They have tens of thousands of loyal readers, impressive website traffic, and social media followings that tower beyond some A-list celebrities. I’m talking, of course, about bloggers.
For a time, it was a known practice to pitch bloggers as you would traditional journalists. You may have packaged up a nice pitch, included some digital assets, and offered samples where possible—but expectations have dramatically changed.
If your brand is hoping to build credibility among niche audiences, blogger relations is the way to go—if you go about it correctly. So what are bloggers looking for? Here are three main components to a successful blogger partnership.
Content. Did you notice we referred to bloggers as partners? That’s because behind retail and brand sites, bloggers are among the top five most trustworthy sources on the Web today. Brand loyalty takes time, and while many brands may just opt for higher budgets on digital advertising, consumers trust bloggers more than advertisers (no surprise here).
When developing your campaign, think of ways to incorporate bloggers early on and ask for their advice. They have an ear to the ground with your audience and they’re interacting with them every day. Partner with the most influential bloggers to drive content for your campaign before you even go live. Find out what works, what types of contests and giveaways drive the most traffic, and what types of content resonate the deepest and result in the most buzz. Is it an expert’s opinion? Perhaps a series of mini-blogs or vlogs with unique tips and tricks? The bloggers will be able to tell you what will work and what won’t, and what they’ll need from your brand to get it done well.
Social Media Tie-Ins. Let’s be honest. We all love attention on social media. But for bloggers, website traffic determines how much money they are able to secure from advertisers, and social drives that traffic considerably.
When developing your campaign, make sure your brand not only has a strong presence on social media, but also is capable of handling an influx of engagement during the blogger’s campaign. Giveaways and contests generate massive amounts of chatter, and your brand needs to be ready to respond, retweet, like, share, etc. Help send even more traffic to the blogger’s site, and you’ll earn yourself a long-term partnership, and a very happy blogger who will go above and beyond for your brand.
Advertising. “But why should I pay a blogger?” I hear this question a lot. Bloggers aren’t traditional journalists in the sense that they have an editor and work for a publication that pays them—but they do work for themselves. Many as much as (if not more than) full-time journalists. Each blogger is his or her own editor, journalist, copywriter, search engine optimization strategist, and social community manager.
A blogger partnership that will yield the most impressions will require an investment. Most bloggers will have a “fee,” but some will develop special campaign agreements depending on what you’re trying to accomplish and how much content is to be developed.
The blogger dynamic has changed so much over the past five years. In a content-rich world, the influence of affluent, active, engaged bloggers has changed the way brands approach online communications, and, in some cases, their entire online strategy. Don’t just mass pitch hundreds of bloggers and cross your fingers that they’ll cover your brand. Pick a handful of highly targeted bloggers and develop an online campaign that will generate chatter and brand loyalists. Ready to dive in? Contact our social media team today and we’ll get your brand into the conversation.
To learn more about Martino Flynn’s blogger relations and social media capabilities, contact Katie D’Arcy at firstname.lastname@example.org.