3 Tips to Working with Bloggers to Create Gift Guides

blogger gift guideThe holidays are the ideal time to strategically promote your brand – so partner with bloggers now to maximize your exposure with customers and prospects.

“Social media is not a fad because it’s human.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Isn’t it amazing to think that just a few years ago blogging was considered a fad, a fleeting moment in journalistic history that was regarded as a flash-in-the-pan way to convey information? Today, bloggers are incredibly influential across nearly all industries, and they’re quickly becoming the go-to marketing vehicle for smart business owners who want to boost their exposure in a natural and honest way.

Marketing managers today know the holidays are perfectly suited to maximizing the potential of a brand. Namely, because people are often in the buying mood and the spirit of the holidays is something that can be tapped into quite easily. This holiday season, consider the ways you can elevate the performance of your business by working with bloggers to achieve product placement within relevant holiday gift guides.

Why Gift Guides?

Why should you focus on getting your products into a gift guide or catalog in the first place? The answer is simple: exposure! Keep these stats in mind as you begin the process of partnering with a blogger:

* More than 60% of shoppers will shop online for some or all of their holiday gifts.

* Bloggers are considered among the top 5 destinations for reliable information.

* More than 80% of the online world feels that bloggers can be trusted to deliver honest information.

* Six out of ten members of the online population have purchased at least one item based on a recommendation from a blogger.

Partnering with a blogger just makes sense. Here are some of the things to consider before creating a business relationship with a particular influencer, especially one that can position your products or services within their unique holiday gift guide:

Start as early as possible: Many bloggers spend serious time putting together their own holiday gift guides, and they’ll need some time to interface with your product, test out your service, and conduct research on the ideals of your business. They’ll likely want to publish their guides at least a few weeks ahead of the holiday. Get a jump on the process and you’ll improve your chances of an influential blogger picking up your offerings.

Discover the blogger’s audience: Even the most influential of bloggers might be the wrong fit for your business. Figure out if the audience is comprised of enough fashionistas for your clothing line, a sufficient number of garage-dwelling guys for your man cave accessories business, or plenty of food lovers for your culinary gadgets company. Try to work with each blogger to promote one of your most popular or innovative offerings. Then, link back to your main page to allow the audience members to discover your other wares.

Incentivize the Blogger: From providing free goods or services to paying them directly for the sponsored mention, you’ll want to work closely with your group of bloggers to incentivize them in a way that makes them feel valued. For the holidays, a giveaway offer or discount code may be a good way to sweeten the deal. Create an influencer budget in advance and know that depending on a blogger’s authority and reach, the rates may increase.

[Read our latest blog: How to Craft the Perfect Influencer Marketing Pitch]

When creating a relationship-based selling model through your base of influencers, consider how your products will help the blogger’s audience. Position yourself as a unique and important brand that can solve a real problem in the lives of the audience, then send two or three products to each blogger for review.

Keep in mind how busy everyone is during the holidays as well. If you don’t hear back right away, schedule follow-ups, and stay organized with any communication you receive.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past several years, it is that today’s consumer trusts the humanistic musings of an influencer much more than traditional advertising. Partner with bloggers and get ready to boost your brand’s exposure in an economical and powerful way.

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