Tell us about a recent success in the industry.
Jana did a brand ambassadorship with a luggage company after having done some sponsored posts for product. Jenny used to work for Venta, and while they can’t come out and say that “this will help your house not stink,” but they can work with a blogger who can say that because her son’s sneakers smelled terrible.
How about changes in the industry?
Jana gets a lot more direct inquiries from agencies, brands, and smaller influencer marketing groups. Be on top of your media kit, your about page, etc. more than you used to be. Jenny agrees, and will be speaking later about how brands are getting savvier about working with influencers. They want content, they want the person who can get the engagement that they want where they want it. Kelby said that brands just weren’t seeing the results that they wanted with sponsored posts and all the influencers. Choose the brands you really want to work with. Work with the brands you can tell stories about that connect people with the brands you’re writing about on a deeper level.
How is the brand/blogger relationship changing?
Brands are getting better ROI from working with fewer influencers but working more closely with those they do. Read your contracts – HAVE a contract – and if there are exclusivity clauses, make sure you are getting paid for that exclusivity because it limits the other brands you can work with or even just write about organically. One-off posts aren’t cutting it anymore. Longer relationships and series of posts convert better. Evergreen content is better. (I found this out with my Easy COOL WHIP chocolate pudding pie recipe that gets crazy traffic every holiday season…and I only got about $50 for writing it. But you’re welcome, COOL WHIP!) Bloggers are moving down the sales funnel. We’re not closers, but we need to think about it. (Ask for unique coupon codes to prove you’re driving sales.)
Where do you think this is going?
Longer term relationships – better for bloggers and brands. Bigger blogger networks are getting fewer opportunities because brands want more personal relationships with their influencers. Are you checking in with your contacts about their campaigns you’re working on? Are you letting them know when your posts go live, when people make comments on your posts? Talk to your contact. With all of the consolidation happening, bloggers who are just “phoning it in” are going to disappear. Be a business person. How can you stand out? Know you’re awesome. Be your awesome. Own your awesome.
Be authentic. Do what you gotta do. Don’t sell your soul if you don’t have to. Do a little more than the bare minimum in your contract, like 4 photos instead of the 3 they asked for. Pull together a little report for your brand clients. Give them added value, but not too much. Communication is really important. (They’re mentioning getting on the phone. Not gonna happen with me.) If you’re going to miss a deadline, let your contact know. Come at your contact with ideas. Don’t copy/paste information from the brand website. Don’t make the brand or agency chase you. Stop over-committing because you end up under-delivering. “No” right now doesn’t mean “no” forever.