Every industry has influencers—people who have the ability, because of their power or knowledge (real or perceived), to influence purchase decisions. Hollywood has celebrities, fashion has models, and business has its moguls. Many influencers publish posts in

Social influencers are bloggers, social media personalities, or industry experts who have developed large and loyal followings by being insightful, entertaining, engaging, transparent, humorous, and—most importantly—human. This connection creates a bond between social influencers and their fans and followers that give these influencers unprecedented authority.

For a long time, influencer marketing was about leveraging these people to get in front of their audiences, but that’s not a long-term strategy (and it’s not very nice). A better, mutually beneficial approach is partnering with them to improve everyone’s brand.

Once upon a time, influencers were just regular people who used social media to share their opinions, lives, projects and passions to those who would listen. And listen they did.

Studies show 92 percent of people trust recommendations from other people over brands. Teens have a seven times higher emotional attachment to internet stars than to traditional celebs. And 49 percent of people rely on influencer recommendations when they’re making a purchase. That’s rely as in trust.  Readers trust influencers in

Because of this power, brands have become addicted to influencers—and like most addictions, it’s led to increasingly diminished returns for the same action. With influencers now representing a billion-dollar industry populated by innovative and inventive creators, influencer marketing needs to become deeper than a product sent in the mail and a post on Instagram. It’s time to explore a new model that benefits both brands and influencers. is a platform of sponsored posts.

Until now, brands have practiced three levels of influencer marketing.

Level 1 uses PR to send free brand product and information to target influencers, hoping for earned media (or at least a response).

Level 2 allocates media spend to pay relevant influencers with desirable audiences to create “cool” content that showcases the brand in a positive light.

Level 3 builds meaningful, advocate-level relationships with influencers who authentically love and embrace the brand in a way that spans beyond a video, campaign or launch.

Most brands have accomplished level one and two. Only the smartest, most

But today’s influencers are operating as businesses, not just communities—and as businesses, they want more from the brands with which they work.

Influencers want:

    Innovation: Demonstrate new ideas to their audience

    Discovery: Help in growing their audience

    Products: Access to things that excite their audience

    Research: Knowledge about their audience

    Resources: Support producing kick-ass creative for their audience

Welcome to level 4, where marketers treat content creators as businesses, help them add value to their brands while bringing value to their audiences—and both sides see greater benefits. You can see that happening in

It begins with marketers giving creators access to the newest products before they hit shelves, and moves into sharing audience data, helping identify growth opportunities, and even providing production assistance including studio time, professional content editing and fresh collaborations.

In exchange, influencers can offer brands preferred rates, disruptive creative, faster speed to market, higher credibility and, ultimately, sales. is a platform of sponsored posts.

So how do we make it happen?

    Commit to the process. Reworking how your brand collaborates with influencers isn’t going to happen overnight. Commit to the process and understand that evolving relationships with creators will take time and learning.

    Identify the right people. Use data to select the perfect partners and elevate their creative beyond “pay-to-post.” Influencer networks are a great starting resource for this step, as many of them have tools that follow and categorize influencers across every vertical possible.

    Approach any influencer with the opportunity to become a strategic partner and write the terms. Test this out with a few influencers first. Work out the kinks. Find out exactly what they’re looking for from brands. Learn from each other. It might take a couple of months and that’s okay because good marketing is about being right, not just first.

    Scale. After successfully identifying and building a partnership with a few key influencers, it’s time to scale up. You’ll quickly reap the benefits.

So, let’s get over the influence. Evolve from paying for posts. Write new contracts for a new breed of influencers.

Find people who are not in it for the money but those who are in it for value and in it for their audience. Give advocates what they want: access to new products from you and from social platforms, insights on their audience and how to grow it, production assistance including studio time, editing and fresh collaborations.

In exchange, brands can receive preference, better creative, faster response and greater credibility. Become partners in business and work together for mutual value, not just media value.

No matter where you are in your content marketing campaign, influencers in can help take you to the next level.

