29 percent of consumers say traditional banner ads and pop-ups distract and ruin the user experience and advertising agencies are catching on. Advertising strategies have been shifting to a more personal approach. Influencer marketing is a huge part of the shift.
We’re here to help those influencers (you) make sponsored posts successful through optimizing them for user experience and for search engines. Doing both will help boost your performance metrics and conversion metrics.
What Is a Sponsored Post?
Sponsored content are posts influencers create, which promote a brand’s or company’s products or services. Content includes recipes, giveaways, tutorials and photos, which influencers publish on social media accounts and blog posts to help brands reach their audiences.
In a recent study, 45 percent of businesses said sponsored content enhanced website performance metrics. Sponsored content increases reach with 53 percent of internet users preferring influencer advertising compared to traditional banner ads. Plus, companies see about 82 percent brand lift using influencer marketing.
Companies and brands realize influencers have serious value and potential.
How Do You Get a Sponsored Post?
Influencers create sponsored content from brands who see it as a marketing strategy and through an influencer’s own outreach.
Companies reach out to influencers who have high page views and performance, engaged followings and quality content.
To establish contact with brands, here are four things to do:
1. Follow companies and interact with them
2. Reach out on social media
3. Tag the company in your content
4. Utilize PR and management contacts
What Makes a Sponsored Post Successful?
A sponsored post succeeds when you create a mutually beneficial partnership with a brand and produce positive metrics. Metrics indicate how a post performs. For influencers, here are six performance metrics to look for:
1. Traffic — the number of users who visit your site. In Google Analytics, this would be users.
2. Engagement — the amount of time a user is active on your site. In Google Analytics, this would be pages/ session and session duration.
3. Likes — the public’s response to your content.
4. Shares — redistributions of your content onto a user’s profile or account.
5. Comments — discussion or feedback directly related to your content.
6. Back Links and Domain Authority – For Bloggers, this means that other websites are linking to your blog. This shows Google and others a vote of confidence in your website.
How Do You Optimize a Sponsored Post for Metrics?
To generate higher traffic, use long-tail keywords and sprinkle them throughout your post. When using long-tail keywords, you will want to aim for keyword phrases three words or longer. Also, offer a snippet of summarized content underneath the headline to inform readers of what they will read and further incorporate keywords. Headline with the user-intent. If your audience wants to make a recipe, then the title of your post will read: “How to Make the Recipe”.
To encourage engagement, focus on quality over quantity. Knowing your audience and crafting content your audience wants keeps them on your site. Change it up with multimedia. Short videos and captivating images supplement engaging text.
To accumulate likes, add a call to action for your audience to react to your content or give a like to see more of it. Analyze your most popular posts and monitor content trends to research your audience’s interests.
To increase shares, highlight your sharing buttons. Have plugin buttons for your audience to share directly on their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. Have plenty of infographics and custom images for people to share on Pinterest and Facebook.
To inspire comments, ask questions for your audience to answer. Propose a question at the end of a blog post or video and invite users to offer instant feedback. Involve your audience to make them feel valued. Respond to fans when they answer and interact with them in the comments section, too.
To create loyalty and people who keep coming back, try to think of things in the eyes of your reader. Brainstorm all questions people may have about the topic you are writing about. Google the topic yourself and see if there are any gaps in information that you can fill with your content.
How Do You Get Results with a Sponsored Post?
Users respond best to trustworthy, authentic and relevant sponsored content. To get positive results with your sponsored post, follow these six tips:
1. Mix It Up with Sponsored and Organic Content
Only writing sponsored posts reduces readership because your content seems to revolve around promoting products rather than connecting with readers.
2. Provide Useful Information
Your audience wants to know how the product or service you promote will help them. Informative, sponsored content is user-focused and solves a problem or answers a question. It’s a post, not a sales pitch or infomercial.
3. Tell a Story
Put your personality on the post as well. People read your content because they connect with you and your message. Personal stories or memories of how and why you use the product dispel consumer apprehension. Plus, they make the post easier to write.
When you combine the sponsored content with personal stories, you relate to the reader and show them how you benefit from the product.
4. Always Include Photos
Audiences want quick visual content they relate to and digest easily. Photos and infographics appeal to the eyes and the emotions when they provide information and showcase the blogger and the brand.
Typos and grammatical errors damage a blogger’s credibility and diminish trust. Plus, they stick out like a sore thumb.
Proofreading your blog also ensures your content is clear and gets your message across.
6. Be Transparent
Write your sponsored posts the same way you would write an organic one. The language should be easy and flow naturally with proper disclosures.
Sign Up for Success
At the Rainmaker Collective, we work directly with our influencers to give their sponsored posts the best shot at success.
We make it easy to connect with brands by matching you with those who share your interests. And, we collaborate with you and establish lasting, beneficial partnerships while you create the content you love.
Plus, we take care of results through analyzing content performance for you and ensuring your talents are recognized.
When you sign up and become a Rainmaker, you jumpstart your influencer career and create content to inspire others and earn a living.
Don’t forget to save these tips to your Pinterest board!