You have your own favorite bloggers, YouTubers, and people with a lot of followers. Why wouldn’t the same be true of the people who buy from you online?
The marketing industry is already aware of how you feel about your favorite publications and influencers, and they’re using that information to help sponsored content grow. So much so that these companies are planning to spend $8 billion on this strategy alone in 2019, and the top 100 publishers around the world are expected to earn more than $15 billion by 2022.
What’s the main point?
Trust, being real, and being the expert sell. That’s why you should put sponsored content at the top of your content marketing list. In this article, you’ll find out how to make this strategy work for your eCommerce brand by finding the right influencers, content, and publications.
What Is Sponsored Content?
Before you decide where and with whom to share your content, you should know what sponsored content is and what it isn’t.
Sponsored content is any blog post, social media post, editorial, magazine article, or video that is paid for by a brand. This type of content is also called “branded content.” This strategy is a type of inbound marketing that uses informational content to draw people to your e-commerce products. But getting it just right is an art.
Advertisements are not spam. Even so, some website visitors will still think your branded content is spam or not important. Why?
A recent study found that over 66% of people who use the Internet said they are less likely to read an article if it looks like a brand paid for it. So why do people spend a lot of money on branded content? Why does influencer marketing have an ROI that’s 11x higher than other marketing strategies?
It all comes back to trust, being real, and being in charge.
Consumer psychology is built on the idea of trust. One of the oldest ways to market something is through word-of-mouth, which is based on trust between customers and their friends. In fact, a survey showed that 92% of consumers still trust word-of-mouth recommendations, which have only gotten stronger since social media came along.
This is why social media influencers play such a big part in branded content strategies: people trust them, while brands have a hard time getting customers to trust them on their own.
How low do we want to go?
Half of the people surveyed don’t think brands are telling the truth. In fact, 42% of people polled trust brands less now than they did 20 years ago. Compared to the 60% of subscribers who buy products directly because YouTubers told them to, this is a big difference. Plus, more than a third of all Twitter users who follow influencers do something with them.
The main point? People are more likely to trust their favorite influencers than they are to trust the brands themselves. This is true, and 94% of marketers can prove it.
How to Find the Right Platforms for Your Branded Content
Your brand won’t work with just any influencer, blogger, or publication. It’s important to choose an influencer that fits your niche. But you might also want to use an influencer to attract a new group, like women or millennials.
So, you need to know what you want from branded content and set marketing goals for your sponsored content strategy.
Before you reach out to influencers and publications, ask yourself the following:
Do you want more people to know about your brand?
How many new leads do you want sponsored content to bring you?
Which of your products do sponsored posts work best with?
Do the people and publications you want to reach have a good reputation?
Which magazines does your target market read? Which writers or people who have influence do they follow?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask to figure out where your branded content will work best.
How to Reach out to Influencers and Publications
Once you’ve found the influencers and publications you want to work with, the next step is to reach out to them. Try to make a list of 20 to 30 people who have a lot of influence, since some of them may not fit into your budget or schedule.
Next, separate your publications and influencers into different levels. Influencers with the most traffic and engagement should be in your top tier. Influencers with less traffic and engagement should be in your second tier, and so on. The best way to do this is to look into social media analytics in depth.
For publications, you should look for a high DA score, which is another name for domain authority. The backlink is stronger the more the domain authority is. Never underestimate the power of an e-commerce link in a high-authority publication like TechCrunch, Forbes, or Entrepreneur. This could lead to online sales for many years to come.
You can start the outreach process once you have a strong list of targets organized by Domain Authority (DA), traffic, and social media followers.
Here are some ways to get the attention of influential people:
Sign up for their blog
Check out their social media pages.
Like, share, comment on, and interact with their content. Write a “ego bait” post to get your customers interested in them.
Reach out by email to pursue a relationship that’s being paid for.
Once you have a relationship with your influencers, you can keep building it through social media and other marketing campaigns.
Wrapping up Your Strategy
Your strategy for branded content doesn’t end when your sponsored video or blog is over. For e-commerce to grow, you need to know how well your marketing is doing. Your marketing metrics come into play here.
Metrics like lead-to-conversion ratio, engagement, sales, unique monthly visitors, and viewership are all ways to measure the success of your branded content strategy. Without metrics, you spend more money on sponsored content that doesn’t work as well. You might also miss out on finding marketing opportunities that you could take advantage of.
Are you ready to boost your online sales? Now that you have the tools, your next step is to put these tips into practice.
Don’t hesitate to leverage sponsored content in the age of the influencer. Use this blog post as a checklist for your new plan or