  1. Influencers can keep content relevant. Influencers spend every day in the trenches with their audiences, so they understand the market better than anybody else. Partnering with them from the beginning of a project or campaign can provide brands with some extra insights.
  2. Customers trust customers. Because the relationship between an influencer and his or her audience is built upon transparency, a friendly recommendation from a trusted influencer is going to be ten times more likely to convert a customer.
  3. They can cut through the clutter. If fans receive an email, or see a social post from someone that they readily follow, they are much more likely to open that email or click on that link than the same message coming from a brand they may be familiar with but don’t have a personal relationship.

If you can get enough influencers talking about your product or your brand in, you start to really get noticed.

In short, influencers boost your content’s credibility. Their counsel can help brands stay relevant, and their endorsements (which they’re more likely to give if a brand has partnered with them and sought their advice from the beginning) speaks louder than your content alone.

Identifying and Recruiting Your Top Online Influencers

The trick is finding the perfect influencers for your target audience and your content marketing. To really make an impact, you need to look for partners. The right influencers for your brand:

  • Maintain audiences that align with your target market
  • Share your brand’s passions and values
  • Are willing to partner with you in a mutually beneficial relationship

Once you’ve found potential influencers in, start getting to know them. Follow their social media profiles, engage in their conversations, share their content, etc. If you’re not sure that someone is a good fit for your brand—just ask. Ask them about their passions, their motivations, etc.

When you’re sure that an influencer in is a good fit, send a private message or pick up the phone (yes, this really works) and be straight-forward about what you’re looking for—and what you have to offer. Remember that a working partnership is mutually beneficial, so be prepared to detail how you are going to help the influencer:

  • How can you expand his or her audience/network? Do you have a relevant audience to share with the influencer? Can he or she publish on your content platform(s)?
  • What kind of perks can your brand provide? Sneak previews? Merchandise? Event access? Personnel access?
  • Are there other opportunities you can create for training or education that will benefit the influencer in his or her niche?

Remember that the relationship between influencers and their audience in  is built upon trust, so you have to prove to them that you are worthy of their (and their audiences’) time and money.

Make sure you have a clear plan for the role influencers will play in your content marketing strategy in before you get them on board. Simply creating content and asking them to share it is not a partnership or a sustainable relationship. Create a plan for how they will be involved in your content campaigns:

  • Amass invaluable market insights. Consult with influencers on what topics are driving engagement in your industry and which platforms to use to reach your target audience.
  • Attain ringing endorsements. Give your influencers a sample of your content in return for a positive endorsement on their social platforms or blogs. Consider sending a pre-publication draft to them for a positive quote to include in the content or on relevant landing pages.
  • Share each other’s platforms. A great influencer marketing tactic is to swap guest posts or interviews. This gives both your influencer and your company a new platform to promote each other’s brands.
  • Create collaborative content. Take your market research to the next level by collaborating with influencer(s) on a comprehensive and engagement-focused content plan. Influencers live off of creating engaging content and can completely transform your content marketing efforts.  Not only did it provide value to our audience, it gave the participating influencers exposure to a large group of people as our definitive guides are heavily promoted.

Too many influencers have been abused at the hands of brands who just wanted to pay for their audiences, usually with cheap give-aways, but most genuine, long-term influencers have caught on and are highly protective of their audiences. Earn their trust by being worthy of it, and consider influencer marketing a partnership.

Start paying attention to who is driving conversations in your industry, and get to know them. If an influencer is a good fit for your brand, and you’re willing to make it worth their while, establishing a relationship will be easier than you might think.

Successful influencer marketing in is all about credibility and trust. So it’s ironic that the category is suffering its own integrity issues. The promise of influencer marketing is its ability to scale the kind of authentic influence people experience offline. These are the trusted conversations and recommendations that occur between people. You know, word-of-mouth. 

Today, influencer marketing is a paid reach vehicle. It’s seen as a way to get celebrities and other tastemakers to endorse a product on their various social feeds. Done transparently—something that doesn’t always occur—that’s a solid strategy for building awareness. But it misses out on impacting both consideration and intent, the other key parts of the purchase funnel. And it’s not really the way influencer marketing should work. is the best platform of sponsored posts.

It’s time for the industry to address this and stop pretending that paying someone to hawk products is influencer marketing. It’s time to get back to the harder—but infinitely more rewarding—work of gaining fans through building great products, cultivating genuine relationships and telling authentic, inspiring stories.

