Two weeks ago we wrote about the things that brands misunderstand about bloggers. Our goal is to bridge the communication gap between the two so you can find common ground (we’re matchmakers, remember?). But let’s be clear: we’re not taking sides.
The Find Your Influence team has experience in both in-house marketing and working with bloggers. We’ve been on both sides of the tracks. We love you bloggies, but what we’ve found is that there are a lot of incorrect assumptions made about brands by bloggers, resulting in a lost opportunity or simply a frustrating experience. So bloggers, open yours ears (our mom’s use to say that). Here are three things bloggers misunderstand about brands.
1. Big or small, not all brands have a huge budget
When a major brand reaches out to you, you’re probably seeing dollar signs. You’re envisioning working with the people of Mad Men. They have dollars to burn and scotch to sip. And for some brands, maybe that’s not far from the truth. But the reality is budgets are distributed differently in every company, and there are several reasons a marketing team might not have an endless budget (or any budget) to fund an influencer campaign. To name a few:
- Influencer marketing is a brand new program to this organization and they have to prove it works before they allocate a lot of money to the initiative.
- The business-to-business division is a lot bigger than the consumer division (or vice versa). You think you’re working with a giant, but in reality it’s more like a start up.
- The executives don’t think influencer marketing has a good return on investment so the marketer you’re working with gets a limited budget to work with. Ouch.
This doesn’t mean that advertisers shouldn’t pay you. It does mean that you shouldn’t always expect them to have an endless amount. If a brand with a small budget wants to work with you, that means they think you’re really special. Try to approach the situation professionally rather than scoffing at the amount offered or assuming the brand is reaching out to hundreds of other bloggers like you. Take your offers seriously—even the ones you decline.
2. Advertisers hate the bureaucracy, too. But it’s a reality.
Most larger brands have either a strict branding policy a strict legal policy, or both. This can result in a brand asking you to edit your work—reword this, delete this and a trademark here. It can also result in you having to put a long disclaimer on your post. I assure you, no marketer on the planet wants a disclaimer on your work. And marketers don’t want to edit your work either. That’s awkward for everybody. But legal restrictions and branding guidelines exist for a reason. They protect brands (and consumers). Try not to be defensive, and consider working with the brand on messaging that will better fit their guidelines.
3. Businesses are people, too
Okay, not exactly. But the marketers that are designing and managing influencer campaigns are people. They are not the brand. They are people working for a brand. They have bad days, they have good days and most importantly, they probably report to a supervisor. So when they’re worried about CRMs, ROI, CTCs (okay we made that last one up), it’s likely because a supervisor is asking for it. So when it takes you days to respond or if you disregard the request completely, you’re putting pressure on a real person.
The bottom line is to be professional and respectful of people’s time. If a brand reaches out to you, it’s because they think your work is awesome. If it’s not a good fit for you, that’s fine. But decline politely.
Of course, here at FYI, we make it easy for you. We ensure that our bloggers have the easiest experience possible. Since everything from connecting with brands to getting paid is handled within the platform, you don’t have to worry about the frustrating details.
Gone are the days of reaching out to brands, emailing back and forth, finding ways to track your success, repeatedly asking for payments, etc. We handle all of that stuff for you. Join our influencer marketing platform for free and see for yourself!