A new study at Influence Central reveals that 90% of consumers believe an online review is more important than getting input from a salesperson. Furthermore, after reading an online review and deciding to make a purchase, nearly 80% of customers buy that product online.
It’s true, bloggers really do have a lot of influence.
One of the easiest and most relatable ways to tap into this influence is through sponsored posts. Let’s dive in.
So, what is a Sponsored Post?
A sponsored post is when a blogger is hired by a brand to promote their product and is compensated for the coverage. This could be a review, outfit post, or promotion of a specific offer from the brand. Most bloggers also include a disclosure statement to communicate that the item was provided by the brand.
Find the right blogger for your brand
It’s important to form partnerships with bloggers that align with your brand identity. This one should be pretty easy if you already know which bloggers you love but definitely see what brands they’ve collaborated with in the past and how they’ve worked together. Tailor your pitch accordingly.
If you don’t know what bloggers to work with, use a platform like The Shelf to narrow down to the perfect fit. Search for bloggers based on city, gender, price range, aesthetic, following and even what brands they’ve talked about in the past. The Shelf makes it beyond easy to find the perfect match AND do outreach to these bloggers all in one place.
Do note that what bloggers charge for a sponsored post varies widely. When looking for the perfect bloggers to work with, you should take into consideration what types of brands they’ve partnered with in the past to get a sense of how affordable they might be. Once you reach out to them, they will send along their rates and you can decide from there if the partnership is worth your while. Do keep in mind that blogger partnerships can be way less expensive than traditional forms of marketing, plus far more targeted and beneficial in the end.
Pinpoint the perfect partnership
Now that you’ve found the perfect blogger for your brand, it’s time to get even more clear on what you want to achieve with the sponsored post. What kind of products do you want to promote with this specific blogger? Do you have a seasonal deal to offer their readers? What do you want the blogger to link to in their blog post? You will likely have a campaign in mind but do ensure that you’ve done your research on the blogger and tailor the partnership to fit their aesthetic and readership.
Tap into the blogger's unique voice
The one thing that sets style bloggers apart is a unique point of view. Readers trust them because they are relatable and honest. Once a blogger becomes known as a trustworthy source, readers will become loyal over time and look to them to ensure quality before they buy, find new trends for the season, choose between products, find the best deals or hunt down the best buys for their body types.
Work with bloggers to tap into their unique take on personal style and ability to authentically connect with their audience over this point of view. After all, it’s their creative voice and hand that ensures the post sounds and looks editorial, not advertorial.
Leverage curated content
When you go to the trouble of securing a blogger partnership, you want to get the most mileage out of the content created. A great example of this is Style Moi who carefully curates blogger outfits on their social channels and uses them on their eCommerce site to drive sales through 'Shop the snap' posts.
Curated content is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand in an authentic way. Feature different photos across your social channels and be sure to tag the blogger in each. They will most likely re-share your content with their followers, granting you even more access to their loyal readers. It will also help secure a long-term relationship with the blogger, should you want to work with them again in the future.
Once the campaign comes to a close, be sure to gather analytics from the blogger. This will help to track the success of the post and determine whether you want to work with them again in the future.
Influencer marketing generally takes more time and can be difficult to measure but gathering some key data is a great starting point. Here are a few important stats to ask for: unique page visitors, number of page views, average time spent on post, number of clicks on links, Facebook likes and shares, Instagram likes, Twitter favorites and retweets.
Now that you know all about sponsored posts, it’s time to find the right bloggers for your brand! Get started on The Shelf.