I have met a lot of brands who have been asking to work with bloggers (specifically mommy bloggers) in these past few months. These brands range from start up companies to really established ones. Some are even advertising and PR agencies. With the numerous bloggers around offering their services, how do you choose which bloggers to deal with?
Most of my friends with businesses ask me this question, so in one of my talks, I discussed the three things that I look at when endorsing blogger friends to brands who ask me. My talk was for Aspac Advertising Incitement Series 2014. I was invited to talk about insights on the WAHM community and the mommy blogging community. Check out the poster!
I love love love this poster! This poster was made by the talented artists at ASPAC Advertising. The girl in the poster looks totally like me! Don’t you think so?
Anyway, in my presentation, I discussed three things that you should look at when choosing a blogger:
1. They should know themselves to know their PERSONAL BRAND
They say that you can’t separate your personal brand from the brand of your business or the brand of the company you work for. Case in point, when I was a banker, we were not allowed to be seen in casinos or in places where people gamble even if it was during your personal time. Why? Because as a banker, people trust you with their money. By seeing you in places like those, they might have that perception that you may be also ‘gambling’ their money (even if you do not have direct access to their funds). Not everyone will understand. We had that rule so that the image or the brand of the bank is protected.
The same is true with blogs. If you want to establish yourself as fitness blogger, then you yourself have to be a living embodiment of fitness. If you talk about being a breastfeeding advocate in your blog, then you yourself should have breastfed your babies. For Mommy Ginger, what I really wanted is for people to come to me when they have questions about being an entrepreneur or a mompreneur. My brand is really about being a SERIAL MOMPRENEUR. I really came up with this identity even before I set up this blog. It was after realizing that I had so many experiences (food industry, franchising, events coordination, advertising, retail, fashion, direct selling, freelancing, etc.) in business.
As a brand, look for these bloggers who know themselves and are clear on what they stand for. Try to see if your brand values are also in line with these bloggers’ values.
2. Look at the Blogger’s Market and the Content
Will what they want to write about attract a good number of people who will eventually be exposed to your products or services? Are they targeting a certain niche that you want to tap? Personally, ranks don’t matter to me. What I look at (even if the blogger is new in the industry) is the site’s potential for growth, if the content looks planned and well thought off and if the site looks professional and conceptualized well (down to the categories is seen and how social media buttons are placed).
For content, it’s important to see if these bloggers communicate messages clearly? Is the content something written from the heart or something lifted off from the press release that you sent? This is sometimes how I gauge good bloggers (those who are really sincere in knowing more about your brand versus those who just want free stuff and monetary compensation), when they really take time out to know the product or services that you offer. And also, it doesn’t have to be done through an event for them. A simple conversation over the phone or email or just having coffee with them would be an enough avenue to get to know these bloggers and explain your product.
Like any relationship, the first “meeting” (meeting meaning offline or online in this case) is crucial. That’s why PR sent that seems like an email blast to every blogger in the country does not work. Advertisers, ad agencies and PR outlets, just don’t send out press releases to bloggers and expect and increase in engagement with your brand. To be honest with you, I receive a dozen of press release emails in a week but I just delete them. The best way to use bloggers effectively is to develop a good business relationship with them and to really get to know them, especially those whom you see as a potential partner for your brand. It should be a win-win scenario for the bloggers that you want to partner with, too!
3. Lastly, is the blogger an influencer?
I have seen a lot of good bloggers who know themselves and are great at communicating, especially through writing, but lack following. I guess being an influencer is really tricky. It goes beyond influencing online, but even becoming an influencer even offline. What I have noticed about influencers is that they are passionate about what they believe in that they really live the out their personal brand and touch other people’s lives both online and offline.
This is hard to gauge especially if you don’t really know the bloggers that you work with or you commission. That’s why my suggestion is to really get to know these people so that you can gauge how influential they are.
So just to recap, here are the three things that you should look at when you are choosing bloggers that can work with you to build your brand.
With this, I leave your with some tweetables:
“Consistency is the name of the game. Your blog should be a representation of who you are. #momblogger #blogger -@mommyginj”
“Emotions should be felt through words used. Sincerity converts readers to followers. #momblogger #blogger -@mommyginj”
“Understand and live out your presonal brand. Communicate it through your blog. That will make you an influencer. #momblogger #blogger -@mommyginj”