Working with Brands Part 3 of 3

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Anyonita Nibbles Blogging Crash Course: Working with Brands Part 3 of 3

Working with Brands 3 of 3

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8 free social media icons with scalloped edgesBefore we get to the meat and potatoes of the course, I've got another set of free social media icons for you! Just click the image to start the download! 

As with the Sweet Candy Shop Set, use these however you'd like--all of one color or mix and match!

It's time for the fifth installment of the Blogging Crash Course, helping you develop and grow your blog into the powerhouse you know it can be! :) 

This week, we're wrapping up our talk on working with brands and discussing what happens when it all goes right; troubleshooting what to do if it all goes wrong and taking a brief look at some basic brand to blogger etiquette.

Update: This freebie is no longer available for download.

Working with Brands Part 3 of 3

New to series? Check out Part 1 and Part 2 first!
Of the three posts in this series, this is certain to be the shortest, so let's jump right in!
 
As a blogger and brand owner, I understand the benefits of brands and bloggers working together. When tapped into, the power of social influence is unreal! No one buys a product simply because a posh-voiced announcer says they have to anymore. People are beyond taking things at face value when it comes from the mouth of a marketing agency with an agenda to sell. We trust our friends and peers much more. It's why review websites play such an important role in everyday life. We want to know how something is for someone who is just like us.

When it all Goes Right
When done properly, at the end of your campaign, the benefit will be mutual. You'll both have achieved what you've set off to achieve. For the blogger, that gratification is instant, for the brand, it can be instant, but is often a little ways down the road. 

When a blogger links up with a brand, he or she is hoping to gain: 
  • an increase in general traffic including repeat and unique monthly visitor numbers
  • an increase in their social media influence
  • an increase in communication on their site or pages (ie: comments, liking statuses and photos etc)
Thanks to programs like Rafflecopter, the blogger gets to see those results as soon as the giveaway is live. (I'll use giveaways as the basis of illustration in this post since most bloggers work with brands in this way.)  

The brand can measure the impact of the partnership by:
  • providing their so\ial media URLS for the blogger to include in the giveaway entry options
  • waiting to see if their trade or shop footfall increases 
This type of ambiguity can be tricky and risky for brands if they don't have proper tools in place to monitor where their traffic comes from. The addition of a "How did you find out about us?" query on their order form with space for customers to write in your blog's name would help to monitor the impact your partnership is having on their sales.

Alternatively, brands could consider providing the blogger a unique promo code attached that customers can enter to receive the advertised discount or freebie. Without one of these or similar measures, the brand would have take it at face value that the blogger is actually sending traffic their way.

To benefit everyone, when I work with a brand, I try to highlight exactly what I'm doing for them. If I do a giveaway, I ask for their preferred social media URLs and include them as mandatory requirements for entering. I also provide one or two do-follow links to their website because those are SEO gold.

When it all goes right, the blogger has evidence of more traffic, and an increase in influence and even a good comment or two. The brand also benefits from more traffic, a possible increase in influence and from having a do-follow linkback and from having their brand name at the forefront of new potential clientele.

If it all Goes Wrong
Not every blogger and brand partnership is going to result in 1,000 new likes and sustained traffic increase. In fact, one of the downsides about giveaways from a traffic point of view, is that you'll most likely only benefit from the traffic increase for the duration of the giveaway. Giveaways are not sustainable methods for increasing blog traffic. Which is why it's important to engage with your giveaway contestants and to choose to work with brands that echo what your blog is about. By doing this, you'll have a greater chance of gaining and retaining new followers and for sustained traffic increase.

Let's say I launch an amazing giveaway tomorrow for a brand new riding lawnmower. I'll most likely see my traffic shoot through the roof for the duration of my giveaway, but as soon as I announce the winner, most of the lawnmower enthusiasts who had been visiting my site in hopes of winning, would leave. Obviously, I would have a chance of keeping those lawnmower enthusiasts who also share an interest in cooking.

