As new articles surface related to DIY blogger outreach for brands, I find myself relating and knowing all too well the type of people scouring these articles for a glimmer of hope. Prior to joining Sway, I WAS one of those people. Hi, I’m Erin (read my bio here) and while these articles are offering great advice, truth be told, they may in fact be hurting bloggers. Below are a few more tips that I would add to the blogger outreach advice column, ones that brands large and small almost always forget.
1. Hiring a blogger (you are planning on paying them, right?), is exactly that – hiring someone to represent your brand because you like the way that they write and what they represent. (Please read our outlook on sponsored posts vs. editorial content here for clarification on the two.) The only way to know if a blogger is a fit for your brand is to get to know her. This goes beyond reading one or two posts and memorizing the names of their kids and dogs. Actually get to know them.
2. Have a plan. Blogger outreach is fantastic! And, as we are fond of repeating, bloggers are becoming some of the most influential people in media. But what do you want to do once a blogger agrees to work with you? What are your goals, do you have a campaign in mind, and what is your budget? A blogger needs more to work with than “Hi I’m Erin and I represent (insert brand here).” Do you have a one pager with your company and/or brand values and facts? Don’t just assume that a blogger knows you and your company; information sharing should be a two-way street.
3. Time is money. Just as your time is valuable, a blogger is also trying to run a successful business (many blogs are not just hobbies, they are full time businesses). Bloggers receive hundreds of pitches a month and don’t have time to create a full marketing plan for you and your business. They also don’t have time to create sponsored content for you and then hear “the plan has changed, I actually wanted this”… Don’t waste their time, as you wouldn’t want them to waste yours.
Any other advice that you would like to offer brands who are looking to work with bloggers? Share your tips or missteps that you have experienced in the comments.