When it comes to blogger campaigns, it’s a given that there will always be far more applicants than spots. That’s why it’s important to position yourself as a pro. As the community grows and more opportunities become available, though, we’ve heard from some bloggers who worry that they’re getting passed over for influencer campaigns.
While we don’t make the final selection, we do talk to the brands and have a sense of what works (and what doesn’t). Here’s what doesn’t:
A track record of missing deadlines or requirements
Sometimes life gets in the way or an emergency happens that prevents you from meeting a deadline. If you notify your campaign manager and reschedule, that’s great. If not, or if it happens on every campaign you’re selected for, you develop a reputation for missing deadlines. Not good.
Or, you might not like including a hashtag in a blog title, but if the brand requires it, you gotta do it. Same goes for a specific call-to-action. “This is really important to the brand,” said Felissa Elfenbein, Director of Influencer Marketing. “This is what the brand would like your readers to do after reading your post and learning more about the product. It might be to click through to their site to learn more or to check it out in the store, or it might even be a special offer on the product. You aren’t being asked to sell the product you are being asked to create awareness and that includes sharing information that might sway your reader into determining it is the right product for them and or their pet.”
Bottom line: Adhere to the brand’s requirements—from meeting the deadline to finishing your post with the right call—to develop a strong reputation as a reliable, influential blogger.
A lackluster application
While you may be a top blogger in your circle, brands probably have no idea who you are until they read your application. Assuming they know you and your work is a huge mistake that can knock a strong blogger out of the running for a campaign.
Instead, write an application that showcases your skills. Include a personal story that shows you have experience in that area or a reason why you are the best fit for the campaign. There might be very specific things the brand is looking for that take you out of the running in another area, but at least you put thought and effort into why you should be on their top list.
Bottom line: Use your application to show a brand how you will perform when chosen for a campaign.
A portfolio of weak campaign posts
Yep, brands check out your past projects. Even if the application doesn’t ask for links to previous work, you can be confident that they’re scoping you out—on your blog and across social. According to Felissa, some sponsors have multiple people check out the list of applicants, and each are asked to present their top picks. It sometimes comes down to a single sponsor rep you need to win over to be chosen.
If your portfolio shows sponsored work that simply copies and pastes elements of the starter kit, if you post blurry or inappropriate pictures, or if you’ve missed past requirements, the sponsor knows.
Bottom line: Always do good work to set yourself up to be chosen for future projects.
A poor fit
Sometimes it’s just not meant to be. The brand wants a different demographic than your readership. Maybe they’re looking for bloggers in a specific geographic region or bloggers who have both cats and turtles. Or, what can happen often in our community, they don’t want a blog written from the pet’s perspective. Even if you do your work on time, write a great application, and have a strong portfolio, sometimes it just doesn’t mesh.
On the flip side, according to Felissa, “If you are missing out on campaigns that you think you would be a great fit for, take a look at your blog and social media presence from a sponsor’s point of view. Are you serious enough for brand A but playful enough to work with brand B, too. Are your views the same as the brand you are trying to work with?”
Bottom line: Sometimes the answer is no, and that’s okay. It’s better to apply for fewer campaigns that fit than to—metaphorically—fling a bunch of spaghetti to see what sticks.
We’ll have a second installment in this series that focuses on things you can do to increase your chances of being picked. We’d love to hear from you in the comments: What questions do YOU have about influencer campaigns? Have you found any tips or tricks to knock your campaign out of the park? Any concerns that we can address?
Learn more: How to be a Successful Campaign Blogger
Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws senior editor. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com.