Jim Belosic

How Brands and Bloggers Can Team Up To Host Successful Giveaways


Video Transcription

Hey everyone, I’m Jim Belosic, CEO of ShortStack. Today I’m going to talk to you about how brands and bloggers can team up to host successful giveaways. Of all the ways brands and bloggers van work together, I think co-branded giveaways are often the most productive efforts that benefit the brand and the blogger.

This is because giveaways can be a great vehicle to encourage people to engage and share whatever message it is that you want to get out there. Giveaways are also a perfect opportunity to collect valuable data from your users, like email addresses for example, and use that data in future marketing efforts.

Whenever your brand works with a blogger to host something like a giveaway, there’s a lot of logistics and behind the scenes stuff that goes on to make the partnership happen. That said, step on for brands is always going to be finding the right blogger to partner with. There are many ways to find bloggers to partner with.

Today, I’m going to cover my top three. The first way is through good old-fashioned research. You can go about your research in three different ways. First, try using social networks like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to discover the influencers in your industry. Try searching using specific hashtags that are relevant to your business.

Let’s say that you have a 3D printing business and want to track makers and people who build stuff in their garage, you can try searching for the hashtags “maker” and “blog” to see if they’re blogging about their projects. This is a little more time-consuming method, but I think it’s effective. Sometimes you can discover some people who are up and coming this way and they haven’t been approached by an agency or something.

We’ll talk about that in a second. Second, you can use influencer discovery tools, as I like to call them. There are a lot of them out there, but my favorite is probably Buzzsumo. You can use Buzzsumo for free to search for influencers based on keywords like marketing, fashion, money blogger… You get the idea.

Third, survey your audience. Try creating a form and asking your customers to share their feedback about who their favorite bloggers are. Even try posting some question-style posts on Twitter or Facebook, such as “Hey guys, what’s your favorite blog?”

That will give you a lot of insight to be exactly where your audience already is. You just need to figure out what they’re already reading and then try to get there. The second way to find good bloggers is to team up. Use something like GroupHigh.

GroupHigh software makes everything about the process of finding a blogger and creating a blogger list easier. Obviously you guys know that because you’re in this conference. Let’s keep moving. The third way that we usually find quality bloggers is to partner through a talent agency that represents bloggers. This is kind of a new concept.

Many of the most well-known and established bloggers are actually represented by agencies now. One of the biggest agencies that I’ve seen is Digital Brand Architects. DBA essentially brokers the relationship between brands and the bloggers that they represent.

If your brand is interested in teaming up with a really well-known or established blogger who has a lot of influence and a big following, try contacting a blogger talent agency. It’ll probably be easier to get through to the actual blogger using their agency too.

Whatever agency you go with, they’ll be able to connect you to the blogger and hopefully align your goals and your vision. Now that you know how to find quality bloggers, here are a few quick tips for picking the right ones to go after and start pitching.

First, make sure you look at how often they post. They may have this really awesome blog but you realize it’s taken them 10 years to get 20 posts. Don’t just take their blog into consideration. Look at all of their social platforms.

You’re looking for bang for the buck here. It’s nice to be on their blog, but how active are they on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, wherever? While you’re in there, check out their social media followings. Which social networks do they have the most influence on?

This is all about influence because just because they’re posting something on Twitter or whatever doesn’t mean anything if they only have like seven followers, two of which are their mom and their sister. All this research is good intel for when you devise a promotion strategy for your giveaway.

Lastly, research other partnerships or sponsors that the blogger has had. Check if he or she has worked with any of your competitors. Look at how your brand fits in with the rest of the companies that the blogger has worked with. You kind of want to blend in.

You want this to be as organic and natural as possible. You don’t want to stick out on a mommy blog because you’re Oracle trying to sell new servers. Make sure that everything is in line with what the blogger would naturally do. The next step after finding and vetting your bloggers is the pitch.

Pitching is a critical step. In the first email that you send, if you’re contacting the blogger directly and not going through an agency, you should probably include a few things. Number one: Always include a personal touch. Link to a post of theirs that you liked.

Comment on it. Tell them why you think it’s so awesome. [Laughs] Tell them a quick story that somehow relates to their blog. The point is add a personal touch or something unique in your email. By doing this, it proves that you’ve invested your time. You know what they’re about.

