Bloggers: How to Work With Brands and PRs
Bloggers: How to work with brands and PRs
I’m lucky enough to connect with bloggers and influencers on a daily basis as part of my role in public relations. Discovering influencers who fit the mould of brands I'm working with is what really gets me excited. A number of factors come into consideration when choosing a blogger or influencer to work with. This can be anything from looking at their previous collaborations, what their niche is, the quality of writing and photography, and their reader engagement.
It’s a delicate balance picking a blogger we love, but who also has a strong enough following to form a mutually beneficial relationship. To be frank, in most cases the priority for a brand is ROI (return on investment). However, don’t be disheartened if you have a small, but growing, following – brands are increasingly recognising the benefit of working with micro, niche bloggers, who have a loyal and engaged audience. This is especially prevalent when it comes to start-up brands, who risk their product being lost amongst the noise of bigger brands with deeper pockets.
It is no secret that influencer marketing is an effective strategy for brands. You only have to look at L’Oréal’s latest integrated PR strategy, which recognised the value of online influencers to shape their #YoursTruly campaign. Red Hot Penny’s recent blog looks at the campaign in great depth, highlighting the brand’s use of bloggers and influencers to facilitate an integrated and effective campaign.
My advice to bloggers looking to secure longevity in brand partnerships is to maintain integrity and work with brands who you genuinely love. The authenticity will speak for itself. As such, brands should ensure they’re working with bloggers who are authentic and align with their brand, regardless of their following. It is crucial for brands to harness relationships with influencers early on, recognising the power of working together to create meaningful campaigns. The blogging revolution (and shift away from traditional advertising) is actually a wonderful opportunity for brands to convey stories and reach their audience in a more authentic way. This is particularly true for smaller, ethical brands who now have a platform to share their message and the quality of their products. It’s an exciting time in the industry.
So, without further-ado...here are some tips on how to approach a brand you would love to work with. Being on both sides of blogging and marketing, I hope these tips give you some useful insight.
Research, research, research
Don’t just stick to ASOS, Topshop, UO etc, take time to research small, niche brands within your sector. It is likely they will be delighted you have reached out with interest in their product. This is a mutually beneficial relationship and will engage your followers in unique brands they have never heard of and will most likely love!
Make your approach relevant and targeted. If there is a particular product you love and would like to review, make it clear to the brand how much you admire their work. With smaller brands, the designer is usually heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business and they will appreciate the great feedback. Even if they don’t choose to work with you in this instance, your politeness will be remembered for future campaigns. The PR world is small - it’s important to maintain a professional reputation.
Get comfortable with rejection
Unfortunately, brands and PR agencies receive a lot of requests for products or freebies. Whilst this shouldn’t dishearten you about reaching out, just be aware that you may not receive a response because of the sheer volume of emails they receive. Don’t take it personally if a brand does not want to work with you. If you haven’t heard back in a couple of weeks, it’s worth sending a polite follow up email in case it was buried in a huge inbox. If you don’t hear back, or the brand politely lets you down, don’t feel discouraged - it may take some time before your hard work is rewarded.
As previously mentioned, brands will assess your following and the quality of your work to see if you’re a right fit for them. If your blog is growing and your following is still evolving, have patience. As your work and blog naturally progresses over time, brands will notice your hard work and want to work with you. It might be harder to recruit brands to begin with, but have patience, and over-time you will find brands that are a good fit for your niche.
Thank you for reading