This post is from monthly contributor, Cheryl.
Savvy brands know the value of online word-of-mouth endorsements. Whether they’re called reviews, product placements or sponsored posts, endorsements from influential bloggers have proven to be key in product sales and awareness. So, what’s a brand to do if they struggle when connecting with independent bloggers to endorse their products? Below are 5 potential reasons bloggers are NOT working with your brand.
Are you guilty of these offenses?
YOU DON’T GET TO KNOW THEM
You’ve probably heard it said social media is a conversation. Bloggers are in the business of relationships; it’s what makes blogger endorsements valuable. Just as they have relationships with their readers, bloggers want to form relationships with you, the brand. Before you pitch a blogger, take a few moments to get to know them via their blog. Read their about page, explore their post categories, read conversations in the comments. And please, please, make sure you have their name and blog spelled correctly. Starting a pitch letter with “Dear Blogger” practically guarantees your pitch will be deleted.
THEY’RE IN LOVE WITH YOUR COMPETITOR
Generally, bloggers are a loyal breed. While you’re exploring the potential site, take note of brands they’ve worked with previously. Have they reviewed similar products? Is there an abundance of posts for a specific brand? Do they hold ad space for that brand as well? If so, they may be already committed. This doesn’t mean you can’t pitch them! Just be aware, acknowledge the elephant in the room, and respectfully plead your case about why you feel your product would be a great fit too.
YOU’RE NOT APPROACHABLE
This is one of the most common educational-brand mistakes. Being approachable equates to engagement. Be sure to give ample room to engage (i.e. have conversations with) your audience. Do more than share the latest updates about your brand! That’s called broadcasting, and again, social media is a conversation. Ask questions, share relevant updates of your followers, comment (genuine comments, not spam). A little engagement goes a long way to demonstrate your approachability as a brand.
YOU DON’T PAY
Yes, there are bloggers who will do product-placement posts for product only, especially if they really desire your product. However, in general, if you want a blogger with a larger, focused following, expect to pay. In the homeschool blogger arena, fees vary greatly from $25 to $150 or more (good news: many bloggers are negotiable). Why do bloggers charge? Because they should be compensated for their time, creativity, reach, and taxes they’re obligated to pay for accepting products. Period.
IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THEM
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of timing. For most, blogging is a part time job. For everyone, there are a limited number of hours a day to devote to blogging. If a blogger is in high demand, their editorial calendar will fill up quickly. In which case, it’s not that they don’t want to work with you, it’s that they can’t. Wait 6 months and try again (unless you’ve been given a concise “no”). Remember, having a successful campaign which includes product-placement posts, goes beyond sending en masse pitches. It takes thought, tact, and engagement. Creating a working relationship with a blogger whose readership responds to your products is worth the investment.