AB Thinks  →  16th May 2019

How to influence people – five tips from online entrepreneur Harry Hugo

Co-founder of a social media marketing agency The Goat Agency, Harry Hugo chats to AB’s Katie Macaulay for episode nine of The Internal Comms Podcast. In just three years Goat has grown to an agency of 120 employees in four offices around the world. It works on seven-figure influencer deals with clients from Adidas to KFC.

The 24-year-old online entrepreneur talks about the changing nature of advertising, the importance of telling authentic stories and why IC teams should be creating their own internal social influencers.

Here are the top five quotes from an insightful conversation covering everything from Instagram as the new pub to what’s in the mind of a millennial.

#1 How a daily video blog inspired a universal business culture

“We started [the vlog] believing that 80% of its value would be external, but it’s literally the opposite… without meaning to, the vlog created a worldwide culture immediately because people were watching what everyone did the day before… It’s so powerful for pushing people forwards, for motivating people, for aligning people into the same thing, everyone buying into the product that we’re trying to push as business.”

#2 Instagram as the new pub

“Influencer marketing is a new way for advertisers to get to audience. Social media is everything right now – it’s where people are, it’s where people spend their time, it’s where people interact. There’s always been in society people who are more influential than other people…These people have built communities, built followers, built audiences on those platforms, and really, it’s just the new word of mouth. Word of mouth was in the pub before, and now it’s on Instagram. Instagram’s just the new pub.”

#3 The power of the word of mouth

“It’s very simple to see that word of mouth always has been the most effective channel, always. It’s the cheapest, because people tell people and it’s free, and it’s the most effective because there’s eye contact, there’s a connection, there’s a shared relationship between people, a shared common interest, and now we just export all of that on to Instagram.”

#4 Social media followers aren’t everything

“Really what we’re looking at is value. We don’t actually care about how many followers someone has, because it doesn’t make a difference. There’s such a massive disparity two people who have a million followers and their level of influence.”

#5 People buy into human stories

“Brands that become more and more human are winning because everyone buys into human stories. You don’t have to take the mickey out of things, but you can be light-hearted and show off what an inclusive, diverse, engaging and fun place to work your business is. It’s fantastically powerful, and you’re basically creating mini influencers within your organisation. People buy into human stories. It’s the first thing I tell anybody who’s looking to raise an investment – just scrap your deck and build a story that the investor can buy into. No one invests in ideas; everyone invests in people. The same goes for everything. It’s all about stories.”

Listen to the full episode here.