We’ve been on both the brand’s end + blogger’s end of business deals and collaborations, big and small. We’ve seen some great partnerships and some pretty ill fits too. If you’re a business trying to connect with bloggers, you’ll probably find that every blogger does things slightly differently, and there’s a bit of a learning curve especially if you’re coming from a world very different than online media.
That’s why before we share tips for connecting with bloggers to promote your product or service, there are a few rules for getting your brand in front of bloggers. I say this so you don’t waste you’re time pushing for something that isn’t a right fit. And also so you don’t send annoying emails. Just sayin’.
1. Only reach out to bloggers who align with your brand. If she doesn’t look like she’d actually use/wear/drink your product, don’t reach out. Even if she has a million Instagram followers and you’re banking on some of those followers falling madly in love with your product, if it doesn’t come off as authentic, all those followers will keep scrolling (though not without leaving a nasty comment!). Don’t worry, there are a ton of bloggers and you are sure to find a good fit with.
2. A blogger has her own brand to think about. Authenticity is a big deal, and the reason is this. A lot of times for the blogger, her self is her brand. It’s the same with celebrities and public figures. It’s why a lot of them are particularly choosy about what they promote. They know that each sponsorship will either be welcomed or criticized so they want to make sure they promote something they connect with, and more importantly, that their readers will connect with.
3. You should research whether the blogger does sponsored content well. A lot of advertisers come to bloggers with their pitch—complete with a list of other bloggers that do what they want done well. With blogging, a lot of the times you’re working with a one-woman show who can reserve most creative control. Before thinking of what they could do, think of what they have done. Then you’ll know their style and when you find a blogger you feel good about partnering with, you’ll be comfortable letting them do their thing to really make your product shine.
Okay, how to connect your brand with bloggers
That last part may have been intimidating, but once you find people you want to partner with, there are a ton of ways to make a collaboration mutually beneficial + successful. I’ll briefly cover just a few common ways brands can connect with bloggers. If that gets ideas flowing, we’re happy to consult with you on how to further get your service into the digital space.
Social Media – If you’re impressed by a blogger’s social media presence, reach out within the space itself. Leave them an Instagram comment that shows genuine interest in what they do. If you want, let them know you’d love to collaborate, and to email you if they’re interested.
Affiliate Programs – Affiliate marketing is still alive and well in basically all types of blogging, so if you’ve got your own program, it’s a great way to get your product out there. Reach out to bloggers and let them know how they can join.
Swag – The best way to get your product or service to a blogger? Send it to them directly. Many people understandably don’t feel 100% comfortable promoting something they haven’t tried themselves. Simply sending your product doesn’t guarantee promotion (unless you have a contract), but if you’ve followed the steps above and truly think they’d love it, you’ve got good odds. Reviews fall under here, and products/services can also be used in giveaways for further promotion.
Sponsored Content – Sponsored posts and social updates often come with a price, but it can allow the blogger to work your product seamlessly into her content. If you’re going to request a sponsored post, make sure you’re both on the same page in regard to expectation and deliverables.
When working with a blogger, expect it to be more creative than traditional. Native advertising can see many, many forms. Anything can happen. It could be high risk, but many bloggers collaborate for a living, giving you a chance to get in front of a more engaged audience.