Collaboration with Instagram bloggers: recommendations and how to avoid mistakes
Collaboration with Instagram bloggers has long been a proven advertising tool. Influencer marketing is best for companies whose products or services are available online. However, for everyone else, a tandem with a blogger is a good way to promote your brand and increase loyalty. True, there are many pitfalls and nuances in this unconventional method of promotion that you should know before budgeting for influencer spending in your advertising budget.
Should I take ads from bloggers
A single post from a well-chosen influencer can provide a lot more hits with the target audience than advertising on TV, websites, radio, magazines, and so on. The thing is that the confidence in flashy billboards and banners with head-on sales is gradually decreasing. People no longer believe the loud statements of companies. Many develop “banner blindness”, others even block unwanted ads. To motivate them to purchase goods and services, you need to look for new approaches.
An alternative promotion method is influencer marketing using word of mouth.
If a user switches, blocks or hides regular ads, then a post from a star or influential influencer about the benefits of products and collaboration with a brand will be perceived as a recommendation from an old friend.
Today it is opinion leaders who set trends and shape public opinion. People follow and try to imitate them, listen to their opinions and advice. Considering all of the above, the costs of collaborating with bloggers should definitely be included in your advertising budget. However, to achieve outstanding results, it is important to do everything right.
How to choose the right blogger
Finding the right blogger is a long and laborious process. First of all, you need to decide what goal you are pursuing. You need to understand what exactly you want to get from advertising – active sales, new subscribers, increased brand loyalty, or something else. Depending on this, the approach to choosing the right influencer may differ in places. A person who is able to attract a large number of followers may not bring sales, and vice versa. There are many nuances, therefore, goals clearly defined at the start will allow you to concentrate on what is needed, avoid unnecessary waste of effort and money.
When choosing an opinion leader, be sure to take into account the portrait of your target audience. Regardless of the budget, advertising will not bring the desired result if you cannot get into your target audience. Study your customers carefully – gender, age, geolocation, taste preferences. Statistics and polls will help with this.
For effective advertising, you need to choose a blogger whose followers are your potential customers. In this case, the topic of the blog itself is in most cases not so important. For example, if you want to attract active sales for a children’s toy store, then advertising even from a person who maintains a blog about beauty and cosmetics is quite suitable, provided that there are many young mothers among the subscribers.
When choosing a blogger, be guided, first of all, not by his content, but by subscribers. The main rule of success is that your potential customers should be at least 25% of regular blogger subscribers.
An analysis of the closest competitors will also be useful. Firstly, after finding out from whom and how your competitors are advertised, you can analyze competitive advertising and spot their mistakes. Secondly, it will help to remove unnecessary bloggers from the list. Promotion of the same product from different advertisers in the same account will not bring the desired result. A decent influencer himself will not agree to such cooperation. This will save you time and advertising budget.
After you have decided on the target audience, possible topics and parameters that a good blogger should have, you can proceed to the actual compilation of a list of suitable candidates. The easiest way to do this is to use Google Sheets, where you can add a link to your account, subject matter, contact information, content features and comments in separate columns.
You can find bloggers yourself. The algorithm of actions is as follows:
- Find Instagram users who match the description of the ideal client. This can be done by searching by hashtags, geolocation or by finding your actual clients.
- Analyze who the users of your target audience are subscribed to and find among the subscribers suitable pages for advertising.
- Request statistics for a potential suitable blogger and compare how well they match.
- Analyze the page, find out who likes and comments on the profile posts, determine the blogger’s reputation.
- If a candidate fits all the parameters, add him to your “white” list and continue your search. After that, click the “Similar” button on his page and Instagram, using the look-a-like algorithm, will select bloggers with a similar target audience for you.
Further actions can be repeated until the moment, until you collect a sufficiently extensive list. All that remains is to choose the most suitable option among the selected ones. True, this search method is very time consuming and it is difficult to find a blogger in narrow niches, but it is free and the choice is not limited.
Search through the service
Another option is to search through TrendHERO. Here you can find both large stars and representatives of narrow niches. The search for Instagram bloggers through the service is simple and accessible. Here you can see the most detailed live statistics on all the blogger’s actions and make a choice based on the specified parameters.
Of the disadvantages of this method, it can be noted that the number of bloggers is still limited, and you have to pay for access to the tools. But you can always try the service for free first.
The number of subscribers and the pseudo-popularity of the influencer is not yet a guarantee of success. Many Instagram “stars” have a “dead” audience, or an audience of insolvent students. Many have fake subscribers and low conversions.
In order for the cooperation with the blogger to be successful for the brand, it is necessary to conduct a thorough analysis of the account in which the advertisement is planned to be placed. The following factors should be taken into account:
- Geography. If the advertised product has a clear geolocation reference, then this parameter is the starting point when choosing a suitable blogger. What matters is not the region of residence itself, but where the majority of its subscribers come from.
- Engagement. This is one of the key factors in choosing the right candidate. It is important that the audience in the account is live, users are really actively interested in the publications of the star, listen to his opinion and advice.
