Advertising with bloggers: pros and cons. How much does an influencer cost and how to find a brand ambassador?
Are you looking for new distribution channels and customers to sell your goods and services? All possible and available resources are good here. Therefore, this type of SMM, i.e. marketing using the capabilities of social networks and other communities that grow on the authority of popular bloggers should not remain out of your attention.
Our company Exiterra widely uses social marketing when it is engaged in website promotion, brand popularization, image of the company and the search for new customers. Experts create and develop communities in popular social networks, branded video channels on Youtube – all this plays an important role in achieving our goals. However, one should not forget about such an opportunity as modern influence-marketing, that is, the technology of influence through a blogger who enjoys a certain reputation and is able to influence the audience of his readers or viewers.
As a rule, today the largest audiences are gathered by video bloggers leading their channels on YouTube and Instagram feeds, since they are more entertaining in nature and, as a rule, do not bother the subscriber with the need to read a lot of text. However, it is quite possible to find popular authors with a fairly large audience of active subscribers in other social networks.
If we arrange the popular blogging platforms in descending order of the number of subscribers of popular bloggers, and it should be noted that there are only a few of them, we get something like this:
As a rule, the size of the community and the popularity of the channel are determined the author’s personality, his ability to retain an audience and interesting content that he offers to his subscribers. In fact, a blogger collects a specific target audience that may be interested in your product or service, and this can and should be used.
However, before turning to their services, you should understand how such advertising works, how to choose the right blogger for your ad so that there is a real response and, finally, how much it will cost.
There are several examples when advertising on a blogger’s channel is triggered, but almost always its result depends on:
If people regularly come to see, listen or read new publications on the channel, it is obvious that they are interested in the point of view of its author. Active subscribers, as a rule, have already formed their opinion about the blogger, listen to his judgments and trust his opinion.
Advertising submission form for the best effect
The method of presenting advertising material involves several options that differ in efficiency and responsiveness.
As a rule, the audience does not really like it when a blogger from time to time interrupts the narration on the topic of the video with advertising inserts.
Firstly, obvious advertising tells the blogger’s audience that he is just making money on it, i.e. everything that he supposedly does for readers or viewers in a particular video or post is in fact just a screen for him to be paid for advertising. More often than not, explicit ad insertions are either skipped or ignored. At the same time, if there are too many ads, the channel will lose subscribers, and the advertiser will not receive the expected response from the advertising budget, which he spent on paying the blogger remuneration.
Completely promotional content about a product or brand. Usually, a blogger can openly declare this by warning the audience. Artemy Lebedev, for example, in his LiveJournal notes advertising posts with the phrase “Advertising is generously paid.”
An example of an Instagram ad post
Brand Integration & Mention
Often, mentioning the main idea of the publication in passing is more effective, i.e. native ads can do much better. In addition, it is less “dangerous” for the blogger himself, since it is hidden in the flow of the main idea and does not clearly make it clear to the audience that they are currently earning money on it. Of course, it is more difficult to prepare it and, most likely, the channel owner will do it himself.
Here, too, there is a certain danger already for the advertiser, since the context of the advertising message may not increase interest in your products, but work on rejection: for example, if the blogger did not convincingly talk about your product, he pointed out the shortcomings more than the positive aspects, affected competitors, etc.
As an advertiser, you can formulate the terms of reference for the blogger for advertising, write a brief with the positive and weak sides of the product. And, of course, ask for your approval of the footage / written material before it is released on the channel / blog.
Here is a great example of a native ice cream ad in the video of the famous fitness blogger and BORK brand ambassador Denis Semenikhin:
Product overview, unboxing, testing on camera
Ordering a product review for a blogger who maintains a thematic channel may be the most effective way to attract the attention of potential customers. This works great on new products as well as expensive items (luxury). A common condition of a blogger in this case is honesty in the story about the shortcomings and features of the product.
Classic insertion of your product or logo into the frame works with bloggers as well. This can usually be done fairly inexpensively. If your product is bright, unusual and well identifiable, then the viewer will definitely remember it. For example, an advertisement for a refreshing drink that is somewhere in the background and a blogger periodically takes and uses it can give an effect.
Search for a blogger by topic and audience
As in conventional advertising, influence marketing requires a mandatory assessment of the market and target audience to get the most out of the invested budget. In this case, the advertiser’s actions should be based on the following plan:
- Target audience definition;
- Search for bloggers with a sufficiently voluminous, not wound up audience and an acceptable price for advertising;
- Assessment of the area of intersection of the target audience of your business and the selected blogger;
- Discussion of the details of the terms of reference and making a decision on cooperation.
