So, you nailed the application process and were selected to participate in a blogger campaign. First, congratulations! It’s a big, competitive field, so be proud that you were chosen!
Then, make a solid plan to deliver a wow-worthy post that not only meets the campaign requirements but also gets the brand clamoring to hire you again. How? Here are our tips to impress brands and to get yourself hired again and again.
It should go without saying, right? Unfortunately, there are bloggers who miss deadlines, skip linking to the brand’s specified landing page, ignore the hashtag requests, and so on. Don’t be that blogger! Before you prepare your post or start taking photographs, read through the campaign guidelines. Know what the brand is looking for before you start work. That way, you can be mindful of their requirements as you assemble your piece.
Remember: Blogging for a campaign is just like any other job. You are being paid to perform a specific service. Say, for instance, you don’t think a hashtag needs to be in the headline even though the brand required it, you still need to include it. Bloggers who treat the campaign like it’s the other way around–like they’re doing a favor for the brand–don’t make a favorable impression.
Once you’ve finished putting your post together (see tip two, below), go back to the campaign requirements. Before you hit publish, double check to ensure you’ve ticked every box.
Expert tip: When accepted for a campaign, add the deadline to your editorial calendar at least a day or two before it’s really due. That way, you have time to triple check the requirements and, if you missed something, rewrite, rephotograph, or revise as necessary.
Second, write an awesome post.
As Carol Bryant, BlogPaws’ marketing and social media manager, likes to say: It’s about story telling, not story selling. Simply copying and pasting content from the guidelines or the brand’s webpage won’t work. Those posts read like advertorials. Put your unique spin on the product or service by telling a story. Don’t just talk about the product; make it personal.
The awesomeness of your post includes the photographs, too. They should tell a story and reflect your “take” on the product. Don’t just include boring product photos or blurry cell phone snaps. Post evocative pics that showcase the sponsor in a compelling way.
Expert tip: Struggling with sponsored photography? Join the February Influencer Challenge in the BlogPaws community.
Third, share, engage, repeat.
Most campaigns require a certain number of social shares. Rather than simply auto-tweeting or Facebooking the post link to meet those minimum requirements, go above and beyond. Respond to comments. Share across multiple channels. Notice your post isn’t getting much traction? Share it again!
“Bloggers are paid to tell a story and to share that story,” said Bernard Lima-Chavez, BlogPaws’ campaign manager. Be sure to hit on every requirement (see tip one, above). If there’s a specific hashtag, include it. If the brand wants to be tagged, tag it. Brands love social engagement, regardless of the campaign, so share your content, engage with your audience, and go above and beyond the minimum requirements to impress the brand.
Expert tip: Sticking with the same formula over and over won’t help you stand out from the crowd. Bernard suggested that bloggers experiment with different types of posts on different platforms. See what works–and what doesn’t–and refine.
Finally, be gracious.
No matter what, be gracious. If the campaign manager reaches out to request a change–say, you misspelled the brand name or missed linking to that specific Facebook page–simply make the fix. In nearly every case, any problem or issue can be resolved quickly and easily. Getting defensive or arguing a point won’t help your cause–or get you hired again. Everyone makes mistakes, of course, and if you’ve followed the points above, it should be a piece of cake to make a swift update.
Expert tip: After you’ve delivered your post, consider an extra gratitude step, like thanking the brand or sponsor on social media. You will impress the brand and increase your odds of getting hired again.
Join us for part three next week: How to improve your campaign skills through TapInfluence. BlogPaws has shifted all campaign management to that platform, so the final post in the How to Be a Successful Campaign Blogger series will help you succeed on that platform.
Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws blog manager. 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.
Images: Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock.com and Kuznetsov Alexey/Shutterstock.com