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One of the most effective ways brands can reach large, engaged audiences is by partnering with blog influencers to create sponsored posts. After working with hundreds of bloggers across every genre and advertising category, we’ve identified seven important pieces of advice that every marketer must follow when working with blog influencers.
Authenticity is one of the primary reasons why social media influencers are viewed as trustworthy sources of information, especially when it comes to product recommendations and reviews. When developing sponsored content, brands can provide touch-points, but should always allow the blog influencer to use their own voice and write in their own words.
Related Post: Why Social Media Stars Are So Popular With Audiences
Many popular blogs feature a combination of text and photographs to help drive reader engagement and provide vivid illustrations for their written content. Blog photographs should always be original (not generic “stock” photos), and brands should let bloggers have creative control over the photos used.
Tracking links are hyperlinked URLs, photos, or buttons that direct blog audiences to a certain page—often to the sponsoring brand’s website or to a place where consumers can find something of value, like a promo code, white paper, or free digital product. Because these links record how many people take the desired action, tracking links can be incredibly useful for measuring the success (in the form of traffic, conversions, downloads) of the campaign.
Related Post: How To Measure Influencer Marketing Campaigns
The Federal Trade Commission is the governmental organization that helps protect consumers against deceptive advertising practices. All sponsored blog posts (and adjoining sponsored social shares) should be clearly identified as such, typically by including the phrased “This content is sponsored by brand X” somewhere within the post itself.
Related Post: Everything Marketers Need To Know About Sponsored Posts
Asking blog influencers to include a Call To Action (CTA) within sponsored posts can be an effective way to drive conversions, sign-ups, or sales. Brands take note: bloggers will be more likely to integrate a CTA if the “action” provides value to their readers in the form of discounts, promotions, or giveaways.
Scheduling when a blog post “goes live” (when it get published on a blog influencer’s website) can greatly impact the reach (and therefore, the efficacy) of a sponsored campaign. Bloggers will likely know what days and time of day their audience is most receptive to their content, but in general, blog posts should always be scheduled to go live early in the morning, and never on weekends or holidays.
Titling sponsored posts correctly can influence the level of engagement; using certain words (like “review”) can deter audiences from clicking through to the blog post, while other words/phrases can entreat readers to explore the content and increase brand exposure.