The digital ecosystem that supports the practice of influencer marketing is constantly changing. Social apps currently have the spotlight, but they present concerns that marketers should be aware of when developing their influencer strategy. 

Social platforms rise and fall, change unexpectedly overnight, and go away completely. In the wake of Facebook's recent Instagram API updates, brands and influencers are both left wondering how they'll be affected long-term. In an easily disrupted environment, it's hard to keep track of where to invest in influencer content. 

Blogs, the “old school” platform, stand out among social apps as a reliable medium with unique and proven ROI.

In our 2017 influencer report, we revealed that 77% of Collectively's influencer marketing projects included blog posts as a successful method of publishing content. In addition, 75% of the Collaborators that operated blogs in 2017 reported an increase in readership throughout the year.

In 2017, 90% of influencers we polled reported that they actively maintain a blog.

Thisisit

Blogging is alive and well, and the long-form medium proves to be one of the best investments for brands. Here's why:

Control how information is shared on the only owned and operated platform.
Creators don't control how their content is distributed on social media — algorithms determine who sees what and often hinder an influencer's ability to reach their entire audience. Many influencers are skeptical of building their personal brands on social only for this very reason. Conversely, blogs are not subject to algorithms that affect content reach — they retain a unique flexibility that social platforms don’t provide. Bloggers also have full ownership to refresh, update, share, or delete content at their discretion. 

Tap into a community of experts.
It’s one thing to write a brief caption, but quite another to have the authority to write an entire article or essay. Successful bloggers have leveraged their expertise and insight — whether they have experience as a mom, a stylist, lawyer, interior designer, or health practitioner — to build an audience of readers who trust their point of view. It’s this trusted expertise within a relevant topic that consumers are influenced by.

Capitalize on affiliate marketing.
In a recent poll, we found that blogs are the most widely used platform for affiliate marketing. This aligns with data from our recent influencer marketing study, where 45% of influencers indicated they see the most clicks on blog content. If sales is a KPI, consider a blog-heavy strategy that integrates affiliate links for the best conversion or click rate.

"90% of my RewardStyle commissions come from by blog." - Meghan Donovan, Wit & Whimsy

Tell stories that last. 
Blogs provide a space for long-form, creative storytelling to unfold without space constraints or limited character counts. Bloggers are experts at weaving together multiple brand messages while authentically connecting to their readers. They can act as marketing partners by sharing a brand's story over time in multiple posts, the results being a library of branded content that tracks to seasonal or evergreen moments.

Elevate your SEO. 
Blogs are the only medium that can enhance search engine optimization (SEO). Unlike an Instagram post, a blog post creates a new indexed web page that can be connected to your brand via keywords or URLs. Search engines “crawl” blog pages looking for keywords and links to external websites to help rank which websites are most relevant to consumer searches. Since blog campaigns increase the number of relevant web pages for a brand, they ultimately increase that brand's SEO.

Amplify content across the marketing mix.
Blog posts and their corresponding assets (images and written copy) can be repurposed and used to promote larger brand narratives across multiple touch points. Whether it’s digital advertising initiatives, editorial content, or even internal marketing portfolios, content can be broken down and leveraged according to unique brand needs.

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More bang for your buck. 
Blogs offer the greatest amount of content (both visual and written) for the best price. Data from our recent influencer study revealed that the average blog post is bundled with 4 corresponding social posts and costs $650 (when looking at influencers with a total digital audience of 100-150K). The average cost for a single Instagram post is almost the same price. As the demand for Instagram content increases, so do the corresponding costs. Turning one’s attention to blogs presents a cost-effective solution that ultimately delivers more content for a comparable price.

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