Blogging in Australia has reached a bit of a tipping point in the last year or so. Smart brands and businesses have begun to recognise the unique level of reach that bloggers have and are starting to leverage that reach to help their businesses. Bloggers have a close and trusting relationship with their readers and this relationship means that if the blogger gives a product or service their seal of approval, it can achieve far greater cut through that any form of traditional advertising or marketing. So how do you gain access to these influential people and get them to talk about your product? Well the best place to start is by getting to know them – and this involves actually reading their blogs.
With my Smile Collective stuff, I was lucky. Being a blogger myself I read a lot of blogs anyway and over time it became apparent that certain bloggers worked well with brands and wrote really great sponsored posts*. By the time it actually occurred to me that I could/should work with bloggers to get the word out about The Smile Collective prints, I already had a good idea about who I’d like to work with.
What’s a sponsored post? It’s one where you pay a blogger to speak about your product or service. Every blogger has different rates for sponsored posts ranging from $100 to $10,000.
The bloggers I chose for sponsored posts all had similar characteristics:
- When they did a sponsored post, I could see the level of professionalism they brought to the table
- They were all a good fit for The Smile Collective brand in that they were all genuinely nice people and they were all mothers
- They all genuinely liked my products (which at the time were A Manifesto for Mums, Dads and Kids) and thought their readers would too
This last one is the most crucial. There would be no point me approaching say, a music blogger, no matter how large their audience because they would have little interest in my product and if they agreed to write about it, they wouldn’t be investing that post with any level of passion or love. It would also be really jarring for their readers who would most likely click away. If you don’t have six months to spend reading blogs and getting a feel for the bloggers who are best aligned with your brands, there are agencies out there who can short cut the process for you.
Louisa Claire from Brand Meets Blog is someone who works to marry brands with the most appropriate bloggers for their products and ethos while The Remarkables Group represents some of the individuals behind the largest blogging audiences in Australia.
So has using blogger outreach been successful for The Smile Collective? Absolutely. But you need to understand how I define success. I am not comfortable with using blogger outreach to drive direct sales as I feel making this the priority puts pressure on the blogger to write a sales letter as opposed to telling their readers how they feel about your product. So I have always used increased traffic to my site as an indicator of success.
You can see the impact of two sponsored posts on traffic to both the main Smile Collective site and the Shop site below.
And given this series of posts is all about driving traffic to your site, I think you can see that working with bloggers is a really effective way to do just that that.
One last priceless thing I will note about working with bloggers is the instant credibility they give to your product if they deem it worthy of being on their blog. It is akin to a close friend giving something the seal of approval. If you’ve heard it said that people need around nine exposures to your product or brand before they trust it enough to buy, then you will be very happy to know that getting the thumbs up from a blogger can short-cut this process significantly 🙂
Any questions? As always, feel free to ask away in the comments below.
Liked this post? This is #7 in a series about how to drive traffic to your website.