Dos and Don'ts in Dealing With Bloggers

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Marlene Vey is an outdoor blogger. So her blog marlenesleben and her social media channels are all about outdoor sports - and with considerable success: Marlene has over 41.5 thousand followers on Instagram alone. Of course, the Munich based blogger has also had some experience with inquiries from companies. At, Marlene personally explains what brands should look out for when dealing with bloggers, so that the next influencer marketing campaigns are guaranteed to be successful. For the company and for the influencer.

Work Ski Balance - Marlene erzählt von ihrem Leben als Outdoorbloggerin und den Erfahrungen mit Unternehmenskooperationen
Work Ski Balance - Marlene talks about her life as an outdoor blogger and her experiences with brand cooperations.

Recently, an offer popped upin my e-mail inbox suggesting that I could cooperate with a premium dog food manufacturer. Small fact in passing: I don't have a dog. So I moved the mail to the trash and didn't bother to answer. After all, the agency obviously did not take much trouble with the research. That sort of thing annoys me. But there are even more things that I observe again and again in the implementation of cooperation between bloggers and companies. Some approaches I find very good, others rather bold or even cheeky.

How to get the first message right

"Dear blogger, we really like your profile and think it would be a good match for our brands..." almost every email starts out like this. Then, mostly in long text passages, what exactly the sender noticed positively is added: The uniform visual language, for example, my cheerful way of saying that I like to be outside.

That sounds good at first and I like hearing that. But the feeling is always the same. If the name is then inserted in a different font or font size, it is clear anyway that it is a standard text. So my visual language doesn't seem to be that special after all, if 20 other bloggers from the same niche get to hear that in the same way.

Therefore, the following applies here: Less is more. I prefer an e-mail that gets straight to the point, much more than the supposedly personal and yet so impersonal mails.

Communication and appreciation are important

Speaking of personal: When cooperating with bloggers, companies may book marketing services, but it is important not to forget that you are working with a human being. The blogger is usually successful and well received because a part of the personality is brought into the publications. Like everyone else, I am happy when my work is appreciated and I am of course grateful for constructive feedback.

That's what a good briefing looks like

Besides, I only enter into cooperations that match what I do. This is also in the interest of the company, because then the content of the cooperation contribution does not seem like a foreign body in the midst of my other content. Nevertheless, it sometimes happens that I receive a briefing with very precise ideas and guidelines, which are directed towards the design of the content.

In principle a briefing is of course the right way to go. For example, it may

  • draw attention to a particular characteristic of the product,
  • announce further topics of interest,
  • contain Hashtags or wordings
  • contain a link destination or
  • defines the campaign period.

So a good briefing makes the work easier and is the basis for a good cooperation between blogger and company.

However, I do not like a precise formulation of the text or image-specific guidelines. Creating good content is part of the blogger's job. In this way, each individual style is also incorporated into the visual language and text formulation. After all, that's what subscribers want to see. That is why they follow blogs, vlogs and on Facebook and Co.

Do without long contracts

Some companies go even further and draw up multilateral contracts in addition to precise specifications. Sometimes even in a foreign language like English. For example, I recently received a 19-page contract for a two-day stay at an event. 19 pages of legal English.

It's not exactly my area of expertise. So a contract like this should really be discussed with a lawyer. But the blogger often lacks the financial means to do so. Moreover, the services that the blogger provides are already discussed in advance through the offer. Both parties should adhere to this.

Advertising costs money

I also like the requests from sunglasses manufacturers (sunglasses can of course be replaced by any other product), who assure me a model of my choice, if I take ten photos with it and wear the glasses in each video and mention them by name. This is no longer lucrative for the blogger at the latest after the third sunglasses request. Because with sunglasses alone I cannot fill my fridge or pay my rent in the long run.

Just as advertising in a magazine, on television and on the radio costs money, advertising on a blogger channel costs money. At least if the blogger has a reach that can keep up with the other advertising channels just mentioned.

Produkte, die Bloggern besonders gut gefallen, werden auch öfter getragen
Products that bloggers like especially well, will also be posted about more often.
Image credit:
Marlene Vey

Blogger as product tester

Through cooperation with bloggers, more people should become aware of products or brands. But there are even more advantages for companies. Outdoor bloggers take the actual products outside and use them. Otherwise no contributions could be made. If I notice something, I will gladly give feedback.

Thus, companies can also benefit from a further test opinion. It is also worthwhile to involve bloggers in the product selection. For example, if there are different colours or patterns, then I sometimes find it a pity that just any model is sent to me. Perhaps not the one I would like best.

But what I like especially well, I also wear especially often.

Experience with bloggers helps

If the company is planning to cooperate with a blogger, but has not yet been able to gain experience in the field, it is worthwhile to fall back on the knowledge of an intermediary. Then the cooperation flows smoothly. But watch out: Not every online agency automatically knows how to work with bloggers.

So sometimes less is more...

It is therefore worthwhile for both cooperation partners if not too much influence is exerted, too many hurdles created and too many editorial events specified. It's usually just as worthwhile to work with a few selected, really suitable bloggers instead of serving a large crowd.

Again and again I am invited to Instagram weekends or similar events. Usually there are five to ten other bloggers involved. Moreover, the program is already meticulously planned and many "exciting activities" are offered.
The problem with this is that what I find exciting is not necessarily what someone else finds exciting. Some love skiing, some prefer to go touring and some prefer to toboggan down the slope.

So if the program now provides for a ski tour first, then skiing, stopping at a hut, tobogganing back, exploring the winter landscape with a dog sled and then using the local thermal baths, I have done quite a lot, but I have not really experienced any of it.

So how am I supposed to report on it if I haven't experienced it? Again, less is more!

About Marlene

With Marlene, everything at marlenesleben revolves around outdoor sports. In doing so she shows on her channels that you don't have to be a professional athlete to have fun in nature and explore your own limits. She takes you to ski resorts and on mountain tours, reports on her own struggle with fear of heights, shares personal moments of success and would like to invite you to tie your own shoes. Because there is so much to discover & experience out there! The adventure often begins right in front of your own front door.

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