So, you’ve been recruited into a campaign as a person of influence. Congratulations. Now what?
If you’re a blogger, then you are a purposeful audience builder and an intentional trust creator. You have the eyes and the ears -and often the hearts- of your small but loyal audience. This is what brands are counting on when they hire you, so how do you please the brands AND deliver killer content your audience has come to expect?
In this post, I will offer some guidelines for your consideration which may help you get into the right mindset.
Here we go!
Fight the Instinct
The instinct both brands and bloggers have when they start the campaign is to establish a hashtag, and request that the brand (or the product) be mentioned in the post title. That way when it’s shared, it’s highly visible and easy to track.
This makes sense. Tracking is important, as is high visibility. But I would like to point out the pitfalls.
If you’re part of a 50 blogger campaign for a specific product/brand and everyone is using the same hashtag, by the time you’re approaching the end of the campaign, you may end up with 100+ blog posts all of them mentioning the same product/brand and hashtag.
How am I, as a blogger who is part of this campaign, supposed to go in and schedule 100+ posts to be shared with every single post having the same hashtag and product/brand name?
My Twitter stream will look like a giant billboard, my Facebook friends will disown me, and the audience I’ve built up will think I sold-out, and the trust will be gone.
This is a uniquely Triberr issue since only Triberr has collaborative campaigns. We make it easy to manage 50 or 100 bloggers as a singular unit. And not only is the management made easier, but their combined effort is what makes each of them lot more valuable to the brand.
So, if the brand/product is not mentioned in the title, and there is no hashtag, how does everything get tracked?
A great writer/podcaster/youtuber can take any subject and connect it to any other subject. In fact, even a mediocre content creator can do it. In fact, even I can do it.
And if I can do it, so can you. 🙂
I will use a post I wrote about a year time ago as an example. This post was a product review for a dog bed, and I’ll share its anatomy and explain why I did what I did.
Here we go.
Jennifer Medeiros asked me if I’d like to review a dog bed. I said “sure”.
But immediately I was faced with a problem. I haven’t published a single thing on my dog blog in forever, so writing a post on my own dog blog would be a waste of everyone’s time. So, I decided to publish a post on my friend’s dog blog.
Lesson No 1: When you’re a part of the campaign, you can publish your content on any blog and record it as a campaign activity.
So if your blog is not the perfect vehicle for a given post, why not kill two birds with two stones? Your friend’s blog gets awesome content, your tribemates share it, and the brand gets greater exposure.
The blog post I wrote for Jennifer didn’t include brand’s name or the product in the title, nor did it include a hashtag, Jennifer simply kept a list.
With Triberr’s ability to track activity, this manual method of maintaining records, lists, and spreadsheets, has been made obsolete.
The post was titled How I Stopped Gwen the Destroyer From Chewing Her Dog Bed
The title accomplishes few things:
It holds a promise of an epic story with a triumphant outcome.
It creates cognitive dissonance. No one named Gwen has even been accused of being a destroyer of anything.
It’s got a pretty good SEO spread. The words “destroy”, “chewing” and “dog bed”, will be very easy for google bots to discern that this post should match a search phrase “how to stop a dog from chewing/destroying/ dog bed”.
The title speaks to the target demographic of the product I was showcasing. It attracts people who want to learn how to stop a dog from destroying the bed, so it’s likely that the reader is on the market for a new dog bed.
What’s really important is that if 50 bloggers who are all participating in the same campaign are writing titles that speak to the target reader but don’t mention the brand/product or the hashtag, then that means I can share 100+ posts without losing trust and an audience I’ve worked so hard to build.
Lesson No 2: The title of the post should be something that the target audience would desire to read.
If the reader has clicked to learn more about the story of Gwen the Destroyer, s/he is immediately greeted with the cast members picture.
THIS is the secret weapon we have as bloggers, and yet we rarely use it to its full advantage.
Unlike big celebrities with giant audiences, we can create a deeper intimacy with our readers. And we do this by personalizing our content. We can put ourselves out there for the reader to identify with. If you’re not doing this, it means you’re scared. Don’t be. It pays dividends.
So, with the promise of a triumphant and epic story, and the cast of characters introduced, I open the post with “In her spare time, when she’s not posing innocently for pictures, Gwen the Destroyer eats dog beds for breakfast.”
Lesson No 3: Share yourself with your audience.
The article is 1600+ words long, it includes 7 images and 2 videos, and an actual instructions on how to prevent a dog from destroying the bed.
Lesson No 4: Always do your best. Be useful to your readers, and you will be useful to the brand.
Somewhere in the middle of the article I disclose how the post came about.
Disclosure is a hugely important part of brand ambassadorship.
The good news is that being a brand ambassador for a brand you love is something to brag about. This is why the Triberr’s influence marketing model is not about sponsored posts or product reviews. It’s about genuine and enthusiastic representation of a brand you feel passionate about.
Matching relevant bloggers with brand’s with which they are congruent with is a hugely important piece of the puzzle we’re constantly refining. More on that in this video:
The brand ambassadorship begins online but it extends to real life.
Triberr’s goal is to enable bloggers to make a living as brand ambassadors, and soon the day will come when a blogger will be at a BBQ party at their friend’s house and when asked that dreaded “what do you do?” question, the blogger can say “I’m a brand ambassador for so and so…yes, I’m just like Michael Jordan. I get paid to endorse a brand”.
I’m betting that will be a conversation starter, and brands that jump in early will benefit from it immensely. Five years from now, meeting a brand ambassador at a friend’s BBQ party, will probably be commonplace.
One last thing on disclosures. They don’t have to be generic and boring. You don’t have to be ashamed of being affiliated with a company. In fact, if you are ashamed, you have a choice. You can go and represent a different company.
Lesson No 5: Be honest. Be transparent. It’s will be interesting for your readers to read the truth about how you’ve become a brand ambassador. If they like you, they will be happy for you.
When it’s done right, the disclosure comes out in everything you do because you’re proud to announce the relationship between you and the brand. Just try and stop me from talking about Triberr, or Rawporter, or AlchemyAPI, or…any of the brands I proudly advocate for.
How Triberr Measures Effectiveness
The goal of the measurement is to present a rating system a la eBay and Amazon, so that brands and influencers can easily figure out how well they’ve both performed in the past.
There are three criteria by which we’ll measure a blogger’s effectiveness in a campaign. Creativity, collaboration, and performance.
Creativity is a strictly human rating. Your tribemates and readers will soon be able to rate the creativity of your effort. Probably a star system (1-5 or 1-10).
Collaboration is measured internally to Triberr. We can see how many campaign-related posts you’ve shared via your channels. And we plan on getting lot better at it going forward.
Performance. This will be an outside measurement. Google Analytics and other 3rd party will be used to figure out the usual performance-based factors (traffic, overall social shares, comments, etc.)
This system is in its embryonic stage, but we plan to have it deployed within next couple of months.
I hope this article has done its job of demonstrating the wisdom of NOT including hashtags and brand/product name in the post’s title.
And I hope it has given you, the blogger, few ideas and inspiration for your next campaign post.
More information about Triberr campaigns:
Finally, I invite you to not only read Gwen the Destroyer post, but study it, and you be the judge of how effective it is at embedding the brand and the product into the reader’s mind. And then multiply it by 50 or 100 bloggers persistently writing that kind of content over the course of 1-3 months.
You should also check out these 2 examples of posts that are super-sharable because they don’t identify the brand in the post title. And, they are effective at bringing attention to the product without being salesy. Both are about Cottonelle wet wipes.