As Influencer Marketing has matured, dozens of agencies and dedicated networks have sprung up with the aim of helping companies and Influencers connect. But some Influencers say that working with Influencer networks and some Influencer agencies can be cumbersome and difficulties arise in the negotiation. Check out the latest article on Social Jack! #InfluencerMarketing


1) Own your data.

As obvious as this sounds, almost no companies actually take the necessary, simple steps to own their visitor data. This is mostly due to the fact that until today, there wasn’t a very easy way to capture anonymous visitors and store them in a compliant way using a persistent identifier (doesn’t expire as browser cookies do). Now you can deploy a simple, inexpensive way to identify, own, and control your first-party data. This is truly a “digital asset” for your company. Businesses that own their data are always worth more than those who don’t, in varying degrees. How much would a company like Facebook be worth if it didn’t own its visitor data? Much, much less. Some would argue zero. When you run 3rd party tracking pixels on your site, you’re basically handing over your visitor data to those companies. Now you can leverage identity resolution to capture your 1st party data as you make it: permanent, portable, and more profitable.

Google recently announced it is phasing out 3rd party cookie tracking (HUGE deal). Facebook just made a similar announcement making it easy for users to “be forgotten“. These changes make owning and controlling your website visitor data more important that its ever been.

2) Create custom audiences that NEVER expire.

Rather than using browser cookie-based tracking technology as most do, we link the visitor back to their known identity (in the form of a hashed email that can never expire as a cookie does). Shockingly, browser cookies actually have a short life expectancy, just 35-45 days on average (as of 2019 statistics). This is primarily due to consumers becoming more privacy-focused, clearing their cache more often. This is one key benefit to building your retargeting audiences using identity resolution vs. traditional cookie-based tracking is that hashed emails never expire. And moreover, all of the major ad platforms can accept your list of identified visitors (hashed emails) and match those back to the most current known set of device ID’s for each visitor. Now you can retarget visitors for as short or as long as you want, or seasonally (think Black Friday sales), or “drip” on them forever. Also, if you happen to like some platform’s ad targeting filters (say… Facebook ads manager), great! You can upload your new list of identified visitors as a custom audience, then further filter from there using Facebook’s tools.

3) Increase your ROI by 200%-300%+ by uploading audiences to your preferred ad platforms for retargeting (and creating suppression list for front-end ads).

Like using Facebook for targeting and/or retargeting? Great! Keep doing it. But given the fact that the average browser cookie is dying faster and faster, imagine how many times you’re paying to get the same visitor to your site over and over from Facebook boosted posts and ads. Like most marketers, you probably have some front-end ad campaigns and also your retargeting campaigns. The retargeting campaigns should always be cheaper since those are prospects already familiar with your brand, have been to your website, etc. So imagine how much money you’re wasting by Facebook repeatedly targeting those visitors with your front-end ad campaigns because their system stops recognizing the prospect as already having been to your website. If you run your campaigns consistently, you are most likely paying 3-5 times per year to drive the same visitor into your retargeting campaign. Start using identity resolution to create a permanent targeting audience, one where the prospects stay in your retargeting audience where they belong – putting those prospects on a shorter path to close/convert.

4) Upload audiences to new ad accounts for true omni-channel, people-based marketing (Platform Agnostic).

Once you own and control your visitor data in the form of hashed emails, this audience can be uploaded into virtually any of the major ad platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Adwords, YouTube, DoubleClick, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, OpenX, Taboola, and more. You can even leverage this custom audience to retarget on streaming TV platforms like AppleTV, YouTubeTV, HuluTV as well as streaming radio services like iHeartRadio and Pandora. One pixel to rule them all.

5) Upload audience to Facebook to build a lookalike audience.

You’re probably well aware of Facebook’s “lookalike audience” capability which is very helpful when trying to zero-in on targeting your ideal audience. You can now build even stronger lookalike audiences by leveraging your identified website visitor custom audience. Why would a lookalike based on your ID’d visitors yield better results? Well this gets a bit into the weeds but we’ll try and keep it simplified: Facebook’s algorithm matches overlapping online behaviors of those users it can identify on your site, but a fair % of those may be the same visitor on different devices (duplicates). The average user has 3+ devices these days so it’s fair to reason that the duplicate issue is real. The more duplicates that are fed into an equation could skew the results in trying to identify real patterns among a set of users. Example: If I visited your website about stock trading and previously visited sites about learning guitar, and I do so on all 4 of my devices, that would be construed as 4 “votes” in the algorithm as those two types of websites visited as being a pattern for your ideal avatar and that may not be a pattern at all. Now take this issue and extrapolate it out over hundreds of thousands of duplicate visitors in your lookalike audience recipe and that could cause targeting inaccuracy. Aside from the duplicates issue, there’s the potential for not getting the full picture in cases of products with long sales cycles (anything over 45 days). With the shorter life expectancy of browser cookies, how can any lookalike algorithm work optimally to detect patterns among users in a 90-day sales cycle when the data input only covers 60 days? Answer: Its difficult. The solution: try creating a Facebook lookalike audience based on a tighter seed list from your identified website visitors and test that lookalike audience head-to-head (same ads, budget, everything else) against the new lookalike audience and see which one performs better.

