of leaps and strides this year in terms of our product development and in terms of, you know, where we're kind of going with it, and influencer has played a really interesting part in that story.

 

Peggy: That's interesting because, I mean, before I was watching Dashlane, I've done some interviews with them before and it was about, you know, this is how we're growing our app. This how we're growing our user acquisition. It was all very much about, you know, which platform and... You know, so it was very much performance marketing, you know. And of course, you've got word of mouth, like unbelievable. So, you know, organics and paid, and now influencer marketing, is that something new at Dashlane?

 

Michael: That is something new. So, it's something that we tried and tested the waters with maybe about a year and a half or two years ago. And we had had some experimentation with it, but we didn't really know the best practices and also, especially back then, there wasn't a lot of data in terms of how to turn influencer marketing into performance marketing. And, you know, a lot of the talk about it then wasn't very much for brand awareness, for getting your brand in front of people and, you know, getting in front of eyeballs. And now, you know, we took our own approach to influencer marketing that we apply on other paid channels and we've turned it into something which is much more performance-based than it has been before.

 

Peggy: Well, that's amazing because a lot of people are still looking for that. You know, how do I take the influencer marketing reach and know has it been converting? Is it incremental? Is it real? So you've really worked on that formula. Is that something you think that you've come to a point where you can say, "If I spend this on influencer marketing, I'm pretty close I'm going to see this in a conversion?"

 

Michael: We've got a secret sauce.

 

Peggy: Okay. I won't ask you about it. You won't tell me about it, Michael. But we're great.

 

Michael: Yeah.

 

Peggy: The industry is waiting.

 

Michael: It takes a lot of trial and error. It takes a lot of experimentation. But thankfully, Dashlane has a culture of experimentation with paid marketing in general. And I think that, you know, to get that kind of performance success for any other utility app, or any other, you know, software tool, you really do need to have that experimentation mindset when it comes to influencer marketing. It's very much like, you know, evaluating what's gonna work and what's not gonna work, and you don't have all the answers. So, you won't know immediately, you know, what's going to be the big hit. And it's part of just building a balanced portfolio and making sure that things tick along smoothly, and then you'll find your answers.

 

Peggy: I mean, I'm going to ask you, you don't necessarily have to answer it, but, you know, when you're thinking about this now that you have a formula, don't show me the formula, that's not the point, but to understand, you know, what is the conversion or what is the uplift that you can imagine, a ballpark...so, when people say, you know, why invest in influencer marketing? You have a formula, you put some numbers to that. Could you give me a range of like what the payoff is, what the uplift, why it's worth the effort?

 

Michael: Well, here's what I can say, is that influencer has become a sustainable paid marketing channel for Dashlane, thinking about just attributed accounts, which has been great. And today, at our panel, we had a really interesting discussion about attribution and trying to, you know, measure your performance with influencer marketing, which is always a very nebulous concept. Becoming better, but still very nebulous in general. And we work very much on those attributed accounts, and everything else that we get from that is icing on the cake. You know, the brand awareness, the exposure everywhere, and it's, you know, we manage to make it work as a paid channel, like anything else. And then on top of that, we find success with all the sort of evergreen effect of having your videos on YouTube forever, which is really cool.

 

Peggy: So, a little bit of that, like, K-Factor Nebula is gone, and you have a feel for, through attribution, there's a proper approach that's given unto you. I'm trying to imagine, you know, influencer marketing is always simple if you're thinking about games, and e-sports, and cool stuff, and fashion, and foodie things. That's an easy one. You're like a life-saving app, you know, you're a utility app. It's hard to imagine how you can make that sort of like influencer-cool. Because you can't sort of like imagine someone saying, "Hey guy, you gotta try out Dashlane. And this is really cool." So, how are you actually approaching influencer marketing? Because, you know, as a utility, there's a message, but there's also, I guess, you have to be very authentic about it.

 

Michael: Absolutely. Now, that's a really good question. And the simple answer to that is, we do it by telling stories, which is why influencer works so well. Because Dashlane, as a utility, it's something that interfaces very strongly with people who use it for their own purposes. And you use it in your own way, no matter who you are, no matter what you're doing with it, those are the stories that we tell in influencer. So, whether you are someone who's traveling all the time and going to different airline lounges and, you know, you need to stay safe and keep all of your flights and hotel bookings and everything together, receipts, your logins, your rewards numbers, all of this, we tell this story with these kinds of creators.

