Did you know over a third of adult social media users have made a purchase on Facebook? Social commerce and live shopping are now deeply integrated into platforms like Facebook and Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, and even Amazon.
Is that a trend your agency can leverage? You bet it is, and we’re talking to an ad agency veteran who currently consults for major brands on how to implement live shopping, and she can help you too.
In a twist, show producer Mike Allton joins the show so that host Stephanie Liu can sit in the guest seat and bring her 15 years of agency experience to bear. If she can coach NASA on how to live stream an astronaut from space, she can help us with shoppable videos on Amazon!
We also shared our favorite episodes and takeaways from Season Two of Agency Accelerated.
Think of it as your fun – and free! – consultation for your agency.
Expand to read the full transcript or find a section by timestamp.
[00:00:00] Stephanie Liu: Over one third of adult social media users have made a purchase on Facebook.1
Let that sink in for a moment.
Despite enduring years of competition from upstart networks and wave after wave of negative press, Facebook continues to dominate the social media landscape.
The most users. The most ad revenue. And now, as social commerce and live shopping take off, Facebook is the most active social network for eCommerce.
Is that a trend your agency can take advantage of in the coming year?
That’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Agency Accelerated.
Welcome back to Agency Accelerated, where we explore ways to grow & scale your agency with some of the most trusted brands and experts in the industry.
I’m Stephanie Liu and this, friend, is a special podcast episode just for you. Most episodes are with a guest expert that I interview on live video first, but today is going to be a little bit different. I do have a guest who I’ll bring on in a moment, but before I do, I want to set the stage a little bit for you.
I mentioned a moment ago that Facebook is currently the most active social network when it comes to social commerce, and it’s followed by Instagram and YouTube.
Let me share a few more statistics with you: 85% of large companies, 84% of medium-sized companies, and 57% of small companies already sell on social commerce platforms. And about half of US social media users bought something via social media in the last 12 months.
Do note that all of these metrics are skewed to the US and that regions in other parts of the world may favor different networks but the point is, more companies are using social media to not just share information about their brand or products, but actually sell items directly through the networks.
And more consumers are buying.
I want to talk about that today! But I also want to take this opportunity to chat for a moment about this past season of Agency Accelerated so I thought it’d be a great time to bring our producer, Mike Allton, on the actual show today as a co-host instead of just behind the scenes.
Mike is an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Head of Strategic Partnerships at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and partner brands. He is the producer and showrunner for this marketing agency podcast, Agency Accelerated. Mike is also the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing alongside Jenn Herman, Amanda Robinson, Eric Butow, and myself.
Hey friend! Welcome to the show!
[00:02:23] Mike Allton: Hey, thanks for having me. How are you doing?
Stephanie Liu: I’m doing good. How are you?
Mike Allton: Really good. But you know what? Before we get into today’s conversation, you know I like to use these recap shows to remind our audience what you’ve accomplished, Stephanie, why I tapped you to host this show. So for all of you who don’t know, Stephanie Liu is a live video strategist for brands and entrepreneurs–from moonwalkers to MasterChefs–who want to go from unknown to unforgettable. A digital marketing expert with 15 years of ad agency experience, she has helped thousands of her clients and students get on the Fascination Fast Track™ to ignite their ideas and become confident on camera.
With her proven system, clients discover how to create crave-worthy content, get audiences buzzing with excitement, and how to deliver a spell-binding presentation that hooks viewers in. Her client, MasterChef Claudia Sandoval, drove 178K downloads of her book from her first live stream within 24 hours. She’s also coached astronaut Jessica Meir and her team for a live interview in space.
Named as one of the Top 50 Digital Marketing Thought Leaders by the University of Missouri St. Louis, her work has been recognized and awarded by Forbes, Online Marketing Media And Advertising, PR Daily, Forrester, and Gartner 1to1 Media.
Anything else you’d like to add?
[00:03:40] Stephanie Liu: Also cosplay as a magma Stormtrooper, and I’m also known as Slay trooper
[00:03:46] Mike Allton: that is really relevant data. We should make sure that that is put into the show notes and on the pod. Hey, thank you for reminding me. So Stephanie, in season two, we talked to on Allen Kay, Guy Kawasaki, Lee Goff, Jairek Robbins, Kelly Mirabella and Kate Skavish.
And they were all amazing guests and terrific episodes. But you’ve got to pick one, which one? Just one was your favorite and why that one?
