Bloggers: How They Work & How To Measure Their Impact

If you've been following my blog posts, you'll notice I work with a lot of bloggers. A lot of you may think that bloggers spend their days wearing pretty clothes and taking pictures, but they're actually a crucial marketing channel. Who knew?! 

The best part is that you don't know! 

Bloggers have such a strong personal voice through the images they share that if brands don't utilize them, then they're missing out big time. 

How many brands can you think of that have a HUMAN being associated with them? Apple (Steve Jobs), Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg), Yahoo (Marissa Mayer).... but not many afterwards. 

I personally think it's a smart thing to create brand identities with humans association because it makes it easier to connect to your customers. 

Why are bloggers great for brands: 

1. Bloggers are your early adopters and high influencers. 

The Mean Girls of the bunch, but not mean. They love experimenting and trying out new products, and when they like something, they create cult like followings. Ugh, think about the Naked Palette that went viral. 

2. Bloggers make your products look cool. 

The moment I see a Finding Ferdinand lipstick amongst other cool products, I begin to believe it's just as cool. 

3. Bloggers make your brand personable. 

Bloggers have pictures of themselves posted everyday and their followers think of them as people and not a corporation. When bloggers use your product, it allows their readers to see themselves using your products as well. 

How to measure blogger impact:

1. Hashtags

If you're not up to date on technology trends, I can't help you, but you need to know that #hashtags are the thing. Create a #hashtag for your brand and share that with your bloggers to ensure their images and mentions are searchable. 

2. Web Traffic

I hope you're tracking your web traffic. Check the referrals coming through from the blogger's site. 

3. Campaign Tracking Links

If you're running multiple channels like an email campaign featuring your bloggers, have campaign tracking links to see what the effect is. It also helps when you're correlating data and tying it back to a revenue dollar. 

**Remember, numbers alone don't tell the whole story. Measuring impact is difficult hence I mentioned correlation above. 

How to leverage bloggers: 

1. Highlight them on other marketing channels

Use email, twitter, instagram, facebook.. you know the drill. If you want to fully leverage bloggers, you have to put in work on your side as well to help promote them through your channels. Win-Win. 

2. Provide talking points & direction

Don't get upset if they didn't take the right photo or say the right thing if you didn't provide a guideline. Bloggers are a combination of a model and journalist. Give some art direction and highlight topics for them to work with.

3. Have them take a lot of photos of your products

Pretty photos are your friends. Send them goodies so they can photograph and incorporate your products multiple times throughout multiple posts.