Brands, What to Look for in a Blogger  (Part 4)

Brands, What to Look for in a Blogger (Part 4)

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Recently I received an email from a Brand thanking me for telling her what not to do, and then asking me what she should do. Point Taken!

As I stated in Part Two: Brands, What You Don’t Know Is Hurting You, there are quite a few myths and a lot of out-dated information flying around – PR Rank, Alexa Scores, and other things that don’t matter any longer. Many Brands are looking for a quick overview to tell the whole story, but without additional research a Brand could find themselves without any exposure.

So what should Brands look for in an Influencer (Blogger with Influence)?

* Backlinks
The current buzz word is “Backlinks.” It is believed that websites with many incoming links, called backlinks, typically rank higher in search engine results. Which is great, but doesn’t always account for a lot of blogger traffic. For example, most of my traffic comes from Pinterest and FaceBook. Though I do get a lot of traffic from search engine results, it doesn’t account for all my traffic. A Blogger can have tens of thousands of backlinks, but still rank very low in search engine results. Though backlinks are important, don’t put all your faith in them.

* Keywords
Backlinks are great, but without Keywords backlinks can be useless. Think about what people are going to search for – those are the keywords to use. Rarely are people going to search for the brand name, unless the brand name is the end-all be-all. If you’re not the end-all be-all then do a little research.

Depending on your demographic people will search: “Cheap TVs” or “Inexpensive Televisions,” Figure out what your demographic is searching for and give those keywords to the Blogger to use in the post. But don’t let them over-use the keywords, Google hates that.

* Following
A following is great, but what are the followers really seeing? Again, in the case of FaceBook, Fan Page followers are seeing close to nothing. But Bloggers with many friends and who participate in groups have far more influence than those with just fan pages with large followings.

* Engagement
Engagement is so important. Yes, it’s great to get posts ranked high on the search engine results, but if the Blogger isn’t talking to their followers there’s a chance that no one is listening.

Engagement is becoming more and more difficult. Since FaceBook stopped showing followers, Fan Page updates engaging followers on FaceBook have depended on much trial and error.
What to look for:

a: Check out the Blogger’s FaceBook Friends. FaceBook prohibits using a FB profile to promote, but Influencers have a way of racking up friends. If the blogger has collected friends that blogger is probably networking. That networking is going to get your product seen by more people.

b: Ask the Blogger about FaceBook groups. Ask if they promote in groups as well as on their FaceBook page. You’re looking for Bloggers who not only post in groups, but also have their own groups. Open Groups are the best. This allows posts from the groups to be seen by anyone.
Members must join groups so building groups is a little more difficult, but more rewarding because members see the posts. Bloggers can add their friends to groups, but groups with over 1,000 people typically are groups that are engaging the members. If it’s an open group you’ll be able to see the engagement and know if your product is a good fit. Bloggers with their own groups are Influencers. They’ve worked hard to get where they are and they are bumping out information about products.

* Traffic
Traffic is always good – the more the better, but like everything else traffic doesn’t tell the whole story.

A blog can generate a lot of traffic using tricks like giveaways and groups, but if a blog doesn’t use the proper keywords, networks and engagement then your sponsored post or review may never be found.

Also remember, most readers don’t comment on blogs – they comment on social media. So if a blog doesn’t have thousands of comments, don’t sweat it. Remember it’s a combination of things that make a great blog.

* Triberr
Triberr is a Re-Tweeting tool. Bloggers connect their RSS feed to Triberr and then join tribes. Everyone within the tribe re-tweets relevant posts. This means your posts goes from being seen by just the Blogger’s following to the following of every member of the Blogger’s tribes. For example, I’m in around 12 tribes which gives me a Twitter Reach of around 2 Million! Some Bloggers love Triberr and others don’t, but like everything else it’s a tool.

* Self-Hosted
What does self hosted mean? It means that the Blogger is invested in their blog. The Blogger owns their domain and they pay a monthly fee for hosting services. Self hosting is a bone of contention between self-hosted and non-self-hosted Bloggers. Free platforms like Blogger.com (Blogspot) are great for when a Blogger is starting out, but are limiting. Just like any other business, an invested business owner invests in their business because they are determined to succeed. A Blogger who is invested in their blog is a Blogger who is invested in your product.

* Thinking outside the Promotion
There is so much that goes into selling products. Advertising, reviews, promotions, sales, networks, not to mention everything that has nothing to do with promoting like storage and shipping!

Bloggers get where they are by thinking outside the promotion.

A few examples of my more popular promotion ideas: I use old TV themes in some of my videos as background music. I’ve given away candy – shipped it all over the US. I giveaway free stuff from the basement. I once asked people to send me a dollar – and they did! I’ve tweeted to get a mention in National Sporting event coverage. If it’s crazy, but easy to understand, people will take a look. Getting the people to the promotion/post/ad is half the battle.

It’s important to remember that 1. This is the short list. Some Brands or some Promotions may need something other than what is listed above.
2. And 2 is a Biggy! Not all Bloggers need all of these components to influence their following. Some bloggers have such an influence on Twitter that it’s all they need. Don’t overlook a Blogger because they may not have every item on this list. Again, this is the short list and what you need may not require half of this list.

Part 1 Brand v. Blogger – Promoting Partnership
Part 2 Brands, What You Don’t Know Is Hurting You
Part 3 Tomoson Promotions – Dear Brand, Let Me Tell You a Secret About Giveaways
Part 4 Brands, What to Look for in a Blogger

Elements used to create Featured image Artwork provided by Created by Jill.