When you’re considering buying a new laptop or trading in your phone for a newer model, it is likely that you’ll look at pricing and offers with e-retailers, but you’re also probably going to check out the views of your favourite and trusted tech blogger.

If they slam the latest phone as a battery-suck or the laptop you were eyeing did not meet their expectations, then this will influence your choice. It would seem foolish to buy something that got a bad report and on the flip-side, we bet you’ll crave the items that get rave reviews from people you think are cool.

Netshelter, the influencer network of tech blogs has launched a method of placing blog posts about brands into pages as stories rather than traditional ad placements as a more subtle way to persuade consumers.

inPowered Stories are noted as ‘sponsored’, and the actual headline and synopsis are pulled from the original source article via RSS. When consumers click on an inPowered article, they are taken to the original source blog.

These promoted stories have been pre-qualified as influential based on recent past performance, by measuring consumption and social amplification across more than 30 social signals including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reditt, Google+ and blog comments.

Slipping in between advert and opinion

In the way that ‘advertorials‘ catch consumers by presenting advertising as editorial material, inPowered Stories does a similar thing by pulling in the opinion of tech bloggers to aid brands with influence. The idea is that word of mouth is more powerful than blatant advertising which many online consumers avoid unless they are specifically looking for a product.

NetShelter’s network comprises 4,500 professional tech bloggers, including prominent personalities such as Seth Weintraub of 9to5Mac.com, Kevin Michaluk of Crackberry.com, Arnold Kim of MacRumors.com, Rob Jackson of Phandroid.com, Jon Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo.com and Helena Stone of ChipChick.com.

Advertisers or brands who choose to use inPowered Stories only pay when consumers actually read or share an article rather than CPMs (cost per thousand impressions). Brands can rotate the stories that they choose to amplify to promote articles that are reflective of the brands objectives. This might work well with product launches or competitions around which a buzz on social media and pushing word of mouth is likely draw consumers.

screencapinpower Netshelter launches inPowered Stories that earn money for influential tech bloggers

Pirouz Nilforoush is the co-founder and President of NetShelter Technology Media, he says that the expertise of tech bloggers can go a long way to help brands, “People go to Google to search, and they go to Facebook to share information with friends, and both platforms present advertising experiences that are consistent with those expectations. However, people go to tech blogs and news sites to learn from independent experts. So, our inPowered Stories directly align with what consumers want.”

Having your friends influence your consumer choices is not a new trick. On Facebook, you may already have seen a panel where your network connections endorse products or brands. This slightly more stealthy method of advertising is becoming the norm as internet consumers are more likely to trust the opinion of peers and people they hold in esteem rather than flashing panel ads which create little or no personal connection.

Think twice when you feel the urge to buy the latest tech. Where did you hear about that product again?