How to Set Up a Campaign with Bloggers

Fashion blogger outreach is all the rage these days. It’s hipper than black framed glasses, single sourced coffee, and moleskin journals...combined! Considered the underdog form of advertisement, partnering up with fashion bloggers can actually be extremely beneficial when propelling your business forward.  Not only that, working with bloggers can be significantly cheaper than paying for more mainstream forms of advertising. This is probably why fashion blogger outreach is such an amazing spearhead for smaller companies and startups. Interested in learning more blogger outreach perks? Read this. In the meantime, we are here to chit-chat about HOW to do a blogger campaign. Get excited people! Here is a step-by-step overview for you to get familiar with the nuts and bolts of B.O. (NOT an abbreviation for body odor… IS an abbreviation for BLOGGER OUTREACH, cheeky).

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STEP NUMBER ONE : Define Your Goals and the Results You Want to Achieve

Like gearing up for a round of poker or a riveting chess match, you need to first and foremost establish a game plan. What are your objectives? What do you want to achieve from your campaign? Are you looking for more of a social media following? An increase in newsletter signups? Pinterest virality? A high click through rate to increase brand awareness? SEO backlinks? When you have established a clear goal, then you can decide what is the right type of campaign for you. If Pinterest virality is flavor, why not opt for a Pin-It-To-Win-It campaign, so that readers can pin your product on their own inboards helping your product pin circulate throughout a wide group quickly? If an increase in newsletter signups is what you’ve been searching for, have readers signup for your newsletter as a way to enter a giveaway! There are many types of campaigns to choose from, it all comes down to what is going to get YOU the results you need. 


STEP NUMBER TWO : Define Your Target Audience

It is immensely important to understand who jives with what your brand is putting down. Knowing your specific demographic makes outreach more focused and overall more efficient. Why? Because reaching out to relevant bloggers guarantees a higher response rate. Not only that, but by spending time on making sure the bloggers are the right fit, you will be getting more bang for your buck when you run your campaign, as their readers will be more engaged and interested in your cool duds. For example, let’s say you dabble in gothic, dark fashion pieces and are interested in running a campaign. If you reach out to 100 people without filtering which bloggers would be right for your aesthetic, 45% them might have more of a preppy look and would, therefore, never even consider promoting your product or respond to you. Which means you wasted the amount of time it took you to write 45 emails! You could have watched Titanic TWICE in that amount of time. Instead, clearly define your audience and only reach out to Hot-Topic-esque, spiked, black lipsticked bloggers who would be more likely to respond.  The Shelf makes it easy to filter specific characteristics that define your target demographic. 

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STEP NUMBER THREE : Make a Giant Outreach List

When knocking on a lot of doors there is no guarantee every single person will open. Response rate could be very low, therefore it is always better to have a much larger pool to draw from than expected. When making your list always remember to style match! Does their style actually align with your brand’s aesthetic? (See above.) Are they in the right price range? Heaven forbid, you reach out to a high fashion blogger who dabbles with the likes of Tory Birch and DVF to do a post about your buy 1-get-1 free vintage tees! Make sure your brand fits their readers. It is also important to note that some bloggers charge some $$$ to post. And why shouldn’t they? They have the power to clear your inventory. Bloggers with a large enough following can make thousands of dollars per post. Based on your budget, find the right fit. Examine their follower counts, number of comments, and overall engagement levels to make educated guesses. Reach out to a scope of bloggers with different engagement figures and see where you are the most successful. Once you find your sweet spot, search for bloggers in that range.

We know this can sound daunting. Finding the right bloggers for your brand is hard. Where do you look for them? How do you narrow them down? It requires a lot of time to sift through content, analyze the engagement, style match, etc. Employing a tool like our site, The Shelf, you can use 8 fine grained filters to find the right bloggers for you (out of our list of 17,000).  You can also keep track of your outreach process using our collection spreadsheets.


STEP NUMBER FOUR : The Actual Outreach Itself!

Who likes automated messages? No-one. Don’t be the jerk-brand who sends out one spammy email to a ton of people at once. Nowadays it is all about the individual. Make a blogger feel special and highlight why you are interested in partnering with them, personally. Some of these bloggers get hundreds of emails a day. Make yours stand out!


STEP NUMBER FIVE : Crossing the t’s and Dotting the i’s

Once you have finally decided which bloggers you are partnering with, it is time to draw up a written contract. Make sure your agreement clearly outlines the expected publish date of the post, the approach to the product, as well as pricing. Remember to consult with your blogger, they know their audience best. Don’t be a shy Shelly! Let your bloggers know your goals. Ask for suggestions on how they think they can help you achieve them. Which giveaway do they think will be the most profitable? If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!


STEP NUMBER SIX : Sharing Is Caring

When published, share the post on all forms of social media. And we mean ALL forms of social media! Make sure everyone and their mom knows that your brand is giving away some amazing doo-dads on so and so’s blog. The more people in the know, the higher engagement you’ll see with your products! Don’t forget to include a shout-out in your newsletter as well!  If you really want to kick things up a notch, you “broadcast” these posts using services like Outbrain.  Outbrain will take your post and recommend it to people who are reading similar content on other blog posts. This usually sits beneath the blog post, right above the comments in the  “Other Recommended Articles” section.


STEP NUMBER SEVEN : Track ROI (Return on Interest)

Connect with your inner Nancy Drew and track the results from your blogger giveaway. It is very important that you are able to measure your end goal to see if this type of campaign was successful for your brand. There are many platforms out there that can help you do this.  The easiest and most obvious is Google Analytics.  You can view all of your traffic sources, and how many people came from a particular post.  You can also see how legit those traffic sources are by looking at the bounce rate.  If you notice Blogger A sent you loads of traffic, but no one made it past the first page, while Blogger B sent you only 1/4th what Blogger A sent. If Blogger B’s users clicked on an average of 5 pages you know that Blogger B is a good person to continue working with.  Most bloggers will broadcast your sponsored post on each social platform as well.  You can monitor the traffic sent from these pages.  You should also keep an eye on what happened to your follower counts as a result of a particular blog post.  Especially if you were doing a giveaway with the purpose of gaining Facebook and Twitter followers.  The last thing you can take a look at is your Alexa score and Domain Authority.  As you know, getting coverage on blogs will help your SEO rankings. You can look at scores like Alexa to see if you’re gaining traction.  SEOMoz is another really good option for this if you want to get really into the trenches with SEO.  They are the promised land for SEO tools.   Domain Authority is just one of the things you can track with them.  As your domain authority goes up  and your Alexa score goes down, you’ll know that you’re headed in the right direction with your SEO.  (Not to worry, we’ll cover analytics more in depth in another post!)

There you have it, how to run a fashion blogger campaign! While it may sound like a daunting task, the payoffs can be tremendous! Don’t be scuurred, get out there and get your blogger outreach on! After all, you do want to be hip, don’t you?