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Sponsored posts: earning media through influencer marketing

July 15, 2013

disclosureIn a study about social advertising published last May, Forrester evaluated the success of two widely used social media marketing strategies to promote brand awareness: organic posting (brand communication on owned media) and paid advertising. Two findings were of particular interest to us:

1. Organic posting, the most popular way for brands to reach their target audience, is less successful than paid advertising.
2. More than 30% of the marketing professionals interviewed for the study are dissatisfied with the outcome of the social advertising campaigns they have launched.

With the help of influencer marketing, it seems obvious why paid tactics would be the most successful in terms of brand awareness. If executed well, paid media campaigns are indeed more likely than owned media ones to translate into earned media.

Sponsoring posts to promote brand awareness

Influencer marketing is all about identifying and engaging the content-creating influencers (on blogs or YouTube or other platforms) who are the most likely to spread a brand’s message across their social media community. In this context, sponsoring posts is one efficient way for brands to leverage the reach of influential bloggers in a segmented social ecosystem (community of bloggers based on interest, location or demographics, or other valuable characteristics).

For a fraction of their traditional advertising budget, brands can let carefully selected bloggers deliver highly relevant, original content on their behalf directly to a targeted audience and see their share of voice and share of mind increase substantially via word-of-mouth. Just take a look at this video:

Reaching out to 50 influencers, Kotex achieved almost 700k impressions.

Ensuring success: who and where to engage?

Success when launching a sponsored posts campaign is a function of a variety of parameters—and of course very dependent on what you mean by success. Several steps can be taken to maximise the chances for a campaign to meet and exceed expected returns.

One of them is to identify those bloggers who do publish sponsored content and determine how much penetration they would help you achieve given their influence in their tribe. Another is to actually choose a target tribe which is likely to respond well to it. Influencer marketing tools like eCairn can help you decide who and where to engage, and subsequently measure the impact of the campaign in the target community.

Who are those bloggers? How influential are they? In what communities is sponsored content the most frequent? We’ll gather a few insights from our database regarding sponsored posts and answer these questions in our next post.

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