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Influencers have already done the heavy lifting: They’ve built a following that trusts their word, and an effective distribution network for their work. And their potential reach and ROI as an evangelist for your brand is potentially huge — but only if you get all the moving pieces moving in the right direction.

Gini Salas Kastilio, a Snapchat + YouTube super-influencer and owner of next-gen social media agency, ginicanbreathe, recently revealed how to win an influencer’s heart, and how to make sure your collaboration works for both your brand and their audience.

The next step is nailing that collaboration, and Kastilio is back with some better-not-miss-it advice.

“These are key little things that if I explain them to you and you do them, you’ll see immediate results,” Kastilio says.

The Must-dos:

1. Craft killer calls to action

“Something that’s so simple is just a call to action — telling people to comment below, tag someone, or say yes,” Kastilio says. “Those direct orders are really then leading to a reaction that’s much much higher than if you just put out a statement.”

This is especially important on Facebook, she says. “That kind of engagement, those comments, are driving the facebook algorithms. Comments drive the post to have more visibility.”

On Snapchat and other platforms like Instagram, the key is opening up lines of communication.

“On Snapchat, I always tell people that if they are interested, to just message me and I’ll send them the link or I’ll send them the information one-to-one, which just makes all the difference,” says Kastilio. “For influencers who just say ‘go to this website,’ the conversion is ten times less.”

2. High-touch is non-negotiable

“This next step is where most people completely fail,” Kastilio says. It’s about engaging each of those people that comment or like on your post in a one-to-one conversation.

“Those people are essentially hot leads,” she says. “They have taken action and they have shown interest in what it is that you’re offering.”

Even just saying “Thank you so much, I’m glad that resonated with you, tell me a little bit more,” is essential, she says, and it’s a non-negotiable line item in your strategy.

“A lot of people are like, we don’t have the time, we don’t have the resources, we can’t, we can’t comment, and we can’t reply, and we can’t write to all these people,” she says. “And I’m like, Oh well great. Then you can’t make money, either. Because that’s what it takes. You have to stand out, and you have to go a little further. And you really have to have that high touch and scale the nonscalable.”

3. It’s all about the audience

Remember that you’re not the important one in this relationship — your audience is, and you must make it about the viewer, the follower, the listener.

“As your follower, what’s the number one thing I care about? It’s myself,” Kastilio says. “That’s the most important person in my life, it’s me. How does that correlate to me? What’s in it for me? How does that connect to my life or my future or my worries or my fears or my dreams?”

It’s remembering that the key to influencer marketing is creating intimacy. You’re saying yes, you understand.

“I understand that you have a fear of the future, or you have a fear of not fulfilling your dreams, and you have these aspirations and I see that,” Kastilio says. “I get that. I’m right here with you. And suddenly we’re communicating at a whole different pace, and we’re creating a community and a connection. That’s really what converts.”

Now don’t eff it up

What’s going to torpedo your influencer collaboration? Exactly the opposite of that, Kastilio says. When a brand dominates the conversation and creates a distance between the consumer and the brand, or the audience and the speaker.

“The difficulty is that you see something that works, you see something that’s precious, you see something that’s beautiful — and as humans, we are are just simply opportunists,” Kastilio says. “So we see that and we’re like, huh. We could monetize that. We could sell that. We could make something of that.”

And then what you do is change it — and end up destroying it.

“Trying to take influencers and trying to take people with an audience and attention and exploit them using these old methods, getting them to hold this shampoo bottle in their hand and point it in their face — that goes against everything that they’ve built up,” she says. “Influencers need space to really hold true to their voice, and brands need to become more creative. That’s the best way to work with influencers. It’s an organic integration into what they’d be doing anyway.”

For more on which social media channels have the best ROI, what metrics are essential, and more, don’t miss this free and interactive VB Live event!

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free

In this VB Live event, you’ll:

  • Learn the different types of influencer marketing and understand which is right for you
  • Discover the right influencers for the best results in your specific industry
  • Get tips from a super influencer on what works for them and what turns them off
  • Avoid the mistakes of bad influencer marketing strategies


  • Virginia Salas Kastilio, Snapchat + YouTube Influencer, ginicanbreathe
  • Bill Arzt, COO and co-founder, FitReserve
  • Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat


Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat