Blogging and vlogging is now a huge business in its own right. Some of the top UK vloggers are earning thousands every month from their collaborations with brands and through advertising and endorsements. This is still very much the exception, rather than the rule; but, for retailers who want to work with bloggers and vloggers, there are ways in which to work effectively (and to a scalable budget) with lots of different types of online influencers, which enable you to measure ROI and the benefits they are bringing to your business.
Choose your bloggers wisely
When searching for bloggers or influencers to approach when planning a campaign, there are lots of considerations.
- Do they influence an important/profitable segment of your target audience?
- Do they have a strong (and highly relevant) social media following and/or an authoritative website/blog?
- Do they fit with your campaign in terms of their ‘personal brand’ and their other social media activity?
- What percentage of their online activity is sponsored/advertising and how much is ‘real’ content that they do independently?
- How do they fit into your campaign budget?
- Do you have a ‘plan b’ if they are not able or willing to work with you this time?
Fully plan out and integrate the blogger/influencer part of your campaign into your other activity
Making sure you fully map out what part(s) you want the bloggers or vloggers to play in your campaign is vital to making the most of their involvement.
- Do you want to use their influence to build up a social media buzz in the lead up to a product launch?
- Do you want them to review a product in a video or blog post?
- What visuals do you want them to include? How will their activity sit in the timeline of any other marketing efforts on the campaign?
- If you’re working with bloggers who have their own site, can they include a link to your website for referring their audience, and to give additional SEO benefit, during the campaign?
Making sure you clearly communicate your expectations to bloggers early on in your contact with the bloggers/influencers means that there is no room for ambiguity or confusion on either side.
Use blogger contracts/written agreements
It’s become the norm now to use contracts or written agreements when working with bloggers and vloggers. This doesn’t necessarily mean a hefty legal bill for all brands getting lengthy contracts drawn up, it can literally be a one-page doc that sets out:
- What you’re actually asking the blogger or vlogger to do e.g. create a video of a specific length on XXX product or brand, publish a certain number of social posts etc.
- The deadline(s) involved on all sides
- A record of any payment (or gifted products to be sent instead) that forms part of the agreed activity
- If the content they create needs to be passed through a compliance process on the retailer’s side then details of how this works will also need to be included (and should have been discussed earlier in the process)
A simple contract or written agreement that the blogger/vlogger can e-sign online and return within seconds via email, is an effective way of making sure that all parties are fully in the loop about what is expected, and when.
Track referral traffic
Giving each of your bloggers and influencers a unique, trackable link to use when they’re promoting your campaign means that tracking any traffic they send to your site, through their own site or social media posts, is really straightforward, via your website analytics. Whether you have a campaign landing page or just want them to link to product pages, you can easily see how many people they have sent through to your site and what these people do once they land there. This is one way to measure how valuable the blogger or vlogger activity has been to your business.
Evaluate the social media ROI
Another way you can attribute a value to blogger is to look at how much it would have cost you to advertise the same content to their social media audience. Using a variety of tools and data from Twitter Ads and Facebook insights, you can put a monetary value to what you would have spent if you had used social ads targeted at the same audience, instead of the collaboration activity.
Working with bloggers, vloggers and influencers can be highly rewarding for any retail business when all of the ducks fall into a row. However, as a constantly evolving industry that is still in its infancy, it’s essential that retail brands adopt a professional and strategic approach when implementing outreach and influencer campaigns, to make sure that any collaborations are reaching their full potential.
If you’d like help with running blogger, vlogger or influencer activity for your retail brand, we can help. Contact us today.