A few weeks ago a twitter storm erupted when one blogger asked a little too much of one bakery and started the great macaron war of 2015. The #BloggerBlackmail hashtag swept through twitter and became the topic of the afternoon. With the whole thing getting blown way out of proportion it got me thinking about the influence bloggers can have and the importance of not only working with them but working with them well.
In the instance of the ‘macaron war’, a blogger had got in contact with a London bakery and asked to come along and review their food and drink to go on her blog. For this she expected to be compensated with the food and drink for free. But after a misunderstanding with some staff she was left disappointed by what they had supplied her with. The blogger then went on to post negative Instagram posts of the bakery and the bakery owner posted a similarly negative post about the blogger on the bakery’s website. For me, the key thing I took from this incident is that the company didn’t understand how to work with this blogger to help promote their business. Both were in the wrong and obviously acted in the heat of the moment in what they said about each other but if in the first instance the company had understood blogger outreach as a marketing tool better this may not have ended in the negative way that it did.
When a blogger is used to write or talk about your company or brand you are giving that person free reign. To their audience their word becomes law and whatever they have said about you can directly influence your sales. It has been reported that 31% of online shoppers have been influenced by blogs, this is second only to brand retail sites and social media. When a blogger has this much influence over your brand you must tread lightly when working with them. On the whole bloggers are an absolute pleasure to work with and can positively affect your brands image, so below I have outlined my 3 main considerations to use when working with bloggers to reach a mutually beneficial outcome for the both of you.
1. Understand what a blogger does
Bloggers either run their blog as a hobby and outlet for their opinion or they run it as their career – either way they are putting a lot of time and effort into researching your company, creating content/posts, editing them and maintaining their engagement with their readership.
2. Compensate them accordingly
After understanding how much time and effort has gone into their finished post it is only right to give the blogger what they deserve. If you were the blogger, would you put that much effort into your work if you weren’t being compensated at all or well for it? Also in the matter of reviews, if they are to produce a well-rounded review of your company maybe giving them more than a taster product/service would help them to tell others of what you actually have on sale and so giving them more may result in more promotion for you.
3. Help them to create content that will capture their audience
This starts at the beginning of your campaign, when coming up with the campaign brief. You need to make sure it’s interesting, not just to your existing customers but to those that may not have heard of you before. If you do not get excited by the idea then why should anyone else? When a blogger is excited by a campaign it will show through in their writing. The second stage to creating a campaign involves who you will be working with. It is important to work with those that will benefit from your company or suits your company well. For instance if you are a restaurant then you should try to work with food bloggers as these along with their readership are your target audience and so will benefit most from the content, this in turn will create more engagement and interest in your company.
Blogger outreach is one of the easiest ways of opening the line of communication between your brand and your target audience and when done right can create lasting relationships that mutually benefit your business, those you work with and your audience.
At Zeal we pride ourselves on the experience we create for both our clients and the influencers that we work with, if you are interested in learning more about some of the blogger outreach campaigns we have created or how we can help your business to engage with influencers then get in touch!