Work between brands and bloggers can be a beautiful thing or a complete nightmare. Often times, communication is not where it should be and, thus, chaos ensues. Bloggers over-promise or under-deliver in the eyes of the brand because bloggers fluff their stats and engagement too much. Brands, on the other hand, can be demanding, inflexible, or downright rude because they don’t value the efforts of the blogger.
While it may seem like one party is to blame, the truth is that much of the conflict that happens between brands and bloggers is a vast collection of misunderstandings. In order to avoid further miscommunication, there are five things to keep in mind when brands and bloggers work together.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”? If not, it basically means being kind will get you much further than being rude and it’s true. If you’re kind to a blogger, they will go above and beyond to help you. You may find them working double time for you simply because they like you and appreciate your kindness. It’s easy to get frustrated with bloggers if they are not doing what you want them to do or if you’re on a time crunch, but trust me when I say this: being kind and assertive will promote a more positive experience for everyone. There’s no need to create animosity, and the same holds true for bloggers who want to work in a positive direction with brands.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dealt with brands who think it’s somehow “unethical” or “not worth their time” to fairly compensate bloggers. Bloggers can take your campaign to the next level, connect you with the right audience, and help make your brand more human.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are bloggers out there who seek to take advantage of freebies and other perks from brands which should be avoided as well. This is why it’s so important for bloggers and brands to correspond beforehand to ensure their campaign goals will be met, and they are a good fit for one another.
As a blogger, one of the most frustrating experiences has been dealing with brands who have expectations, but never voice them. If you want to reach a certain amount of people or have a specific goal, please share it with the blogger! They can tell you whether or not that audience or goal can be attained through their blog.
Additionally, it only helps both the blogger & the brand when goals have been communicated clearly, as well as expectations for a post or campaign. It doesn’t serve the brand to leave things out of the communication, then become upset when those objectives are not met.
On that same note, bloggers should be straightforward about the kind of objectives they can reasonably accomplish. If you don’t have the audience size or interest that a brand is looking for, it doesn’t serve anyone to lie about it.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance so it’s better to be human (as in not sending out mass emails that are all the same!) and to show a little humility. Moreover, it’s equally great if you spell blogger’s names correctly, their blog name’s correctly, and actually look at their blog before emailing.
Of course, the same goes for bloggers! Don’t mass email brands or reps with the same impersonal pitch email. You will have more success by approaching brands with real enthusiasm than shooting in the dark by emailing a thousand brands who are not a good fit.
In that same vein, please do not waste blogger time by emailing us about promoting your brand if it’s not a good fit. Check out their blog, the categories, the about page, and read a post or two. Figure out if the blogger’s writing style, photography style, and audience fit your brand before contacting them. Just as you don’t want your valuable time wasted, neither does the blogger.
Again, the same goes for bloggers. Research a brand’s mission, products, founders, and anything else you can get your hands on. See what their past campaigns look like. This will be a good indication of the kind of content they may be looking for. Don’t waste a brand’s time pitching them ideas that don’t suit their market.
At the end of the day, misunderstandings are bound to happen between bloggers and brands. The best thing we all can do is work with an open heart, humble mind, and remember that we all function under the common ground of being human. Stay inspired and remember that we all want the same thing. We all want to create awesome campaigns that are successful, engaging, and helpful to readers. Keeping an open line of communication, compassion, and creating real, solid relationships with each other is the best way to ensure you both get the most out of a project. The more seamlessly you work together, the more successful you will be. And isn’t that what everyone is really after?
Tianna is a 27 year old California native with a passion for stories, connecting with others, and the rain! She runs a lifestyle blog (Storybook Apothecary) where she helps millennial women find the best natural products.