2 April, 2015

Our guide to working with bloggers

Over the last few months, we’ve noticed an increasing number of partners abandoning traditional methods of PR. Instead, working in collaboration with bloggers. As blogger (or influencer) engagement is still a relatively new marketing method, we’ve put together a rough guide to navigating the nuances to build a relationship that’s beneficial both for your brand and the bloggers you work with.

Why work with bloggers?

There are a number of bloggers who have wide spheres of influence. These bloggers, often called ‘influencers’ have highly engaged communities - this is largely down to the fact that these people trust the bloggers opinions because they are authentic.

If a blogger gives a positive review of your site, it’s likely that their followers will trust their recommendation. Not only will that review add credibility to your site and increase brand awareness, but it could also mean quality traffic and site visitors with a high propensity to convert.

Working with bloggers can be particularly beneficial if you have a niche site and want to closely target your efforts; for example, if you have a single parent site, you might want to work in partnership with a Mummy Blogger.

Bloggers are powerful because of their credibility; when approaching them, you need to bear that in mind. The relationship needs to be right for both of you and add value to their readership.

Here’s how you get started...

Do your homework
Research your audience’s influencers at length. Make sure you’re not wasting your or the blogger’s time. If you’re marketing a single dating parent site, don’t approach a blogger you know is married with children. Similarly if the person normally blogs about the perils of online dating, it’s unlikely to be an ideal partnership.

Be realistic too. Many exceptionally popular bloggers have achieved near-celebrity status, so likely receive hundreds of requests for partnerships each week. Make sure that any requests you put forward to bloggers are relevant and will add value for the blog’s readers.

Bloggers who consistently achieve 20-30 comments per post may not look that impressive to you at first glance, but are likely to have a large, highly-engaged following that could drive a good volume of quality traffic to your site.

Initial contact 
Don’t copy and paste the same email to a few bloggers. Make sure you personalise each email and tailor your suggestions to each blogger. Be honest in your approach and keep your email relatively short and sweet. You can work out the finer details together; that’s more likely to yield positive results for both of you.

No poaching
This is really simple - just don’t do it. If there’s a relationship between a blogger and another dating site, the blogger might not want to risk their integrity by switching to your site. It’s also likely to sour your relationship with competitors. Think carefully about approaching bloggers who you know are working with other dating sites and make sure your proposition is different. If you’re considering approaching a blogger working with another site, have a chat with our PR and marketing team first - we can help you work out the best way to do this.

Measure your success
Before setting out, set a goal in your mind and ask the influencer if they believe this is achievable. Afterwards, collect performance metrics to establish the cost per visitor to your site and determine your ROI. It’s worth comparing the cost of this traffic acquisition against any other marketing tools you use, such as Google ads.

Follow the rules - official and unofficial
If you’re in the UK, the ASA recently released new rules on sponsored blogs, check them out here.

If you want more advice, get in touch with the Partner Team today.

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