So you decided to work with a blogger to advertise and promote your business, congrats! Bloggers are an amazing way to authentically reach your customers, earn trust in the marketplace, and build relationships with other entrepreneurs. Welcome to the #smallbizballers club.
I’ll assume you already had a chance to check out my first post, How to Successfully Partner with a Blogger, and we’re ready to begin setting promotional expectations. If not, no problem! I’ll still be here when you get back, so go check it out and let me know if you have any questions.
Setting Guidelines for Marketing Promotions with Bloggers:
After a blogger agrees to your initial proposal or expresses interest in partnering with you (yay!), now you have the opportunity to share more details on what you’re looking for and your goals.
1. Provide an overall vision
Give an overview of what you want to accomplish with this exposure before getting into the nitty gritty. Is your goal to gain new customers, general awareness, highlight a component of your brand (examples: eco-friendly, all USA made, buy only from local makers), or introduce your shop to their readers, etc.
2. Determine the feature
What product categories or collections are the focus, or is it free reign of their favorite picks?
Remember: While giving guidelines on what/how to feature your business, you also hired them because you like their work; and their best work will likely be when they have creative freedom to show off your shop in a way that also best represents their brand + blog.
3. What content are they creating?
Example: a post, with images provided by you or will they take shots of product provided? Should they be creating a tutorial or video how-to? Keep this conversation open – they may have different insights from past projects!
4. Social media shares
How often, what (link to blog post, link directly to shop), when + where (instagram, twitter, pinterest).
Remember to ask for your shop to be tagged (@’shop’) so followers can easily find you on that platform.
5. Will you also promote their post on your blog or social media (you should be!)?
The best promotions support each other and want everyone to succeed; afterall, promoting their blog in turn promotes your shop! Think of a creative way to introduce them in a post, your customers will learn about a new lifestyle blogger that helps them with styling, beauty tips or DIY (again goes back to determining your ideal customer/her reader are similar); and you strengthen your relationship with a valuable blogger and earn a reputation as a brand that supports their advertising partners.
6. Request the links to be used in the post
Direct link to shop and products are the obvious ones. But would you like a direct link to your social media, about page or blog? Set a reasonable minimum number of links or product callouts they should include – you may feel ripped off if they only mentioned two and they would feel wrongly accused since it was never specified.
7. Will you provide a special incentive to their readers?
In the spirit of making your blogger partner look awesome, giving something to entice readers is a great way to make her look amazing and to help turn a newbie to your brand into someone who’s willing to give it a try on the blogger’s recommendation, plus a little bonus!
- Special discount for their readers only
- Private sale event
- Shop early access (before launching to your entire shop/customer base)
- Free shipping or reduce expedited shipping
- Add a bonus with purchase (spend over $50, receive ‘x’ gift or buy anything in store, receive ‘x’ for free)
- Run a giveaway they can host at the end of their post, try to pull together a killer value that goes beyond a few freebies. Most giveaways can include social sharing as additional entries ‘earned’ so can be great if goal is to increase awareness
8. Agree on payment amount and deadlines
You can always ask for final approval + review of the post before it goes live to ensure you’re comfortable with how they present your business. Do you want to review the final draft, how many days in advance will they need for adjustments? What date will the post be scheduled for?
Determine how the payment will be sent and invoiced. Will you partially pay up front and remaining after post date? Are there any gifted items or special discounts for her to pick out an item(s) herself?
Many bloggers may have contracts of their own to help protect them which you can review; or come up with a written document to which you both agree to and sign off on. (See these easy to understand legal jargon-free requirements from The Artist’s JD) This helps eliminate misunderstandings so you can both walk away feeling like it was a success and worth your time and money. Win-Win!
9. Be flexible + keep it simple
While you should absolutely go through each step above to ensure you both have a clear understanding of expectations (especially when money is being exchanged!), remember to also keep it friendly and basically, be a real person – have fun, listen, be open to ideas, treat them with respect, uphold your commitments, be timely, be helpful.
SHOP TALK: Have you worked with a blogger before on promotions? Any guidelines or issues to address beforehand that you would add?
PS. I use this blog planner to help keep projects in line and focus on my overall monthly goals.