By: Sara Urquhart. Photography: Justin Hackworth
It’s a business adage that it’s easier to keep an existing customer than to find a new customer, and the same principle holds true in the world of social media. If you discover a blogger who is authentically and honestly talking about your brand online, developing a long-term sponsor relationship with her is much wiser than convincing someone who’s not already familiar with your brand to join your team.
A long-term relationship with a blogger who already knows and loves your brand offers great value. If she’s already a fan and you’ve worked successfully together on one or two small projects, she might be willing to participate in market research and offer valuable feedback and helpful critiques, which can save you time and money on focus groups.
She’ll be a good fit, too, when it comes time to develop, launch and promote future products. Because her readers know she’s already mentioned your brand, their interest will be peaked when she promotes new products and her recommendation will be amplified. Running content campaigns, contests, or giveaways on her site will make sense to you, to her, and to her readers and the campaign becomes more effective because of the authenticity of your ongoing relationship.
When you maintain a long-term relationship with a blogger, she can also help you find other bloggers with similar reach and readership as you develop new campaigns and expand to new audiences.
A blogger with whom you’ve developed a great relationship may also be willing to represent you at blogging conferences. You may sponsor her at the conference in exchange for a few conversations about your brand, a tweet or Instagram, or a few products to give to key people.
A long-term relationship with a blogger is really like building a friendship, and the more time you spend together, the more beneficial your relationship can be.