A successful integration with a blogger can bring the brand a serious benefit. Forty-eight percent of millennials believe a product mention from a blogger is more trustworthy than television, radio or print marketing, and 60% of respondents have purchased something at least once on the recommendation of an influencer.
But the opposite is also true – a failed and ill-conceived integration can damage a brand’s reputation or at the very least waste money, time and effort.
A top blogger is not always the ideal candidate for collaboration
One of the main mistakes one makes when choosing a blogger is getting hung up on the number of followers and reach. But a top blogger is not always a top choice.
A micro-influencer seems closer, clearer, easier to communicate with, and is trusted as a friend, neighbor, or classmate.
A top blogger, on the other hand, is perceived more like a celebrity, loved and respected, but distant. This attitude is especially true for members of Generation Z. In their opinion, “micro-influencers are 100 times more influential than macro-bloggers” because they act more sincerely.
Of course, this does not mean that one should refuse to cooperate with top bloggers – it all depends on the particular blogger, project, goals and budget.
You should look not at the number of subscribers, but at the quality, audience engagement, and other parameters.
For example, if a blogger has mostly positive but empty comments unrelated to the post like “I adore you”, or even consisting of only smiley faces, it means there are few real people on that blog and the brand is unlikely to get a good response.
It is also worth paying attention to the number and format of ads on the blog and how subscribers react to them.
If there is a lot of negativity and comments in the feed along the lines of “how much more advertising can you do,” it’s a red flag and you need to be prepared that the brand integration will be perceived in the same way. Subscribers will react to it sluggishly, perceiving it as just another commercial, or they will react negatively. And even if you come up with a promising idea for collaboration, its potential will not be realized.
Checking the blogger’s willingness to cooperate effectively
You can identify the main qualities of a blogger, which will tell you that cooperation with him is likely to be productive.
Usually it is not difficult to understand at the discussion stage why the blogger is in favor of cooperation: for money only, or he is also interested in the product itself and the blogger wants to make a quality project.
When a blogger is involved in the work, makes the content himself or edits it to fit his own needs, the format the Influencer’s audience expects, the project is more likely to be successful.
If at the first or second request the blogger does not get in touch for a few days, you should think whether it is worth continuing communication. Work on a project is usually done with deadlines in mind, and even if deadlines are not yet pressing, there is a certain schedule.
If a blogger does not respond to messages for a long time and tends to go missing, there is a high risk of not keeping to that schedule, which in some cases is tantamount to the failure of the project.
You should find out at the start how the blogger relates to possible additions, comments from the client.
If the Influencer is interested in the project and within the agreed budget is ready for a certain amount of change: making changes to the materials, changing the timing of publication, discussing new options – this is an additional argument for cooperation.
If it turns out that every change will cost an additional budget, it is not yet a reason to say no, but it makes you wonder whether you will be able to fit into the final budget. You could say it’s not a red light yet, but it’s already a yellow one.
What else will help you get the best results from the collaboration?
You can hardly be insured against everything, but a few simple rules will give you extra insurance and increase the chances of a successful collaboration, and a good return on it.
Negotiate and sign agreements
It is worth to talk clearly with the blogger, which activities he is ready to do, the expected KPIs, possible dates for publication, deadlines for submitting materials (depends on the specific brief).
It is better to secure key positions in writing and make a formal contract. Most top and midlevel bloggers work through an agent or their own IE, while bloggers with lesser reach, based on our agency’s experience, can easily and quickly formalize self-employment to sign a contract.
Don’t afraid to make mistakes
If one blogger doesn’t meet expectations, that doesn’t mean it won’t work with another. We recommend experimenting, testing different formats, and collaborating with different Influencers.
It’s worth subscribing to bloggers who seem interesting and promising, keeping track of their news, evaluating how they do promotional publications and how subscribers respond to them.
Entrusting the work with Influencers to professionals
Communication agencies have the experience, the bases, the experience, the contacts with the right bloggers and the approaches which will help to find a common language.
Agencies take responsibility and know how to avoid possible problems. This will keep the brand safe from possible negativity and help improve the effectiveness of integrations.