Account Executive, Andree Latibeaudiere, discusses how successful blogger relationships stem from research and respect
In the past ten years, blogs have evolved from an interesting diversion to a valid media platform, as brands recognise the value of having seemingly independent advocates and supporters. The internet democratised all industries, allowing ‘normal’ people to express opinions and gain followings that rival major news outlets in a vastly more accessible manner. The normality and relatability also went a long way in establishing that all-important trust between the consumers and brand, with all involved parties benefitting from increased exposure in a win-win situation.
However, not all bloggers and brands are created equal with accounts of high profile horror stories from both sides. High profile bloggers aren’t shy about expressing their displeasure with PRs and brands (check out Liberty London Girl’s Twitter feed for evidence) and conversely some companies simply won’t work with some bloggers due to unprofessional behaviour. So what are the secrets to keeping this potentially lucrative relationship sweet? We put together a Blogger Best Practice guide to help you navigate this sometimes tricky territory.
• Read the blog and research your blogger: establish from the start whether your chosen blogger has an interest in the product or has the right tone and audience for your brand.
• Be clear what you want out of the relationship: being upfront with what you are offering and what you expect in terms of content gives both parties the chance to negotiate terms and timescales.
• Be helpful: if you’re unable to help a blogger, offer alternatives to keep the conversation open. Most bloggers are time poor and appreciate any help you can give them!
• Engage with them: comment on good content (not your own products!) and engage with them on social media, especially if you have a larger following than the blogger.
• Encourage disclosure: always ensure that the blogger discloses the source of your content to avoid the dreaded ‘Astroturfing’.
• Offer exclusive content
• Build a database of relevant information: some bloggers are quite open on their blogs and will include personal information for consumption. It may be useful to know if a blogger has recently had a child or had bereavement so you can be sensitive when contacting them. This insight may give you the edge over the other companies vying for their attention!
• Offer guest content: this works really well if you have a well-established blog which the blogger can contribute to with links to their blogs and social media accounts.
• Spam: as mentioned above, most bloggers are time poor and will immediately delete irrelevant or impersonal material. Once you’re on their ‘spam’ list, it’s hard to re-establish this relationship.
• Hassle: most bloggers work on their own and have other jobs so will not appreciate constant pestering for content. Remember that the blogger owes you nothing, unless you have a specific contract or arrangement and even so, will appreciate sympathy and sensitivity regarding their time.
• Address ‘Dear Blogger’ or ‘Hi there’: blogs are personal and will at least have the blogger’s name or preferred alias listed. This approach is lazy and shows that you haven’t done your homework!
Hopefully these tips will help keep this relationship beneficial for all involved. Do you have any top tips for blogger relations? Comment below!