6) Upload audience to Google to build a “similar audience.”

The idea here is similar to the Facebook example above. Google calls their lookalike audience a “similar audience” and the algorithm is supposed to be about the same. The big difference is that Facebook can generate a lookalike audience with just 100 site visitors uploaded whereas Google requires 1000 or more (usually more). Also, there have been reports that Google is now restricting the upload of hashed emails to seasoned ad accounts (no newbie accounts allowed). To know for sure, you can try uploading a batch of 1000+ emails (hashed or not) as a custom audience in Adwords and see if Google accepts it. Once you have your “Similar Audience” built-in Adwords, you can run your best performing ads at this new target and compare against your legacy targeting.

7) Append key enrichment data for B2B visitors to produce full lead records

The questions always pop up around consumer privacy so it’s important to clarify the distinction between running identity resolution on a pure B2B site or landing page vs. a consumer-driven website. There are strict privacy laws around consumer protection that you should adhere to, especially in California and the GDPR-governed EU region of the world. Always check the area where your ads show to be sure you are following the rules. If you are unsure, consult with a specialized attorney in consumer privacy protection. That being said, there are generally fewer privacy rules when it comes to marketing to businesses online. If you are businesses marketing a product to other businesses (B2B), then you should generally be ok marketing to them directly. There are data enrichment companies nowadays who can easily take the identifier uncovered during identity resolution and convert that into essentially full lead records. Again, be very careful you are following all applicable privacy rules but unlocking this powerful data about website visitors actively browsing your website is incredibly powerful. The cost for this is typically just a few cents per record at most enrichment vendors and they can typically return fields such as: full name, home address, email, phone number, and more.

8) Append complete demographic, consumer, and behavioral enrichment data to learn more about your visitors.

While many identity resolution scenarios revolve around lead generation, there’s also value in simply understanding more about your visitor audience in terms of the demographic makeup, behavioral patterns, consumer purchase behaviors, and more. Essentially, gaining the ability to visualize what your visitors have in common vs. just having a lookalike audience understand it but keeping it a secret. There are enrichment data vendors who can take the persistent identifiers you collect and return a wealth of data about those individuals, usually hundreds of fields. So while keeping the consumers’ identities concealed, you could may discover things like: most of your visitors drive a BMW, or the majority of visitors own a home vs. rent, or the majority of your visitors are DIY enthusiasts, or the majority of your visitors have kids, and so on. Creating a more complete picture of who your ideal customers are can help in building the “ideal customer profile” or avatar. You can apply this to all of your marketing, both online and offline to better position your product or service to your ideal audience. As always, be sure to keep the consumer PII (personally identifiable information) concealed anytime you’re doing data enrichment. If you have any questions on whether you should proceed with appending visitor data, be sure to consult with a qualified attorney.

9) Append postal address data to retarget via postcards or mailers.

Once you identify your site visitors, you can even send them a physical postcard. Yes! There are actually quite a few data enrichment companies out there who can take a hashed email and give you back the home address to mail if you wanted to get more targeted with your mailings. Similar to the examples above, be very careful to adhere to consumer privacy protections. So who still sends physical mail pieces? Actually lots do: Realtors, Insurance Agents, Medicare Providers, Restaurants, and more. Up until now, these companies would have to pay thousands of dollars per run to blanket entire zip codes with the hope of 1%-5% being in-market for their product or service. Today, you can get much, much more targeted by simply retargeting only those who are actively browsing your website.

10) Eliminate 100% of bot traffic in your ad campaigns.

Did you know that statistically as much as 15% of all ad campaign funds are wasted on showing ads to bots? Yes, this crazy wasteful. Now there is a solution offered by RevBooster that matches your website visitors back to a known identity and then uploading that “clean audience” into your ad campaigns for retargeting. The end result? You’re ensured to only be showing ads to humans. In this case, the humans who were actively browsing your product or service. On larger budget ad campaigns, the savings of this waste along could justify the cost of the service.

11) Segment, package, and market your audience targeting data for sale to strategic partners.

