Are you a blogger interested in working with a brand in 2018?
As a microinfluencer, I’ve spent the last two years working with a range of brands. I’ve worked with small online clothing stores, to global brands, and even food brands. I’ve traded product for posts on Instagram and I’ve also been paid for campaigns. I’ve been asked by other microfluencers and aspiring bloggers out there how I’ve landed partnerships and been chosen for campaigns. So today I wanted to bring into light what I’ve learned brands are looking for in a blogger collaboration. Understanding what a brand is looking for will help you win campaigns and collaborations.
Blogger Collaboration Tip #1: A return on their investment
Whether you’re a blogger, a youtuber, or an Instagram influencer, you are a brand with your own audience. Brands want to reach your audience to bring business to them. Companies have a bottom-line they have to meet weekly, quarterly, and annually.
So one of the main things brands look for when they partner with you and other influencers out there is: a return on their investment. When brands pay you in money or product, brands look to see if the content you create and share will drive business to their brand.
A return on investment (ROI) is not always monetary, though I suspect that most brands would be elated if the sweater you wore sold out after you posted about it. A return on investment can be driving followers to their Instagram accounts or creating a positive relationship between your followers and the brand.
Whether your next collaboration is gifted or paid, remember that you have to drive value to the brand at the end of the day.
Blogger Collaboration Tip #2: Professionalism
Are you spelling your words correctly in your emails or captions? Are you responding to emails within a 24 hour period? Are you providing the brand with what they’ve asked for?
Whether you see yourself as a business person or not, as an influencer, you are brand and a business. There is a level of professionalism that is expected when you work with brands. For instance, these companies have their own marketing and social media deadlines and goals. And when you respond or send your content in late, it affects their deadlines and goals.
Easy ways to be professional:
- Respond to emails in a timely manner
- Use proper grammar and spelling in your emails, blog posts, and captions
- If things come up that might interfere with your posting/publishing deadline, let the brand know as soon as you find out
- Deliver on campaign requirements
Blogger Collaboration Tip #3: An engaged audience
While many brands do value a high follower count, a lot of brands are using engagement rates to determine whether or not they want to work an influencer. So if you’re a microinfluencer like me, don’t stress so much about your follower count. I know that runs counter to what a majority of people say about Instagram, but I’ve learned that even at 14,000 followers and 1,000-2,000 unique monthly visitors, I still can land major brand collaborations. So focus on keeping an engaged audience because your engagement rate will land you campaigns.
A big reason why an engagement rate matters is because brands are looking for that ROI (return on investment). If your audience is engaged and cares about what products you use on your face or what jackets you’re wearing, you’ll be more appealing to work with. Your engagement is a signal to brands that your audience could drive business to them.
My biggest tip for increasing or maintaining your engagement rate: is to be engaged. If you’re commenting, liking, and following people back on Instagram, they’ll most likely reciprocate.
Blogger Collaboration Tip #4: Blog & Instagram Analytics/Metrics
With some of the bigger brands I’ve worked with, I’ve had to provide screenshots of my Google Analytics and Instagram Analytics pages to even be considered for the campaigns. While some influencers find this intrusive, I use it to my advantage. I may be at 14,400 followers but my Instagram drives anywhere between 55,000-92,000 impressions per 7 day period.
If a brand doesn’t choose to pursue a collaboration with you because of your blog or Instagram traffic, don’t take it personally. You’ve learned the benchmark of metrics the brand is looking for and you can work to increase traffic on your blog and Instagram with quality content.
These are just four main things I’ve learned that brands are looking for. I’m still working hard to increase my engagement and work with new brands in 2018. So as I learn more things about what brands are looking for, I’ll be sure to share them on the blog!
What have you learned from your brand collaborations and partnerships?
Here are a few more blog posts to help you win brand collaborations and grow your Instagram this year:
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Thank you for reading!
Photos: Holly Phan