[00:04:15] Stephanie Liu: I would have to say my favorite would be Lee Goff. And the reason for that being Lee and I got really deep as far as talking about values, like what is our purpose for being here for doing the work that we do?
We have to understand, like it’s not just about paid media campaigns and writing copy and click through rates and all that stuff, but we’re putting all this time and effort. Into our work because we want to leave a legacy. And so the questions that he and I, you know, bounced back and forth, I thought is always helpful for any entrepreneur or for any agency that is trying to build and grow.
Because at the end of the day, what are you really putting out there? That’s going to make a difference for the next generation. I think that’s where like Lee Lee and I really, really. Cool. What about you?
[00:05:07] Mike Allton: Well, it was interesting because I definitely personally got a lot out of the episode with Guy because we talked a lot about his podcast.
And so as a result, I was taking notes, furiously and making a lot of tips as to things I could do differently as the producer of this podcast. But my favorite episode was probably Allen Kay. I just really enjoyed the stories he was sharing about. Add work and the process that he was going through with clients from the post nine 11 campaign to the Xerox campaign and, you know, all the different permutations he had to go through and the challenges that he had to kind of break through, right.
With clients to get them to accept his creative ideas and the kind of the genius behind what he wanted to accomplish and achieve some success. So I thought that was a terrific episode. Yeah. Yeah. Now of course we’ll link to all of these, but are there any particular. Takeaways or themes that stood out for you from any of those episodes?
[00:06:03] Stephanie Liu: I’d say mindset. Mindset is something that every marketer needs to be mindful of because a lot of times we’re looking at it as far as ROI. And if there’s anything that we learned from Guy Kawasaki and Allen Kay and Kelly and Jairek, it’s really about understanding. What’s the difference that makes a difference.
And to me, that’s really understanding the end user, what it’s, what are they trying to accomplish? And are you in tune with your audience, your customers, and understanding how they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, what their struggles are, because if you don’t address that, then a lot of your ad campaigns can come off as tone deaf.
Right? We wouldn’t Allen Kay was talking about like nine 11. Right. And what was the theme that was happening for that, or even we were talking to Lee and he’s saying like, look, if you want to scale and grow your agency, you have to get out of the practitioner mindset and start thinking like a CEO. And that means delegating.
That means embracing systems, just because you didn’t embrace systems before. Doesn’t mean it’s going to work as you scale and grow because you’re going to have different team members and you’re going to have to learn how to coach them. And so. You know, he came to the day when he was like, Hey, what’s the difference?
That makes a difference. And I was like, that’s right.
[00:07:17] Mike Allton: I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard you say that. I mean, as soon as he said it, I perked up, I was like, oh, okay. I know what we’re going to be talking about today. Yeah, I know for me. Tell him the same lines as, as mindset, but from an owner’s perspective, several of them, particularly Lee and Jairek were talking about defining success and how important it is for each individual agency owner to think about what does success mean to them. Is it more revenue? Is it lifestyle like in Lee’s case? Right? He can now go to Costa Rica for a couple of weeks where his sister moved and he can spend a lot of time there and he’s not stuck in that office trying to maintain the day-to-day operations of an agency that he doesn’t want to do. So I thought that was fascinating to hear them coach our agency audience through that process of determining what does success look like?
And then of course next, what are the steps that you need to go through? To accomplish that success. So I thought that was great. And I know that’s been kind of an underlying theme throughout all of our episodes, helping agency owners figure out what are the next steps that I need to go through to scale revenue, bring in more clients organize.
And that’s kind of leading into what we’re going to talk about today. Potentially a new line of revenue, because I want to talk about social commerce. And live shopping and I’ll Stephanie, this is a topic I am excited to geek out with you about because let’s face it. You’re kind of a big deal in this space.
So let’s start with the basics. What exactly is live shopping? I mean, isn’t that home shopping network or QVC?
[00:08:52] Stephanie Liu: It is, that’s exactly what I think of it. Right. It’s it’s back in the days when you would watch QVC or the home shopping network, and they would show you these products and, you know, if you really wanted it, you would dial in, or you could even like chat with a TV host, right?
Yeah. Ask your questions. Are you good rave about it? Like, oh, I bought this for me and I bought it. Remember my sister and all the different things. And to me, a live shopping is live-streaming and e-commerce put together and you can do it on a number of platforms. Now you can do this on Facebook live. You get, I mean, you can do this on live scale.