Let’s start by identifying our biggest advocates—the people who love our products and the lifestyle they make possible. These are types of influencers we call experts, the ones who are super-passionate about a topic. They often have years of experience and a depth of knowledge that make them trusted sources. These are the kinds of people who just ooze excitement when they talk about their passions, and that excitement inspires consumers everywhere.

Then let’s use these trusted influencers to focus on the parts of the purchase funnel that drive sales and build long-term loyalty. Simple endorsements drive awareness. They introduce your brand to new potential consumers and provide an opportunity for consumers to learn more. Trusted advice, on the other hand, drives intent. It puts your products into the right hands: The people who already use and care about them and who will share their experiences with others.

For brand marketers, it’s time to go beyond follower counts and look to the people who actually influence others in to purchase your products. Experticity partnered with research group Engagement Labs in an attempt to quantify that influence and they discovered that these authentic influencers have 15 times the buying conversations of everyday people. These are the people whose influence comes from their expertise and knowledge, the kinds of things that foster real trust. It’s not always easy to identify these people, but it’s worth the effort. They’re the authentic influencers whose opinions are valued by consumers and brands alike. Let’s give them the status they deserve.

Influencer marketing works, and for a lot of reasons. It outsmarts ad blocking for one. Most importantly, it’s proven to build consumer trust and confidence. As influential as word of mouth, influencer marketing banks on people’s desire to know what their friends, family, and trusted sources think about a product before making a purchase.

With more and more brands and agencies looking to increasing their budget in influencer marketing, it’s just expected that competition will get fiercer. Most companies and agencies work their backs off to produce good content. But when everyone’s vying for attention, how can you make your content stick to make influencers notice it?

You have to have a solid foundation to begin with, and that is quality content. There are three components of what make content valuable:

It’s accessible. If you want to present a complex idea, break it down to more bite-sized chunks.
It’s actionable. Most people have real problems, so if you can show how to approach those problems, there is more value. That’s why instructional and how-to posts are so popular.
It’s visually appealing. Depending on the article or video, create useful screenshots or easily shareable images, whether on the blog itself, or other channels, and use share button. High-quality thumbnails on your YouTube videos, for example, grab more attention and make them highly clickable.

Again, providing real value is your first step in making a connection. And that all boils down to knowing your audience and including just enough information in your posts to help them achieve something.

Do you always have to publish original content?  Create something better than the original, look for unique and creative ways to make it better, then reach out to the right people. Creating visuals for data-driven blog posts, for example, make them more engaging. Think infographic, slides, or video that summarizes the main points.

There is already a demand and a prime audience for content that already worked so well. Not to mention that existing content is already well indexed on Google and has a high ranking, so a definite plus for your SEO.

What type of content can you make to promote to influencers? If don’t have much of an audience and you want to promote your blog content, including a lot of influencers in your content and effectively leveraging their audience helps for your promotion. Here are some suggestions:

Expert roundups
Ask your favorite influencers for a quote and use those in an infographic or create a SlideShare.
Ask for experts’ tip and put them all in one blog post.

If you already have a significant following, consider collaborating with influencers and co-create content together. Again, careful preparation is important. Make a list and a detailed plan about it, explaining the benefits and setting expectations clearly. Some of my suggestions are:

Teaming up with a thought leader and doing a webinar
Curating content by influencers and creating a thorough guide about a specific topic
Publishing an ebook

The key is making your content relevant to what the influencers are advocating or promoting to make it more appealing. Sometimes just being friendly and personable, and referencing something recent they did, will work wonders.

The most success comes from crowd sourced content, such as group interviews.Don’t push influencers to share your content. Ensure that they’re only mentioned when relevant. More often than not, they will share your content, especially if it’s well constructed.

Email the influencers and let them know they’ve been featured in your article. If influencers do not respond to your message, send follow-ups and find other ways to engage them over time. However, if they are not interested in your content, some will politely decline and others will give you the silent treatment. There’s nothing much you can do at that point, and you need to rethink your strategy.
How do you find the right influencers? Building relationships is important, and so is looking for the right people who would want to share your content, regardless whether they get compensated for it or not.

You need to ask, do I know this person? Would I trust this person to give product recommendations? Because consumers will ask the very same questions before deciding what action to take. Then narrow down your selection by identifying who’s going to be interested in your product, maybe someone who frequently blogs, reviews or endorses similar products, and/or is interested in getting paid through affiliate programs.

