7 Steps To Working With Bloggers
April 18, 2018
Bloggers have become some of the most influential people on the internet. From health and fitness to travel and lifestyle, there are bloggers working in pretty much every niche you could think of, and they have a loyal readership that returns again and again to see what they have to say. Whether their medium is written content, videos on YouTube or social media, working with bloggers can be invaluable to businesses, so it’s no wonder blogger outreach is becoming a fast-growing area of Digital PR.
If you’ve never worked with bloggers before but would like to dip your toe in the influencer waters, it can be tricky to know where to begin. Here are seven essentials steps to follow to ensure your campaign goes off without a hitch.
1. Do your research
You’ll hear it a few times throughout this blog post; bloggers share everything. So if they get an email asking them to try out the new latest diet – but their content clearly says they are body positive and anti-diet – they’re not going to be happy. It may take a little longer than usual, but make sure you’re doing proper research into who your bloggers are and the kind of content they write. First impressions are still everything.
Doing this also gives you a wider picture about who the blogger is as a person. What are their interests? Their needs? Goals? Life circumstances? Use this information to tailor your pitch email, as it’ll shine through and show that you’ve done your research and genuinely want to work with them. Authenticity goes a long way in this business.
2. Have a plan in place
What are you hoping to gain from working with bloggers? A good and effective sponsored post or social media content doesn’t happen by accident. The first thing your campaign needs is a realistic goal, along with the steps you’ll need to take to achieve that.
Things you need to think about include: the type of content you want, any branding and messaging you want to get across, posting to other social media, deadlines for drafts to be sent if necessary, and when the post needs to go live.
Both blogger and brand being on the same page is key to working together to ensure success in your campaign.
3. Let them blog
Bloggers have worked hard to cultivate a certain status in the ‘blogosphere’, but most importantly, they’ve created a following and readership that return to them time and time again because of the unique content they create. If a brand comes along and tries to control every little detail of that content, it’s going to lose its authenticity, which readers will see coming a mile off.
The bloggers you choose to work with are good at what they do – that’s what has gotten them there in the first place and it’s why you’ve chosen to work with them. So make sure you loosen the reins a little (a lot) and let their talents do the talking. It’s this kind of sponsored content that produces the best results.
4. Say “hi” properly
You’d think it would go without saying that any outreach emails should properly address the recipient, but social media and blogging groups are littered with email misspellings, blog names being used as first names, and the completely wrong name being used altogether. Don’t be one of those guys.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Some brands send their initial email out to bloggers, and then they’ll drop off the face of the earth, regardless of whether the blogger has agreed to take part in the campaign. Throughout any well-executed campaign, questions are bound to crop up on both sides, so make sure you’re available to answer.
Any tweaks in timing, content requirements or any other parts of the campaign could have an unwanted domino effect if they’re not dealt with properly. If anything changes, even if it seems tiny to you, make sure it’s communicated.
6. End on good terms
Even if you’ve paid them for their work, nothing shows people they’re appreciated more than a genuine and heartfelt thank you. It’s a step that often gets forgotten in the excitement of wrapping up a campaign and seeing the results flood in. Go a step further than an email and send them a handwritten note, a unique discount code or maybe even a small gift – they’ll probably even share it on social media which is great publicity for you.
7. Build a relationship
Don’t just wave goodbye to your bloggers once the campaign has finished. Bloggers share everything on social media, and you want to focus on building a strong relationship, so a one-and-done project could land you in their bad books.
Get in touch every now and then, even if it’s just to see how they’re doing. If you can ask them something about their life you get bonus points. Answer any questions they may have, talk about topics they’re interested in and work hard to create a long lasting partnership. It’ll pay off in the long run.