Working with bloggers - 9 considerations for your consumer PR campaign

In a world of influencers, Instagram and impressions, the online and ‘IRL’ impact of bloggers can be significant and have a huge effect on your consumer PR campaign. In this blog post, senior account manager Rosie Needham-Smith shares some advice on how to make the most of your blogger strategy.

Be clear – what do you want from working with bloggers? 

Before you set out, it’s imperative to think about the objective of your campaign. Is it reach, engagement or is it purely a link building exercise to increase web traffic? Once you have decided on these important factors, you can tailor your research and be more strategic with your selection when working with bloggers.

For our recent campaign to raise awareness of Cornish New potatoes, we wanted as many people as possible to see the key messages about the seasonality of the product and to create high quality, shareable content users could engage with. We therefore needed bloggers with a strong reach, who could create engaging recipes to inspire their readers to buy Cornish New potatoes.

Budget or no budget?

This is an essential consideration to your campaign. In this year’s Vuelio blogger survey, on average, 78% of respondents said that up to half of their work is compensated. You need to be clear whether your brand has budget to put behind a blogger, or whether you can offer your product or service in exchange for content.

Do your research

Let’s face it – it’s 2019 and there are a lot of bloggers out there. Some professional, some amateur and some downright niche. This is time intensive, as manually building your list can take a fair few hours of detailed research. But it’s worth the time to ensure you’re getting directly in front of the consumers who are the most likely to buy your product.

When researching, think back to your objective. If it’s campaign reach, you’ll want a blogger with lots of social media followers and high unique monthly browsers. If it’s engagement, check the amount of comments each blog post has and how many likes their social media posts get. If it’s website clicks, you could always ask the blogger about their previous partnerships.

Before you select your target list and start getting quotes, have a gold tier ‘top’ three bloggers you think would be perfect for your brand. Your enthusiasm should come across in your pitch and the blogger will be more inclined to partner with you.

Tap into the right audience  

Are their readers exactly the kind of audience you want to target? Just because they’re a family blogger in the local area, they still might not be quite right, as they might have toddlers and you might be targeting families with teenagers.

For our recent Cornish New potato campaign, we carefully selected a vegan blogger, a family food blogger and a Slimming World blogger to fit with the audience profiles our client provided us with.

Be clear 

Be explicit and upfront in your pitch. Is the content in exchange for tickets or a free session? If so, how many tickets are you offering? These are all questions a blogger will need to know before agreeing to work with you.

Make sure what you want them to do is clear. If you need them to post their review before a certain time, like before the summer holidays have ended, ask them if this is going to be possible.

What exactly do you want from your investment? Nowadays bloggers will be able to tailor their service packages to prospective partners – if they have particularly engaging Instagram stories but not many Twitter followers, it’s worth selecting the right platforms for your brand.

Because she has over 33,000 followers and 748,000 monthly views, we ensured family blogger Hungry Healthy Happy included a recipe pin for our Cornish New potato campaign and that Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen would post her dish to her Instagram stories.

Top tip: If you’re paying for content, it’s a good idea to draw up a contract outlining exactly what each side needs to provide.

Think ahead to ROI 

It may seem like a long way away, but always bear in mind your campaign evaluation when selecting your blogger. Ask straight away if you’re going to need statistics, as bloggers can provide social media stats like ‘impressions’ and ‘saves’ which we just can’t see without delving into insights. A blogger should compile these for their own records and will hopefully understand it’s important for ROI and relationship building, but it’s important to check before you start the campaign.

Get social – saves are the new likes  

Remember a bloggers’ social media presence is almost as important as the blog itself. Not just about a blog post and link clicks, as the influencer of social media is enormous.

Always provide the blogger with the correct social media handles for your brand, in case they post about it on their platforms.

During August, a key month in the calendar for leisure attractions, our Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure blogger campaign reached over 71,000 people on social media from Norfolk and Suffolk alone.

Make relationships 

At the end of the campaign, say thanks, ask how they felt it went, tell them how well the blog post was received by your audience. If it was a successful post or partnership, they might want to work with you again.

Evaluate engagement 

Engagement is an increasingly popular metric to consider when evaluating.  For the Cornish New potato campaign, we delved into the comments on the recipe blog posts and social images to see what the audience was saying about the potatoes. And it was well worth it, here are just some of the great responses:

“These potatoes sound fantastic” 

“I’m loving this recipe idea, and the combination of flavours going on here. I’m tempted to try this out very soon” 

“Those potatoes sound wonderful I’ll have to pick some up” 

This is exactly what we wanted the target audience to think and say, so it was a key, qualitative campaign metric and added value for the brand.

By Rosie Needham-Smith

Rosie supports campaigns across the food and drink, architecture, design and retail sectors. She has extensive experience in in-house B2C PR with a background in interiors and design, securing coverage across regional, national and international titles.