The ROI of Working with Bloggers

As part of the great team of bloggers and social media professionals that the Parent Bloggers Unite is, we have spent a lot of time discussing what makes a good brand/blogger relationship. We discuss blogger reach, blogger etiquette, relationship building and much more. We have had PR professionals come and speak to our group events and discuss what they look for when it comes to working with bloggers.

We are trying to create the outline of what makes the ultimate blogger when it comes to brand partnerships. As we share our ideas within our group and those that attend the networking events, we are building up what is really a code of conduct for bloggers working with brands.

But what about the PR companies and the brands themselves?

I have been a blogger for almost 9 years now. My email is flooded on a daily basis with PR pitches, some are great, some are a good fit and some are meh. With my network of fellow bloggers across Canada and the US I have heard many stories about various experiences with brands that have been good and bad. What I see is the when it comes to bloggers, there are no standards and no true far reaching basis of measuring the value of working with that blogger.

Yes, there are metrics. There are numbers all over the place that you and I can pull up and ‘show’ how well a campaign did. But really…is that what is shows?   After a campaign with a blogger or a group of bloggers, what does the PR company have to show their client.   That their blog posts on that subject had that much traffic.  That the brand was mentioned THIS many times on Facebook or Twitter.     But as a marketing plan…..did working with those bloggers have an effect?    Did awareness turn into sales?

Honestly from a bloggers perspective I am sometimes baffled by what is wanted from the campaign.     The ‘use’ of bloggers stills seems to be a tad hazy.   I would love to hear from brands more about what they are expecting when they think of blogger outreach?

For example.  The uber campaigns that involve hundreds of bloggers doing the same thing…say offering the same giveaway for example.    What is that ROI on that campaign?  Apart from many bloggers talking about your product.  Does that talk turn into something more useful to the brand?    What is the message that it gives for the brand?     Does it create engagement for the brand? NO..not unless the brand IS engaging with people online.   And not all are.     Mostly there seems to be a HUGE disconnect between the PR campaigns and what the brands are doing themselves online.  Hiring a PR company to work with bloggers and then having NO relationship with what the brands own online marketing  plan is a huge problem in my opinion.

Brands and PR companies need to first decide WHAT is successful online branding and then see if that works in their own corporate culture.  You don’t need to copy..but (imo) as a PR company you need to be able to ask the brand the right questions before taking on the projects.

As a blogger I don’t see much evidence of this.   Though Proctor & Gamble Canada do a nice job of connecting their blogger outreach with the rest of their brand building.  There is a tie in .  London Drugs also does a nice job.  Their corporate social media is married to their other efforts.  There is a connection that goes beyond hiring bloggers purely because they can make you ‘shout’ the loudest online.

What are they shouting?  Who is listening?  Who is getting the traffic and Klout from the relationship?  Is not only the

There should be a bit of finesse when it comes brand blogger relationships.  You need to understand more than the numbers before coming up with an outreach plan.   You need to understand what marketing and blogging is together and how that relationship should gel together for sake of the brand.

Brand blogger relationships so be so much more than ‘free stuff’ and a blogger shouting about said free stuff.    It is marketing.  It is community and brand awareness.  It is SALES.roi

If you are a company or a PR representative who is interested in exploring more the ROI of working with bloggers, please contact me and we can set up a time to chat.   I would love to discuss what I have experienced in more detail.



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