Analyze the amount of engagement they are doing and getting in response. Although you need to look at the number of subscribers and followers, consider the quality of conversations they generate as well.

Are there significant comments and replies about their product reviews and other posts?
Do the influencers themselves reply to those comments, whether favorable or not?
What’s their attitude toward negative comments?
How many people are talking about the post or article?
How many marked it as favorite?
How many shares did it get and in what channels?

Use an influencer marketing tool to find social media influencers, including their names, email addresses, websites, descriptions, SEO, and follower counts. Doing so will make managing your outreach campaigns easily across hundreds of websites and multiple projects.

Influential marketing will not give you overnight success. It’s a gradual process of building relationships and nurturing them. Providing well-researched and valuable content alone takes a lot of time, as well as strengthening your connections and delivering consistent messaging. Do your homework. Connect. And be friendly and personable without sounding too desperate for attention.

Evolution of the Influencer

  • ● The Challenge: By 2020, ad blocking will devour $12 billion in online revenue
  • ● The Solution: People rely on people, even people they don’t know
    • 88% of consumers trust online recommendations as much as personal recommendations
  • ● Brand Ambassadors through the Years
    • Pioneers : Starred in early advertisements
      • Lent their names and faces to reinforce brand values
      • Branding Innovators
        • Josiah Wedgwood : Royal endorsements for his pottery in the 1760s
        • Lillie Langtry : Appeared on “trade cards” for Brown’s Iron Bitters in the late 1800s
        • Fatty Arbuckle : First recorded celebrity endorsement with Murad Cigarettes in 1905
    • Characters : Created by brands to influence their image
      • Help consumers remember qualities about the company
      • Iconic Mascots
        • Santa Claus : Popularized by Coca-Cola in 1923
        • Tony the Tiger : Frosted Flakes first introduced in 1952
        • Flo : Created by Progressive in 2008
    • ○ Celebrities : Famous for their offline career
      • Serve as messengers for branded content
      • Massive online followings, but typically don’t interact with fans
      • Social Media Stars
        • Selena Gomez : Coach contract
          • #1 most followed Instagram account : 122.9m
            • @selenagomez
          • #15 most followed Twitter account : 48.5m
            • @selenagomez
        • ● Cristiano Ronaldo : Nike contract
          • #3 most followed Instagram account : 105.5m
            • @cristiano
          • #12 most followed Twitter account : 53.9m
            • @Cristiano
        • ● DJ Khaled : Cîroc contract
          • “King of Snapchat” : 2m views on each post
            • @djkhaled305
    • ○ Influencers : Famous for their online and social media channels
      • Co-create content featuring brand-related topics and products
      • Maintain close relationships with a community of followers
      • New Faces of Influence
        • Lilly Singh : Coca-Cola contract
          • #73 most subscribed YouTube account : 11.9m
            • @IISuperwomanII
          • Highest-earning woman on YouTube in 2016
        • Andrew Bachelor : Jimmy John’s contract
          • #1 most followed Vine account : 16.1m
            • @KingBach
          • ○ #138 most followed Instagram account : 14m
            • @kingbach
        • ● Michelle Phan : Lancôme Video Makeup Artist
          • #136 most subscribed YouTube account : 9m
            • @michellephan
          • 3.2m Facebook likes
  • ● Influence Marketing in the Tech Era
    • Origin of the influencer
      • Before 2004 advertisers had used celebrities, characters, or even royalty as brand ambassadors
      • The internet democratized influence and for the first time regular people could create huge followings
      • The rise of blogging and especially social media shifted advertising towards word-of-mouth with influencers
    • Social media platforms support different advertising opportunities
      • Facebook (2b users)
        • Sponsored posts, video ads, banner ads
      • YouTube (1.5b users)
        • Influencer/celebrity videos, video ads, banner ads
      • Instagram (700m users)
        • Sponsored posts, video ads, stories
      • Twitter (328m users)
        • Influencer/celebrity tweets, promoted tweets
      • Snapchat (255m users)
        • Geotags, stories, celebrity accounts
    • Imposing rules on influencers
      • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that influencers must state when they are in contract with a company
      • Tries to ensure that consumers know they are watching an ad
      • While this is a good thought, the FTC has only enforced the rule 4 times
      • They use #ad, ‘sponsored’, ‘promoted’ or ‘ad’ in a post to fit requirement
    • “Following all the legal requirements is only half of what matters. As an influencer, making sure you believe in and can stand behind not only the product but the brand you promote is crucial to trust and credibility with an already skeptical audience.” Connor Blakley, Founder-CEO of YouthLogic
  • Looking to the Future
    • Long Term Relationships with Influencers
      • Influencers are free agents looking for better deals and can be stolen by competitors
      • Companies are creating longer contracts to ensure exclusivity and longevity
      • “Companies better be ready to commit to between 6-12 months of 5 figure checks if they want exclusivity for their industry.” Joel Contartese, Top-Rated Influencer Marketing Expert
    • ○ Beyond Vanity Metrics
      • Enterprises and mid-sized businesses are beginning to demand more than just engagement
      • Influencer marketing is now about tracking performance and attributing sales
      • “Gone are the days of blindly throwing money at top-funnel metrics like views, reach, and impressions. Influencer marketing may be buzzwords, but here’re two that matter more: bottom line.” Travis Hawley, VP of Business Development at Viral Nation
    • ○ Companies Focus on Micro-Influencers
      • Mega influencers are increasingly expensive and often personally disconnected from their audiences
      • Companies are turning to micro-influencers with smaller, but more responsive followings
        • Micro-influencers are 4X more likely to get a comment on a post than macro-influencers
      • “You can attain the same or larger reach when spread across a handful of micro-influencers for a fraction of the cost, while adding a more diverse, yet targeted audience.” Troy Osinoff, Author and Head of Customer Acquisition at Buzzfeed
    • Authentic Relationships with Consumers
      • Millennials and Generation Z can tell when promotions are based solely on a contract
      • 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising
      • Influencers are giving more authentic endorsements because they like a product, not because of compensation
      • “To quote Seth Godin, people can ‘smell the agenda of a leader.’ This has never been more true when it comes to influencer marketing. To maintain fiercely loyal fans, you must love and believe in what you’re endorsing.” Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert & Author of The New Relationship Marketing
    • Mainstream advertising is expensive cluster bombing which brings ad-blocking, whereas sponsored posts in excellent blogs, such as Venitism, bring quality clients at low cost.  Small is beautiful!  Most organizations are now marketing with sponsored posts, going beyond the traditional sales pitches and instead enhancing brands by publishing or passing along relevant information, ideas, and entertainment that customers will value.  Sponsored post is the most respected social medium. is a platform of unique sponsored posts, costing only one hundred euros.