This is perhaps the most exciting aspect of how identity resolution is completely changing the playing field. Up until now, tech giants like Google and Facebook are collecting and leveraging your site visitors for their own ad purposes and you could only access them by playing their game, within their “walled gardens”. Well not anymore. By identifying and owning your 1st party data, YOU now have those Google-like superpowers. One superpower you now possess is the ability to make your targeting data / anonymized custom audience data portable. Consider who else in your industry, or other strategic partners, would find value in having the ability to buy your audience targeting? Probably quite a few. Example: For a larger auto dealer, they can market their audience targeting data to strategic partners including car insurance partners, auto finance partners, auto leasing partners, or even sell the targeting data for >90 day old prospects to competitors if they wanted. All-in, the auto dealer could produce an entirely new revenue stream – a DATA revenue stream – which could generate as much as $1M/year in additional revenue (depending on their website volume and cost per match). By owning and controlling your 1st party website data, now YOU can legitimately create new revenue streams by anonymizing, packaging, and marketing your targeting data to strategic partners.

12) Identify who’s clicking on your shortened/tracking links.

If you’re currently using a link shortener like Bitly to shorten your links for tracking purposes or visual enhancement, you can now also embed an identity resolution pixel in the shortened link using a custom shortener tool. Why is this a total industry game-changer? Because now you can get much more than just how many clicks your links got, or the IP address of those who clicked. Now you can leverage the full power of identity resolution to capture, own, and control your 1st party data in the form of your link clickers. These are users clicking on links everywhere outside your websites: social media posts, links under your YouTube videos, links in your online ads, and much more. Contact us to learn more about how you can start building powerful, permanent retargeting lists from those who click on your shortened links.


These are just some of the powerful ways you should be leveraging your 1st party data. To get started, you’ll need to be running identity resolution on your website or tracking links.

Learn more about Identity Resolution or Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how you can start making your visitor data: permanent, portable, and more profitable.

Digital Thought Leadership – What is it and why is it important?

In the world of thought leadership, especially our “digital thought leadership” we need to be more conscious than ever about everything we have online rather than just our website or LinkedIn profiles.

In our recent surveys and polling of industry leaders, we have found on average 70% of professionals seeking new business lose referrals from lack of a consistent digital footprint. What does this mean? This means we must be aware of everything that we have online that includes our company's name or our name on it. When someone hears about our company or our people, the first thing they do is Google us. We are all one click away from rejection, and it happens more than we think. We are being judged and scored all the time based on what people find online. It truly is a brave new world.

We also now know the impact of things like user generated content, employee advocacy, digital thought leadership, social selling, influencer marketing and other areas that have evolved in our short digital lifetime.

But one thing that has not gone away is our digital reputation, which is built by our digital footprint. In fact, my first company was, launched over 12 years ago because we saw it happening then. We even saw our university students not getting admitted or losing scholarships based on what the admission offices found online.

My interview from 2010, this is not new, it’s just worse.

digital thought leadership

And for those of us in business, it can impact brand credibility in ways we cannot even see, market share, recruiting, retention, sales and yes most importantly the one thing most of us rely on, referrals.

Digital Footprint – Definition

I thought it would be prudent to start with this since many people ask us what a Digital Footprint or Digital Shadow is. Not a new term to our world, but maybe to yours. (Thanks Wikipedia)

Digital footprint or digital shadow refers to one's unique set of traceable digital activities, actions, contributions and communications manifested on the Internet or on digital devices.[1][2][3][4] On the World Wide Web, the internet footprint;[5] also known as cyber shadow, electronic footprint, or digital shadow, is the information left behind as a result of a user's web-browsing and stored as cookies. The term usually applies to an individual person, but can also refer to a business, organization and corporation.[6]

There are two main classifications for digital footprints: passive and active. A passive digital footprint is data collected without the owner knowing (also known as data exhaust),[7] whereas active digital footprints are created when personal data is released deliberately by a user for the purpose of sharing information about oneself by means of websites or social media.[8] Information may be intentionally or unintentionally left behind by the user; with it being either passively or actively collected by other interested parties. Depending on the amount of information left behind, it may be simple for other parties to gather large amounts of information on that individual using simple search engines.

Tony Fish expounded upon the possible dangers of digital footprints in a 2007 self-published book.[9] The closed loop takes data from the open loop and provides this as a new data input. This new data determines what the user has reacted to, or how they have been influenced. The feedback then builds a digital footprint based on social data, and the controller of the social digital footprint data can determine how and why people purchase and behave.

Public vs. Private

Before we move forward, it is important that you understand what we mean by public versus private. In our definition, when we say public it means that anyone can find that profile or your data simply by searching on Google. It's open, it's available, they can read it, they can see it, they can find it. Private means you might have an account, or some data locked down someone either needs a password to access that platform or they need your permission to read it, keyword permission. It's important that you understand which accounts you and your employees have that are public or private.

digital footprint

Facebook starting the trend in the cleanup

You might have heard recently that Facebook has activated the “Clear History” button. This is the beginning step to allow you to start cleaning up your digital footprint, but it's only the beginning as both Forbes and Facebook stated in the article: the best person in control of data is you.

dean delisle social jack influencer

Article from Forbes: This New Facebook Tool Reveals How You Are Being Tracked Online

Next Beginning Steps

Let's take these steps in order so we can get in shape. When we start a new client account, the first thing we do is look at the digital footprint of the organization and what we call ‘customer facing employees’, which could be sales, customer service, operations, finance or however your company operates when interfacing with the outside. While reading this, you should even take an inventory of those most critical departments and or employees. This is why employee advocacy is so critical. We start with a scan, then clean up recommendations and then provide a step-by-step process of how to get it done. We continue on to train people on how to appear online and really be seen as thought leaders on behalf of the organization– even at the smallest roles.

