The new tastemakers working with bloggers.

Chanel did it when it gifted fashion blogger Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast a Chanel backpack, Olivia Palermo has collaborated…
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Chanel did it when it gifted fashion blogger Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast a Chanel backpack, Olivia Palermo has collaborated with everyone from Aspinal of London to becoming Ciaté London’s creative director, teaming up with Aquazzura and Westward Leaning sunglasses and Thai fashion brand Vatanika had the international spotlight on it when LA-based fashion blogger, Aimee Song of Song of Style, wore one of its dresses to the Grammy’s.
Working with bloggers can be a mutually beneficial arrangement and, it’s not just in fashion circles that the potential for a fruitful relationship with bloggers lies.

Why work with bloggers?

Bloggers are the modern day tastemakers. Think about it; other than real-life connections, where do you go to get trustworthy information on the latest mascaras, cars, trainers or anything else you’re interested in? It’s likely your first port of call is a Google search for reviews and it’s the perceived authenticity of bloggers that comes from the ‘first person’ tone of voice helps the reader feel they know and can trust the blogger.
In fact, according to Technorati’s Digital Influence Report, bloggers are in the top five sources of trustworthy information with 61 percent of shoppers being influenced by them compared with only 56 percent influenced by retail sites themselves. More tellingly, 61 percent of online consumers said they’d made purchases based on blogger recommendations. It’s easy to see that if bloggers are saying good things about your brand, it’s just about the best PR you can get.

Who to work with

It almost goes without saying that you should thoroughly research bloggers before reaching out to them. Is their agenda a fit for your brand? Do they have an audience that fits your target market?
Are they influential? Do people comment and engage? There needn’t be any guesswork involved; check out their stats; the page views, number of unique visitors, bounce rate etc.
Once you’ve established they’d be a good fit, tailor your pitch to the individual blogger, just as you would any other business person. But if you’re struggling to find bloggers who fit the bill, or ones you know will have the reach you’re looking for, databases including Group High and Ninja Outreach can help you target the right bloggers. It’s worth bearing in mind that working with the biggest bloggers isn’t always the going to get you the most bang for your buck; top bloggers can demand up to USD $15,000 for a post, which may not bring you a good ROI. Often, mid-level bloggers are a surerbet. In fact, according to conclusions made by a Social Chorus analysis of over 200 social word-of-mouth campaigns, large-scale social engagement is driven by what they call the ‘Power Middle’, a group of influences with a smaller but very loyal audience, with typically more 16 times more engagement than paid media and mega influencers. Cheaper and more effective? That makes good business sense.

How to work with bloggers

It’s a good idea to cultivate good relationships with bloggers, even if it’s only in a networking capacity– just as it’s a good idea to get to know any influencers. If and when you decide to reach out to a blogger, keep the pitch individualised and to the point – be clear about what you’re offering. Do you want to give them an interview, a preview, a freebie? Be aware that you’ll often have to pay them for their posts; this is often their job.
Ways to work with them include gifting them products and experiences, sponsored posts, reviews, giveaways, sponsored ad space and guest posts, for example. If there’s money involved, be clear what coverage you’re looking for and make sure you draw up a contract.
Good bloggers have their personal branding sussed. Give yours a boost with our guide to a personal branding makeover, here.

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