How To Choose The Right Blogger For Your Brand
Taking help from the right blogger to speak for your brand is something that most brands want. However, when it comes to selecting the right blogger for their brand, most brands are confused.
In this article, I will look at this problem. I will also help brands and agencies pick out a blogger that is tailor-made for them.
Digital Marketing is an ever-evolving and changing domain. What works today, might become redundant tomorrow. With more and more people installing Ad Blockers on both desktops and mobiles, direct ad placements are not working anymore.
People are also tired of brands pushing products and services down their throats at all times. They have stopped trusting brands in many ways. This is the reason why brands are moving towards Bloggers and Influencers.
Selecting the right blogger helps brands place someone who is not a mega celeb within the consumers. It is always better for people to relate to someone who is like them.
Blogger Outreach is emerging as one of the most innovative and productive digital marketing strategy in 2019.
The Benefits of Choosing the Right Blogger:
Brands tend to forget one important thing- audiences change!
This means that the millennial generation, which grew into the digital age, is being replaced. Generation Z is replacing it! This generation is known as the generation of ‘digital natives’. They were born into the digital and social media world.
Generation Z is slowly emerging as the biggest spenders on digital and ecommerce platforms. They are dominating social media. The only thing that they put emphasis on is genuineness, credibility, and authenticity.
Brands who are able to speak their language, identify with their social positions, and invoke their social stands are the ones who will be productive.
Given the change in digital audience, brands are looking to explore new digital strategies. Blogger Outreach and Influencer Marketing are two of the biggest most-opted strategies in 2019.
Native Advertising is trumping any other form of advertising out there. Combined with a strong ‘Inbound’ focus, content from bloggers are being used to-
- Drive website traffic for the brand.
- Plan and execute strategic lead generation and sales conversion campaigns.
- Gain high-quality backlinks in industry authority sites.
- Build credibility, trust, and faithfulness.
- Contribute to brand building and brand awareness.
Most brands are trying to work with bloggers and influencers because of the relatability quotient. Users can relate to them much more than they can with actors, sportsmen or other mega-celebrities.
What kind of a Blogger should a Brand select?
There is no one way to answer this important question.
Brands have different expectations from bloggers.
Some brands take help from bloggers when they are about to release a new product. Others are just interested in paid reviews or sponsored posts. While others are only looking at high-quality backlinks from the blogger’s website.
However, I have compiled a Checklist of sorts for brands who are looking to select the right blogger. This checklist is at the core of a Blogger Outreach Service strategy.
1. A Blogger should belong to your Industry Niche:
Is there any point engaging with a blogger from the food industry if you are a fashion brand? No! As a brand, you should always look at bloggers who belong to y your industry. No matter how niche your product, you will find some industry authority blogger in your niche.
It is always better to go for niche bloggers in an industry. This is because these bloggers engage with their users on an entirely different level. They have captive audiences and enjoy enormous influence over them.
2. The Blogger should have a High Authority Blog:
A good blogger has a great website. This means his website has high traffic flows, metrics, and figures. In terms of website traffic, the best bloggers see over 1 Million+ users on their website every month.
This is not only a lot of traffic; this is traffic, which is dedicated, committed and engaging. For a brand, this is traffic, which is already very interested in the industry or its products. In terms of metrics, a good blog site enjoys high Domain Authority (60+), Domain Ranking (70+) and other metrics.
3. The Blogger should also be a Social Media Influencer:
The best bloggers are also social media influencers. Not only are they active when it comes to their website, but they also maintain a strong social presence. You will find the best ones sharing content on social regularly and engaging with their followers.
For a brand, a blogger who has a healthy social following is an added advantage. Bloggers routinely share their new content and paid promotions with their fans and followers on social media platforms. This means more exposure, more redirects, and more traffic.
4. A YouTube Channel with high-quality Video Content:
In addition to social media, if you are able to select a blogger who has a YouTube channel, you have hit the jackpot. This is especially true of bloggers from the tech industry. They review tech products on their blog sites and create some fantastic video content.
These bloggers have a few thousand followers, sometimes even over a million followers. The aim of a brand should be to get multiple forms of exposure for a blogger. This helps maximize campaign ROIs and forge a long-standing partnership with the blogger. YouTube is a fantastic medium to promote and popularise products and services.
5. The Right Blogger is Authentic and Genuine:
I would not have added this point if I was writing this article last year. However, in 2019, a huge fraud rocked the blogger and influencer industry. An investigation unearthed how the top influencers and blogger are buying fake followers and engagement.