You could do this on pretty much anything. As long as you drop a link and say, Hey, if you want to buy this now book a coaching call or purchase a course or whatever it is. It’s. That’s live shopping. You’ve captured someone’s attention and now they want to shop with you. Even if it’s on Amazon live.
That’s the one that I’m like keeping an eye on you. I’m like, Ooh, this Amazon live shoppable videos, shoppable photos. It’s just exciting to see how much it’s evolving in the U S because let’s be honest, what’s happening like outside of the. It’s already matured in the U S is trying to catch up at this point.
[00:09:59] Mike Allton: Yeah, I noticed, I think it was a couple of weeks ago. We shared a link back and forth about a influencer overseas. I want to say China, that could be incorrect, but it was an influencer overseas who made like $10 million in a day live streaming shoppable products, which obviously that’s a huge number for most anybody else in the United States.
But it’s funny. I love why we do these interviews because when I asked you, is it like. I said that tongue in cheek, because I expected you to say no, it’s like QVC. And you’re like, yes, it’s exactly like QVC, which is funny, but true. So that was a great, excellent.
[00:10:32] Stephanie Liu: Yeah. I mean, when you think about it, like QVC is like your product showcase, right?
You’re highlighting the features, the benefits of a particular product, and you’re talking to a camera about it, but the difference is that QVC. QVC, but live shopping. You know, if it’s powered by, let’s say we’re good friends over at restream, you know, you can pitch a product, a book, a course, a consulting call on multiple platforms that I would still actually consider that live shopping at that time.
Cause you could always drop a link to your affiliates and whatnot. Yeah,
[00:11:07] Mike Allton: that’s very cool. So I heard you mentioned some statistics earlier and it’s kind of a bit, mind-blowing the, so many people are buying directly from social networks today. And I have to admit, I for one have been guilty of seeing an Instagram story and then purchasing that thing, whatever it is.
Would you agree that it’s a trend and that it’s trending up. And how do you see the social commerce scene looking next year?
[00:11:29] Stephanie Liu: I absolutely believe that it’s a trend. That’s going to be blowing up the way that I see this right, is like, so I actually have clients now who are interested in live shopping, but their marketing team are not comfortable on camera.
It’s not a thing. It’s not a skillset that they’ve learned. And so they’re now asking. Well, how does a brand work with an influencer? How does a brand reach out to an influencer? And now influencers are like, how can I get sponsored by a brand and whatnot? And so that’s where I see a lot of this expanding and growing in social commerce in the next year.
This is also another reason why I’m like geeking out about Amazon life. Because now you have these sellers on one of the world’s largest shopping platforms that are looking for content creators to talk about their product. When people are like, listen, when you’re on Amazon. You’re already ready to buy.
It’s not like you’re on Netflix and you’re just scrolling through just to find something. Just to watch, right? When you’re typically on Amazon, you already have this end goal of like, there’s something that I need. And so you’re already in a buying mentality. And so what I find interesting about Amazon live in particular is now you have these sellers, these merchants trying to build relationships with these contents.
[00:12:43] Mike Allton: Yeah, that is such a huge point because you mentioned Facebook is recording currently the largest amounts of buying by customers, but nobody goes to Facebook to buy anything. They’re there to, you know, see what their friends have posted, you know, community. Talking to a group, that sort of thing, which is in direct contrast to Amazon and they’re going there for one thing.
And one thing only to make a purchase of some
[00:13:06] Stephanie Liu: kind of capturing them in that right. Mindset. Yeah. You’re, you’ve got them in the right mindset. And not only that, though, if you think about how users are using. Instagram right on Instagram. You’re looking for inspiration. You’re looking for connection.
That’s generally what you’re looking for in, so now that you could do Instagram live shopping, and it integrates with your commerce store or even your Shopify, that’s another great way to build on that.
[00:13:34] Mike Allton: Yeah. Now I should mention all the statistics are from an e-marketer article. I’ll put that in the show notes as well.
And clearly we need to schedule another episode at some point, just to help agencies understand how to use Amazon live. Cause I don’t even know what it involves, what tools are out there. We’ll have th that’ll be a whole show I’m sure, but if social commerce and if live shopping are continuing to rise in popularity and acceptance, that means more and more businesses are going to need help.
And that means more opportunities for marketing agencies. So what are some ways that agencies can step in right away and start helping existing or prospective
[00:14:09] Stephanie Liu: clients? That’s a great question. I mean, there’s multiple ways that you can do this. So let’s start off with brainstorming as an agency. You could brainstorm with your clients for what the ideal.
