How to Leverage Influencers for Blog Content?
If you’re one of the billions of people worldwide with some sort of social media account, there’s no doubt you’ve come across a video post in which a celebrity or influencer (i.e. some perky, young, attractive twenty-something) endorsed a product. There’s a good reason that influencer marketing has become inescapable: consumers are naturally intrigued by celebrities, admire their success, and oftentimes want to emulate them by using the same products they use.
While most marketers are aware that working with influencers can boost their social media presence, few apply the same tactic of influencer marketing in their approach to blog content. And if you’re not leveraging influencers to attract attention to your brand via blogging, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Read on for everything you need to know about leveraging influencers for blog content.
Top Strategies for Leveraging Influencers
Luckily, several of the same advertising tactics that turned influencers into cash cows on social media translate to marketing in written form. Oftentimes, their same unique on-camera style and charm that attracted a blue check-mark-worthy following on social media translates to the page. And even if it doesn’t, social media followers are an undyingly loyal bunch that are usually willing to check out anything their favorite influencers do, regardless of if it’s any good or not.
Here’s a select list of winning strategies you can deploy for blog content to maximize your new partnerships with influencers:
- Sponsored Ads – These entail influencers mentioning your brand and including a link to your website as part of a post related to what your brand offers. For example, if your company sells water bottles, perhaps you instruct the influencer to write a blog entitled “Five Things I Can’t Go to the Gym Without.”
Because the plug for your brand is mixed in with the influencer’s endorsement of other things, sponsored ads are a viable way to promote your brand in a way that doesn’t scream “Hey! We paid for this advertisement!”
It’s important to note that the Advertising Standards Authority regulates that influencers must include a disclaimer about sponsorship (which is usually accomplished with a short line at the end of the post). But aside from that, the post won’t have any glaring giveaways that you compensated the influencer for their endorsement.
- Product Reviews – If you don’t mind your sponsorship of the influencer’s endorsement being obvious, product reviews are a fantastic way to get an influencer to sing (or rather, type) your brand’s praises. A wildly popular staple in video form on social media, product review blog posts involve you sending a product to an influencer for free in exchange for them composing a full-on ode to how much they love it.
If they can sell their enthusiasm for it in their writing, you’ll have a good chance of selling it to other customers.
- Product Features – This is the blogging version of the casual name drop. Unlike formal product reviews, product features see your influencer writing about a broad general topic related to their daily life in a way that allows for them to slip in a subtle plug for one of your products.
For example, if your company sells meat claws and you work with an influencer whose niche is cooking, you could have them write an article about their favorite steak recipe and quickly mention how said meat claws facilitate the grilling process.
- Blogger Events – Is your company hosting a major event showcasing your brand’s products? Invite your influencer to attend. If they announce beforehand that they’re attending and/or write live blog posts from the event location, it could result in a whole bunch of valuable foot traffic.
Even if your influencer waits until after the event to blog about it, the extended coverage of the event on their page will give your brand tremendous exposure.
- Giveaways – Want to get your target audience really excited about your products? Sweeten the pot by having your influencer host a giveaway on their blog. This entails you providing a prize in the form of either cash or free merchandise, followed by the influencer drumming up excitement about the chance to win the prize for free.
If you don’t mind fronting the prize, it’s a great way to boost enthusiasm for your brand among consumers out of thin air.
Bring Influencers to Your Blog Too
Partnering with influencers to leverage content isn’t just about them hyping up your products on their personal blogs. It’s a two-way street in which you can capitalize on their popularity to boost your blog as well.
By using your influencer as a shepherd for the web traffic of their followers, you put yourself in prime position to build brand loyalty with new customers who may not have otherwise wandered over to your blog.
Here are a few ways you can work with an influencer to make your blog sizzle:
- Have Them Guest Write an Article – Begin by asking the influencer to announce on their social media channels that they’ll be guest writing an article on your blog. Then, simply have them write an article about an industry-related topic of their choice and publish it to your blog.
In the same vein as crowd-pleasing Instagram story takeovers, you can up the ante by making your influencer the guest editor of all blog content for a full day.
- Feature Them in a Q&A Piece – Interview your influencer about a topic relevant to your brand, and then work with them to craft it into a full-length editorial piece. Who knows? The influencer may have surprising insight that even their non-followers will find useful.
- Quote Them Throughout Your Blog – What if your influencer’s answers from the Q&A don’t have the legs for a long-form piece? Don’t worry. Their quotes can still provide value to your blog, whether it be as standalone quotes on your landing page or as a way of adding color to your other featured content.
Choosing the Right Influencer to Work With
No matter which industry your brand occupies, any influencer you work with to leverage blog content should ideally have:
- An engaging written voice that’s easily digestible
- A substantial following
But choosing the right influencer for blogging isn’t as simple as calling up the influencer with the most followers. There are several other crucial factors to consider, such as:
- The Influencer’s Niche and Target Audience – An influencer’s popularity isn’t worth much if their interests/what they’re known for and your brand’s industry aren’t aligned. For example, Kim Kardashian has an insane number of followers, and when she tells them to purchase something, they listen. But if your product is, say, a lawnmower, shelling out top dollar for Kim K would be a putrid investment.
It’s extremely unlikely that she’d be interested, and even less likely that her fans would be.
Note that your industry and that of your influencer don’t have to be an exact match; it just has to be a peanut butter & jelly match. For example, Capital One brilliantly seized the opportunity to leverage blog content with Kiersten Rich, a travel blogger better known as Kiki.
Though finance and transportation are distinctly different industries, the two go hand-in-hand since consumers often use airline-issued credit cards to save up frequent flyer miles. Thus, the partnership between Capital One and Kiki was a perfect fit.
- Comparison of Blogs – In addition to an influencer’s niche and market, take a look at what they post on their blog and how these posts compare to yours. Are the products they endorse similar to yours? Similar in price range? Do the posts complement your own written voice? Would a post about your product be a natural fit on their page, or would it stick out like a sore thumb?
Again, you want the fit here to be an obvious one. If, for example, your brand is discount clothing, Kim K isn’t your gal.
- Your Target Audience – Largely speaking, consumers respond best to influencers they can relate to, which usually means the influencer being in or at least near the same age bracket as them. Thus, it’s equally important to examine the demographics associated with your own target audience. How old is your target audience? Is it gender-specific?
Considering questions like these help you avoid embarrassing miscues like hiring Kim K to write about her experience at the Senior PGA.
Above All: Make Sure to Create a Strong Promotional Strategy!
No matter which influencers you work with and what content they end up writing for your blog, the most important key to leveraging success with blog content is to ensure that you have a strong promotional strategy in place.
- Your influencer cross-promoting the blog content across his other social media networks
- You leveraging your influencer’s public appeal into paid ads and other various marketing opportunities across your own channels
Appearing on camera may have been how a majority of influencers got their start, but their written word holds equal weight with followers and has the same capacity to steer them toward your brand.
Finding an influencer whose interests suit your brand and using the above strategies to leverage blog content from your partnership with them sets the stage for you to convert their followers into your customers.
1) “The Beginner Friendly Guide to Influencer Marketing” by Jeremy Moser
2) “Influencer Marketing: An Actionable Guide for 2019” by Si Quan Ong
3) “75 Prominent Influencers Share Their Top Advice on How to Become an Influencer” by Yitzi Weiner