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In recent years, brands and bloggers have learned to use each other’s resources and platforms by developing mutually profitable relationships.

While bloggers have found themselves on guest lists previously reserved for magazine editors and receiving ad revenue that had traditionally gone to big media outlets, brands have discovered innovative ways to tap this new group of influencers voicing unique, unbiased and trusted opinions.

However, with the increasing numbers of bloggers and social influencers sharing content across the web, it has become ever more important for brands to identify which individuals will truly resonate with their audience and influence real actions such as purchasing, increased awareness and long-term loyalty.

So how do brands go about choosing which bloggers to work with now?

skype

Crowdsurfing with Skype @ SXSW

One thing’s for sure: strong>quality content is taking priority over traffic.

This has certainly always been 1000heads’ approach with our clients and networks of influencers – numbers are meaningless if they don’t reflect real resonance and deliver on concrete results.

So it was great to see a similar spirit emerge in the panel recently hosted by Rakuten Affiliate Network (formerly LinkShare) featuring speakers from Saks Fifth Avenue, Birchbox and Vacation Style discussing how they choose the bloggers they want to work with.

Brands who are members of affiliate networks (where bloggers can earn commission by driving sales of the products they feature on their site) often focus on bloggers who are sending the most traffic and/or driving the most sales. But while blogs driving the most sales and traffic are typically those with the most followers, a blog’s reach only plays a small factor in which influencers brands want to work with.

One thing that the panelists all seemed to agree on was that while it’s ideal to partner with a blog that’s both big and beautiful, high quality content (particularly high res imagery) is far more significant than numbers. The main reason for this is the growing emphasis on brands featuring user-generated content (UGC) on their own channels. Brands want to work with bloggers whose content they would be proud to repost.

They also view even the smallest partnership as the beginning of an ongoing relationship between their brand and the influencer involved. Knowing that traffic often follows high quality content, onboarding a smaller blogger who could eventually grow into a big influencer is well worth the investment.

The desire for beautiful content over raw numbers is also levelling the playing field for influencers. Social influencers, no matter how large or small their following, shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to the brands they love. Most brands or agencies love being approached directly – and even if they don’t have anything for them now, will keep these  self-selecting advocates in mind for future campaigns.

As long as influencers keep their voices genuine and their content premium, brands will join the conversation.  Hollow click-bait and cynical paid partnerships may get short-term results, but brands are starting to invest in the bigger picture.

Amen to that.

The week in social: Tango, Bleep, and Percolate

by Kevin Barnes on 18 May 2015

Carousel format now available on Facebook mobile app ads

Based on the success of the carousel ad format that Facebook recently introduced for advertisers which has driven 30-50% lower cost per conversion on average and 20-30% lower cost per click on average, the format is being extended to mobile app ads.…

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National Geographic hits 1 billion likes for content on Instagram

National Geographic has just announced a major milestone for its activities on Instagram, stating that it has now reached over 1 billion likes across all of its content. This is in addition to the fact that the network boasts over 17 million followers.…

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#GE2015: how Twitter came of age in British politics

by Gregory Gillette on 06 May 2015

As the general election enters the final 24 hours, we can clearly see the role social media played in each party’s strategy. More importantly we can also see how it has, for the first time, taken on a central role in the campaign.…

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Pinterest launches program for Marketing Developer Partners

Earlier this week, Pinterest announced a new program for businesses, called Marketing Developer Partners, that helps businesses scale their work and marketing efforts on Pinterest. Pinterest has selected a small grouping of partners that will develop additional uses and extensions of the Pinterest API to help make the service more useful for businesses.…

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Stay aHead: AR, gamification and ... fashion?

by Jessica Collings on 29 April 2015

The fashion and beauty industries have long been early adopters in embracing new technology in order to reach consumers in a new way. In a world where their products and messages can feel both disposable and lost in a sea of competing offerings, a clear point of difference is needed to stand out.…

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Facebook news feed changes prioritize content from friends

Earlier this week, Facebook announced a change to its news feed algorithm which means that brand and business Pages will have their content appear less in individual news feeds. Previously, organic Page reach was reduced to around 1-2%, so this shift presents a further challenge to businesses.…

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Trends: US teens and social media

by Guy Castranova on 24 April 2015

Pew Research Center recently performed a survey that examined the behavior trends and attitudes of US teenagers age 13 to 17 years old, as well as those of their parents, toward technology and social media. Here’s some stand-out stats.

The survey found that a nearly all (approximately 92%) are accessing the internet and social media sites daily using their mobile device with 24% of all teens accessing the internet ‘almost constantly’.…

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2015 is being hailed as the UK’s first social media election.

Politicians are tweeting furiously. Our feeds are crammed with political views and election based hashtags. It’s virtually impossible to ignore the uproar over a candidate’s latest gaffe.

It’s tempting for brands to want to cash in on election fever, but doing so may cause offense and garner support in equal measure.…

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