Live shopping experience can look like what it could sound like. And so even if you’re just in the brainstorming phase, you can talk about the set design, the creative assets, the run of show. If you’re an agency that was well-versed with live streaming, now you’d actually be the producer. Now you could produce the actual show and that’s, that’s a part of doing the tech rehearsal.
Coaching the on-air talents, helping them create the product bundles that they want to sell while they’re on air. You could also even help your clients repurpose that live stream into bite-sized social media content that you sprinkle all over the internet. Right. And then the other piece of it too, is maybe you’re that agency that has connections to a specific niche of content creator.
Like agency accelerator. We know a bunch of marketers and marketers that love to talk on cameras. And so if someone was launching, let’s say a new live streaming platform, right. Where you can say, these are the influencers that you want to talk to because they have blah, blah, blah. They have this audience, they have a media kit and whatnot.
And you could be that agency that creates that bridge between the brand and the influencer. So that way they get their product or branding in front of the right audience. So I think there’s a lot of ways that agencies can step in and be a part of this. Social commerce experience. I would even say that if you were an agency that was.
Specialized in conversions. We’ll then how are you going to coach a client on how to create a better live shopping experience? Because if you’re like, Hey, watch this live stream, we have 30 products for you to choose from. I’d be like, oh, okay, wait 30, 30 is a lot. How do we narrow this down? Right? Like what’s the main product that we want to promote.
What’s the hero of this run of show that we need to spotlight. And that could be something else that an agency steps in and helps with
[00:16:07] Mike Allton: such a good point, because there’s so many other factors. And angles that a savvy agency could be looking at product messaging, competitive analysis, all these different things that they could be helping their potential e-commerce clients.
Cause it’s so much more than turning on a camera and talking about all the things, right. Cause that’s not necessarily going to resonate with the target audience. And that means it’s not necessarily going to actually do. Sales it’s much more than just being present. And I’ve got a question for you that I know.
I didn’t tell you. I was going to ask you, but that’s okay. You’ll answer it anyways. What are some of the fees that you’ve seen agencies charge for these kinds of services?
[00:16:43] Stephanie Liu: Oh, that is a really good question. Yeah. So for one particular live shopping platform, I know that they have producers on staff, right?
It’s, it’s kind of like a collaborative that they’ve put together. And for let’s say like a single, a single live shopping experience, it could be anywhere from like seven $5,700. And that’s just like a one-time production more often than not the home Windsor brand realizes. Oh my gosh. We went live once and we made like 10 grand.
Or our return on investment was like 10 X. What we actually put into this then sometimes I’ll even buy into a series. And so a series, gosh, that that could be anywhere from I’m thinking of like, what did I just pitch right now? So there’s one that I did where it’s six episodes with the option to renew.
And we were looking at a five figure. And it was everything as far as, it’s not just one live stream when you’re doing a live shopping experience, because once your audience realizes, oh my gosh, I get to shop with Mike Allton and now we have like the same thing. Right. And we could geek out about it.
They’re going to be interested in the next product launch that you have. And so when you create a series, More often than not, your client is going to want to buy into that. And so will the audience. And so pricing-wise five figures for that. I’ve seen numbers climb to like the double digit five, you know, like 18 grand, 20 grand.
It really depends on what the production is. And I think even agencies, if you were to specialize on a particular platform, right? Whether it’s stream yard, restream switcher studio, which is more for the mobile devices or even econ, all of that is really helpful because now you’re able to pitch to a client, the type of live shopping experience that they can produce, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, live scale, or even Amazon live.
You could be that agency that says I am an Amazon live production house. And these are the platforms that I know how to do, or our team is well-versed in we’re certified or whatever, and we can help you with that.
[00:18:45] Mike Allton: Yeah, it’s huge. Listen for just a second, because she talked about services that are extremely lucrative.
These aren’t, you know, 50 bucks to tweet out a post kind of a service thousands, potentially tens of thousands of dollars. And the other thing that I heard was recurring country. Yeah. So every agency should be paying very close attention to this trend and this potential revenue stream, because this is potentially a game changer for agencies and it’s not radically different from many of the things that many of you listening.
Right. Are already doing, we’re not talking about going from social media posting to building websites, which are very, very different. They’re still marketing, but they’re very different concepts and training and backgrounds. Pretty much any marketing agency can learn how to handle and how to support businesses with live shopping.
