Four Tips for Building Long-Term Blogger/Brand Relationships

By: Cyndy Aldred; Photos by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

Building long-term relationships is one of the best ways for bloggers to grow their business and for brands to maximize their exposure.

Bloggers who partner with trusted brands on an ongoing basis create an organic compound effect with their audience, which develops lasting benefits on both ends of the partnership. Audiences quickly take note when a blogger has a “go-to” brand, and this in itself can wield more subtle organic influence than anything else. Long-term relationships deliver successful campaigns for the brand, which can lead to regular paid partnerships for bloggers who continue to produce quality brand endorsements.

Brands that work with a blogger on a regular basis benefit from this ongoing compound effect versus a single campaign opportunity. The added benefits include brand familiarity, which returns informative, effective campaign posts and future collaborative pitch ideas. The feedback aggregated from the blogger’s audience benefits the brand and positions the blogger as an expert. In addition, the brand can leverage the blogger for content on its own channels, even outside of a campaign partnership. For example, I’ve partnered with Alt Summit sponsor Kirkland’s on several campaigns this year, and I was recently asked to write two blog posts for its blog that were unrelated to our campaign collaborations (you can see them here and here).

Four Tips for Maximizing Relationships

1)  Promote and support a favorite brand on social media.

A sure-fire way to get noticed by a favorite brand is to regularly engage with outside content and remain attuned to popular trends of the brand. Often times, bloggers engage on social channels only during campaigns; but promoting content outside of established partnerships is an effective way to indicate interest in current or future opportunities. 

2)   Form a connection and ongoing relationship. 

Getting to know a brand representative during a campaign goes a long way toward laying the foundation for a lasting relationship. Following along and commenting on a blogger’s post or sending a quick email about a post without a campaign incentive is a great way for brands to begin connecting with a blogger and learning about his or her future planned content. For the blogger, keeping up with new product rollouts and sharing feedback on products lets the brand know that you are engaged with the brand and invested in its success. 

3)   Reach out to your favorite brand. 

The most successful and effective relationships are those that are organic and a great fit. 

Brands using social media analytics tools – on Pinterest, Facebook, etc. – can quickly assess and pinpoint bloggers discussing the brand.

Bloggers who have a special affinity for a brand are encouraged to reach out in order to proactively form a relationship and stay on the brand’s radar. While a brand may not have a campaign within its budget immediately, most brands are going to great lengths to locate bloggers with an organic fit to determine the most opportune partnership.

4)  Go above and beyond before, during, and after a campaign.

Doing a little more than what is required during a campaign and sending a follow-up “thank you” email with general campaign traffic stats is a great way for bloggers to go above and beyond with a brand. Meeting all of the campaign requirements and taking the partnership a step further is a great way to exceed expectations, impress the brand and become the “go-to” blogger choice for upcoming opportunities.

It’s critical that brands promote blogger campaign posts on all social media channels and support the sponsored post/campaign. The brand loses the opportunity to maximize a campaign if it is not promoting blogger efforts for the brand. Bloggers enter into campaign agreements with the expectation that their work will be supported and promoted throughout the brand/blogger relationship. Meeting and exceeding this expectation will lay the foundation for a long-term relationship with a blogger. 

Ultimately, building a good rapport with a brand or blogger can be beneficial to both parties. If done correctly, both can reap the benefits of this relationship over the course of multiple campaigns and for years to come.

This post was sponsored by Kirkland's.