Bloggers are some of the most effective influencers on the web. Covering a wide variety of niches, including fashion, food, lifestyle, parenting, and many others, bloggers are go-to sources for information, tips, and resources online. Outside of their dedicated space, many bloggers also have strong presences on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat, where their extended reach can impact and influence even broader audiences.
Partnering with bloggers can be an extremely valuable marketing tool for businesses. Whether looking to promote a brand image, product, or service, bloggers have dedicated audiences eager to absorb their opinions and suggestions.
Once a business and a blogger have agreed to work together, a variety of steps need to be taken to ensure that the campaign and relationship develop as smoothly as possible. Below, we offer seven critical steps brands should take when working with bloggers in order to get the most out of their collaborations.
An effective sponsored blog post doesn’t happen by chance. Each campaign starts out with an achievable goal, followed by a detailed outline the steps necessary to execute the campaign.
Brands and bloggers must first work together to ensure that a proposed post meets both of their needs and tastes. Next, considerations such as article and content type, branding and messaging parameters, crossposting to other social channels, and approval and publishing date should be discussed and agreed upon.
By being on the same page about what a post or campaign will entail, bloggers and businesses can avoid misunderstandings and increase their potential for a successful campaign.
From the start, a brand should be upfront and honest with the blogger about their goals, expectations, and budget. This kind of transparency will ensure that neither party is wasting the other’s time.
Additionally, businesses are wise to be clear and concise with their solicitations. Many bloggers are busy fielding an array of sponsorship requests. While long-winded, unfocused messages are likely to sit in a blogger’s inbox, brands that show the potential to benefit a blogger — without using up a lot of their time — are more likely to get a response.
Bloggers have attained their influential status because they’re good at what they do, and giving them the freedom to exercise their talents within sponsored content often produces the most desirable results.
While it’s common for brands to ask bloggers to include certain kinds of messaging, calls to action (CTAs), or affiliate links, bloggers are at their best when they’re allowed to direct the creative. Unencumbered pieces will be crafted with the blogger’s unique style and voice, which gives marketing content the same organic feel as non-sponsored posts.
Depending on the type of post and/or content the blogger is creating, they may require resources outside of their reach. Whether it be a specific color or model of the product being promoted, a special location to shoot photos or video, or access to a brand’s designer to answer detailed questions, offer support in order to make the blogger’s job easier and more effective.
Brands can also assist bloggers by handling logistical tasks around the campaign. For example, considerations such as setting calls and meetings, as well as creating calendars with content approval dates and launch schedules, are all efforts that allow a blogger to concentrate on the creative.
For businesses unfamiliar with the logistical and administrative needs of a blog campaign, consulting with an influencer marketing agency that has strong blogger relationships and a track record of successful blog initiatives can be advantageous.
Communication throughout a blog collaboration is paramount. As finely-tuned as a campaign plan might be, there will inevitably be questions along the way.
Moreover, unforeseen obstacles could necessitate shifts in timing, content, or other aspects of the campaign, which can cause an adverse domino effect if not addressed properly. Any time there are changes to an agreed upon plan, brands and bloggers should have an immediate conversation.
As many as 93% of celebrity endorsements may be violating the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) guidelines for sponsored posts.
Unfortunately, however, the problem isn’t just with a few large celebrities. Many social media influencers and bloggers also fall short of FTC compliance. To ensure that sponsored blog posts meet required FTC guidelines, please see our updated post here.
Related Post: The 4 FTC Cases That Have Redefined Influencer Marketing
When the campaign wraps, the relationship with a blogger doesn’t have to end. In fact, it can be fruitful to stay in contact with bloggers outside of any paid services. Updating bloggers on company efforts and releases keeps bloggers in the know and brands top-of-mind.
Additionally, sending bloggers freebies and discounts can help to build more rapport and good faith. Fostering healthy, long-term relationships with bloggers can provide a wealth of value to a brand’s future campaigns and often leads to long and fruitful and partnerships.