- Subscriber activity can be determined by the number of social actions in the account – likes, comments, views.
- Frequency. Bloggers who actively interact with their audience should be preferred. It is recommended that new posts appear at least 1-2 times a day, and Stories even more often.
- Number of advertisements and regular posts. It is recommended that advertisements appear no more often than once in 4-5 regular posts. This is important in order not to get lost in the stream of advertisers or overload subscribers.
- Personal information. The profile must contain a decent amount of other information that will allow you to assign a certain image to the blog owner, arouse the interest and trust of subscribers.
- Relevance and tone of comments. Read the most recent comments posted on your profile. This will help determine who actually constitutes the main active audience of the blogger and how his followers treat him. Is the account owner really perceived as an influencer, or do most followers just enjoy open confrontation?
- Reputation. Try to select neutral influencers who do not express their political, religious or other provocative views. An exception can be made only if you are 100% sure that the values promoted by the blogger fully coincide with the ideals of the brand. Otherwise, it could alienate potential customers.
- Number of subscribers. Naturally, the more audience on your account, the better. But this is only on condition that the subscribers are alive and active. All other things being equal, you should give preference to a blogger with a large number of followers, and in all other cases, the emphasis should be on the quality of the audience.
In fact, it is not so easy to find a good blogger who is perfect for a brand, has a good reputation and statistics. There are many small details to pay attention to, including how the page content matches the brand style.
Search and check a blogger on TrendHERO
TrendHERO service will simplify your task and help you quickly find and check a blogger. With it you will not need to manually analyze anything. 28 metrics will do it for you. TrendHERO will show:
- audience type;
- engagement rate;
- whom the blogger mentions;
- where is the liking audience from;
- what gender is the active audience.
TrendHERO has the largest number of metrics among its peers. For example, the graph “Distribution of posts and percentage of likes from subscribers” will show how often a blogger posts and how much traffic he has from subscribers.
Here we see that the posts are even. At the same time, only 10% of likes came from subscribers. Compare with the same chart for an opinion leader with 50 thousand subscribers.
We immediately see that the account has been abandoned. At the same time, the posts were not particularly advertised from the outside.
A chart with audience type will show the percentage of real, commercial, suspicious and other subscribers.
You can also track the percentage of audience engagement.
If your engagement rate is 1.1% with a total of 5M subscriptions, that’s okay.
How to contact a blogger
It is obvious that a self-respecting blogger who over the years has painstakingly gathered his audience, sought its recognition and trust, will not risk his reputation for dubious cooperation with a brand that has low-quality posts and several dozen subscribers.
Before contacting an influencer and starting to negotiate, you must first put your profile in order. The effectiveness of advertising and how many “quality” bloggers agree to cooperate directly depends on how carefully this preparation is carried out.
To avoid unnecessary doubts, your advertised profile must meet the following requirements:
- professionally designed content;
- sustained account style.
- a clear description of the activity in the page header;
- at least 30-40 posts;
- 1-2 thousand subscribers;
- has customer reviews and answers to frequently asked questions from users in the comments.
It is desirable that the last posts on the page contain detailed information about the product or services sold. This is necessary so that the blogger can quickly decide whether he is ready to promote the proposed product or not.
Most bloggers place contact information directly in the profile header description. Therefore, in addition to Direct, you can often contact through various instant messengers: WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, Facebook Messenger. Choose the method that is most convenient for you and feel free to write a message.
How to communicate and negotiate with bloggers
Overseas advertising among opinion leaders has been put on stream. Successful influencers work with ad agencies and don’t interact with advertisers at all. In the domestic market, influencer marketing is only gaining momentum. Collaboration with Russian-speaking bloggers on Instagram is often carried out directly. Only big opinion leaders have a personal agent. Therefore, it is very important not only to choose the right blogger, but also to be able to negotiate with him.
First of all, it should be understood that communication is conducted with a living person, just like you, and not with a faceless company or bank. It is worth adhering to all the elementary rules of polite communication. There is no need for formalities, unnecessary flattery. Respect your own and other people’s time – be short, speak to the point, write only during working hours. But at the same time, avoid template letters and approach each person individually.
The nuances of correspondence
First, you need to write a welcome letter. Nothing complicated here:
- Just say hello, give a sincere compliment.
- Introduce yourself, tell us what business you represent, what is the value and advantage of the product.
- Write why this is where you decided to advertise your product.
- Suggest your ideas for the ad format.
- Describe what you are willing to provide in return for cooperation.
If the candidate is interested, he will send you a response letter with his conditions and questions of interest. In the course of communication, the following questions need to be clarified:
- Is the blogger ready to collaborate and advertise this product?
- What options for cooperation are possible?
- What ad format does the blogger agree to place? Direct recommendation, feedback, informational post, personal photo / video with the product, and so on.
- What is the cost and payment method?
- When will the post be published and is it possible to do it at a suitable time for you?
