We interrupt your regular programming to bring you this super special segment! Forgive me because I also wrote this on Siri in my car while driving.
A little backstory – last week, I toured/met with a PR agency who does social media, content creation, and started an influencer marketing division. I was like “PERFECT this is so up my alley. I need to ask them tons of questions.”
This agency works with brands like Top Chef, Publix, and Amazon. So they have a lot of ethos when it comes to talking about influencers working with brands.
I asked you guys on Twitter what you wanted to me to ask them about and some of you guys replied + DM’d me some really smart questions.
I did a little recap on my Instagram story, which was live here, plus some behind the scenes of what their photo shoot sets look like. Which was super cool. And made me feel like I was at Universal Studios.
So this interview is with a social influencer agency, but have you guys ever wanted to talk 1:1 with the PR + influencer insiders who are actually combing through lists of hundreds of bloggers, picking who to choose for collaborations? If you have, this is exactly why I launched Summer Camp. Here’s a little mini agenda for your preview…everything you’ve ever wanted to know about working with brands from a PR perspective.
Day 1: Using Instagram as a Non-BS Influencer
Day 2: Pricing for Micro Influencers + Knowing Your Worth
Day 3: Exactly What Brands + PR Agencies Look For in Bloggers
Day 4: Communicating with Brands: The Good, The Bad, + The Free Exposure
Day 5: FTC Standards 101
Enroll in Camp –> here
How are brands starting to react to the idea of influencer marketing? Are they open to it?
They were saying that across the board, a lot of brands are super reluctant to try it out.
(But OK, these are probably the same brands who thought Facebook was for college kids and Snapchat was for nudes, so maybe they should take some risks but whatevs)
♡ how they convince brands to use influencers/bloggers
- As an agency, they charge less upfront
- SHOW the results
- Said 90% of brands who use influencer/blogger campaigns do it again
So that’s amazing tip because it shows what we’ve all known anyway. Brands are skeptical of paying bloggers without seeing the exact results.
In my totally unprofessional opinion, this is very slow and backward thinking. But whatever.
♡ your takeaways?
- realize you’re going to hear a lot of “no” and “we can’t pay you” – get used to + learn how to bounce back. Fall 7 times, stand up 8
- use these stats to counter argue – aka 90% of brands use influencers after trying it one time. That’s a pretty strong #.
- always recognize your value – we can’t pay the bills in lotion or coffee scrub. Remember your value + the value of bloggers all over the world when brands want you to work for free.
How do you find influencers?
I expected them to say like just researching and cold outreach. But I actually had some amazing specific points, which I loved.
♡ how they find bloggers to work with
- niche content – if their client is KitchenAid, they look for bloggers creating very specific content around summer desserts, back to school treats, etc. and not just one post about that but several posts really focus in on a niche that would perfectly fit their product
- more niche than lifestyle – they said they tend to shy away from true “lifestyle” blogger is because sometimes their posts are all over the place.
- google search for bloggers using similar products + producing similar content – he said they do some cold google searching for bloggers writing about the content they want to see
So I thought this was super interesting because I am so guilty of that. Until recently, I wasn’t focusing my content on blogging, branding, social media….I was all over the place with paleo tips and cruelty free beauty and blogging advice. So this was a great self-awareness tip too.
♡ your takeaways?
- use Google Keyword Planner to do some simple keyword research – you want keywords that are low competition, high volume – there IS going to be a sweet spot somewhere. Download the Yoast SEO plugin to give you a pretty picture in red/green when your blog is keyword optimized or not.
- optimize your Pinterest keywords too – Pinterest is literally a search engine. When you make a pin, pick smart keywords in your pin description. I learned this tip from the only e-book I ever bought for blogging –> use the Pinterest search bar to search for your content idea + figure out what exactly people are typing in –> (peep this e-book here)
- figure out your sweet spot of high-quality content + scale – there’s tons of opinions on how many times a week you should post. The bottom line is – get your content out there. And make it super high-quality. This month, I’m focusing on the scale aspect of content – posting 3x/week + getting on Insta stories a LOT to talk to you guys 1-1
- interlink your blog posts – don’t miss such a huge opportunity to keep your readers on site, engaging with your content, and boosting how much Google loves you. You can watch me do this in this post
This was a question on Twitter from Rachel Riltop of The Confused Millennial (read it here). She’s a total bloggy babe herself who I get tons of amazing advice from, so I expected nothing less than an amazing question.
