If you're a frequent reader you'll know how deeply passionate I am about digital marketing. If you've just landed here, that'll be because of my passion for, yes you guessed it...digital marketing and the beauty of search engine optimisation will have brought you here.
You see for the last five years I've been truly encapsulated in online business growth and in particular marketing through digital media. There has been a massive shift towards brand/blogger partnerships in the last couple of years and the industry has grown exponentially. With the blogging industry according to The Wall Street Journal is valued at a staggering $62 billion in 2012 (£47 billion), a more updated value has yet to have been released but we are sure that it will dwarf the $62 billion mark!
Gone are the days where a newspaper advert converts like it did or a leaflet drop has the same ROI it once did, it's all about brands working with the blogging and influencing community. You'll have no doubt heard of Zoella, one of the most well-known bloggers across multiple continents. She earns over a cool £50,000 per month just promoting brands through her huge social channels. Pretty cool ey?
Cue Webfluential. I stumbled upon Webfluential a few months ago and instantly fell in love with their aesthetically pleasing, real-time media kit that they offered their 'Webfluencers' to use to send to brands asking for up-to-date statistics of performance. Handy as it also shows you what people with similar sized and converting audiences are charging for an Instagram post for example. This is a fantastic tool as it ensures that you don't price yourself out of the market either end. I feel that this is a much-needed tool for influencers as this is one of the most common questions I often get asked in regards to how to know how much to charge. I'm not going to lie, I check this section out weekly as it's a great go-to tool as my business grows to ensure that I'm not missing out when striking deals with brands and agencies.
What just took Webfluential up into a whole new league has been the introduction of their #PitchedbyWebfluential platform on their site. This is where brands such as Adidas, Heineken, Microsoft and many more global giants alongside smaller more independent brands are able to pitch their campaign to all those influencers who are signed up with Webfluential. The influencers then pitch how they would approach the specific brief, and I don't mean just 'I think I'll be great because I love wearing your brand' kind of pitch, hell no guuuurl we want you to be like Riri and WERK WERK WERK WERK WERK for the tasty budget that the brand has to offer. You know, like creative descriptions of a flat-lays here, a 5 point specific how to guide there, a little bit of magic, an award-winning performance, something to make you as an influencer stand out from the crowd so those brands say THEY ARE THE ONE.
The influencer or influencers (depending on how many influencers the brands are looking for) with the most creative and encapsulating pitches are then selected by the brands and Webfluential takes care of the rest, through their slick platform influencers pitch, brands accept or decline and if accepted the beautiful partnership is created. Brands and influencers can send messages between each other through the platform and all proofs for each part of the campaign are uploaded first for approval to one central location. That way as a brand you know you're in control of what content is placed on the influencer's blog and social platforms. This is something I'm a massive advocate of, simply because if a brand is investing their marketing budget into the influencer stream of marketing their ROI must be worthwhile.
I've seen time and time again smaller brands new to the market and indeed to the digital marketing circuit just giving away lots of free stock to bloggers with low engagement rates, a small reach, and very often bloggers who don't necessarily fit their brand strategy. These bloggers often write a few paragraphs, upload one photo to Instagram with a bland caption and that's that, no relationship between the brand and influencer, just a one hit wonder. The company gets a small amount if any exposure and the influencer gets some nice new products for a very poor effort. Not a mutually benefitting partnership.
With Webfluential, this is where it's a little bit of a game changer for brands of all sizes. The algorithm within the website carefully selects the influencers based on interests and following who would be the most appropriate to apply for each brand-specific campaign. Think of it this way, they are the Simon Cowell & judges of Britain's Got Talent who sift the wheat from the chaff (sorry my fellow coeliacs!) before finding the perfect bunch before being put in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Show.
In the past few months that I've been on Webfluential's database, I've seen their website grow from strength to strength with more impressive and functional features. If you're a brand reading now, please be prepared to be blown away with their professionalism, their attention to detail and their promises that they'll be able to supersede to ensure you get the maximum ROI possible. That coupled with the fact they've got huge global brands as I mentioned earlier partnering with them, it speaks volumes really.
Influencers, I know what you're like you'll have gotten 2 paragraphs into this post, opened a new tab signed up and continued reading. I salute you, you shan't be disappointed.
As an internet genius, the one, and only Mark Zuckerberg once said: "People influence people". Webfluencial is certainly helping brands and influencers partner together to do just that.