One of the hardest things for bloggers to find out the answer to is the question, What do brands want when they run a blogger program?
Today I am thrilled to bring you an interview with Kristie Galea, Marketing Manager for Olympus Imaging Australia to share with you, her insights and approach when it comes to how Olympus work with bloggers.
Kristie, Olympus was a sponsor of the 2014 Problogger Training Event and is back again as a Problogger Sponsor for 2015; you also run ongoing blogger outreach activities and are active in connecting with bloggers socially. What is it that makes you love working with bloggers?
I believe this is because collaboration is at the core of who Olympus is; our products collaborate every day with photographers to facilitate great imagery.
Working with bloggers is no different as it is a collaboration to create great content that works for both the blogger and the brand. For the blogger it is the passion to tell their story through their blog and for the reader it is an environment where they have found someone of like-mindedness or a blog on a subject matter (i.e. food, style, craft etc) that they are passionate about.
When you engage with people through their passion points, then done correctly you have a unique opportunity to engage with them and tell them the ‘why’ behind your brand.
Can you share a great moment you’ve had working with bloggers?
Last year we hosted a series of lunches with Chantelle Ellem and her readers, and it was in the lunch in Melbourne that there was truly a magical moment. For over 2 years Chantelle had been talking with a member of her photo-a-day community who had one day written to her to say how much the FMS photo-a-day had helped her through a challenging time in her life. Over this shared story Chantelle formed a friendship with the reader but due to ill health and life, the two of them had never had a chance to meet until that day.
The look of absolute joy on their faces for the whole lunch was just amazing.
What are you looking for in a blogger?
When evaluating which bloggers we look at a lot of different factors but holistically it can be simplified to: What is the value proposition of blogger?
A value proposition tells us almost tells us everything we need to know. A value proposition is like branding:
– what is their voice
– how are they unique
– why do they blog
– what do they mean to their community
– how do they represent themselves to their community
Based upon these factors we decide if they suit our brand, then our next consideration is to evaluate the reciprocal agreement:
– What is the blogger looking for from us: education, product, funding, exposure, etc
– What are they offering to us as a brand: content (written, images, video), audience, community engagement
Then with the above considerations in mind we ask, ‘do they add value to our brand?’
That’s such great insight Kristie and something we talk about a lot over. Can you tell us, what should bloggers keep in mind when approaching a brand as established as Olympus?
Do your research: take into consideration other activity in the market and ask yourself
– How do I fit into this picture?
– How do I add value to the brand?’
Be realistic and reasonable:
– Appreciate that brands have budgetary constrains and that different brands have different ways that they can do things.
– For some brands free product is easier than funds, for others funds will be easier than free product.
– Put yourself in their shoes, if you were that brand who would you work with?
Put your best foot forward:
– Have your value proposition or brand nailed!
– Provide a clear and interesting proposal.
Should bloggers be thinking about ROI in your opinion?
Yes, but what is quantified as ROI varies for each brand and/or campaign.
Qualify the brands objectives (reach, engagement, sentiment, lead generation, content creation etc) and provide insights on how working with you can reach those objectives.
Thank you! I love that you said that as it’s something we talk about a lot and it’s such a great to hear you say it to. For bloggers reading this, one the best questions you can ask a brand that approaches you is what their objectives are for the campaign.
Back to you Kristie, I’d love you to share with us what you are looking for during and after a campaign has happened?
During a campaign: communication on how the campaign is being received, insights on what could or should be improved to make it more effective
After a campaign: a honest retrospective on how the campaign work. If a campaign didn’t work, be honest but provide insight on why it didn’t and recommendations on how it potentially could have worked better and next steps.
Always be honest, everyone appreciates honesty and can see through a smoke screen.
One last question for you: What do you see in the future for brands and bloggers working together?
From my perspective it is all about collaboration.
For a brand like us we are very fortunate that blogging fits so natively with our product.
However I do believe if everyone takes the collaboration approach almost any brand can find a way to work with bloggers.
Thank you so much for giving us your time and sharing your perspective with us Kristie, we can’t wait to see what Olympus and bloggers do next!