We all know by now that partnering with bloggers is a necessary component to outreach marketing.
So now that we've got that covered, let's take it a step further and make sure your earned media from bloggers is actually engaging people. Let's make sure your earned posts are actually lifting your brand. Let's make sure your blogger outreach is actually worth your effort.
What Great Earned Media from Bloggers Looks Like
An ideal post when a brand partners with a blogger features an authentic experience instead of a simple mention.
The blogger talks about how the brand solved a pain point, contributed to their everyday life, increased well-being or provided entertainment.
Think about these two scenarios:
- A baby food brand works with mom bloggers. Their usual posts are "sponsored" and talk all about the baby food flavors, the company and whether or not the blogger and their baby liked the food.Now, this is by no means a bad most. In fact, it's good media. But I'm talking about great earned posts. So let's consider the next example.
- A baby food brand works with mom bloggers. They reach out to mom bloggers with babies who have food allergies and challenge them to do a blind taste test with their children with a competing brand. They encourage the bloggers to write about what they and their children find.
The second post would score more interest from the blogger's network and thus more engagement for the brand. It's more targeted-works with mom bloggers who have an affinity for food allergies-and has added an interesting creative element. This type of post also allows for the blogger to authentically incorporate their experience with the baby food in to their blog. Eliciting more trust from their audience in the product recommendation.
Figure Out the STORY
We all know the power of storytelling so look at your earned blog posts as pages in a story book as opposed to posts on your site that are self-promotional and overly informative.
One of my favorite examples of a brand who fosters epic brand-blogger relationships is one of our partners, ModCloth.
When they work with bloggers they work with the bloggers on their strengths. Meaning they find ways that are best for the blogger's audience to learn something about the brand.
When I ran a quick search in GroupHigh for blog posts referencing ModCloth, the following two posts came up right away. These posts drive home my point of working with bloggers to incorporate a brand in to their content in an authentic way. In the case of this fashion brand, they gave the bloggers the freedom to create their own outfits for particular seasons.
Does it matter to the man sitting next to you on the bus?
A great way to see if your blogger outreach strategy will elicit interesting content is to run it through a few filters in your head.
My favorite filter is to tell the story that you want the blogger to tell to a stranger. A man on the bus, for example. Will he find it interesting?
Remember you're going after a story. Not posts that spout facts about your brand.
How to Share New Brand Products and Announcements
Whenever there is a new piece of research, product or story for your brand to share-it's time to partner up with bloggers and change your strategy up each time.
By telling your blogger partners that you are trying to promote something new and you would like their help allows for you to be up front about what you need. It also allows for the blogger to share what they need to make the relationship mutually beneficial and how they can incorporate your brand authentically with their blog!
When possible, an effective technique is to allow bloggers to announce your new product or service before you let the rest of the world know. This allows them to feel like they have something exclusive to share with their audience and feel like part of your brand. Very important.
Popular modes of announcing new products would look like:
- A fashion brand sends their network of bloggers their new winter coat before it's released to the public. This gives the bloggers a few weeks to work it in to a post and share a new piece of winter gear with their network.
- A resort picks three bloggers to stay in their new upgraded suites. They provide the bloggers with an itinerary that lines up with the topics they write about. The bloggers take a ton of photos and write multiple posts about the location and resort and fun things to do.
- A new restaurant opens in the city and they reach out to local bloggers the month before and organize a "bloggers only" dinner a few nights before the restaurant officially opens. This allows bloggers to write about their favorite items and restaurant experience!
- A company that specializes in flavored cooking oils wants to promote their new cranberry orange coconut oil. They reach out to their favorite 10 food bloggers and challenge them to create a yummy and original recipe with the new oil.
- A brand of paint reaches out to DIY and home décor bloggers and offers them free supplies for any upcoming remodeling projects they have.
As you can see the possibilities of being creative, effective, and well genius when it comes to announcing new products with bloggers are endless.
Another Awesome Example
I'll leave you with one more example that I love.
Last year Tyson needed to announce a surplus in chicken nuggets to clear the shelves. Instead of having their bloggers announce the reduced price in chicken nuggets, they had mom bloggers find ways to decorate chicken nuggets instead of cookies for the holiday season. The effects were huge and Tyson cleared their chicken nuggets faster than they ever had before.
Do you have an example of brands partnering well with bloggers? I would love to hear your input in the comments below!