When we developed our blogger engagement service and launched it in January 2013, we knew that matchmaking bloggers and brands was a great way to generate exciting content and digital word of mouth. Back then, though, we didn’t realise where – or quite how far – it would take us.
Grab a cuppa, take a seat and allow us to set the scene for you, using the help of everyone’s favourite Liverpuddlian redhead…
Two years ago, the seed of blogger/brand matchmaking began to develop here at Strategy, and we felt just like Cilla Black, minus the Bind Date contestants. We had the brilliant dates lined up (aka a roster of exciting clients) but it took time to design the film studio (our blogger platform) and longer still to build up our little black book of bloggers.
Instead of sitting around clicking our heels, waiting by the phone for Prince Charming and co. to call, we wrote love letters to some of our favourite bloggers inviting them to join, and we turned to social media to put ourselves ‘out there’ in the metaphorical dating scene. Sure enough, word began to spread about the new blogging service in town, and our membership started to grow.
Twelve months of courtship ensued, and in February this year there were 1,000 members on our books. Naturally, we celebrated as any Cilla Black wannabe would – with cake and Love Hearts. Fast-forward eight months and we’re popping open the champers and celebrating reaching 2,000 members. Not bad, eh?
The bloggers and vloggers who have entered into this relationship with us are a brilliant and diverse bunch. They cover topics like fashion, beauty, parenting and lifestyle and hail from everywhere from Birmingham to Bermuda. Some have won awards for their blogs and others are just beginning to establish themselves online, but all of them are passionate, driven and eager to work with their favourite brands.
Over the last 18 months we’ve worked with hundreds of bloggers on campaigns for high street fashion brands, education and parenting products and home and automotive businesses. By designing bespoke, relevant campaigns and putting our client’s products in our bloggers’ hands, we’ve produced reviews, giveaways and competitions that boost brand awareness and get influential online communities talking about you.
We’ve penned articles before on the topic of the importance of working with bloggers, and the power and influence that bloggers have on consumers continues to grow as 2014 comes to a close.
The New Power Couple
Online influencers are gracing the covers of magazines, starting their own businesses and even launching their own product lines, all because of the strong and supportive readerships they’ve built up. These audiences come in many forms, from teenage girls clocking up several hours a day watching beauty bloggers on YouTube, to brides-to-be searching for online wedding inspiration. Their loyalty to their favourite bloggers can result in sell-out collaborations and, as marketers and bloggers ourselves, that’s really, really exciting.
Why work with bloggers? Because it can generate trust-worthy, grass roots recommendations on a digital level. Once upon a time, consumers may have consulted their colleagues or next door neighbours on where to find the best restaurants or the cheapest holidays but now they’re checking out reviews online, with blogs accounting for a significant portion of influence within the buyer decision process.
Our love story with blogger engagement isn’t over just yet, and we hope that that little black book of bloggers will continue to grow, along with the brand relationships we’ve formed along the way. Here’s to welcoming date number 3,000…
Wondering if blogger engagement can help your business? Get in touch via our contact form.