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WORKING WITH BLOGGERS & INFLUENCERS

What retail brands need to know about partnering with bloggers, micro-bloggers, and micro/macro influencers.

Why have we published this eBook?

Including blogger and influencer activity as part of your wider marketing strategy is common, but many brands are not making the most of this opportunity.

Understanding how partnering with bloggers and influencers can impact your brand awareness, audience sentiment, organic search visibility and product sales is vital to ensure you maximise your ROI, whilst staying true to your brand identity.

This guide covers:

  • The differences between blogger outreach for SEO benefit and influencer marketing to raise awareness about your brand
  • How to determine which type of blogger or influencer is right for your campaign
  • How much you can expect to pay for your blogger and influencer marketing campaigns.
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Understanding Blogger Outreach & SEO

Blogger Outreach is a key fundamental when implementing your SEO strategy to grow your backlink profile

Blogger outreach forms part of your off-site SEO strategy, growing your backlink profile with credible and relevant links pointing to key pages on-site.

The more authoritative websites you have pointing to your site, the more your own domain authority will grow and search engines will view your site with increased influence, relevance and quality.

Increase the number of quality backlinks and referring domains

Google sees backlinks as a useful demonstration of a website’s authority, especially when combined with relevant anchor text or a brand reference

Keyword targeting

Working with bloggers allows brands to target highly relevant search terms or phrases within the blogger's organic content, in a natural context

We work with a wide range of bloggers creating content in various niches and strive to match brands with the right bloggers, taking their existing content, domain authority, social following and audience demographic into consideration.

A bloggers Domain Rank (DR) breakdown:

Micro-bloggers fall into this category and these sites are usually fairly new, up and coming blogs with a smaller, but highly engaged, audience. These bloggers are often happy to share the brand & link in exchange for gifted products, but not always in a dedicated post.

Understanding the value of Micro Bloggers

Micro bloggers have a smaller, dedicated blog readership and social media audience, usually less than 10k. Due to their highly engaged and relevant following, their posts often result in higher engagement metrics and their audience is more likely to be interested in the brand, if they are a good fit in the first place.

Many micro-bloggers specialise in a particular niche; beauty, lifestyle, parenting, food.

Affordability

On average, micro-bloggers have a DR of around 5-15 and and an average audience of 10k across all social platforms.

Micro bloggers generally charge under £100 or are sometimes happy to work on campaigns on a ‘gifting basis’, making them ideal for brands that may have a limited budget.

Whilst links from micro-bloggers do always contribute to a relevant backlink profile, their lower DR means that their impact from an SEO point of view is limited. However, as this micro-blogger builds their audience over time, their site authority can also increase, providing long term benefit from these links.

We often work with mid-tier bloggers on sponsored, dedicated posts about a specific product or the brand. They have a strong, relevant blog, established readership and a good social following. Additional budget is usually required to work with these bloggers, as well as gifted products.

Understanding the value of Mid-tier bloggers

Mid-tier bloggers & YouTubers that generally have a combined social reach of between 10k-100k and a DR of 15-25 (some YouTubers won't have an actual blog/site of their own, so this makes them unsuitable for strictly SEO objectives). They often, but not always, have more than one niche or area of interest that they produce content about.

Often working at this on a part or full-time basis rather than as a hobby/side project, mid-tier bloggers have a significant social following and many will regularly collaborate with brands on sponsored content. Whilst many mid-tier bloggers also have a large IG following, their social following carries zero link value, so this should not be taken into account for SEO-focused campaigns. Their social influence may be a secondary factor.

Cost

Mid-tier bloggers come with a higher price tag than micro-bloggers as they understand the value of their larger social audience and the higher DR of their website. The cost can vary greatly, but you can usually expect to pay anywhere between £100-£800 depending on the activity or campaign.

Costs to collaborate are often split per channel with a separate price per -

  • Dedicated blog post
  • Instagram Photo
  • IG Story
  • Tweet
  • Video for YouTube
Top-tier bloggers for these purposes are considered to be those with a 25+ DR, a well-established online presence in their niche and usually over 30k social following. These bloggers will usually work with brands on a case-by-case basis and additional budget is generally required.

Understanding the value of Top-tier bloggers - High DR

There are a smaller number of top-tier bloggers and social media influencers who fit the bill of having a DR of 25+, 100k+ social following & who are willing to work with brands on collaborations that are a good fit for both parties. The higher DR and relevance to your products is more beneficial from an SEO point of view than links from lower tier bloggers.

