I’ve been working with bloggers and social influencers for the last few years, the last two of those in Australia. While blogger and brand partnerships are common in the U.S., it’s only in the last 6-12 months that we’ve seen a massive uptick in my region. With more frequency agencies and brands are finding creative ways to reach these niche online communities.
Because navigating the space is still new for some marketers, the engagement is often figured out on the fly. We’re seeing more strategic approaches to blogger relations, instead of one-off promotions. As these relationships mature, one question we need to ask is, What responsibility does the brand or agency have in communicating results back to the blogger?
At a recent conference, a blogger mentioned that she didn’t often know if her work on a campaign actually made an impact. Her comment got me wondering if bloggers are receiving that feedback and how many are asking for it?
For bloggers who view their online activity as a business are keen to understand the role they play in the marketing mix. While it might not be their responsibility to deliver a specific dollar amount return, they recognize that those who can and do deliver results are the ones marketers want to work with again. Blogger outreach is often just one piece of the campaign. As an agency, our first priority is reporting back to the client and in this focus, the blogger can often be forgotten. Our team has developed a communication approach that engages the blogger just like our clients: before, during and after a campaign.
Here are some tips to make the blogger/brand relationship more effective.
Brands and agencies
- Provide a campaign summary to bloggers. This doesn’t need to have every detail, but remember that follow-up gives the blogger data to understand their impact. It should also help the influencer realize how they are being measured on (i.e. comments, views, shares) so they can optimize future sponsored content or work.
- Take time to communicate results during a campaign. Bloggers know how to best engage their communities. However, have touch points throughout the campaign to share progress and provide feedback to create more opportunities to engage. If there are deadlines (perhaps related to a promotion) send reminders.
Influencers and bloggers
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at any stage of a campaign, and make sure to understand what the brand wants to achieve by working with you. When it ends, ask how the campaign performed and if the client was happy with the results and request the post-campaign report.
- Provide feedback. Some agencies and brands are better equipped to receive feedback than others, but it’s always worth sharing your thoughts on how the campaign went. Educating the brand on how they could better engage with you and your readers is important for both of you.
Hannah DeMilta is the General Manager at blogger outreach agency, Rocketman Media — partnering brands with online influencers in Australia, helping to create brand funded content. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio but moved to Sydney in 2010. Connect with her on Twitter or follow her story on her blog hannahdemilta.com