You’ve read their stuff. You already think that you’re going to be good partners. It prevents you from sounding like some sort of mass form email that you’ve just sent out. This is actually just good advice on any email that you send.

When people try and contact me, the ones who make it through the top of the list are like, “[Excited] Hey Jim, you know I saw that you’re working on that classic car. You did that restoration on the weekend. That was really cool. By the way, can we talk about XYZ?” It means that they’ve done their homework on me.

They know what my hobbies are. It’s kind of fun. If someone says, “Dear sir, I have a business proposal for you.” That goes right in the garbage. Number two: Tell the blogger you’re pitching specifically why you’re pitching your giveaway idea.

Is it because you think that their readership would appreciate what you’re giving away? Is it because they’ve mentioned your brand before in one of their posts and they got a good response? Basically what I’m getting at is that you need to explain the value of partnering with your brand.

After you’ve added in your personal touch and told the blogger the value of your giveaway, the last thing that’s smart to include in your pitch email is a deadline of sorts. This could be a date for when you need to hear back from them or the date of an important event like a product launch.

This helps the blogger, from day one, have insight on what your brand’s goals are and how quickly you want to move. All of this information will help the blogger decided if they’re up to it or able to partner with you. Maybe they’re really swamped and are not going to be able to help you out for 6 months.

Who knows? Find out right now. After you’ve sent your giveaway pitch to your blogger and they respond saying that they’re interested in partnering with you, it’s time to create a contract for your partnership. After you’ve sent your giveaway pitch to your blogger and saying that they’re interested in partnering with you, it’s time to create a contract for your partnership.

You should do this ASAP, as agreeing on the language and details of a contract often takes forever. I spoke with one blogger, Sarah [phonetic] Bonshay. She’s co-founder and COO of the blog Another Mother Runner. She let me know that it takes, on average, three months from pitch to signing on the line.

Unfortunately, this is typical. Everything always takes longer than you expect. Plan ahead. Have an estimate and then double it. Then you’ll probably be pretty close. That goes with home remodeling too. One thing that I have to clarify before we move on is you may be wondering about who deals with drafting the contract.

Many people assume, “Hey, it’s the brands responsibility.” It’s not always the case. Usually if you’re the one who does the pitch, you can provide the contract. Established bloggers are their own brand. Some of them know the drill. They may have a contract that they always use.

Go ahead and clarify that as well. If you’re responsible for drafting the contract for your brand, there are three main components that you’ll want to include. Number one: goals. It’s important to clearly state your brand’s goal s for partnering with the blogger. This helps your blogger understand their role in your partnership.

Number two: deliverables and key dates. Include this in your contract because this will probably be the longest section. For partnered giveaways, you’re going to want to include things like the publish date and expectations of the blog post announcing your giveaway.

Does the blog post need to use specific images? Is there specific brand information that you want the blogger to share? Make sure you cover all the details of the giveaway announcement? How many social media posts promoting the giveaway are required?

What kind of language in creative — and maybe even hashtags are going to be used? I would steer away from saying like, “At minimum, you will have 94 posts.” You want to make sure that you’re getting a lot of effort. Look at what they’re doing currently in their social media channels. Maybe suggest a number of posts that’s appropriate so that, again, you’re looking organic.

Then logo usage: If they’re going to use your logos, your brand may have some usage rights and some style guides or whatever. You need to clarify that in the contract as well. The same thing goes for you using the blogger’s logo on your brand’s website. Who knows?

Finally, post-giveaway expectation: What expectations do you have of the blogger after everything is said and done? A lot of brands want a data-rich report that’s complete with social media numbers, comments from the blog posts, number of giveaway entries, et cetera. Savvy bloggers should be able to agree on delivering these metrics post-giveaway.

You want to make sure that you get these metrics and data so that you can have some measure of success, especially if you partner with other blogs in the future. You’ll be able to say, “Hey,” if this one got me more reach or engagement than another. The third and final component is compensation and payment schedules.