Now, let's say I launch a giveaway for one of those Kitchen Aid stand mixers that cost the same as your monthly mortgage payment. Again, my traffic would be through the roof, but since this is primarily a food blog, I'd have a better chance of retraining that traffic and truly benefiting from it. This is what should be happening to you every time you have a giveaway, whether you're offering up an $800 mixer or McDonald's vouchers.

If you're not retaining at least 50% of the traffic from your giveaway you're not working with the right brand for your blog and for your reader's interests. You might also be failing to showcase your blog in the best light! While blogs with thousands of followers can get away with posting entries that just contain a giveaway, newbies and blogs with a small fan base, should consider linking the giveaway with a post that displays what they have to offer as a blogger for their best chance of getting people to stick around. Once they get a taste of what you have to share, if it's up their alley, they'll stay and you'll see your traffic increase.

If you partner with a brand to run a giveaway and it's gone wrong, ask:
  1. Is this the right product for my blog/readers (if there is a small number of entries)
  2. Did I showcase my blog's best assets (if you don't retain at least 50% of the traffic)
  3. Did I drum up the product or service (if there is a small number of entries)
  4. Did I ask the brand to help me promote the giveaway to their followers too (if there is a small number of entries)
  5. Did I advertise the giveaway (if there is a small number of entries)
Blogger <> Brand Etiquette
In this series we've discussed how to attract brands and what they look for, what to expect when you get ready to work with a brand and whether or not you should accept cash or perks. The final nugget of brand advice I have for you is etiquette. 

Do you see that double arrow up there linking the words blogger and brand? That's because this etiquette isn't a one-way street! There are things both parties should be aware of and put into practice for the best possible outcome for your partnership:
  1. Always, always, always ask before using a brand or blogger's logo. They may have a specific logo they use for external promotions or they may need to inform you that due to company policy, the logo must stay at certain dimensions.
  2. Never, never, never edit or manipulate a brand or blogger's logo without their permission. If it's too large, ask for a smaller version. If it's too fuzzy, ask for a larger version. If it's the wrong formatting, ask for a different version. 
  3. Thank the brand or blogger you are working with. Refer them to other brands or bloggers and amplify them on your social platforms.
  4. Communicate well. Bloggers, invite the brand to read the post you have created for them by emailing them a URL to it. Brands, take the time to read the post and let them know you have done and what you think.
  5. Bloggers, check with brands before you start blabbing to other bloggers about the cool things they're showering you with. You could say something like, "I'm really excited about this opportunity to work with [insert brand name here] and would like to share my good news on my social media platforms. However, I know that promotional campaigns are sometimes delicate and I wanted to check with you first that I am okay to mention our partnership."
  6. Brands, don't forget to send some of traffic from your loyal followers to the blog, too! Help promote the blog through your social media platforms. You'll help out the blogger you've partnered with and your own followers would enjoy seeing how philanthropic you are. 
  7. Remember bloggers, that although fun and enjoyable, your blog might also be your business. Remember how we said that people are more trusting of advice and product information from people who are just like them? Other companies you'd be seeking to work with would love to hear a positive word from companies you've already worked with! Go ahead and ask the brand to provide you with a short quote for your Media Kit.
  8. Be courteous, be honest, be thoughtful. Keep your reputation in tact.
I hope you all have found this series to be extremely helpful. As always, if you have any questions about anything mentioned, you could either leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Be sure to come back next week, when we'll be looking at no-follow and do-follow links as well as determining if you are a no-reply blogger! 

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips and I will try some of these icons for my blog.

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    1. Thank you, Sheila! HOpe you love the icons!

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  2. great tips! thank you for sharing at the hop xo

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  3. Wow, you are awesome Anyonita!!! I am so glad that I found you before I even started at looking into working with brands. I am sure I would have done most things wrong. These are amazing tips, and I plan to implement each and every one :)

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    1. Aw thank you, Lisa! :) So glad you were able to find this series helpful!

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  4. Thank you from Spain, I love your social media icons, are beautiful

    besos

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  5. Hi Anyonita~
    Great article and super helpful for beginners! Thanks for sharing at Thank You Honey’s Whatever Wednesday Party! Hope to see you at this weeks party!!

    Cheers!

    Sarah

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