In this series, we are going to explore some best practices for working with bloggers.
As the name suggest ‘101’ is an article on the basics. Stay tuned for more in the series to grow your skills and nail this ‘Influencer Marketing’ business.
1. Create a list of target bloggers
When creating a list of target bloggers there are a few things to look for:
What demographic they reach (requesting a copy of their media kit and google analytics stats will help identify this, or you can use a tool like scrunch inbox to speed up the process).
How many followers they have, plus how much engagement they get. It is important to look at both metrics in conjunction with one another. If someone has 1 Million followers, but only gets 50 people engaging with their post it is likely that they have purchased their reach or stopped creating content that resonates with their followers - either way investing in them might be a bad idea.
Is their aesthetic similar to yours? Would your product look like an organic choice for them when placed in their feed?
Do they have influence? When they post, does their audience buy? Right now there are only two ways to figure this out. 1 - test it yourself by paying them to post and tracking your sales results at the same time (an expensive option to test until you find the right fit). 2 - Using scrunch, check the Influencers, ‘Influence Score’.
2. Have a goal in mind
If you don’t start with a goal in mind, how will you measure success? And if you can’t measure success how can you justify your marketing spend to your boss? Campaign goals will vary depending on your business goals. They might include:
Growing your social fan base
Increasing product sales
Improving brand sentiment
Reaching a new consumer in a new geographic location
Whatever they are, write them down and take a base line measurement of your business today. What is your current follower count or engagement, what are your historical product sales, etc.? Without this starting information, things will get tricky later on.
3. Know your budget
Just like buying shoes, when you go over-budget there are consequences… only in a business sense, it means explaining to your boss, resenting the engagement and extra pressure on the outcomes.
If you know what you are willing to invest upfront then there is no risk of a budget blow-out.
Communicate your budget to the blogger if you are close to their typical asking rate, they might just negotiate down to work with you. And if they are more expensive, then politely decline and move on. If you are reasonable and polite, then there will be no ill feelings and there might be an opportunity in the future to collaborate.
And don’t be afraid to get creative, cash is king, but products, experiences and opportunities are also valuable offerings.
4. Craft the perfect email
Emails are not rocket science, however there are a few tips that can help you stand out when contacting an Influencer.
Subject line - avoid anything that sounds ‘sales-y’,
Make it personal - take the time to read their last few blog entries or check out their social pages, make a comment on something that catches your eye and congratulate them on their efforts.
Be clear and to the point - Everyone is busy and a wall of text is spirit-crushing. Give a quick overview of the type of engagement you are after and request a quote for this type of service.
Politely sign off and include your contact details - Being professional from the first email will set the tone for the whole engagement.
Don’t be afraid to follow-up - As mentioned, everyone is busy and sometimes things get missed (or go to ones spam folder). Don’t be a stalker, and do give them a couple of days to get to your email, but don’t be afraid to follow up with further information and encourage them to consider working together.
5. Agree on the engagement and outcomes
Once you’ve hooked your Influencer, now the negotiation begins! OK, it’s not that scary. This is why we set goals and a budget in the previous steps. You want to have this clear in your mind when agreeing on the terms of the engagement with the blogger. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, explain what outcomes you are looking for and suggest a budget or make an offer. It is also very important in this process to agree on the timeline for execution.
If you can’t agree, politely suggest that the terms aren’t what you were looking for and that you will revisit some time in the future. There are millions of influencers, finding the right fit might take a couple of goes, and will be worth the effort.
6. When the post is live, do your own marketing
When the blogger hits the publish button on their post, don’t sit back and watch. The more the post is seen by potential customers, the more success you will have. So now is the perfect time to maximise the impact of the post by spreading it through your networks as well. Here are a few ideas:
Share the post on your own social media accounts.
Email the image and link to the post in your email newsletter.
If there are other brands or retailers mentioned in the content, share it with them as well. If they share it out through their networks you are really starting to hit a huge audience.
7. Track and Measure Results
How do you know if the engagement was a success? Success should be tied back to point number 2 - What were your goals, and did you move the needle? If you set clear and specific goals, like growing your social fan base, were they achieved? Were there any unexpected results? Checking back in with important metrics like social fan base and product sales and comparing them to your numbers before the campaign will help to paint a picture of success.
If you are going to track and measure your own results (as opposed to using a tool like scrunch) then it is important to only have one campaign running at a time. Otherwise you may not be able to decipher which influencer made the difference and where you should reinvest next time. The aim of measuring your results should be to make sure the next time you put money into marketing, you already know your goals will be achieved.
The key to measuring success is being able to accurately track a campaign online. scrunch has been designed to track your brand and campaigns across the web and deliver live analytics to take the guesswork out of Influencer Marketing.
8. Say Thank You
Whether you deem the engagement a success or failure, it is important that you maintain a positive relationship with the blogger. In the event that you would like to work with them again, ending the engagement by expressing your thanks for their work means they will be eager to work with you and more likely to put more effort into the work.
Plus, bloggers are a tight-knit community and you don’t want word to get around that you are ungrateful or difficult to work with.