The first thing you need to do when looking for potential bloggers for your influencer marketing campaign is to make sure that the blog and its content are relevant to your brand or product. Is the content relevant to the lifestyle you imagine your target audience living? Can you imagine your brand seamlessly fitting in with that content? Note that if any of the blogger’s content directly contradicts your brand message, you’ll want to keep looking.
The next thing you need to do when looking for potential bloggers is to make sure you don’t waste your time looking through blogs that don’t post content often enough. If a blogger doesn’t blog often, readers are less likely to check their blog on a regular basis. Therefore, sponsoring a blog with consistent and recent content is key to running a successful influencer marketing campaign. Additionally, when a blogger posts often, it shows that they take their blog more seriously and will be more likely to respond to your business inquiries.
After checking whether the blog is updated often, you need to make sure that the blog’s audience matches the general audience of your brand or product you are trying to promote. Ask yourself, “would readers of this blog love, use, and endorse my product?” Do not simply choose the blog with the highest amount of traffic if the subject matter and existing content categories are not relevant to your brand’s goals. Take time to actually read the blog and interact with the blogger by leaving comments and experiencing firsthand, the type of people who are engaging with the blog via comments.
Once you find a few blogs that seem to represent a similar audience to that of your brand’s, it is crucial that you choose a blogger with good audience engagement. One way to measure audience engagement is to see if the blog is receiving any comments. Take note of how many comments each post is getting and see if the blogger is responding to them. Generally, the more comments there are, the better for your influencer marketing campaign. Also, see how active the blogger is on other social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram to get a better idea of whether their social amplification will benefit your influencer marketing campaign beyond just their blog.
Reach is the total number of different people exposed to a blog post during a certain period of time. Reach is important because it is essentially how you measure who is actually seeing the blog content. If potential reach for a blog is high, more people will be exposed to your brand. The only real way to get the reach of a blog is too ask the blogger for a media kit and for monthly traffic analytics (monthly visits, total and unique page views). Bloggers often only send their monthly page views because that’s the biggest and most impressive number, but unique visits are important as well.
Facebook fans can be a good relative metric of reach, but can vary dramatically according to how often the blogger engages and utilizes Facebook. GroupHigh is a good (albeit expensive) platform to measure reach and find new blogs. Other tools include Compete and Alexa to varying levels of accuracy. Both Compete and Alexa use sampling tools, so some blogger audiences can be vastly under-represented.