This shook up the industry and made very skeptical of working with bloggers and influencers. Bloggers and influencers charge based on their traffic, followers and other metrics. If these things are fake, then it means they are overcharging for assets they do not have.
This is why finding bloggers who are real, authentic and do have fudged metrics is very important for a brand. On the outside, everyone will be able to present stats. However. It is only on closer examination will you be able to figure out the truth.
Should you do Blogger Outreach manually or through an Agency?
This is a tricky question, right off the bat.
For some brands, agencies do not work out. They believe in establishing their own contact. This is because they want to set up their own outreach team in-house. This is a noble idea, to say the least. It builds expertise, connections and makes you go on a great learning curve.
However, the flip side of this approach can become quite suicidal for a brand.
For starters, bloggers are apprehensive directly working with brands and companies. They do not want to work with complete strangers given the nature of this industry.
This is why they always prefer to work with agencies, which offer Blogger Outreach services. They have experience of working with agencies and want them to mediate between them and the brand.
This helps them with their own space, without the Marketing guy breathing down their necks at all time. Agencies are able to negotiate with bloggers much better than brands do. As they work with them for a long period, they establish great professional relationships with them.
In my experience, I have seen some big brands spend millions of dollars on a poorly managed manual campaign. They have never been able to get the expected ROIs for their investments.
This did not happen because of an unprofessional blogger. This happened because the brand was not able to negotiate across the verticals properly.
Personally, a blogger outreach activity without an agency is not a good idea to pursue. You should always look for agencies that offer expert Blogger Outreach Services. Contrary to what everyone says, agencies minimize costs and offer better delivery and ROIs.
What can the Right Blogger do for Your Brand?
In this section, I am going to show you how one single blogger can multiply your communication. I will also show you the various digital mediums that can be effective from a blogger outreach perspective.
1. Sharing Content on their Website and Backlinking it to the Brand website:
This is part of the basic blogger outreach strategy. Bloggers share a piece of brand content on their blog site as a sponsored post. This can be a product review in a direct form or a generic review with a backlink to a brand website.
This helps the brand get a high-quality backlink from an authority website. It also helps divert a significant volume of traffic from the blogger’s website to the brand website. Brands often use this to run effective Lead Gen and Sales Campaigns. (Think- Book a Test Drive!)
2. Email Marketing with Blogger’s Database:
This is something that the blogger is not going to offer upfront However, if you go through an agency, chances of this happening increase a lot. Blogger maintains exhaustive databases of people who engage with them. These audiences love the industry and follow a niche.
It also means that they are the right target audience for a brand. A blogger’s database is an invaluable asset to have. With a smart email marketing campaign, you can ensure maximum exposure and great ROIs.
However, you should be careful in terms of the authenticity of the emailing list. This is where an agency can be of great help.
3. Social Media Sharing:
This activity is becoming much more mainstream than it was some years back. Brands are buying deals that include social media sharing if not anything else. This also helps get a lot of exposure and traffic for the brand.
The more social media followers a blogger has, the better is it for the brand. Bloggers also go out of their way and promote brands on social platforms even without any monetary compensation. This is a sort of a thank you from the blogger. However. The chances of brands finding someone like this on their own is like finding a Unicorn!
4. Newsletter Marketing:
Like email marketing, bloggers negotiate if they would want to share a brand’s content as their Newsletter. In my experience, this is not a good idea for brands to pursue.
Brands should not say yes to Newsletter Marketing if the blogger’s Subscription List is less than 10,000. However, industry authority bloggers have over a hundred thousand subscribers in their Newsletter lists.
For a brand, evaluating the impact that their content will have on the blogger’s subscription list is very important. An agency will always be in a better position to evaluate the positives and the negatives.
Apart from this blogger who has YouTube channels or presence on forums can promote a brand.
Brands need to get one thing straight.
Bloggers might not want to work with them. Period.
This is nothing to do with money or work. It is just because bloggers have cultivated a fine art of turning down things. They might do so for any number of multiple reasons. Sometimes there might be no reason. However, brands should not lose hope.
Brands should also pay attention to rules and regulations that are set by Google and social platforms. I am specifically talking about sponsored posts and backlinks. Google sets some stringent ‘Quality Guidelines’ that you should be familiar with.
However, the most important thing when it comes to choosing the right blogger is professionalism! You do not want to work with someone who is moody, arrogant or does not deliver on time.
There is no point paying someone for a Review or a video on YouTube when you have already launched the product and it has been six months! I know these things because they are real nightmares and examples.
If you wish to know more about blogger outreach, feel free to reach out to me.
Happy Blogging Everyone…