Create a Halo Effect for Your Brand Through the Power Of Bloggers
When working with bloggers, you create a halo effect. In other words, you are borrowing someone else’s fame and influence to reach a specific audience. It works with celebrities in the same way. If Justin Bieber wears Marc Jacobs, millions of girls are going to start buying Marc Jacobs. Translate this principle to bloggers: Take Dino Dogan, Ana Hoffman, Chris Voss – each of these bloggers is unique and has a loyal audience that loves them and looks up to them.
When a mom’s favorite blogger says the newest laundry detergent is the latest and greatest, and gives a specific reason as to why that is so, that mom is likely to try it out. If your laundry detergent then delivers on that promise made by the blogger, you, as a brand, made a new fan, and a new longterm customer.
The hot niche within the blogger community is the so called mommy bloggers. They write about a wide array of topics as long as they are of interest to moms (and let’s face it: that’s a lot!). Because of that, almost any brand will be successful in marketing their name through mommy bloggers. Moms are also the main decision makers as to how daily spending is allocated. They make most purchasing decisions in a household and they like trusted brands. Naturally, this is the biggest audience most brands want to reach.
Readers love to hear what the next thing is that these bloggers are going to share, and then they re-share it on social media. These bloggers are trusted journalists, they have credibility and readers love them and their content. Bloggers have turned into online celebrities themselves. A blogger vouching for a product or company can immediately get customers running to the store.
These bloggers get it.
They are trusted.
They are (like) friends.
They have the audience your brand wants to reach.
They have credibility. They are trusted. Readers trust recommendations from a friend more than any other form of marketing.
So how can your brand leverage bloggers?
Marketing through bloggers is a special form of marketing because it’s technically marketing, but in reality, it is a hybrid of public relations and word of mouth. If you look at the graphic at the top of this post, you can see how word of mouth is the most important aspect of marketing. That’s exactly what bloggers accomplish for your product. They, themselves, are considered “that friend,” and they encourage and facilitate more word of mouth sharing, on and off social media.
Why would a blogger want to work with your brand?
A blog is a blogger’s business. A blogger is not connected to any other news sources or brands, unless they have signed a contract with a brand. They are loyal to their audience. They are loyal to their audience even if they sign contracts with brands and carefully choose who they endorse. Bloggers make money by getting paid directly by the brand. Bloggers write their unbiased opinion about your product or brand, which can be positive or negative. It’s important to select bloggers that serve your brand’s audience, understand your product and have the tone of voice that connects people with your brand.
A blogger is not:
* Interested in any free product
* Looking for any content
However they ARE looking to cover great products and brands their audience will love. They are looking for content that their audience will love. If a brand chooses the right bloggers to partner with, a blogger’s reviews will be raving and a blogger’s audience will be raving about your product.
How to showcase your brand on a popular blog
There are several effective ways to get your brand or product on a blog. The way you choose depends on your budget and the product itself. Here’s a list of your options, when to use which, and what they entail.
#1. Promoted Posts, aka Paid Endorsements
A promoted post is almost an advertorial, however the brand does not dictate the precise wording and look of the post. The brand gives guidelines (and optional images and video), the blogger decides what to write.
- Easiest form to get exposure by paying for it
- Possibly cheaper than hosting an event or giving away product
- Most likely for a brand to influence what the blogger writes about you (brand is able to give specific instructions)
- Posts will be positive
When should you do this?
Paid endorsements, known as promoted posts, are the easiest and most certain form to get featured on a blog. Depending on the size of the blog, there are elaborate structures of how much what kind of post costs. For a local blog with a locally large reach (in the 10,000s), an average payment of $250-$350 per post is standard. If you would like additional mentions on social media, video included in the post, or a large amount of pictures or a higher word count, prices go up. Payment can always be lowered by connecting it to a giveaway, providing a product for review, or hosting an event.
These are straight-up product reviews of whatever you decide to have reviewed by appropriate bloggers.
- Showcases the product you are marketing in a very direct, yet personal way
- Most likely to include many photos and video
When should you do this?
A review is a good choice when a simple promoted post in not possible. For example, if you are Charmin toilet paper, a review might be tacky; you’d want to do a promoted post. Instructions will say something like: “Write about a difficult moment in your life that made you stronger and relate it to the fact that Charmin toilet paper is also stronger than expected.” Cheesy, but it works. A review would be appropriate when you offer a line of makeup, new kitchen equipment, or an elaborate baby toy. Reviews are sometimes coupled with additional monetary compensation, but if the product itself has a high enough price tag, just giving the product for review may suffice.
Reviews are not just sending items for a run-through and write up. Reviews could be about a resort, a new Broadway show, or an amusement park. Bloggers are invited to venues to then write about their experience. See events for further explanation of this concept.
Media events for bloggers are similar to events for traditional media, but they have a more personal and less stressful touch. Therefore, they are often separate from traditional media events.
- Direct influence and face time with the bloggers
- Gives bloggers a tangible look and feel or your brand for a more personal review
- Creates excitement
- Bloggers love them because they love networking
- Facilitates many live social media posts (think Twitter, Vine and Instagram)
- Enables you to give personal and multiple gifts
When should you do this?
Events will not get your blog coverage for certain, even though most likely, the attending bloggers will write about it when asked, but they will certainly give you social media coverage. You should always have a hashtag and provide it to your guests and invitees well in advance to create a buzz around it before the event even starts.
Events make sense when you have something to show of, such as a great location, a celebrity, or a product that requires a performance for review. The food industry likes to host events as catered parties to show off location and/or food, or cooking presentations. Factories do behind-the-scenes media tours. Hotels and timeshares offer weekend getaways with or without hosted media events on site. The possibilities are endless.
A giveaway to a blogger’s audience can be as small or big as you decide. The blogger hosts and promotes the giveaway of your service or product.
- More views and shares
- Long life on social media
- Additional promotion by blogger
When should you do this?
If you have the extra budget to give away product or services to a blogger’s audience, do it! Giveaways are always a good idea and work well in conjunction with one of the other tactics of outreach, but specifically with a review. They are a nice add-on for higher exposure to get your product out to create more fans (large scale giveaways are not uncommon), and they serve as a form of payment to the blogger (since giveaways usually drive lots of traffic to a blog). The best way to create a new lasting customer is by putting your product in their hands – and a giveaway is a great way to do just that.
#5. Brand Ambassador Programs
A group of brand ambassadors is a loyal group that keeps your brand in the media on an ongoing basis, while you are able to execute all of the above.
- Continuous, positive, and targeted coverage throughout the year
- Less expensive and more effective than advertising
- Trusted by readers
- Able to combine all the above successfully
When should you do this?
Ambassador programs are the most comprehensive and ideal when working with bloggers. Big brands have a successful, elaborate ambassador programs in place. These programs provide a brand continuous, positive coverage throughout the year by mutually selected, contracted bloggers. Any of the above options can be part of the contract, plus whatever else agreed upon. An ambassador program can be supplemented with regular blogger pitches to reach an even wider audience. At any rate, however, coverage is guaranteed in your ambassadors’ outlets.
Have you thought about specific features of your product? Or do you offer a service? What option would be best for you to reach your specific audience as effectively as possible? If you need help deciding, we’re here for you. Just send us an email. If you’re thinking of starting a brand ambassadors program, look forward to our follow-up post where we give you all the juicy details on how to make it work, and how Branding Personality made it work for Goodwill of Orange County.