Again, I thought they would say impressions.
♡ what metrics they care about
- conversions are where it’s at – if an influencer is converting for them, a brand knows they have hit gold
- look beyond 6 weeks, 2 months – they said brands are looking at campaigns from a 6 month perspective – how many conversions/sales happen over a long period of time
- bloggers with 10-35k on Insta – I was Insta DMing Leighann from Yes Girl Blog and she was saying she learned from a similar like influencer marketing talk that a sweet spot for brands is bloggers with 10k-35k on Instagram. Aka where the engagement checks out for the follower ratio.
Read How to Create a Beautiful Instagram Aesthetic + Grow Your Engagement –> here
♡ your takeaways?
- promote products you LOVE + can talk about wayyy beyond a 1 month campaign
- narrow your focus – I like what Sheila at In Search of Sheila says about not being so focused on a NICHE necessarily but narrowing your overall focus. Ask yourself the same questions everytime you post – Who is this for? Why should they care?
- picture your ideal reader – write for HER. pick brands to work with based on what SHE would like.
- brand awareness isn’t dead – the idea fo brand awareness is sometimes like a mystical unicorn. Everyone says they want it but no one is willing to put the trust + risk to go on an adventure and find it
What are best practices for Shopstyle/Liketoknow it links? Amazon affiliates?
We started specifically talking about fashion bloggers who use either liketoknow it or shopstyle collective to monetize.
♡ amazon best practices
- people are most likely to click the word “here” – interestingly enough, I discovered that for myself when using heat maps…it was obvious right away that people click the word “here” more than any other text link (I talk more about it here…get it ?)
- amazon links have a 24 hour cookie – so someone clicks for Amazon link, you have 24 hours for that purchase something for you to get credit/commission.
- Think about when you need to have a Lee promote your posts. A good example is before the July 4 weekend people were probably buying stuff a lot the week before from Amazon. So maybe that week focus on heavily promoting a post with a good amount of Amazon links in it. Chances are people are buying pool floats and water guns and sunscreen for the holiday weekend.
♡ liketoknowit / shopstyle collective best practices
- “shop my Instagram” pages are one of the best things he recommends for bloggers – they see a lot of clicks + engagement on pages like that – and think about it, people are specifically clicking on a single page to see EXACTLY where you bought something (examples here, here)
Read Your Roadmap + Checklist for Working with Brands as a Blogger –> here
What are your thoughts on bloggers doing Facebook ads, Pinterest ads, Insta ads?
This was super interesting because it was a topic I covered in “5 Telltale Signs You’re Going to Fail at Branding” –> read it here
A lot of people want to tell you that you’re not going to get any traction without paying for it on social media.
I disgaree – something different organic content does great when it’s amazing content. Then throw a few marketing dollars behind it for paid promotion and it’ll explode from there if it’s truly good content.
♡ organic amazing content + a little $$
- create super high quality content or video – something unique, make it funny or super informative
- let the organic traction build
- then, create a Facebook ad campaign and push marketing $$$ behind it
♡ your takeaway
- focus on building your amazing content first – figure out what organically gets a lot of page views, shares, comments
- build a kind of spider web around that content – related topics, ways to expand, details, and create individual blog posts on those ideas
- once you have a spiderweb of smart, valuable interconnected content – test like $30 in facebook or pinterest. make sure the post you drive traffic to is optimized to grab emails, sell a product, or have a specifc call to action that is worth $$$ to you
I’m actually planning on testing out a few Facebook and Instagram ads this month and obly I’ll report back and let you know what I found out.
OMG okay that’s it.