There are and more companies sprouting up offering the services of influential bloggers. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Instagram and more are streaming conversation, photos and other kinds of content, but are lined with sponsored content from influencers. But will an influencer’s sponsored content eventually lose its clout? For bloggers who over post sponsored content and don’t focus on creating great sponsored content, I believe it will have an effect on their influence.
Six things to remember when using influencers for sponsored content.
1. Look at the amount of sponsored content in their social channels.
If an influencer’s blog and other channels are glutted with sponsored content, chances are they’ve become nothing more than shills. If the sponsored content is in keeping with the overall theme of the blogger’s site, it may be acceptable and expected to their audience. A beauty blogger bringing insights to the latest beauty product is totally normal. I self-monitor sponsored content on my site for context and in–keeping with my personal brand.
2. Track the engagement of the sponsored content
Look at the engagement the blogger gets on their sponsored content. Is the audience engaging with the content? Look at their response rates over a period of time to check for consistency.
3. Take careful stake of how the blogger creates their content and blends the “sponsored” part with the storytelling. Does it seem authentic and genuine?
This is really critical. How the blogger tells the story makes all the difference between trusted advisor and being a shill. A great influencer provides value in the context of promoting a product. She/he knows how to tell the story in a way that is organic to her site and genuine.
4. Has the blogger sold out? Are they accepting sponsored content that is in context with their site and audience?
Unless the blogger is a “deal blogger” the sponsored content should be in context with the site. A good indication that the blogger is just out for the money can be seen if he/she accepts any and all sponsored content that comes their way. How much is too much? If a bloggers is posting 4-5 times a week, it’s likely to be too much. Based on posting 4-5 times a week in general, I would say 1 sponsored post a week is the right amount.
5. Look at how the blogger showcases the product.
No one wants to look at boring product shots. Great sponsored content gives context to the brand. Sure it’s fine to show the product as part of the article, but the focus should be on how the product was used, what was created with it and the experience with the product.
6. Is the content both emotional and pragmatic?
Does the blogger weave bring both the emotion and pragmatic context to the post? Audiences connect through emotion and the facts laid down by the pragmatic side of the equation make for a great sponsored piece.
Sponsored content is not going away anytime soon. We all just need to monitor ourselves and the bloggers we work with to make sure we uphold some standards to ruin the trust factor of authentic posts.