Bloggers such as Zoella, InTheFrow & Lydia Elise Millen are known for their brand partnerships and are essentially online celebrities in their own right, with a loyal audience. Therefore, collaborations come at a higher price point and usually have management, agents or PAs negotiating brand partnership activity on their behalf.

Due to their on-going brand partnerships, top-tier bloggers usually have their own guidelines on how they wish to collaborate on branded content and choose who they work with very carefully; according to their audience interests and demographics.

Cost

A significant media budget is usually required to secure top-tier bloggers. Expect to pay 4-5 figure sums for significant brand campaign activity or ongoing partnerships/brand ambassador status.

Influencer Marketing - How it differs from SEO blogger outreach

Brand Awareness

Many bloggers and IG influencers collaborate with brands on content, designed to sit on their blog and social channels to raise awareness about a new product or collection launch. The primary objective of the activity is not SEO, but brand or product awareness.

Instagram sponsored ads are also a popular way of showcasing paid-for content created by influencers.

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Referral Traffic

Brand awareness campaigns are not benchmarked on backlink growth.

Influencers can be provided with URLs to track any sales via their blog coverage, social links or Instagram Stories ‘swipe up’ content.

Many influencers also work with affiliate programmes and the brand directly; giving an additional incentive for them to promote sales from theor followers as they receive a pay-out for each one. Affiliate links carry no SEO value.

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This type of activity can be measured by the following metrics;

  • Referrals to site
  • Conversions from those referrals
  • Influencers can be asked to provide their Instagram or other social platform Insights, so brands have an indication of social reach and audience engagements, plus Instagram Stories traffic via Google Analytics

Blogger & Influencer Targeting - Understanding which bloggers & influencers you should be working with

Pairing Bloggers & Influencers to your Brand

We have previously worked with a large number of of micro, macro and top-tier bloggers on past campaigns and we strive to pair relevant content creators with appropriate brands and campaigns; when taking the brand ethos, their SEO value and audience targeting into consideration. The below examples are of different verticals and the types of blogger and influencer activity that can maximise results and ROI.

Blogger Niche
Fashion
Lifestyle
Beauty
Product Launches
  • A mix of micro and mid-tier bloggers and influencers
  • Gifting campaigns with campaign specific hashtags
  • Budget is required re: mid-tier influencers /bloggers
  • Parenting,interiors and traditional fashion & beauty bloggers
  • Dependant on the campaign KPIs: micro bloggers are ideal for a targeted approach
  • A mix of micro and mid-tier bloggers
  • Gifting campaigns with campaign specific hashtags
  • Budget is required re: mid-tier influencers
Product Reviews
  • We advise collaborating with mid-tier bloggers, DR 15-20 with a supporting media budget.
  • Working with mid-tier influencers too can be good way to raise brand awareness
  • A mix of mid-tier bloggers on non-dedicated bloggers
  • Micro bloggers to provide sponsored content
  • Micro & mid-tier bloggers are a fantastic way to share key messaging surrounding product reviews
Big Awareness Campaigns
  • Mid-tier and top-tier bloggers for both SEO & influencer marketing campaigns
  • Significant budget is required
  • Mid-tier and top-tier bloggers for both SEO & influencer marketing campaigns
  • Significant budget is required
  • Mid-tier and top-tier bloggers for both SEO & influencer marketing campaigns
  • Significant budget is required

Pairing Bloggers & Influencers to your Brand Cont.

Blogger Niche
Male Bloggers
Parenting
Foodies
Product Launches
  • We find collaborating with both micro and mid-tier bloggers provides strong brand awareness and increases engagement
  • The pool of parenting / mummy bloggers is so dense, budget is rarely a requirement, whilst working on a gifting basis to both mid-tier & micro bloggers
  • In a similar way to parenting bloggers, targeting micro bloggers with a DR 5 -13 on a gifting basis is a viable tactic
Product Reviews
  • Micro bloggers are great option to collaborate on product reviews, from an SEO campaign perspective
  • We find collaborating with both micro and macro bloggers provides strong brand awareness and increased engagement
  • Media budget is often required
  • Micro bloggers are great option to collaborate on product reviews, from an SEO campaign perspective
Big Awareness Campaigns
  • Mid-tier and top-tier bloggers for both SEO & influencer marketing campaigns
  • Significant budget is required
  • Mid-tier and top-tier bloggers for both SEO & influencer marketing campaigns
  • Significant budget is require
  • Mid-tier and top-tier bloggers for both SEO & influencer marketing campaigns
  • Significant budget is required

Ready to talk?

Find out how we can help your retail brand achieve a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, just like we've done for many of our retail clients!

Contact our in-house retail marketing expert, Andy Donaldson, using the below details.

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