Brands and Bloggers: Exposure and Engagement

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By: Sara Urquhart; Photos by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Once bloggers know what they can offer a brand and brands know and have communicated their goals, there are different types of campaigns. One delivers brand exposure to the blogger's audience and the other delivers engagement with the brand.

Exposure Campaigns

When a brand decides to contract with a blogger, they may have a simple goal of exposure, or building name recognition. An exposure campaign happens through blog posts where the brand is mentioned, or on other platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. On exposure blog posts, it’s not uncommon to see a few sentences at the beginning of the post explaining that Blue Diamond Almonds, Nestle, or Poland Springs bottled water sponsored this post, but the post doesn’t necessarily tie into those brands. It's likely content the blogger would have been writing about anyway, but it just happens to be sponsored by a company looking for more exposure.

Engagement Campaigns

Engagement is a step beyond exposure because it provides for conversations about your brand or product. When people are engaging with your brand they’re asking questions about it, exploring it, and talking about what they love about it. Engagement campaigns will likely be more expensive than exposure campaigns because they require more work and have a more focused end goal.

Delivering Exposure and Engagement

During the same week, I saw Cool Whip-sponsored posts on three different blogs. The first two bloggers treated the post in the way I described above, where they mentioned the post was sponsored by Cool Whip, and proceeded with a typical blog post. This was, I’m sure, within the boundaries of their agreement and a perfectly acceptable approach.

But the third blogger I read that week created a recipe using Cool Whip. Though she isn’t a food blogger, the recipe was a natural fit and something she would have created anyway. Of course, her post would have been more valuable to Cool Whip than the other two because it offered both engagement and exposure.

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As a brand, you can decide which type of post is best for you based on your goals and your budget. As a blogger, being willing to create posts that involve both exposure and engagement can become another layer of value you offer to potential partners.

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