You need to find a blogger whose followers are most relevant to your target interest group. For example, if a blogger reviews various software and gadgets, a review (or mention) of a new smartphone or laptop model will also look quite appropriate and authoritative on his channel.
If you want to advertise a beauty salon on such a channel, your reputation and the reputation of a blogger will also suffer from this, since custom advertising is clearly traced here, and the viewer does not welcome this.
Another thing is that such an advertisement would be quite appropriate on a culinary blog, if it is submitted, for example, in the context of saving time or as an option to prepare before receiving guests. However, experienced bloggers specializing in native advertising will often be able to offer you an option that fits perfectly into the format of the material. Therefore, if your target audiences overlap at least partially, you can take advantage of this.
Also, when choosing a blogger, you should analyze his statistics and the quality of subscribers in order to identify the fact of cheating even before the start of cooperation. For example, you can evaluate the active audience of subscribers using the Livedune service, which determines the engagement index, which is considered good if it exceeds at least 2%.
It remains to figure out how to find a suitable blogger with an active audience, whose interests intersect with your target audience. This can be done on specialized exchanges such as Sociate.ru, LabelUp, Epicstars, GetBlogger and Plibber. However, this is not as easy as it seems – the exchanges are filled with “dead” accounts, and in order to select really effective bloggers, you need to shovel hundreds of profiles.
You can find a channel by a thematic hashtag, familiarize yourself with it and contact the author if you are satisfied with the presentation style of the material and its compliance with the status of your company.
Blogger’s Advertising Pricing
Although the question of the price for advertising services on a blog can be called one of the most important, it does not have a clear answer. The advertising market in the blogosphere is just beginning to emerge, and the price range is wide. Here we want to point out the following points:
- Microinfluencers are the most common and affordable option. Advertising from a blogger with an audience of 20 thousand – 80 thousand subscribers will cost you from 5 thousand rubles.
- A simple option used by novice bloggers is to calculate the price based on the number of subscribers: for example, 100 rubles per 1000 channel subscribers.
- You can agree on cooperation for a product, service or a discount promotional code in favor of the blogger. A fairly common scheme, especially for technical reviews. You give the blogger a “device”, he reviews it and keeps it for himself, plays on the channel or sells it. As a rule, bloggers with experience, but who do not consider themselves megapopular, go to such cooperation.
- Blogging stars can ask for 1 million for a native ad insert. On average, an ad unit for such bloggers is estimated at 200-500 thousand rubles, but there are only a few of them in the Russian Internet.
Which blogger to pay and how much is up to you, but here you need to understand that a very popular and expensive blogger may not bring you a guaranteed audience response and orders. It is often much more effective to distribute the budget among several bloggers with a low price tag, analyze the impact, and only then work by analogy with more expensive channels and the target audience that showed the greatest return on advertising.
How to analyze ad performance
Advertising on a blog is the same advertising channel and source of traffic as contextual advertising, banners and other types of user acquisition, which means that it can and should be analyzed. This is not difficult if you set up an analytics system, put entry labels on landing pages, which will allow you to calculate and analyze traffic from social networks and YouTube.
That is, you will be able to identify a new flow of visitors that came thanks to such advertising, analyze their behavior and evaluate the effectiveness of spending the advertising budget.
We recommend that you do not run several advertising campaigns at the same time, otherwise it will be difficult to track and analyze them.
Experts of the digital agency “Exiterra” actively use bloggers to promote brands, goods and services of our clients. As a rule, we ourselves prepare the form and type of advertising inserts, and also control the material before publication in order to obtain the required result and KPI, analyze the target audience and the effectiveness of advertising among bloggers.
Of course, using the blogosphere in advertising has both its merits and certain limitations associated with attracting influencers.
So, to recap:
Positive factors behind the use of advertising by bloggers include:
- reach a large audience;
- audience trust in the channel host;
- a fairly high response with a competent choice of the channel and form of advertising.
- Difficulty finding an effective blog feed;
- it is difficult to predict the risks and returns from the allocated budget;
- there are no accurate performance analytics tools.
In any case, only an SMM specialist with experience in the practical implementation of such projects will be able to assess whether it is worth using blogging as an advertising platform, which bloggers to give preference to and how to build a campaign to promote a brand, product or service.
Contact us – we will answer your questions and develop a media plan for the promotion of bloggers for you!
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