Winning at brand-blogger partnerships is a weekly series from Marketing Profs on how brands are teaming up with bloggers to create winning influencer marketing strategies.
Brand consistency was much simpler back in the day when one team managed all the marketing materials. Even when the internet first gave birth to blogs, most were written by just one person.
All that has changed. Now your blog is probably written by a variety of in-house people as well as guest bloggers, and you might even be reaching out to influencers to talk about your brand on their blogs as well.
With all these people and channels, your voice has to stay consistent. In order to get your guest bloggers, ghostwriters, influencer bloggers, and even employees on board, you need to communicate your specifically defined brand.
Your Brand and Guest Bloggers
Here are some tips for communicating your brand to guest bloggers:
Establish your buyer persona and share it with your guest bloggers. Letting your bloggers know exactly who your ideal audience is will help them write for the right audience.
Provide specific examples of approved content. Help your bloggers remain consistent to your brand voice and content direction by offering examples of previously successful posts. Give your bloggers links to some of your favorite content your company has published, and even explain some of the things that specifically stood out to you.
Approve or provide your topics…or not. Just because you are having a guest blogger write content for you, doesn’t mean that you have to let them choose the direction and subject. By controlling the topics, you can ensure unique posts that match the rest of your content direction. On the other hand, just as when you work with influencer bloggers to co-create content, allowing your guest bloggers to brainstorm their own ideas may bring a new perspective on content angles that build up your brand.
When it comes to imagery, set guidelines. Use defined filters, actions, or presets. That way, even if your guest provides a different image—or your in-house bloggers source images from varying libraries—the look and feel of your blog is consistent. Photo editing professionals create Photoshop Actions packages or Lightroom Presets that help professionals keep their editing consistent.
Proofread all content. Even if you are using professionals to help write and supplement your content, you are ultimately responsible for your brand. Don’t let content hit your pages unless you have personally approved its message and accuracy. By taking personal responsibility, you can avoid a brand fail that could confuse your audience or make your brand look unprofessional.
Your Brand and Influencers
Of course, with influencers you don’t have as much control. That’s the point, right? They already have a strong brand and following that you are accessing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t provide guidance:
Influencers should know how to use your logo and brand name. This means the colors, sizing, and other requirements you have for any place your logo is used. Additionally, they should understand the integrity of the brand name and know how to capitalize it properly and, when possible, ensure it’s not broken or hyphenated at the end of a line.
Many influencers take their own photos, but you can provide imagery as well. By including approved product images, you offer some guidance to the influencer. But just remember that unless it’s stated in your agreement, they may choose not to use it—especially as their concern is keeping their own brand consistent.
Do you have any tips or questions when it comes to working with bloggers and influencers to build your brand? I would love to chat with you in the comments below!