Sometimes referred to as Influencer Marketing, working with bloggers and influencers is a great way to promote your business and brand. I have written this post as a simple guide for how brands can work with bloggers and influencers. This is a guide specifically for small businesses to help them identify ways to work with bloggers and influencers to promote their awesome products using influencer marketing. I’ll help you understand the different types of bloggers and influencers out there, how to work with them, and help you identify what it is you, as the brand, truly want from a collaboration with bloggers and influencers.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
What are the main types of Influencers and Bloggers To Work With?
I would say that whilst both bloggers and influencers fall in the Influencer Marketing category, there is a slight difference between the two, and let’s not forget Vloggers. I’ll say a bit about them too. When you are considering influencer marketing as a strategy for marketing your brand and business, you need to understand the difference to know what you’re getting in return for your investment.
Please remember that serious bloggers and influencers are themselves a brand. They work really hard to create a brand, and if you can respect them, they will respect you in return. I would always warn against working with anyone who expects freebies and product exchange without quantifying what they will do for you in return. The main types of influencers you can work with are:
Bloggers have a website of their own where they regularly create content. They typically use social media to promote that website content. Most bloggers have social media channels, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook (Pages & groups – these are separate), YouTube channels (to promote video content) and even TikTok and Snapchat. Pinterest is another one, but this is used more like Google as it operates as a Search Engine rather than a social media network.
Vloggers are content creators who primarily create video content on YouTube. They might also have a website and the associated social media channels as mentioned above, however, their primary creative outlet is video content.
Influencers are people who invest more in their social media channels than their websites. That’s not to say they don’t have websites, but generally, their influence and reach are built up on social media. They say what they want to say on there, rather than focusing on their websites etc. They typically have a much larger following on social media than bloggers.
A few big players in the influencer marketing industry have managed to grow significantly in all three areas mentioned above. These people are serious players, and typically their combined reach across the board makes working with them extremely profitable for brands. However, it will come with an equally significant price tag.
Payment & Remuneration
One of the most confusing and worrying things that small brands in particular always worry about is whether of not they should be paying bloggers and influencers when they work with them. Also, how much should you be paying them. Please don’t be put off by bloggers and influencers who charge for their work. In fact, I would be hesitant to work with someone who offers the world in return for a low-cost product exchange. Remember, what you’re paying for is:
- Access to their audience, their reach.
- Their promotion of your brand.
- Their time to review your product or service
- Their time to create a blog post/social media post etc, which includes taking pictures, editing them, writing it up, and promoting that content too.
It’s not always about paying the blogger or influencer.
When you’re looking for ways for how brands can work with bloggers, but you’re on a tight budget, you could also negotiate a product exchange deal with them. Most of the time, if it’s something that the influencer would normally buy themselves, this can be a perfect way to work with bloggers or influencers because, depending on the value of the product you want to exchange, they might not charge you. Asking a blogger or influencer to review your product or experience, which only has a value of £10, is not really fair to the blogger when they typically charge £75 for an Instagram post. However, if you’re wanting them to come to your event as a family of 4 where tickets are being sold at £15 per person, then they would more than likely accept that as a fair exchange.
When considering how brands can work with bloggers and influencers and how much to be paying them, simply ask them for their media kit and their rate card. Professional bloggers and influencers will willingly provide you with this if you ask.
What Do You Want Out Of The Collaboration
When choosing who you want to work with, it’s important to consider what you want out of it so that you can choose the best option for you. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you start looking for influencer marketing personalities to work with to promote your brand:
- Do I want social media promotion only, or do I want them to review my product on their website, thereby creating a link from their website to mine on Google?
- What are this person’s reach and rate of engagement?
- Is their main audience the segment of the market that I am trying to reach?
- What kind of return on investment (ROI) am I wanting? Is it to grow my following on social media or convert marketing to lead and sales?
- What is my budget, and what can I afford to spend on this avenue of marketing?
- Is this person/brand a good fit for my brand, and will I be proud to have this person aligned with my brand?
8 ways that brands can work with bloggers for their business.
Product / Service Reviews
This is probably the most obvious and well-known way of how brands can work with bloggers. A product review involves you sending the blogger/influencer your product to sample. A service review involves you arranging for them to experience your service product.
The best practice is to approach them first and ask if it’s something that they would be interested in and agree on the coverage you are after (i.e. blog, Instagram, Facebook, or a whole package). Social Media reviews tend to be a slightly smaller version of a blog review as clearly, you can say more on a blog post than you can on an Instagram post.