In the course of communication, you can bargain and offer those options for cooperation that are interesting to you, but you should not abuse it too much and turn business communication into bargaining in the bazaar.
Remember, the influencer doesn’t owe you anything. He has the right to both agree to cooperate and refuse for any of his reasons, and even without their explanation. If you get rejected, just walk by and move on to the next candidate on the list.
How to draw up a technical assignment for a post correctly
Most often bloggers agree to publish a recommendation post, the text of which they will write themselves in accordance with their own style and preferences of their subscribers.
At this point, it is very important not to let the advertising campaign take its course, and to make sure that the post is as useful as possible for promoting your brand. Uncontrolled improvisation can drain your entire budget.
In order not to overlap, the blogger needs to issue a clear TK, from which he can push off. The terms of reference should contain the following points:
- detailed description of the publication idea;
- required elements that the post must contain (brand hashtag, brand page mention, thesis, website link, etc.);
- date and time of publication;
- number of posts.
Be sure to ask the blogger to first send you a draft of the post for approval and only then give your permission to publish.
Types of cooperation
Cooperation with Instagram bloggers can be of several types. It all depends on how and on what terms you will negotiate.
The following options are distinguished:
- Barter – a blogger advertises your product in exchange for its copy. This type of cooperation is relevant mainly for novice bloggers with a small audience.
- Partial barter – you partially pay for posting with money, and also provide the blogger with your product.
- Commerce – placement of an advertising post is fully paid for in money.
- Mutual PR – you agree with the blogger to hold any mutually beneficial events. For example, holding joint competitions, mutual advertising, and so on.
- Partnership – the advertiser shares with the influencer a percentage of the money from the sales generated by placing ads on his page. This usually greatly increases the cost of advertising, but allows you to reach large market players who are not interested in small deals.
You can try to agree on a method of cooperation that is convenient for you, but, of course, most successful influencers still prefer cooperation on a purely commercial basis. At the same time, you need to be prepared for the fact that most bloggers require 100% prepayment for their services.
Only the lazy don’t talk about Influence marketing. The reason for this popularity lies in its high performance. Today advertising with opinion leaders is perhaps the most effective method of promotion. While conventional advertising hasn’t worked for a long time, and mostly due to its aggressiveness, the recommendation from the influencer looks very organic and brings high responses.
When comparing influencer marketing with traditional advertising methods, the following advantages can be highlighted:
- The authority and reputation of an influencer is partially shifted to the brand. People trust the opinion of influencers. Even if the post is clearly advertising, the majority of its readers do not doubt that the opinion leader, to whom they are subscribed, values their audience and would not recommend a low-quality product to them. This principle works even better if a blogger can show a product in action by his own example, or has an authoritative opinion when choosing products in this category.
- Influencer advertising has high engagement rates. While the majority of active Internet users use all sorts of plugins to block contextual advertising, trust in TV content and articles in magazines is falling, advertising through social networks shows high rates of response and engagement. Social media users actually read, like, and comment on these posts.
- With the right approach to choosing a blogger, his followers are your clearly segmented target audience. This means that you only pay for showing ads to interested users. In all other cases, for example, with TV or radio advertisements, this option is not possible.
Has such cooperation and its drawbacks. First of all, you need to understand that not all bloggers are professionally engaged in advertising. For many, this is more of a nice blogging bonus than a professional job. You need to be prepared for the fact that most bloggers do not know how to independently create the correct advertising posts, they cannot clearly define the terms of cooperation, they can violate the terms and requirements.
In addition, it is quite difficult to find an opinion leader with an active live audience and a good reputation. There is a great risk of running into an unscrupulous blogger with a dead audience or a dubious reputation. In this case, you are simply wasting your time and risk damaging your brand’s reputation.
To avoid this, always check the blogger with TrendHERO. This will save not only your time, but also money.
While working with bloggers, many brands make the same mistakes. Here are some examples of what you should definitely not do if you want to get a good ad response:
- Select a blogger by content. Most likely, the model from whom you wanted to order an ad for lingerie has mostly young men in subscribers. The style of the swimsuit will interest them last, and the desire to buy it will not arise at all. In this case, it will be much more effective to order advertising from beauty bloggers, because among their subscribers there are many women who want to look attractive.
- Only work with influencers with a large number of followers. The number of followers is not at all important. Many people still think that it is more effective to order ads from large bloggers, because this way more people will see it. In fact, these influencers often have problems with audience engagement and content overload. Users often trust them significantly less, due to the fact that the blogger cannot establish closer contact with their subscribers.
- One advertising strategy will work for all bloggers. No, you need to look for an individual approach to each influencer and his subscribers and focus on different product benefits in order to make the ad look as organic as possible.
Collaboration with a blogger does not end with the placement of an advertising post. It is after the publication that the most important stage begins – tracking the results and analyzing statistics. Find out which posts resonated the most and try to understand why. Work on the bugs and think about how to improve the result. Most importantly, remember that ad success is measured not by likes, but by the number of orders and subscribers received.