Don’t quote me on this statistic, but I think I can assume that roughly 90% of brands or companies out there work with bloggers in some capacity. Whether it’s working closely with them on announcements or campaigns, sending them product, inviting them to headquarter events or creating fun videos to showcase specific initiatives. Just as mainstream media has changed over the past 5-10 years, so has the blogosphere. Just by looking at basic statistics like site traffic and social media following, one can see that more and more consumers are also getting news and information about specific brands from their favorite bloggers.
I’ve been working with bloggers and influencers for the past three years, and for my client’s benefit, I always try to stay on top of how bloggers are working with other brands. Not only does it allow us to see what cool things brands are doing with bloggers, but it helps us make better recommendations to our clients on what will or will not work.
Here are some tips for working with bloggers:
- For some, this is their full time job: You want to make sure you are respecting the blogger’s time as well as delivering results for your clients.
- Keep a look out for top lists: Every year sites like Cision, Mom.me, Babble, etc. post lists of top bloggers per category. For example, usually there is a “Top Mom Bloggers” list, a “Top Beauty Bloggers” list, “Top Fitness and Health Bloggers” – you get the idea! By vetting those lists and sharing them with your client, it shows that you are working with the right bloggers for your industry (if you are already working with those on the list), and that you are aware of the top influencers in your client’s industry.
- Broadcast influencers: In addition to writing for their blog, a lot of bloggers also appear regularly on their local broadcast stations. This is a great way to reach a new audience and mutually benefits both you and the blogger.
- Lead time for pitching: Similar to how magazines have editorial calendars and lead-times, so do bloggers and influencers. If you know ahead of time that your client is announcing something or if you want to work with a blogger on a seasonal topic, it’s better to reach out with enough lead time for them to fit it into their blog schedule. Even for bloggers that you have good relationships with, dropping them a quick “Are you working on anything for Father’s Day” note will give them enough time to plan for a post.
- Treat them with same urgency as reporter: If a blogger reaches out and needs an image or asks a question, I make sure that I either: A. get back to them to let them know I’m looking in to it, or B. answer them as soon as I can. Of course, if it’s not an urgent request, don’t feel like you have to respond at 9:00pm at night, but I also wouldn’t wait one week to get back to them. As I mentioned above, they too are working on an editorial schedule, so just as you would get back to a reporter sooner rather than later, it’s important to do that with bloggers and influencers as well.
Do you have a favorite tip for working with bloggers and influencers? Share it below!