How To #22: 6 Steps To Make Blogger Partnerships Work For Brands
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From Written Word To Sales - Through Influencers
Brands all over the world are doing it. And for a very good reason. It works. Today, brands are realizing the power of leveraging social influencers and bloggers to create organic content about their brand - and spread it to their fan base. Which can be minuscule or massive.
Regardless of fan base size, the brand is getting something powerful - content they didn't have to create, and which they can share through their own channels. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares 6 steps to help make blogger partnerships work better for brands.
In order to generate awareness, engagement, and ultimately sales, an integrated online campaign yields the strongest results. Which means leveraging bloggers and social media influencers as part of that multi-pronged awareness campaign. The importance of social media, email marketing and website content to create a brand presence is understood by most brand marketers. However, with social media, impressions – “Likes,” favorite posts, comments - don’t necessarily mean converted sales. And brands should not expect every influencer engagement to lead to immediate sales. Why? Because it's like any other type of PR or advertising - it takes time. And consistency. Sometimes immediate sales happen, but they are on the rarer side, and should not be the measuring tool of whether a campaign was a good campaign or not.
Countless studies have shown that consumers must trust the content as well as the creator of the content in order to 'buy in.' And for brands, partnering with a strategic source that is trusted by the target demo is necessary to engage a potentially large, loyal, and enthusiastic audience.
So how can a brand do this successfully? Here are six tips to learn from...
1. Understand Your Audience
Before embarking on influencer partnerships, first fully identify the brand message and who the target is. Doing so will make it easier to establish measurable goals and align with a blogger who can help deliver on those objectives.
2. Align Your Brand With A Blogger Who Appeals To The Ideal Target
Once the brand message is determined, the next step is to decide which bloggers will best serve the brand as an endorser. A great brand endorser will not only represent the type of image that is desired to have consumers associate the brand with, but also provide a matching audience already loyal to the blogger. There are millions of bloggers that exist in the online space now, and within very niche markets. From categories as broad as beauty and fashion, to those as specific as BMX riding or gardening, a blog exists for virtually any topic thought of.
3. Bring Something To The Table
When joining a campaign with a blogger, be able to offer the blogger something of value, though it does not always have to be a dollar amount. Many bloggers will accept a trade out of product in exchange for featuring the brand in a blog post, contest, or social media posts. Ensure the brand is getting proper call outs and that the correct social media handles are being tagged.
A great way to make the blogger happy and willing to promote the brand is by making his/her readers happy. Social media contests are a great way to benefit all: The brand will get call outs by the contest posting as well as via follower reposting, the blogger will have great content to share with his/her followers and potentially increase that fan base, and readers will have the opportunity to win great products.
4. Build Influencer Relationships
When a truly great relationship with influencers is built, their endorsement is much more organic and genuine, and that rings true to readers. After all, online users have been proven to trust user generated content above all else.
In fact, the stubborn millennial generation trusts user generated content 50% more than any other source. Of mothers, a staggering 91% make regular use of social media, half of which trust the opinions of other moms above all else, and who happen to use social networks specifically for making purchase decisions.
Give the blogger something to love, and in turn gain an enthusiastic endorser who truly loves the brand and product, and who will be excited to share the goods with his/her loyal followers.
5. Figure Out What Type Of Content Will Best Suit The Brand
There are various ways that a blogger can endorse a brand. Ask for a product review or sponsored post, where the blogger will sample the product and write about his/her experience. Giveaway contests are a great way to promote a brand. This can be hosted on numerous different platforms, whether it be from the blogger’s site in a post, the brand’s website, or on another social media site such as Facebook or Twitter. Ask a blogger to create a pin board on Pinterest if mass sharing and the gaining of new followers is the primary objective.
An optimal plan would be the combination of more than one tactic, perhaps all funneling back to the brand’s website. When partnering for a giveaway, it would be smart to also provide a limited time discount (in an amount high enough to create true interest) for participants for those who do not win, and also to funnel more consumers back to the purchase point on the brand’s website.
6. Provide Content That Is Trackable
To be able to measure what kind of impact the brand is getting from being featured on a bloggers site, provide trackable links. If offering a promotion, craft a unique promo code. If the blogger will be posting on social media, create a unique hash tag. The ability to track all links will allow measurable - and valuable - ROI.
It is incredibly important to understand who to enlist as an endorser for the brand, how to reach them, and what the overall goals and execution will be before locking down the partnership.
So, Now What?
My team will be the first to tell you, blogger partnerships take a TON of time. From research to reach out, to shipping of product, to following up. And following up. And did we say... following up!!! Until that successful post is written and shared for the world to see. And unless you want a new part-time job plus, you will want to bring on an agency partner on board to assist.
Read more content our team has written about social influencers:
- 3 Tips To Make Your Brand Appealing To Top Social Media Influencers
- 3 Insights To Create Affordable Influencer Marketing That Sells
- 5 Signs Your Brand Should Invest In Influencer Marketing
More Ways To Engage Consumers Through Celebrities
Are you interested in learning how to successfully partner celebrities to your brand - without spending a million? Watch this short webinar to learn Hollywood insider tricks to create and kick start an entertainment marketing campaign that is the perfect extension for your social media program.