Getting props from big names such as Harry Styles, Rita Ora or Cara Delevingne is a dream come true for most brands. But recent research concludes that it’s actually bloggers rather than celebrities that weld the most influence when it comes to promoting products and services.
Blogging itself has become big business for the smart and savvy early adopters, with preeminent bloggers such as Zoella earning in excess of £50,000 per month. Committed bloggers, having dedicated long hours and much effort into creating a beautiful site and subsequent following, are fast wising up to their worth; meaning ‘free’ coverage for brands is becoming harder and harder to secure.
As bloggers become choosier about the brands they work with, it’s important to follow some basic rules of influencer outreach.
- Do your Research
“You may think it blindingly obvious, but you would be astounded at how many brands/PRs fail to read my blog and pitch me entirely inappropriate products” says Julie Falconer, founder of A Lady in London Blog. “Sometimes they even approach me with wrong name! Brands and PRs could do themselves a favour by reading at least my last couple of posts before launching into their pitch.”
Take the time to read the blog and understand the blogger’s style (it needs not be said, but also the blogger’s name). If they tend not to feature products similar to those you’re pitching, it’s a waste of time for all concerned.
- Remunerate bloggers based on influence
There are no hard and fast rules as to how much brands should pay bloggers for their time in promoting their product or service, but do look toward a blogger’s influence for a rough guide.
If a blogger is relatively new with a handful of followers you probably can’t expect to achieve return on investment. However, if the blogger you approach has a large following and a track record of working with brands on campaigns then you will need to make sure they are paid for their time. Paying bloggers for their time is a great way to make them feel valued; and if they’re helping your brand, it’s only fair they should receive something in return.
Many bloggers have already assembled media packs, which outline charges along a scale of involvement. Don’t be afraid to engage with the blogger and explain what it is you’re after. Most will be happy to put together a tailored package, and remember, through posts and social media there are plenty of ways to reach your audience.
- Build lasting relationships
Choosing a blogging partner should be similar to choosing a partner partner. Pick one that closely matches your values and aesthetic for a successful long-term relationship. Yes, you must have a little in common, but this just means that their readership is likely to be responsive to your brand. Then court them: befriend them on social media; follow them on Pinterest; be consistent with your engagement; establish a good working relationship; and recognise what it is that you both hope to get out of it. If you understand each other from the outset, together you will build a beautiful, fruitful campaign!