Is working with brands a good business decision for bloggers?
This is a two part post directed at both 1. bloggers and 2. PR and brands. You might get a little uncomfortable because I’m going to address why you both need to prove value to each other. Let’s tie these interactions back your business objectives so that each party can prove value to the other .
Let’s start with the bloggers. Because you are my favorite.
Relationships are great, but how do they tie into your goals you have for your blog?
We know brands are offering you CONTENT, but what does that content do for you? There are several tangibles (T) and intangibles (I) that working with brands can provide:
- 1. Compensation – product and cash (T)
- 2. Acquisitions – fans / friends / followers (T)
- 3. Community – comments and shares (T)
- 4. Impressions – page views & unique visitors (T)
- 5. Content Value – credibility to your brand, entertainment or education valuation for you audience (I)
If you look at your blog as a business, you should prioritize these as they relate to your business objectives. And in case you haven’t thought about this yet, you need to have business objectives.
What is your main goal and what will help you achieve that?
Put 1-5 in order of priority for your business vision.
- If money is key, keep it number 1.
- If building brand credibility is tops, move it up the list.
- 2-4 all lead to awareness and for some, that is their reason for blogging – to be known, to share an initiative or passion.
- It’s your blog, and whatever is your priority is up to you.
Bloggers how does this work?
Now tie each pitch you receive to these 5 objectives – if someone asks you to be a toothpaste ambassador, ask yourself if a the opportunity solves for 1-5 (weighted for the importance you place on each) and let that help determine if the opportunity is right for you and your blog.
- 1. Compensation – do you need a certain amount of toothpaste to make it worth your while?
- 2. Acquisitions – will you attract a larger following by posting about this particular toothpaste?
- 3. Community – will your readers and fans feel compelled to share your toothpaste story?
- 4. Impressions – you may not think toothpaste would send traffic, but if Colgate is trending and you promote it right, you may be able to ride the wave.
- 5. Content Value – is it a big brand that adds credibility to you? Is it an organic brand that speaks to your audience – provides something they need to know.
Hopefully this will help you say no on occasion – I know so many of you feel the need to say “Yes” to every opportunity that comes your way. If the opportunity doesn’t meet your top business objectives, then it’s not an opportunity at all.
Think Like a Blogger
Now PR / Brands – you pitch like it’s your job, but do you stop to consider how you might be impacting the business objectives of the blogger? It might change the way you design your outreach programs and write your pitches.
- Always ask yourself – “if I pitch them, what is in it for them?” We’ve already determined that hi-res images don’t pay the bills. Y’all need to stop that now.
- Can you offer a product that is of value to their brand? This may mean $$ value or relevant content value (i.e. anything “BABY” is of relevance to me now, even informational pieces because I’m going to be a grandma soon – BAM – relevant)
- Can you drive traffic to their site or help build community by promoting them?
- Can you lend credibility to their brand in some way by offering a “title” or “partnership”? The key here is to have meaningful partnerships – don’t just slap the term “ambassador” on something to make it sound important.