 

If you are a gamer and you use lots of different services to log in on your PC, you know, and you want to keep all of your services safe so that there's not a major breach that'll compromise you, like, for example, Sony, you know, this is the story that we tell through them. And what's so exciting about Dashlane in influencer, is that it's something that really applies to everybody in the world. Anyone who uses the internet is someone that can benefit from Dashlane just because everyone has logins, and, you know, everyone has to stay safe with the large number of breaches that have occurred even just in the past couple months and, you know, one, two, three years. I mean, it's been enormous. And so, it's just, we find success by telling stories about that, where everyone can relate to it in their own way.

 

Peggy: So, is it like a checklist for influencer? I'm trying to think, it's easy if I think of like a rock star personality, or something for these other app categories, but I'm trying to think, the rock star frequent flyer? I mean, how do you figure that one? How do you find that person or how do you, you know, drill down and say, "This is the one for us and this is the that one is not for us"?

 

Michael: Yeah, it's interesting because YouTube is full of really passionate people. And I've always loved YouTube. I always watched YouTube before I started doing influencer here, and I dabbled in it elsewhere too. But, you know, I'm just a fan of people who are passionate about things that I'm also passionate about. So, for example, music and guitars, and I love channels that talk about guitars and breakdown songs and, you know, talk about history of them. And there are so many people that are passionate on YouTube that it's been great for us to like hook into their stories. Because as I mentioned earlier, you know, it's something that really links up to anyone who uses the internet. And so, we use the stories of these different passionate people in order to get the value of Dashlane across.

 

Peggy: I mean, I haven't seen it, now I want to see it. So, what is like the influencer spot for Dashlane with the guitar, you know, a passionate person about music? What is it? Like, I use this because then I can search the internet and find all this cool stuff and mash it together, and I know my password. So, I mean, what is the story?

 

Michael: So, there's actually a video that we're working on that's coming up with a channel of a guy who buys used guitars. And he saw eBay, Reverb, Craigslist, you know, these are all sources to buy used guitars, but there's always a problem of fraud. There's always a problem of, you know, getting your Paypal hacked, or your eBay account hacked, and this can lend to, you know, a lot of problems if you're someone who regularly buys and sells vintage guitars, for example. And so, telling that story is a way to protect your livelihood in this passion hobby for this individual influencer...

 

Peggy: I see.

 

Michael: ...is how that sort of links back into what he talks about, which is always buying and selling. And there's a lot of different ways to tell that story, and we like to do it through the specific narratives that they craft. For a video about an experience when it turned out that someone who was going to buy their guitar wanted to mail them a check, or a travelers check and, you know, it's like they didn't want to be scammed.

 

Peggy: Right.

 

Michael: And so, there's definitely lots of connections that we can draw from stories like that.

 

Peggy: So, we're going to be seeing more interesting stories from Dashlane. You're in influencer marketing. What's 2019 hold beyond this? What do you want to say, "Okay, here I am. I'm in charge of this..."? What would you like to say you have accomplished in 2019 for Dashlane? What is like a goal? Not that we're going to measure you on it later.

 

Michael: Sure. No, no, no.

 

Peggy: No, no, no. I was just curious what your ambitions are for this year.

 

Michael: Well, you know, we have the ambition at Dashlane to really get in front of as many people, and get that exposure in front of people who haven't heard about Dashlane, or who maybe you've heard about it, but, you know, haven't fully understood the value that it can deliver. And, you know, by really amplifying our reach this year on YouTube and on other platforms, we see that as a great way of just getting out in front of people and, you know, telling a really exciting story that people are gonna really believe in, especially in a place and in a world where there are more and more hacks every single month, and more and more breaches, and things like GDPR. And so, you know, we see this heightened interest in security, and I think that, you know, there's a rising tide in that interest in security that we're seeing match up with these amplification efforts that we're doing on YouTube and that we're doing through other marketing channels.

 

Peggy: And you said you're getting out more in the world, you absolutely, you know, you came to Mobile Growth Summit. What was the show like for you? Is there a takeaway, something you would take back to the office from here?

 

Michael: No. The show is great. I had a really good time and met lots of really interesting people. I think it's really a hub for people from all different interests in all different spheres in the mobile space. And influencer is interesting because that's the angle that I came at MGS from because it straddles mobile and desktop. But there...you know, I met a lot of interesting people with great ideas for new technologies and influencer for new applications of older technologies, for rethinking basic fundamentals of what influencer marketing is. And for me, you know, the height of this was in the panel where we discussed with some other leaders in the field, what the terrain looks like for 2019 and how that's changing. And I think that having MGS as a discussion point for that has just been amazing. It's been great.

 

Peggy: Well, great. And thank you for sharing here, with Mobile Growth, here on our show. Great to have you, Michael.

 

Michael: Thank you. Really appreciate it.

 

Peggy: And thank you for tuning in.

 



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