Are you following the same process as any other brand to shortlist the bloggers and measure results for your marketing campaigns? Let me tell you what that process is and you will be able to relate with the solution that I am going to provide. This will change how you look at blogger engagements forever.
This is how the process flow of such activities look like:
- Brand reaches out to vendors( various networks or agencies) and give them a brief about what you are expecting.
- Vendors share the list of bloggers, their monthly reach, social media followers, DA bla bla
- Brands select blogs based on how beautiful the theme is of the website and then what reach they can possibly bring for the campaign.
- Price comparison is done from various vendors for the selected bloggers.
- Then finally one vendor converts the deal and moves to execution.
Is this what blogger engagement is? Can you answer this question truly to yourself? Do you really think you can win content marketing or at least blogger engagement with this approach?
My answer is straight no. This is not how blogger engagements works. This is a shortcut of getting things done which will lead you to nowhere. It will only show you that you got results but actually it may or may not mean anything. You’d also end up spending a bigger chunk of your budget for an activity which could have been done for much less. You’d also measure the campaign keeping wrong set of KPIs in mind.
Let me ask you one simple question.
Why does any reader come on a specific blog ?
- A blogger has really interesting flair of writing which mesmerizes the audience
- A blogger writes honest opinion about a particular subject
- A blogger is very active to cover newest trends
- A blogger is skilled and experienced in a particular subject
- A blogger has access to exclusive pieces of content and information
Based on the above mentioned type of blogs how will they be fit for a marketer?
- Brand/product integration
- Press release and new updates from the brand
- In-depth researched article about the suitable brand & product
- To share researches done by the organization and exclusive information they have access to
Measure of Search Engine and Subscribers
It is said that maximum traffic on a blog is received from search engines. That means maximum users are not the followers/subscribers of a particular blog.
Let me give you my own example. I follow NDTV gadgets for mobile phone reviews. The ratings that they give in the end of the post is all I look for before making a purchase decision. But I have not subscribed to that website.
Because I have no interest in knowing what mobile phone are they reviewing currently. Thus, I don’t subscribe to them. But, it is definitely my most reliable and go to source for making a purchase decision.
One more reason, which is the most common, I don’t want to clutter my inbox. If I want to read a particular blog, I will again search for it on google or if I remember the website properly, I will directly visit him.
So, do you think it make sense to judge a blog based on the number of subscribers it has?
That being said, those blogs are very different who has content which make a reader subscribe to it. In which you don’t want to miss on an article. It can be short stories, personal blogs etc.
The product integration will be entirely different in that type of a blog.
It will best come out if they use the brand/product in their story rather coming up with a story in which they can use the product. So, if a blogger is approaching you with an idea, your compensation to that blogger would give you much more result than your usual approach of marketing.
Check out this post which describes the usual method of measuring blogger engagement results. Not denying that this method will not work, but a marketer can miss out a lot if he blindly follows this shortcut technique to measure content.
Measure of Social media followers
Social media followers could have been a great help to figure out which blogger is going to give you maximum engagement or reach. But then, it is so easy to buy followers on any medium. Also, until you boost a post, it won’t give you any engagement especially on Facebook.
Number of comments or ‘engagement on a blog’ as some people call it, is not a good judgement factor to identify the success of it. Hardly any significant percentage of the people who consume content, feel like commenting on it.
Measure of Alexa rank
Alexa rank is absolute crap to judge a blog. Please I beg you to not underestimate a blog by seeing a poor Alexa rank. Alexa itself is poor in terms of data based on which they suggest a ranking.
Similarly, there are many other similar metrics which may add zero or minuscule value to your judgement process.
Then how do I judge a blog?
This entirely depends on what kind of activity you are looking for? What is your end goal? What are your objectives? Why do you want a specific blogger to publish about you( when you answer this, don’t fool yourself by saying you want more reach)? Why are you so special? You need to identify the in-depth answers to these basic questions before you can approach bloggers. Check out this post from Neil Patel which shares the same thought process.
Once you have the answers to that, post which you need to figure out:
What kind of bloggers will really help you take that message ahead?
What kind of tone you are looking at?
What type of research would go into making that content a success?
How would the brand/product will be integrated in that scheme of things?
So, before you go ahead and judge a blog, judge what you want and how can content help in that process. Take help from professional content marketers if needed.
In a nutshell:
Content can do much more than just giving a reach to your campaign. Unlike other forms of advertisement, content will stay, with which you can reap long tern benefits, if nurtured and taken care regularly. So, don’t just measure it against reach. That’d be underestimating the value of content.
The advise here is to find like minded influencers who believe in what you do. This is not an easy task. It will require a very positive mind set from a brand. If you are already an established brand, you can start an ongoing community building process where bloggers and fans can register themselves to stay in touch with you. So, whenever they are able to come up with a story for a great brand integration, they can reach out to you in no time. Also, you can feed them with your constant updates so they are aware of current happenings from your end.
If you are a new player in the market, first market yourself, build some loyal customer base. Then invite bloggers with the help of testimonials you received from the market. Because it is not about how much you can pay them to write for you. It is about how much they are interested in your product which would compel them to write about you.
Blogger engagement best works when it is also supported by other means of advertising and marketing. More than creating awareness, retention etc etc. it works best as a catalyst. It really boosts the confidence of a buyer to invest in a particular product or brand.
Thus, create the awareness of the product with a different medium, prompt the customer to search for the info about it, let those blogs pop up in his search. Let the content to do its work.