Done properly, working with bloggers is seriously the best experience for a business. They already have a following, niche, creativity, and unique take on your brand/product/service.
So if your business is just getting into working with bloggers, we have some advice for how best to get started.
1. Where to find them
Our best advice is social media.
Simply plugging a type of blog into a search engine is only going to provide you with the top SEO blogs, which likely aren't going to work for a business that's just starting out on collaborative efforts.
Instagram, specifically, is a fantastic platform to find bloggers because of the prevalence of hashtags, so start searching there.
Pro tip: Check out who the bloggers are following too and who's commenting on their posts. Bloggers are an incredibly tight knit and supportive lot, and as such, many bloggers with similar interests are likely an active follower of a blogger you're interested in.
2. Do your research
When you're ready to begin working with bloggers to promote your product/service you need to be certain you're approaching one who fits your brand.
Blogs live and die by the author's commitment to authenticity and transparency, so any blogger worth their salt will not agree to work with you if your brand doesn't fit their niche. Once you identify a handful of bloggers you'd ideally like to work with, start courting them. Like, comment, and even share their social media posts and hopefully they'll begin to notice you. That way, when you do approach them for collaboration it won't seem out of nowhere.
When it's time to approach them, read a couple of their posts to understand them a bit better and then personalize your sincere outreach to them.
3. Be realistic
Although it may seem like the smartest move to reach out to bloggers that have 11k-150k followers on social media, the reality is you probably can't afford them.
If you're just starting out and can only afford to send products and no financial compensation, you need to look for bloggers probably within the 3k-5k follower range. You're both in similar boats in the business world and will view each other as equals.
Pro tip: Get a blogger while they're up and coming and you'll create loyalty to your brand, product, and service which is never a bad thing - especially if their blog really takes off. Trust us, bloggers remember who they had a good business experience with.
4. What to expect
Many bloggers with mid to large followings will expect payment as well as product for a collaboration - this is their right and you shouldn't be taken aback when this happens.
Think of it this way: You're renting their space and their audience to convert more sales for your brand. This is a worthwhile marketing investment and many businesses see incredible ROI when they leverage their blogger relationships properly and take this process seriously.
Above all, expect bloggers to be honest about their experience working with you, using your product, and/or experiencing your service. This is why bloggers are more trusted than businesses. People are more likely to trust sources they know (actual people) rather than advertising, and you have to understand that people do feel as though they know bloggers. That's sort of the point, right?
Pro tip: Treat bloggers well - they're incredible marketers with incredible memories.
5. Keep Track
Finally, stay organized. There is nothing more embarrassing than reaching out to a blogger who's already told you they're not interested in working with your brand (or a blogger who's prevously blasted your product)
Use social to find them... or Yes to Better.
Research a blogger before attempting outreach;
Outreach to a blogger you have an actual chance at working with;
No one trusts you.
Now begin your research and tap into this incredibly symbiotic marketing relationship.