Vuelio talks to bloggers, vloggers and ‘influencers’ a lot (which means we know most of them don’t use the word ‘influencer’). We publish spotlights and, as part of these, we get amazing insight into the blogger/PR relationship – what works, what doesn’t and what it takes to be successful.
Every blogger is different, but there are fundamental ‘rules’ that crop up again and again that can help every PR and brand with their influencer outreach and campaign building.
Here are 5 tips, from some of our top blogger friends, on what makes the best campaigns.
1. Find something bloggers are passionate about
The best bloggers will only work with brands and companies they genuinely believe in. No matter how much you pay, few will go against their fundamental beliefs. But if you’re the right fit, then it can lead to stunning collaborations.
For Tamara Kalinic, who heads up the top fashion blog Glam and Glitter, sometimes loving a brand means she doesn’t require payment:
‘My team and I are proud to only accept campaigns with brands we truly love; previously, we’ve worked with brands for free, because it was a natural fit. Some of the projects I enjoyed the most are ones with Cartier, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Louis Vuitton.’
Mike Huxley, Bemused Backpacker, believes the best campaigns he’s worked on are those that tap into his own passions:
‘One of my all-time favourites was the RIGHT tourism campaign with the charity Care For The Wild International. I absolutely loved that because it was a cause that was so close to my heart, and ethical wildlife tourism is something that I still campaign for today.’
2. Make their dreams come true
Everyone likes to be treated well, and special campaigns can really stand out and improve your coverage.
This is true for the Best Women’s Lifestyle blogger Lily Pebbles:
‘Last year I went to New York with Bobbi Brown to help promote their new lipstick range. I love NY, I love Bobbi Brown, I loved the new lipsticks… it was a dreamy job!’
And for Angie Silver, who writes the number one London Lifestyle blog Silverspoon of London:
‘Last year I worked with the Mayakoba resort in Mexico. They flew me out to stay at the Rosewood Mayakoba, a spectacular luxury hotel, in order to create content for them. It was honestly a dream come true!’
For top mummy blogger Clare Minall, who writes Mudpie Fridays, luxury treats that produce family memories are the foundation of the best campaigns:
‘We were gifted a Land Rover Discovery for a weekend adventuring in Cheddar Gorge. The reason it’s my favourite is that I will never forget my husband’s sense of satisfaction driving said car and Monkey’s pure excitement about being able to see over the hedges. It was the moment my husband finally ‘got it’.
‘The special memories created by time together as a family are what I hold dearest and the collaborations that mean the most.’
3. Challenge them
A press release and guidelines for posting can stifle creativity and make your campaign instantly forgettable. The reason you’re working with bloggers is because they have independently grown a loyal audience, who they know inside out! Take advantage of this – let the bloggers contribute to the campaign plan and find something to challenge them.
For Fiona Maclean, founder of London-Unattached, this approach is vital:
‘I really enjoy being given a challenge and creating something to use a specific ingredient or to pair with a specific wine.’
And for Becky Moore, owner of Global Grasshopper, challenges produce content that’s good for brands and bloggers:
‘We were challenged by Vauxhall to see how much fun we can have in 48 hours in their newly launched mini SUV. So, accompanied by Gary (the team videographer) I took a road trip to the surfer’s paradise: Newquay in Cornwall. We were really lucky with the weather and the scenery was so beautiful and, combined with Gary’s drone footage and creative talents, the video instantly took off on Facebook and YouTube – going viral.’
4. Think long-term
When you work with a blogger, you’re tapping into an established brand’s reach and influence. If you do a one off, that’s going to have less impact than working with someone again and again over a period of time, effectively turning them into a brand ambassador.
Angie Silver, who writes the number one London Lifestyle blog, Silverspoon of London, wants you to think long term:
‘I prefer to work on a long-term basis and develop a good working relationship and trust, rather than one-off campaigns or reviews.’
Kimberly Duran, who writes the Best Interior Design Blog Swoon Worthy, also wants the relationship to last:
‘I like to have an ongoing relationship with brands and continuous collaborations. My ideal scenario is having a brand that’s a great fit for my blog so that if they have something in particular or new they’d like to promote, they’ll think of me because they know my audience will respond well to it.’
5. Pay your way
There is still a lot of confusion around bloggers getting paid for collaborations. Firstly, they’re not journalists – they’re not on a salary getting paid whether they cover your campaign or not. Secondly, some are professional – which means they need to be paid – and some are hobbyists, which means they might be happy to cover an experience or product for the joy of it.
Remember, it’s not up to you to decide if a blogger decides to charge and you shouldn’t expect professionals to work for free. Often to work with the best bloggers, you will have to pay – but the rewards can be huge!
Craig Landale, responsible for the Best UK Blog – Menswear Style, makes his position on payment clear at the beginning of a relationship:
‘Some brands come through and they know exactly what they want, and they’re up-front about budget – making it clear if they’re willing to pay or not. I always ask about budget to make sure we both know how to work together.’
And Kate Williams, of top arts and crafts blog Crafts on Sea, wishes people would stop offering freebies:
‘In order to pay the mortgage each month you need to know everything about the latest changes in social media algorithm, what hosting companies are the best and be able to code; it’s not just a job about making pretty stuff. I would love people to stop asking to pay me in craft materials – at risk of sounding rude, I have more paints and paper than the average craft store!’
The Vuelio Database lists thousands of bloggers, and other influencers from the worlds of media and politics including journalists, editors, MPs and their SpAds. Each listing includes a detailed profile, with pitch tips and PR preferences, to help you make the right relationships in the right ways.