Brands still depend on word of mouth advertising, but with social media in the mix, the message travels a little differently. Rather than two neighbors exchanging product reviews in the backyard, word of mouth now spreads digitally.

It explains why more brands are asking digital superstars to promote their products online. NatureBox, a company that sends a monthly box of tailored snacks to its members, decided to use influencer marketing to build credibility with moms.

Joanna Goddard, who runs a lifestyle blog, A Cup of Jo, was one of the influencers that the company partnered with.

NatureBox shared three images of her kids with messages about eating healthy. These three images received more than 1,200 likes and sparked conversations with other moms.

Here’s a snapshot of one of the images NatureBox shared on Instagram:

NatureBox (1)

Here’s how Goddard helped the company market its product and bolster credibility at the same time.

A solid connection with a niche audience

Goddard has a history of creating posts and offering advice to moms. She does have 82,000 followers on Instagram, which is nothing to sneeze at, but more importantly she’s made meaningful connections with everyday parents in the nine years that she has run her blog.

Many brands assume that the best influencers are those with a large audience. While reach is important, it’s more important to see what kind of relationship a potential influencer has with their audience.

A case study supports the idea of influence over audience size. A marketing analyst recently compared late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon’s social reach with the engagement of YouTube star Connor Franta.

Fallon had 38.4 million followers at the time, compared to Franta’s 12.5 million. However, Franta’s posts had a 66 percent higher engagement rate than Fallon’s because of the relationship the YouTuber maintains with his audience.

Content to support a brand’s goal

If you take a look at the posts that Goddard has on her blog and social sites, many of them focus on parenting and motherhood.

Some of the posts provide tips to other moms, others showcase a more personal moment like Goddard’s six-year-old’s birthday party.

Motherhood is a core theme to Goddard’s online presence, which makes her an excellent fit for NatureBox.

An understanding of marketing

On Goddard’s website she encourages brands to reach out to her and form partnerships. With just a few lines in her “About Us” section, she shows brands that she “gets it,” and has experience working with brands to promote products.

Finding an influencer that has experience in marketing is a major coup. It means less hand-holding for the brand, and it likely indicates a willingness to work with a company to promote a product or service in a way that makes sense for both parties.

Combine a great working relationship with research that indicates influencer marketing can increase conversion rates by 3-10 times the usual rate, and it’s not surprising to see how NatureBox put together a successful marketing campaign.