If that economic hiccough (also known as the GFC) taught us anything, it’s the value of value. It’s a lesson forgotten all too quickly once the recovery kicks in, usually because it requires more work and focuses on needs over wants. This seems to be why, for some, blogger outreach has been a difficult nut to crack. The premise is simple – give the blogger something they value and in return they will consider promoting your brand/product. Of course everyone has a different idea of what constitutes value.
Here’s a stunning example from one of my favourite bloggers.
A few minutes ago I got a pitch from a company who wanted me to write a review for their cereal on my blog. And they would pay me. In cereal. Two boxes of cereal, specifically. Except that the cereal wouldn’t actually go to me. It would be used as a giveaway. To promote their cereal. On my blog. Because as a blogger I’m so desperate for material that I will happily regurgitate any commercial bullshit that anyone puts in front of me. Apparently.
I’m really struggling with writing this because I fully believe that people should be able to write whatever they want but if you as a blogger are accepting a box of cereal as payment for helping to grow a commercial ad campaign then you are undervaluing us all. Companies have advertising budgets and some of those companies spend that money on bloggers. And those companies should be applauded for helping to grow our community and for giving bloggers the same respect that you would give to any other profession. Other companies give their advertising budgets to PR firms who are paid quite well to get bloggers and other outlets to advertise the product in exchange for cereal. I can almost guarantee you that none of the PR people who contact you are working for cereal.
In this case, the currency was an offer to the blogger’s readers that would either reward loyal readers and/or drive new interest to the blog. With cereal. A British agency used this method for a previous client of mine – except the reward was the chance to win a holiday to Australia – an offer the target bloggers would have never possibly afforded otherwise. Even then there were a few bloggers who didn’t bite.
If you’re about to proposition a blogger stop for a moment and ask yourself – how well do you understand their personal definition of value?