So last week’s Mothers Meeting Confidence Conference was jam-packed with advice and top tips. This time it was about how bloggers can work with brands and PR agencies. The crowd was fab and it was a full house at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. Love it how Mothers Meeting hold their events in the Old Court Room – it makes us all feel very grown-up.
We heard top tips from a fab panel of brand experts (left to right in the below pic)…
- Alex Holder, Content Director, Elle Magazine
- Holly Eddleston, Director of Influencer Marketing, Exposure PR
- Noella Dixon, Head of PR, Mothercare
- Jo Jackson, Global Head of Content and Creative Services, Diesel (and her baby)
Here are seven top tips from a pretty engaging session. Lots of us managed to ask some really good questions so we had a good natter about what works, what helps and what makes bloggers successful when they’re working with brands.
- Writing authentic reviews for brands…Holly from Exposure mentioned how brands don’t want bloggers to write an advert. They want a blog review to feel natural and organic. It’s about the person showing that they enjoyed posting the content as they enjoyed using the product themselves. Also, if you write in an authentic way, this is more likely to appeal to your audience and helps to build up trust. What happens if you don’t like a product? Be honest with the brand about why and send it back. On the flip side, expect brands to give you guidelines or information that needs to feature in your blog post. This is equally as important to smaller brands who may need to work harder at getting their values and stories out to consumers. It was really helpful that many of the attendees were also founders of small brands as they also wanted to understand how they can best work with bloggers.
- You don’t have to have been around for ages to work with brands…Brands want to work with new bloggers too. PR companies are always on the look out for new bloggers to collaborate with and bear in mind they don’t always know where to find them. Also just because a brand doesn’t want to work with you on a particular campaign of product you’re interested in, it doesn’t mean they won’t have something else you can help out with in six months’ time. A great piece of advice was also not to say yes to everything. Think about whether collaborating with a brand works for your blog and what you’re about.
- Engagement, engagement, engagement…Many brands and PR contacts want to work with bloggers who interact well with their followers. So it’s not always about having 10,000+ followers. Are you part of a community? Do people chat to your through your social media platforms about your blogs? Do followers let you know when they like one of your blog posts? There are so many ways of engaging with your audience so think about what works for you.
- Back to basics, it’s about being a nice person…Brands and PR companies want to know they’re working with decent people and this includes bloggers. You’re representing their brand so just like any working relationship they want to get to know you. Brands want to know they’re working with genuine people. Followers want to read stuff by nice people. Being yourself also helps with engagement.
- Too many bloggers?…One question was whether the market is going to be saturated by huge numbers of bloggers and will this reduce the level of influence bloggers have? All of the experts on the panel agreed that this won’t be the case. Phew. They felt bloggers do have a certain level of influence. I strongly believe there’s always room for new bloggers. One question was whether brands want to work with bloggers who live outside of London. There was a resounding yes from the Old Court Room. Holly from Exposure and Noella from Mothercare happily confirmed they love working with bloggers from around the country.
- Content is queen…This top tip comes up a lot. Brands want to see interesting and original content. One blogger asked about what they should blog about when they aren’t sure where to start? Jenny from Mothers Meeting rightly asked her “what would you enjoy doing?” Noella from Mothercare added that it should be about whatever comes natural to you. Also, if you choose to have a niche or theme, think about how much content can you keep up with on that topic?
- Your story…This is really important. Brands want to get to know the blogger as a person. What makes them different to other bloggers? Do you have a theme or a subtle brand going on? Let them know something interesting about you? What other projects are you working on that they will be interested in? One blogger asked if having a niche was a good thing? Hail yeah! Everyone agreed that it gave the blogger a unique perspective and people really want to hear about this. We also started chatting about the power of Instagram. The panel shared some great tips for organising and presenting our Instagram feeds as they also tell out stories. Instagram is important to brands as it has the visual aspect. A good tip is to avoid cluttering your Instafeed with photos of the same thing. Plus, use Instagram stories for featuring things which might be off-brand or a bit different to your usual tone.
Before we could head off, Jenny encouraged us to network (what I call chat-working). Not that difficult for most of us as we loved chatting away to old and new faces. As I popped round to say hi, I asked a few of the ladies what they enjoyed about this workshop…
“I liked the honesty of those speaking on the panel” Karen, n4mummy.com
“The panel we well chosen and they are influential people. Everyone had a slightly different perspective” Kate Monaghan– soon to be launching her YouTube channel
“Recognising people in the room who you’ve been following. That’s what Mothers Meetings are about” Sharon, designmum.com
“I love it how friendly everyone is. You get access to the inner-workings of a really interesting industry – digital marketing” Lisa, tantrum.xyz
Not forgetting some shout-outs to some lovely brands and bloggers featured in this blog post. Check them out when you have a chance…
alexandramoore.co.uk – personal stylist
hustleandfox.com – creative ideas for brands that want to get noticed.
tahiramakeup.com – Make Up artist Hair Stylist London, working in advertising, editorial, photoshoots and moving image.
pamela-p.com – newly launched collection of bags with design philosophy and unique edge.
skyrocketlondon.com – sign up to hear about their contemporary baby changing bags and accessories for style conscious mums.
tinkertailor.online – celebrate life and style with helpful and inspirational weekly content including fashion, home styling, fitness and wellbeing.
finlayfox.com – lifestyle blog with cool finds for little ones and mamas.
nanasmanners.com – kids cutlery helps children learn key life skills.
@victoriagenevievestyling – personal stylist
Over to you? If you’re a blogger do you want to want to feature brands on your blog? If you work with brands what are your top tips? If you’re a blog reader, what blog posts do you like reading about? Do you like reading about brands and product reviews on blogs? Go on, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think too…
See you around on Lucky Things soon, have a good week. x Sunita
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