A few weeks back I did a webinar for bloggers talking about how to work with brands. It was so fun hearing the feedback from seasoned and new bloggers about the webinar and the things they learned. Working with brands can often be complex for both blogger and brand. There is no set rule book and this is rather new territory for both parties.
I have long worked with Blog Frog. I started out as a community leader for their Coffee Talk community where we talked about everything from marriage, shoes, coffee and kids. Now Blog Frog wants to know “what advice do you have for working with a brand?” So now I am on the flipside and get to give advice to the them. Ooh I love giving my two cents!
Me giving my two cents Speaking at Haven 2012 – Source: Sew Woodsy
So here it goes. Dear Brand, this is my unsolicited advice on working with bloggers.
1. Establish Relationships with Bloggers– Many times your marketing initiatives are to blast your message loud and clear and you want to get as many bloggers on board. While sometimes that is effective, the companies that put their seal of approval in the camp of a few bloggers seem to gain more credibility. Not only do the bloggers feel valued but it is a give and take relationship where both parties receive mutual benefits.
2. Pay Bloggers– I know your blogger outreach budget may not be unlimited so you really want to make your advertising dollars count. Do the research up front looking for the types of bloggers you want to work with. When you find those bloggers compensate them. I know the companies that I have worked with in the past that I love working with pay me because they understand that my blog is my job and that I have worked hard for my voice and my audience. And they place value on that by paying me.
3. Be Generous with Product– Pssst. . . here is a little secret. When you work with a blogger be crazy generous with product. While you may only pay them for one post if you send them a bunch of product that they like they most likely will use it. And while you paid them for that one post they still have a truckload of product left. So then they use said product (because they have so much of it because you were crazy generous) they blog about it. And guess what? You didn’t pay them for that mention. It is like getting free advertising. But don’t tell the bloggers I told you that.
4. Outline Everything Upfront– I got an email once from a company asking if they could send me product and I could see if I liked it. In their minds that meant “she will do a product review on her blog and give us a facebook mention, twitter shout out and Pin.” In my mind the company wanted to know my opinion. I got product and wrote an email about what I thought about the product. They kept asking when I was going to post about it. Lesson learned on both sides. Make sure you outline exactly what your marketing initiatives are and what you expect from the blogger – upfront – not during or after the campaign.
5. Be Honest– Good bloggers want feedback. If the campaign didn’t go as well as you hoped have an open dialogue about what could have been done differently. We are still learning too and we want constructive criticism if it helps us do a better job next time.
If you’re a brand looking to work with online influencers, learn more about BlogFrog’s Brand Solutions here.
As a part of the BlogFrog Influencer Circle, I have the chance to create meaningful, authentic content for brands I love. If you’re a blogger interested in new opportunities, join BlogFrog’s Influencer Circle and check out some of the top brands already working with BlogFrog.
Now, I’m curious. What do you love most about blogs and blogging?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogFrog. The opinions and text are all mine.