There have been discussions regarding the relevance of blogging nowadays and in the fashion world there were articles about whether bloggers were necessary at the majors shows anymore. Even so, there’s an equal amount of focus geared toward the success of bloggers and their influence.
No one can predict the future and say how the world of blogging will continue to evolve, but today we still think that blogger outreach and partnerships are a relevant strategy and you may as well get in on it while you can!
Bloggers are influencers and in some cases much more influential than other outreach options e.g. celebrities.
Below we’ve shared a few things to keep in mind when partnering your brand with bloggers:
1) Bloggers are not journalists. They’re their own brands.While we are sticklers about quality content and good writing, and we have this expectation of the bloggers we partner our clients with, we also understand that their goal or “job” is not necessarily to put info out like a media outlet. (And for some, it’s not even a job but a project/side gig/hobby that happens to generate revenue. More on that shortly.)
Journalists and writers for various media outlets will remove personal commentary and just present the story. Media appeals to their audience, but the rules (some spoken and some unspoken) are different – from fact-checking to research. For instance, an audience isn’t likely to accept the words “I think or I feel” from a news source unless it’s a column or commentary. Most reputable media outlets adhere to a certain code of ethics and journalistic rules.
For bloggers, objectivity is optional and can be rare. As in rules, what rules? They can get away with some things that larger recognized media platforms cannot. Bloggers’ followers want their favorite blogger’s feedback and personal opinions. And as influencers in their community, their opinions are valued and respected. Oh, and some bloggers get paid for their opinions, tastes and finds, and when they do they have to disclose the nature of their relationship (per FTC guidelines) so that the audience is clear on the info presented. Which brings us to…
2) Having a blogger budget is a good idea. Some bloggers are often compensated for their work. I (Nancy) recently saw a debate in an online forum regarding bloggers charging for coverage (posts). Some PR pros were appalled that bloggers charge, others are used to it and expect to receive rates.
Allow us to explain, there’s the editorial side and the advertising side of media, and typically there’s a separation between the two (advertising with an outlet doesn’t guarantee favorable or any coverage on the editorial side). When it comes to bloggers, some people don’t know whether to treat them as editorial contacts or advertising – and it all really depends on the blogger (whether they charge or not).
If you’re going to incorporate blogger outreach to your marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to allocate a budget for blogs that you definitely want your brand featured.
3) You can not control the message.On your own blog, yes! On someone else’s blog? Not so much…even if you’re paying them, you can’t tell a blogger what to write. While these bloggers are not journalists reporting both sides of a story, they are bloggers reporting…well, their side of the story period. They have an obligation to their audience and the good ones care about this fact – with or without the monies. With that being said, as a brand, you do not get to control the message but you wouldn’t want to if you’re looking to appeal to a bloggers’ audience. To have the most authentic brand interaction with a blogger, you want them writing in their voice and in a way that’s true to their platform. It’s more favorable for your brand and you’ll receive better results for the partnership. This is why it’s super important to partner with the bloggers who are a good fit for your brand.
What are your favorite blogs? Can you see your brand having a great relationship with bloggers? Want to know if blogs are right for your brand or need some help with blogger outreach for your business, get in touch!