The 75,000 strong network of bloggers that comprise Massive Sway works with brands on campaigns of all shapes and sizes. We recently polled our community to gain insights on the brand-blogger relationship, specifically during conferences, in order to learn best practices for optimizing results.
Takeaway #1: Forget the Expo hall! Bloggers much prefer a more intimate one-on-one with a brand representative.
- “I prefer one-on-one. I had a one-on-one conversation with a brand rep at a conference last year and I was able to gather some useful information without feeling rushed. I actually worked with them not too long after our meeting. One-on-one just seems more of an ‘appropriate’ way to start a possible professional relationship.” http://whitneynicjames.com
- “I think the more time that you can spend in any kind of informal setting can only be beneficial. It gives both parties a chance to figure out the best way they can work together using strengths from each side.” http://easybeingmom.com
Takeaway #2: When giving out branded swag, make sure it is of use to the recipient and not just promotional content. Our community admitted that while it’s a nice gesture to receive freebies, most paper they receive ends up in the trash. Consider putting your budget for promotional items towards one more expensive door prize.
- The Bad: Paper brochures, pens, stress balls, letter openers
- The Good: Local snacks and wine to enjoy during conference, tote bags to carry items home, double USB car chargers or portable phone chargers, product samples or coupons, beauty items (3 oz. or less for those traveling), certificates for web services, gift cards
- The Best: Shipping swag home for attendees so they don’t have to travel with it, personalized jewelry, custom experience (e.g., photo with celebrity)
Takeaway #3: If given the opportunity, our community reported that they would like to ask the brand for more information on their product/service, key points of differentiation, vision for company, campaign metrics for success, target audience and how bloggers will be incorporated into their future marketing plans. Many bloggers want to work with brands long-term, if the fit is right.
- “I would want to ask what their research shows their customers’ future needs to be, and how they are going to meet them.” http://abcsandgardenpeas.com
- “A heart to heart with the Brand? Absolutely. It gets everyone on the same page along with setting out expectations. A win for everyone involved.” http://mngirlinla.com
Takeaway #4: Each and every blog is unique. Smaller blogs can provide a wealth of influence, especially when combined with social media amplification on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Be open to discussing other ways of working, outside of free product and reviews, to create a personalized plan.
- “I also would love for [brands] to focus more on what we do as bloggers and what we could do for them.” http://acompletewasteofmakeup.com
- “A loyal following should be valued more than large numbers of one time visitors.” http://coffeejitters.net/blog