Top trends we learnt from Vuelio’s UK Bloggers Survey 2019
Account manager Rosie Needham-Smith attended Vuelio’s bloggers survey webinar. Here, she discusses the key takeaways from the event, which provided interesting insight into how PRs can work effectively with bloggers to provide good quality content for our clients.
Last week we attended Vuelio’s bloggers survey webinar, which explained the results of the UK’s largest blogger survey conducted in November 2018 by Christ Church University, having asked 787 bloggers about the state of the industry.
The webinar led a conversation between Elle Linton, of Keep it simpElle, and Lloyd Griffiths and Yaya Onalaja-Aliu from travel blog Hand Luggage Only, and provided interesting insight into how we can work effectively with bloggers to provide good quality content for our clients.
In a world of backlinking, off page SEO and Google rankings, a targeted blogger campaign can really increase a brand’s domain authority and digital presence.
Rise of the supersector
Vuelio identified five ‘supersectors’, in which two thirds of blogs fall in to: Lifestyle, Food & Drink, Fashion & Beauty, Parenting and Travel.
Lifestyle, then parenting, are the most popular blogging topics, with fashion seeing the biggest decline in recent years, from 22% in 2016, to just 8% last year.
Fashion and beauty blogs are now likely to attract 1,000 – 10,000 unique visitors per month (what is considered a ‘medium size’ blog). Yaya put this down to the rise in social media.
For a fashion blogger, the reliance on social has massively increased, particularly when you consider how much time it takes to post a blog. Often one outfit post on Instagram is all that is needed each day.
Bloggers are leaving the niche sectors behind and covering more topics, which comes as no surprise as the nature of a blog is so personal, so it’s only natural for bloggers to talk about the variety of elements to their personal life.
Quality over quantity
Bloggers are now posting less frequently, with 44% opting to post just once a week.
Because there are so many more ways to drive traffic, with SEO and Pinterest helping to keep traffic continually coming back to a website, there is less need to have multiple posts a week.
Bloggers now have more time to create quality, in-depth content that’s going to last longer. Some bloggers think that social media has taken the place of these shorter style posts, particularly Twitter and Instagram Stories.
How to measure success – difference in opinion
“There is clear evidence from the responses that PR professionals and bloggers place different importance on measures to assess how compensation is agreed.”
Vuelio’s blogger survey found that bloggers prefer to negotiate compensation based on non-quantifiable measures such as quality, whereas PRs use data to measure a blog’s performance.
For example, only 9% of PRs consider how long it takes to write a blog when negotiating prices, compared to 61% of bloggers. For bloggers, time is money.
And they feel strongly about this mismatch. 89% agree/strongly agree that PRs should focus on the quality of engagement rather than follower numbers.
Hand Luggage Only said that it is finding that conversations between bloggers and brands are slowly changing, but we need to be aware that a blogger’s time has value, and that pricing isn’t just about figures and statistics.
Rise of the professional blogger
The number of professional bloggers has increased by 17% as more people are using their blogs as their main source of income. There’s now a divide between the hobbyists and professional bloggers making a living.
The future is green
Vuelio found that bloggers expect to increase the amount of advertising they carry and their audience to become more sceptical of their motives.
Respondents indicated that the future of the industry is likely to be driven by the needs of advertisers, and that this will undermine the position of bloggers as media experts.
On average, 78% of respondents said that up to half of their work is compensated. The most popular amount to charge was between £101-£250, with almost half (48%) of parenting blogs charging at this rate.
Pitches, not press releases
‘Traditional’ PR pitches to bloggers, such as issuing a blanket press release, are now ineffective and simply aren’t resulting in published content.
64% of bloggers said that only one pitch a week or less resulted in promoted content on their blog. After all, there is a clear distinction between a press release and a pitch – bloggers know that a release will be sent to hundreds of people, journalists and all. You simply can’t treat them in the same way.
Vuelio’s blogger survey showed that bloggers’ relationships with PRs are generally good but they feel that within the industry, they lack credibility compared to traditional journalists. Fewer bloggers think that are more trusted than traditional journalists, which could be due to the increase in payment for posting.
81% of bloggers feel they contribute to society by airing views and opinions not represented in the mainstream media and over half think they offer impartial advice to their readers. Elle explained how blogs are a personal space on the internet and that consumers look to them for honesty and authenticity. Ultimately, bloggers share content because they have something to say about it, but they feel they should be paid for the influence they have over their readers.
Key take away as a PR professional
As a PR, I know we need to provide tangible figures for clients at the end of a campaign, but we also need to consider engagement and quality of audience, making sure it is aligned to a client’s profile.
Blogging is personal and content is often about something they have done or experienced, so there has to be a strong personal connection between your brand and the blogger.
Think to yourself – is this blogger actually going to be interested in the brand? Tailor your pitches and if the collaboration is an authentic fit, you will be able to build a relationship and hopefully a successful campaign.
With a diverse team of experts, Cartwright Communications creates compelling campaigns for a variety of industries. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your business.