Remember: You are entitled to ask bloggers or influencers for information about their reach and engagement rate on social media; however, you can access this information yourself using tools such as socialblade.com to double cheque that you’re happy with it. Generally speaking, those with fewer followers will have a higher engagement rate than those over 10,000 followers. Generally speaking, an engagement rate of 2% is fair.
Event or Experience Reviews
Don’t worry about not having a physical product for the blogger or influencer to review. There are so many different ways that brands can work with bloggers and influencers to review different experiences. Here are a few examples:
- A restaurant review
- A spa day
- Hairstyling or any beauty treatment
- Get a massage
- Days out with kids at your venue.
- Offer a pet care service
- Photoshoot experience
Attending an event and providing event coverage
This is quite a cool one. If you are planning an event, you could invite influencers and bloggers to attend the event and ask them to provide social media coverage on the day. This is an excellent way of promoting your event. You could also ask them to share promotions in advance of the event, provide them with free entry on the day or tickets to giveaway in advance, and even get them to wear branded merchandise.
A giveaway is a good way for brands to work with bloggers and influencers to grow their social media accounts and audience in general. Getting a blogger or influencer to run a Giveaway can be bolted to any of the above-mentioned ways of working with bloggers. Any review that they do of your product or service, you could add on a giveaway to that as well. Typically they don’t charge you extra to run a giveaway because you would have to send both them and the winner a product, so you are now providing double the product or double the service when you’re running a giveaway. It is essential to make sure that the influencer sticks to Facebook and Instagram rules or whatever platform they are using to run the Giveaway. Typically you will have to be involved as well. It is a good way of growing your own social media audience as well.
Social Media Takeover
What is a social media takeover? Well, if you’re looking for how brands can work with bloggers and influencers, this is something a little different. A social media takeover is a really fun way of working with Instagram influencers and, more recently, TikTokers. How it works is that you would give them access to your Instagram account for a day, and your audience would get to see them in action. They would have promoted this in advance to their audience as well, so they will regularly check in on the day, most likely on their Instastories telling their regular audience to go over to your account and follow their ‘a day in the life’ experience but on your platform.
As I said, it’s a really fun way that brands can work with influencers. It works really well with restaurant reviews or with experience reviews, things like that. It could also work really well on specific events; if you were to host a big event, you would give the influencer access to your account, and they would run it for the duration of the event on your behalf.
Guest Post & Website Linking
If you are trying to raise your own website’s Google profile using good SEO practices, you should consider this option for how smaller brands can work with bloggers. You can approach bloggers and offer to write them a guest post. A guest post would be an informative post where you can talk about your product but ideally not in a review type of way, more in an informative way offering tips and advice and casually dropping in a mention of the product/service. You can then put a link in that post to your website or shop. This works for bloggers because it’s content created by someone else (saving them time).
Purchasing backlinks is not okay with Google. IF the blogger charges you for the backlink, that’s not cool. However, they can charge you to publicise the post on their social media. The fee the blogger charges for this is significantly lower than a full review. Please note that the blogger must add a disclaimer to this confirming that the post is a Guest Post not written by them. Please, please, please … DO NOT use the same guest post for multiple bloggers. This is bad for them and bad for you as Google sees this as Duplicate Content.
This is where you ask a blogger or influencer to become your brand ambassador. Typically this would require an agreement set up between you and the influencer detailing the working relationship you expect, outlining promotional activity required, including frequency of mentions and tags, etc., as well as what they would get in return (i.e. products, membership, payment etc.).
This works really well with things like children’s clothing or makeup lines, nail salons or gym membership, etc. but it can apply to anything really. Usually, the contract would last anything between three to six months or even a year.
Affiliate marketing requires the brand to sign up to one of the affiliate platforms such as Awin and using them to manage the commission links etc. The brand then asks influencers to promote their brand using their affiliate code. Once someone purchases your product etc, the blogger gets a commission.
This method of influencer marketing is popular with brands, but not so popular with influencers as it relies more on the conversion of sales. Unless the influencer has a good incentive to promote the product (i.e. a good commission rate), they won’t put a lot of effort into it so it’s a waste of their time and yours.
There you have it, some useful tips and guidance on how brands can work with bloggers and influencers. I hope you’ve found it useful. If you do have any questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to comment below or send me an email as firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll gladly try to help you out.
If you are interested in working with me in any of the ways mentioned above, either on this blog or on my parenting and family travel blog, please get in touch. Why not check out my social media profiles whilst you’re at it to see if we’re a good fit. I’d love to work with you if your brand relates to any of my content and, more specifically, relevant to my existing audience.