Blogger and Brand Pairings: Baby Care Products With Established Niche Blogger
Monetizing The Mommyblog, Brands And Bloggers: An ABDPBT Personal Finance Series
Welcome to the latest incarnation of the Monetizing the Mommyblog series on ABDPBT Personal Finance. This Bloggers and Brands Series focuses on content-column pairings — the compensation involved, how the deals are made, and the pros and cons of each deal between a blogger and a brand for a placement within the content column of a blog. Since I don’t want to jeopardize any of these deals, I am striving to maintain strict confidentiality about the identity of both the brands and the bloggers involved in all of these examples, while still making the process and compensation transparent for people who are interested in arranging similar deals for themselves.
Case One: Baby Care Products With Established Niche Blogger
Below are the main points involved in the first blogger/brand pairing in the series, which involved pairing a niche blogger with a good deal of trust capital with a brand of baby care products. The deal involved participating in a Twitter party, as well as several sponsored posts and giveaways hosted on the blogger’s main blog. The deal was brokered by a PR company, and the initial research was facilitated by a social media consultant who is well known within the mommyblogging community. The specific relationship between the PR company and the social media consultant and the compensation from the brand to those two entities is unknown.
1. Blogger Was Selected Because She Was Discussing Something On Twitter That Suggested She Was a Brand Match.
Blogger/brand pairings can be created through a variety of channels: the brand can be pitched directly by the blogger, or a PR company can come to them with a list of bloggers who are a good fit for their brand, or they can approach specific, well-known bloggers with whom they would specifically like to work. If you are not an extremely well known blogger, it’s less likely you will be pitched directly by a brand only because there are few brands out there that have the kind of personnel necessary to do that kind of research into brand and blogger matching. Few brands have the kind of budgets to warrant a social media representative, and so the only kinds of bloggers who regularly get pitched directly by brands are usually the ones with high traffic levels (though there are exceptions).
Bloggers of all traffic levels may be approached by PR companies representing a brand or several brands, and in some cases, they will be offering paid gigs. More often than not, what they will be offering is nothing. But you never know. In the case of this blogger, she had been writing a blog for many years without doing any kind of PR work (though she did run ads on her blog) before she was approached for this deal. She was approached after participating in an organic discussion on Twitter that suggested she was a clear brand match candidate for this campaign, but she was also well known in the community and had a significant amount of trust capital built up that made her a good “catch” for the PR company — she had never worked with a brand before and was therefore thought to be particularly credible.
2. Blogger Has Significant Trust Capital With Readership And This Brand Is An Unusually Good Match For Her
The choice of this blogger for this brand is an example of really good research done by the PR company working for the brand. The blogger involved has a particular affinity for this brand and because the PR company did their homework — both on the brand and on the blogger — they were able to match up somebody who was unusually well suited to this job. They found somebody who was already poised to be a brand evangelist, and then was able to pay her for her already established enthusiasm for a brand. This made their job easy, and it made the blogger’s job easy as well, because her readership already knew of her affinity for the brand, so reading sponsored posts was no big deal for them.
3. Twitter Party ($75/Hour) Was Rolled Into Bigger Deal
The first step of this deal was to facilitate/participate in a two-hour Twitter party with several other Twitter users (some of whom were compensated, and some of whom were not) while using the branded hashtag, under the blogger’s regular Twitter username. The compensation for two hours of work was $150. There were several people paid to participate in the Twitter party, but not all of them were offered the larger deal with sponsored posts and giveaways. Though the larger deal was never officially stated to be tied to the Twitter party, the paperwork for the larger deal did not go through until after the Twitter party took place; the blogger was left with the initial impression that the Twitter party was serving as some kind of weeding technique for the larger deal and/or that the paperwork might have been delayed in order to ensure that everybody participated in the Twitter party, because it was the least attractive part of the whole deal. Later, though, she said this was probably not the case, and that some alternative social media was always rolled into the deal.
4. Larger Deal Involves Two Posts, One Giveaway To Be Posted On Blogger’s Blog
The larger deal was to participate in the Twitter party (its specific pay was the $150 rolled into this deal) and to discuss one product line on the blogger’s blog in two posts. For those of you keeping track, that is about $675 per post, which is way better than you are going to get from most places willing to pay you for your writing these days. Of course, they are not just buying your writing, but we will get to that later. When I asked about how much oversight the brand/PR company had over each post, the blogger said it was very little. The PR company *did* look at posts before they went up, and they *did* make suggestions, but she said that they never forced her to change anything or asked her to talk about anything in a specific way. She also said that they wanted things in her voice, that this was why they hired her, and that maintaining that was essential to the whole campaign.
5. 2 Subsequent Deals Were Similar In Structure, Involved Other Social Media Outlet Engagment Rolled In
The brand was happy enough with the blogger’s work on this campaign to ask her to participate in two more campaigns for them. Both of those deals were structured in similar ways with similar compensation: 2-3 posts and/or a giveaway on her blog, and some kind of other social media engagement, either on Twitter or Facebook rolled into the deal. The total for the whole deal was therefore $4500 for about 7 or 8 posts.
6. Deals Like This Are Only Open To People With A Ton Of Trust Capital Built Up
It is important to note here that a big part of what is being purchased is trust capital — this is a blogger who has a huge amount of credibility that has been built up over the course of time. She has never done any kind of product placement or PR work on her blog before, and her audience has been established over the course of years of regular posting. Though her audience isn’t large when compared to the likes of Dooce or Pioneer Woman, it is an audience that views her as a trusted friend, and that makes her extremely influential when it comes to buying things like products to use for caring for one’s child. That kind of influence is what the brand is buying, as much or more than the actual space on the blog, and that kind of thing is expensive. That kind of thing is also finite — you cannot make deals like this every other week and expect to have a supply that never runs out. Trust capital is tricky — in this case, it was a good choice because it was a brand about which the blogger felt very strongly, and it was a good opportunity with good compensation. Make sure any kind of deal that you are considering meets the same kind of criteria.