This week a potential client emailed us to ask if there’s an app for doing blogger outreach through Brand Meets Blog. He’s already signed up to all our “competitors” who allow you to sign in, post a job and wait for bloggers to get in touch. He loves that system. He loves it so much he’s “getting all the apps” and wanted to know how to download our blogger outreach app.
We don’t have one. We don’t deliver automated match making. Sorry, not sorry.
How we do blogger outreach campaigns
Our blogger outreach campaigns are done manually… that’s right… an actual digital strategist, social media manager and campaign manager come together to find the very best bloggers for your campaign. You don’t just post a job and get inundated with random blogger applications. We source the very best bloggers, ones that will deliver the very best results – and run your campaign for you. Jeez it’s a full on job. Other blogger outreach agencies are charging bloggers monthly to be on their books. They’re charging clients to post call outs. They’re giving free reign to everyone involved to do whatever they like and they’re taking their cut. It sounds…easy. It sounds… profitable. It doesn’t sound… good.
When bloggers suffer, clients suffer. When clients suffer, the industry suffers
It seems like a terrific model but in reality, in most cases, everyone suffers. Bloggers suffer by spending hours on props that never come to fruition. Bloggers get frustrated by the endless stream of no pay or low pay work they’re offered. The best bloggers find themselves in a sea of influencers who don’t back up their claims and some that “work for free”. This brings the industry down as a whole, making bloggers compete on price.
But that sounds awesome for clients right? Nah. You need your bloggers to be “business savvy”. You need them to actually wield influence. You need them to be professional and responsive. Any blogger who can deliver results will not work for free. Instead, you’ll throw some product at a blogger and they’ll do what is expected (hopefully). A blog. A social share. They’ll move on. Sound good? It’s not. It’s spam. They’re spamming their audience and every time they do, their audience loses trust. Their influence dwindles because of your post – it doesn’t whip up a frenzy of sales.
Can’t buy me love…
When there’s no love and passion for your product (as part of the blogger’s love and passion for their own brand), there’s no sales. Love and passion is what makes sales – not Facebook shout outs. The blogger needs to be passionate enough about their creative output that they’ll only work with good fit clients. Bloggers get behind “good fit clients”. Your story becomes part of their story – bring some love into the relationship. BAM, that makes sales. That’s what is at the core of “influence”.
So what happens after a few app matches go badly?
Clients find that they’ve given bloggers hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of free product and gotten very little return on that investment. They conclude… blogger outreach doesn’t work. The bloggers have done “free job after free job” (or “poorly paid and not worth the time it takes to do it” job after job) and concludes that sponsored posts aren’t for them. The industry suffers. Fewer clients, fewer passionate bloggers, less valuable industry. All because the clients weren’t screened properly. The bloggers weren’t treated properly and there was no strategy behind the campaign.
But blogging shouldn’t be about money?
Blogging for blogging’s sake is an amazing thing; the new media, the new editorial, a million stories that collectively define humanity in the digital age… crappy outreach leads to bloggers forever being “starving artists”. As the whole world shifts away from traditional business models, why not shift away from the “starving artist” model too? It’s not about paying bloggers, it’s about investing in them, based on KPIs and assessing ROI. Professional bloggers replace those old school radio stations and their pithy and OTT “live reads” – the old school version of ‘influence’. Some do it very well, some do a terrible job. For clients, the difference is the agency behind them, hand selecting the best influencers and making sure your campaign is AMAZING.
So what about our potential new client?
He wanted to give bloggers a $35 product in exchange for a blog post, social shares and original “lifestyle shots”. He’s already signed up with every app based blogger outreach agency in Australia. So he’s already annoying bloggers on multiple platforms. His reputation precedes him and he has already established a little wall of resistance from the market he’s trying so desperately to tap. As for his brief… even with a relatively new blogger, this represents 4+ hours of work for a product that they never actually went seeking out in the first place. The only bloggers pitching for this are those who like free stuff and have no expectations of delivering ROI. We declined his kind offer. We don’t do ‘contra’ for bloggers at Brand Meets Blog because we believe in actually getting kickass results.