Digital Publishers Approach Influencer Marketing

How Should Digital Publishers Approach Influencer Marketing?

The New York Times, Condé Nast, Refinery29, and Time have all gotten involved in influencer marketing. Smaller, independent publishers are getting in on the action, too. But the way that digital publishers approach influencer marketing depends on the time and resources they’re willing to commit.

Influencer marketing, as a strategy, is on the upswing. Particularly among businesses in the retail, fashion, beauty, and entertainment industries, working together with social media influencers and tastemakers to promote new products and drive brand messaging is a highly effective way to meet specific goals. According to research by eMarketer, more than 30% of brands are increasing their focus on influencers as part of the advertising media mix.

With businesses spending more on influencer marketing now than ever before, digital publishers are looking for ways to get involved. Web publishers sit at the center of content creation, audience engagement, and digital advertising, making them ideally suited to take advantage of this trend in online marketing.

What publishers often find as they research influencer marketing and look for ways to integrate the approach into their own business models is that a one-size-fits-all strategy isn’t applicable here. The way digital publishers approach influencer marketing depends on key factors, like:

  • The publisher’s niche
  • The publisher’s audience size
  • The publisher’s commitment to the project

Digital publishers that specialize in covering fashion, beauty, entertainment, restaurants, and nightlife tend to be the most well-positioned to get involved in influencer marketing. But how, exactly, should digital publishers approach influencer marketing? Keep reading to find out.

A Publisher’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

The way digital publishers approach influencer marketing can be broken down into two main paths. First, publishers can effectively become agencies, connecting business advertisers with online influencers in exchange for a commission. Second, digital publishers can partner with online influencers to promote their own publications and encourage subscription sales or ticket sales for live events.

For the sake of this article, we are going to focus primarily on publishers that are considering adding influencer marketing programs to their advertising packages. This is the most common way digital publishers approach influencer marketing, and it also happens to be the approach that our publishers have the most questions about here at Web Publisher PRO.

Influencer marketing aligns closely with native advertising. It works best when publishers with in-house ad sales teams include it as an add-on to their native advertising or branded content packages.

Working through a publisher on an influencer marketing campaign lends the advertiser a sense of security or assurance. Brands feel more confident going into these campaigns knowing that the influencers or tastemakers who will be promoting their products have been vetted by the publisher, and that the influencers have been selected for the specific project because their talents and values align with the brand’s. Publishers should also have a deeper knowledge of the industry and any potential pitfalls than individual businesses, which adds to the value and accounts for the premium that publishers will charge.

Yes, it’s true that retailers and other brands could pick out social media influencers and set up these types of campaigns on their own. But for all the reasons outlined above, going it alone can be risky for a brand. Working through a publishing partner alleviates the guesswork and the trepidation on the part of the advertising client.

Common Questions From Advertising Clients

If you are a publisher who is offering influencer marketing packages to advertiser clients, be prepared to answer questions like these:

  • How does the publication identify its influencers?
  • What is the incremental cost of the influencer program?
  • What analytics tools does the publisher have access to, and which metrics will the publisher share with its advertising clients?

How Influencer Marketing Benefits Publishers

The most obvious way that influencer marketing can benefit digital publishers is financial. Publishers stand to generate significant revenue by including influencer marketing as an add-on option to their native advertising packages. Beyond the financial, though, here are four additional ways that influencer marketing can benefit publishers.

  1. Building the publisher’s brand as a provider of high-quality advertising products and marketing services.
  2. Bolstering existing native advertising and branded content programs.
  3. Giving publishers the opportunity to promote their own live events.
  4. Successful influencer marketing programs can be a launching pad for stand-alone content studios.

Has your publication thought about coupling influencer marketing services with existing native advertising or branded content packages? To learn more about this and other advertising strategies, connect with our team of online publishing experts here at Web Publisher PRO.