If You’re Looking To Work With Bloggers, Remember These 7 Things
Working with bloggers is a fantastic way to generate engagement with your brand, as well as building a strong backlink profile. They work incredibly hard to amass and maintain a fan base by posting great content, interacting with followers and setting trends. Their followers care about what they say, which makes them more valuable than any advertisement. That’s why bloggers are sought after. Because of this, it can be hard to cut through and put your brand at the front of their mind. So we’ve put together this helpful list to help you do just that.
We’ve worked with bloggers and brands for years and compiled the best advice from both. Follow these 7 steps and you’ll be well on your way to your first blogger campaign.
1. Do your research
This is arguably the first and most important step in working with bloggers. Whatever your brand, product or service, there will be an audience already creating content about your industry. From steampunk to hostas, there is a community for everything. All you have to do is find it.
Compile a spreadsheet of anything you find with the name in your left-hand column and the URLs of their channels next to it.
Then add a few more columns:
- No. of followers/subscribers
- No. of posts per week
- Average likes their posts receive
- Average shares their posts receive
- Average comments/replies their posts receive
- Domain authority of blog (Moz can tell you this for free)
Once you have a complete picture of the community, you can start to map influence. Group bloggers into ‘big players’, ‘middleweights’ and ‘up and coming’. Note we didn’t say ‘small’. An easy trap is to focus all your effort on the largest blogs but these require more effort (and money) to attract. Keep an eye out for smaller blogs that have high engagement with their followers, as this can be a great starting point for a long-lasting relationship.
2.Perfect your pitch
Once you have your influencer list, you need to craft your offering. Many bloggers prefer to receive email communications as it allows them to consider your proposal before responding. The biggest complaint, though? Poorly constructed pitch emails:
Bloggers are busy. Popular bloggers may receive up to 30 pitches a week. So you need to make sure yours stands out. Think about including:
- Who you are and what your product/brand is all about
- How is it used?
- When was it launched?
- Why is it special?
- What’s your personality?
- Why you think their blog is a good fit for your product/brand
- Why should they be interested?
- Why should their fans and followers be interested?
- What do you want their help with?
- A product review?
- Sponsored post?
- Affiliate partnership?
- What do they get out of it?
- Free product?
Be specific. Be persuasive. Remember, you want them to open this email and think “I have to work with this brand.”
3. Be respectful
One of the major issues bloggers have with businesses is the expectation that posting about your product is a benefit to them. That their time isn’t valued. That they’re doing you a favour. You wouldn’t do this with a potential client or business partner. This is no different.
Take the time to understand each blogger you contact. Why do their followers like them? What are they saying that is striking a chord? Do they work with other brands already? If so, what do they say about them?
Build all of this into your pitch. Really personalise it. And make sure you spell their name right.
Part of entering into a business relationship is an expectation of payment. For many bloggers – especially those you want talking about your brand – this is a full-time job. As such, offering a gift card or discount on your product in exchange for a review just won’t cut it.
Top blogs can fetch anywhere between £500 and £50,000 per blog post. Blogs with followers in the millions can command even more. Before contacting any bloggers, decide the budget you want to commit to your campaign and state this in your pitch.
5. Build a long-term relationship
Imagine if you had an influential blogger who loved your brand so much they posted about it for years? That’s the potential outcome if you think long-term with your outreach.
Bloggers prefer multiple campaign projects to one-off exchanges. It shows commitment by you and demonstrates you understand their value.
Offer constructive feedback on their work. Plan ahead for development. Offer to write a guest post for their blog. Invite them to your offices or meet them for coffee. Test any new products with them.
Make them feel like a valued partner and they’ll do the same for you.
6. Join in
Get involved. If bloggers you’re working with post content related to you, share it. Comment, thank them, and start a discussion. In doing so, you’re providing exposure for the blog and showing their audience that you’re invested.
A great example of this is the well-publicised ‘Home Depot Holiday Challenge’.
They sent out a box of high-quality Christmas products to DIY and home décor bloggers and invited them to decorate part of their house.
They then built an entire section on their blog dedicated to the campaign, creating original content about each blogger’s entry and linking directly to their blog.
A brilliant example of a mutually beneficial relationship.
Ultimately your goal in working with bloggers is to improve exposure and engagement with your brand. Before starting any campaign, make sure you have a plan for tracking its success.
Set up a report to measure responses to each blog post. Keep a record of backlinks. Benchmark the start of the campaign on Google Analytics and track any changes in website traffic.
Measure ‘first-touch attribution’ to identify if any visitors converted as a result of a blog post. At the end of the campaign, you should have visibility of how every blog you worked with performed, which you can use to plan your next campaign.
Bloggers are always on the lookout for new, exciting brands. They want to work with you. Appreciate the value they provide and create a compelling, well-structured pitch that demonstrates an understanding of their blog.
You’re then head and shoulders above your competition and well on your way to building lasting relationships that can generate real passion for your brand.