Step One – Google Your Company

First, simply Google your organization’s name. Analyze what comes up, who's connected, which competitors come up, maybe even see which competitors are advertising with your name, what sites do you have that you forgot about, and so on. Take an inventory of these results so you are aware and can begin the cleanup process. This is the first critical part of your bounce rate on referrals. I bet most of you don’t even have your Google Business Page up to date, or maybe you don’t even have one at all.

thought leadership business

Also note if your content is relevant to what you are selling today, are your employees represented accurately  and are they relevant to how you're positioning them as experts to service your clients? Remember: this is what people are finding.

Step Two – Google Your Employees

This is probably one of the most common pieces we find that is overlooked. We spend a lot of money doing head shots and writing bios for employees that we list on the website, especially the customer facing ones; However, we don't go to the next step and actually Google those employees to see how they look online or even if they show that they work at the organization. We find that 75% of employee profiles are outdated both in position and representation of skills on behalf of the organization.

We once had a prospect that came to us and lost a 4-million-dollar project they were in the final running for, and the last critical step was that their employee profiles on LinkedIn matched the website but did not match the proposal. I'm writing this at the beginning of 2020, which means we are probably all launching new products, services, programs, and maybe even new divisions of our organization. That means we have talent or our talent has been updated to service those areas, is that being represented accurately, rather than like everyone else?

digital thought leadership courses

In our digital thought leadership courses, we train how important it is that we are all individuals that have stories, skills, and experiences that make us unique. When these qualities are towed properly and properly connected to the brand, it will not only accelerate the credibility of the brand but humanize the brand so that it's more approachable. Please note: we discussed this in great detail in our webinar called “7 Steps to Rock Your Personal Brand Online” on our Social Jack platform that you can access it for free by going to Social Jack and searching for content. There are hundreds of relevant classes and materials here to help.

how to be a digital thought leader

Linked to this recording: CLICK HERE

Step Three – Take Inventory and Score

It is important that once you know this information, you take inventory and even score or rank your findings. We have a scoring system for this, and if you would like to contact us we can coach you on how to do this part. The important thing is to keep it simple, this is a true awareness exercise for your brands overall credibility.

There are many apps today that can be used to track, score and will fit any budget or level of sofistication. The screen above is an Employee Advocacy Platform that scores the engagement and interaction of your employees online as an example. This platform is called GaggleAmp..

gaggle amp thought leadership

Step Four – Game Plan

Now that you are aware, it's time to set a game plan to create a more credible digital footprint. We have a process we call the “Rapid Launch Plan” when we do this for companies. You may have your own planning system, but keep in mind that now what you want to do is understand how your organization is sharing content and representing themselves from a digital footprint perspective, ultimately inserting this newfound knowledge and awareness into that plan.

As you can see below, the net effect of this isn't just referrals and new leads, but it affects retention, market share, recruiting, culture, and many other things in either a positive or negative perspective. This is your opportunity to really put 2020 on a great track for you and your organization.

thought leadership coaching

Step 5 – Training and Coaching

In the diagram you'll notice at the very bottom it says training and coaching. We have this as Step 5 as part of the cleanup process because many times, marketing will take over and just clean things up without involving the individuals, and all they're trying to do is help the brand. This is great, except people have to take ownership of their own personal digital footprint or this will never work. It will also create failure in any attempt to implement employee advocacy programs, which we have seen time and time again.

lead gen training and coaching

Now, we can have an entire blog just on training alone and what you should train on, however, we have listed some of the common areas above that are covered in our employee advocacy programs and areas that we know that are important to increase necessary digital skills for your employees, collectively helping the brand.

Summarizing Digital Thought Leadership

The most important thing is to involve your people in the entire cleanup process. Have them take ownership in their story, personal brand, influence, and their digital thought leadership. This process alone will allow you to not only have a stronger more connected culture, but really increase the credibility, visibility, and viability of your brand in the marketplace. It will also humanize your brand and make it feel more approachable to those considering doing business with you.

I hope you find this useful, and please leave comments below that you believe will help readers to learn from your journey so we can continue to help each other and make this a healthy digital business world for all of us.

To learn more about digital thought leadership as well as other content, blogs, videos, training and classes check out Social Jack.

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