One of the questions I’m most often asked by bloggers and brands alike is “how important are a blogger’s readership numbers when choosing them for a campaign.” I won’t lie, numbers matter. If a blogger has only a handful of readers a month (say under 100), we probably won’t choose them; however, there’s so much more that goes into building a successful influencer campaign than blog readership alone.
When the Everywhere Agency is building an influencer campaign for one of our clients, we begin by culling lists (with the help of GroupHigh, of course); but beyond the lists, we’re looking at the entire digital tapestry of those bloggers. More often than not, we look beyond a blogger’s digital footprint to factors like reliability and creativity. What follows are the seven things we at the Everywhere Agency look for in a blogger when developing a campaign.
1. Blog Content: What does the blogger write about? Is their content a fit for our brand? Are they a good writer? When they do sponsored posts are they sharing a brand’s content in an organic way or does it read like a bad sales pitch? Yes, content may be in king in social media, but when choosing a blogger, quality of content is king.
2. Blog Name: Some bloggers chose their blog name before they realized they could eventually monetize it. A blog’s name matters. My clients might object to a blog title “Danica’s Hottest Food Porn” even if the numbers and content were great. Why? Simply because the name of the blog had something off putting about it. I wouldn’t pick a blogger for a fitness campaign if their blog name was “The Indulgent Eater” even if they had a focus on healthy food.
3. Numbers: I wasn’t lying when I said we look at the entire digital footprint of a blogger. One influencer may have weak monthly uniques, but have killer Facebook, Instagram and Twitter numbers with a high Klout score. We look at the whole picture of what the blogger has to offer. We may pitch a blogger and ask them to bypass blogging altogether and instead, feature our product on their YouTube channel if their numbers are great and video fits the goals of our campaign.
4. Reliability: In the nearly six years the Everywhere Agency has been in business, we’ve worked with literally thousands of bloggers. Just like Santa knows who is naughty or nice, we know bloggers who follow through and those who drop by ball. At blogging conferences, bloggers ask me all the time, “How can I be considered for one of your campaigns?” My response is always very simple, “Answer your emails.” If the old saying is true, “80% of success is just showing up,” it’s more true that “80% of success is just answering your emails.” I can’t tell you how many times we’ve dropped a blogger from a campaign because they did not communicate well with us.
5. Price: We have to be fiscally prudent with our clients’ budgets – typically we’re working on multi-tiered campaigns with many moving pieces. A blogger who has a set price for a project may very well price themselves out of our market. All our campaigns have a sponsorship component and just as many have a “cool factor” component. We once had a blogger respond to an offer to have a sponsored, private interview with a major celebrity at an event with the following line: “My standard rate for media appearances is $XXXX.” The price was ridiculous – in the four figures per hour! The interview with this celeb would have driven her blog readership through the roof. We hastened to point out that she wasn’t the celebrity; in fact, she wasn’t even that well known of a blogger!
6. Demographics: About half of our campaigns are events oriented. If we want a blogger to write a pre-event post to drive attendance, we want relevant readership. For city specific events, we’re more likely to contract a blogger who has lower numbers, but speaks to an engaged, local demographic than a major national blogger with high numbers. When matching bloggers with campaigns we look at the demographic our client wants to reach and try to match that with a blog’s demographic of readers..
7. Engagement: Engagement is another way we can look beyond numbers. Because we’ve been at this for so long and have worked with so many bloggers, we know which bloggers excel at creating good compelling content that gets their readers clicking and commenting. We’ll pick a blogger who repeatedly proves to incite great engagement on their Facebook posts and lots of comments on their blog over a blogger with higher readership any day. Of course, the greater the numbers, the greater potential engagement, but clever content still drives the bus!
Danica Kombol is the President of Everywhere Agency, a leading social media marketing and influencer relations firm with clients like Macy’s, Cox Communications, Coca-Cola, and domain .ME.
Everywhere Agency excels at connecting brands with bloggers and building campaigns that have serious digital impact. Critical to the success of the Everywhere Agency is their community of bloggers, Everywhere Society, which is 1300 bloggers strong and has a collective reach of 75 million.