The compensation of most partnerships agreements is based on the amount of reach that a blogger is going to get you. Other things you should consider though for base compensation are the resources and skills required of the blogger that they partner with. This could include photography, such as “Does your blogger have to hire a photographer, buy props for a photoshoot, whatever?”

You may want to include that in your compensation details. Consider these costs and figure them into how much you’re willing to pay or in your negotiation with the blogger. So far, I’ve covered all the details — how to pitch, negotiate and come up with a contract. Really it’s time to execute it.

Now that you’ve got this giveaway idea and you’re going to do something co-branded with your blogger, go for it. This is where obviously I’m biased, because I made ShortStack. [Laughs] I think that it can be a great tool for giveaways, especially when it comes to co-branded giveaways.

We’re a good fit, I like to think. For the last 4 years, brands have been using ShortStack to collect data and increase engagement for their social campaigns. We kind of think we know what we’re doing. [Chuckles] In order to make it easier for you guys, my team and I have created a giveaway guide that covers what you’ll need to know about building, designing and promoting a partnered giveaway.

This is specific to this conference with GroupHigh. In the guide, we’ll cover things like how to write official rules for your partner giveaway. You have to make sure that you adhere to FTC guidelines with bloggers, how to design the giveaway so that you can maximize the number of entries that you get, stuff like that.

It’s all in the guide. To get the guide, find ShortStack on Twitter. We’re ShortStackLab. Make sure you remember the “Lab” in there. ShortStack was already taken, of course. We’ll have a tweet with the hashtag “OutreachMarketing” and a link to download the guide. Thanks again. Let us know if you have any questions.

Andy: Hi everyone, this is Andy, founder and CEO of GroupHigh. I hope you’re enjoying the Outreach Marketing Summit. The third version of this event is bigger and better than ever before with more than 50 industry experts speaking and presenting on content marketing, blogger outreach and influencer marketing best practices.

I wanted to take a moment and share with you some of the latest happenings here at GroupHigh. We recently released the latest version of GroupHigh’s blogger outreach and influencer management software. For more than 4 years, GroupHigh has been the leader in blog outreach software, providing out clients, both brands and agencies, a streamlined way to build and manage authentic relationships with bloggers.

GroupHigh allows you to organize all of your outreach into lists and folders, a familiar format that allows you to drag and drop and make things organized in a way that makes sense for your company and your campaigns. We’ve also gone down the road of making it easy to search and organize the influencers and bloggers in your GroupHigh database.

You can instantly search for them by name as well as many different data points, instantly being able to see which bloggers have a YouTube profile or have a Facebook page or have more than a certain number of followers on a social network. This makes finding individual bloggers from your existing relationships quick and easy so you can activate them for your next initiative and project.

We’ve also introduced some great communication features in the latest version. If you’ve opted in bloggers into your database, you can instantly email them with GroupHigh’s emailing capabilities. This is great for companies that have and manage their own network of bloggers inside their company, like we do here at GroupHigh.

We send out a monthly notice to all the bloggers that have worked with GroupHigh in the past, giving them the latest news about what GroupHigh is doing and giving them ways to engage with our company and brand. We’ve also expanded and improved the already amazing GroupHigh blog search.

The GroupHigh blog search allows you to find bloggers from all across the internet by location, social following and many other different data points. Most importantly, the blog search relies on the content that the blogger is actually producing. This is key to building and identifying potential relationships in an organic matter, not relying on standard taxonomies and categorizations.

Focus on bloggers that are passionate about the topics your brand and your company care about. When it comes time to find your earned media mentions, GroupHigh’s tools make it easy to identify every blog post, tweet, Instagram and YouTube post written about your brand, hashtag or linking to you.

GroupHigh’s engagement reports allow you to view the number of social engagements that your posts are receiving, as well as track actual data down to a Google Analytics account so that you can see referrals and goals completed, giving your hard numbers on the value of your earned media efforts.

These are just some of the major features that GroupHigh’s improved upon in the latest release. To experience them all, the best way is to talk to a GroupHigh representative and sign up for a trial. You can do this by visiting GroupHigh.com and clicking on the “Free Trial” button.

Fill out a little bit of information and a GroupHigh representative will reach out and get you set up. Thanks again. I hope you enjoy the rest of the Outreach Marketing Summit.