So to that end, let’s say I’m a marketing agency, or maybe I’m a large e-commerce brand. And I want to learn the ins and outs of social commerce and life shopping for my clients, or maybe myself. What would your process. For working with me,
[00:19:49] Stephanie Liu: look like generally, when I’m working with clients for a live shopping experience, we kick off with a planning session.
And this is really where we sit down and we ask, okay, what’s your desired outcome for this live shopping experience? What do you want your viewers to think, act and feel, or even do when they’re engaging with you in this live streaming? Sometimes you could just be like, we just want to educate them. We want to bust some myths or it’s basically, we want them to invest in themselves, but really help them understand that.
What’s your end goal, because a lot of times it’s a matter of like now, you know what your angle is, how you want this to look like, how do you want it to feel like, and there’s the way that there’s different shows. There’s the prices, right. Is a very different feel from like a CNN new segment. Right. So how do you envision this?
Do you see overlays? Do you see stingers? Do you imagine yourself having, you know, an expert, a doctor hop on the show to back up your claim, do you imagine having testimonials? And so a lot of times we’ll brainstorm the run of show. And even in, during that discussion, we also ask them, well, then who’s the on air talent.
Cause someone has to be on. And so we iron all of that in the planning phase. It’s like, is it going to be you? Is it someone on your team or do you have to work with an influencer? Because they could say, oh, well, you know, let’s get a doctor, but then you have to ask yourself, does the doctor actually have the technical capabilities to be.
And if not, are you as the brand going to provide that, is that within your budget? And so we’ll iron out. A lot of that we’ll develop the run of show and then we’ll do like a tech rehearsal, like, okay, how did that feel? How was the pace of it? You know, do we need someone to like, come in, you know, and drop a few jokes or what not?
Do we want to have music? What’s the ambiance and all the different things. And so we have the. And then we have the tech rehearsal and then the actual production of it, which is always going to be fun. And you have the back channel, you have to tell your client, you know, how’s it going to run? What do you expect?
Have the backups of backups of backups. And then after the show is done, it’s a matter of, okay, so let’s revisit what just happened. What did we learn? What questions do you have and what can we do better the next time around. Because the first time you’ve done the first one and it’s out there, right. It only goes up from there because now they’re like, oh, okay, now I’ve experienced it.
Now I know like, okay, I know where my guardrails are. I knew where my threshold is at. And then like the creativity gets even more exciting at that point.
[00:22:24] Mike Allton: I love how in depth, you just went even a couple of minutes of a highlight of a process. But what I’m taking from that is there’s a lot that goes into it.
There’s a lot of knowledge and experience that you’re bringing the table that would help an agency owner like me. Avoid all kinds of pitfalls, right? Like if I just decided tomorrow to do a live shopping experience and I have this expectation, like you said, that I’m going to get a real doctor and he’s going to make some claims about my product and I’m arranging this within 24 hours.
It’s not going to end very well. There’s going to be a lot of problems, you know, and I’m probably going to end up with my neighbor. He’s saying I’m not a doctor, but I play one on Mike’s life shopping TV show. Right. So that was terrific. Thank you
[00:23:04] Stephanie Liu: for that. I Mike, this has been a blast. I mean, it’s getting, getting to chat with you and geek out and all the things, especially with agency accelerated, I mean, you are kind of the one that’s bringing in the amazing guests that we get to geek out with on the show.
So thank you so much for that. Can you remind everyone where to learn more about the show?
[00:23:24] Mike Allton: Thanks for having me. Stephanie and we’ve made it easy for all of you folks who are listening right now, just go to agency accelerated.live. And there’s where you’ll always be able to find our past show recaps, replays of the live video interviews, links to all the podcast players, our show calendar that you can subscribe to for future show notifications and more that was agency accelerated.
[00:23:47] Stephanie Liu: all that we have today, friends, but don’t worry. We have incredible shows coming up next season. In our next episode, we’ll be talking to the agency, coach Chris Rudolph, who is going to teach us how to accelerate the growth of our agencies. Chris will kick off season three and we’ll be joined by Patty Miguel from each webinar.
You don’t want to miss that. Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy, Kevin Lau from Adobe David Fisher and our very own Theresa Anderson head of agency business at a Gora pulse. Remember to subscribe to the firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash calendar. If you want to be sure to catch our live episodes, and if you enjoy podcasts listening, remember that agency accelerator is available on your favorite podcast channel subscribe, leave a review and let us know what you think and I’ll see you and your agency accelerating into the next show.