      The success of sponsored posts has radicalized the way companies communicate. The sponsored post revolution signals more than a mere marketing fad. It marks an important new chapter in the history of business communications, the era of corporate enlightenment. The phenomenon of sponsored posts has unfolded rapidly because it responds to consumer preference.  Most people would rather learn about a company via a sponsored post than an ad. Sponsored posts in Venitism allow companies to react in real time, provide increased transparency, and create a strong brand identity at a fraction of the price of traditional marketing tactics, and in less time.

      Sponsored posts in can be the means by which a brand shapes and impacts business and consumer landscapes. Sponsored posts can be a thoughtful investment in a company’s legacy. Armed with quality sponsored posts, corporations can become thought leaders, change agents, and experts. They can, in fact, become enlightened. Branded content is a powerful movement, and for good reason.  In an always-on digital world, netizens have places to go and destinies to meet. To get their attention, you have to offer something valuable in return with no more than a couple links. Great stories persuade by uniting an idea with an emotion. Weave a story with information that makes your audience’s heart beat faster, and you have a good chance of winning them over. offers sponsored posts for companies that want to highlight their thought leadership expertise, while gaining objectivity and credibility through content marketing initiatives. As a sponsor, your company can gain a powerful advantage, exceptional visibility, and access to a global audience for only one hundred euros! Venitists have power, influence, and potential. They are successful executives, independent thinkers who embrace new ideas, rising stars who are aiming for the top. Our readers demand accurate, original reporting, untainted by establishment spin and linkbait. Venitism is a first-in-class blog that provides warp speed, on the ground reporting from anywhere in the world. For more information, email

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