When it comes to content, online videos are seeing more competition now than ever. Between skyrocketing growth on YouTube and Facebook, and companies creating their own video libraries, it’s become a real challenge to get video content in front of the right audience.
This is where working with a blogger or online influencer can be a major advantage. Top bloggers have a dedicated and engaged audience, and can sometimes reach thousands or even millions of people. Strike the right partnership, and these experts can market your online videos and campaigns through creative promotion, or by sharing and creating complementary content.
If you’re interested in working with a blogger to promote (or “seed”) your video content, here’s where to start.
- Find the Right Blogger: As with any other successful partnership, finding the right match and chemistry is key. It may sound obvious, but not all bloggers are created equal. One common mistake that I’ve seen in past campaigns is brands looking only for the largest bloggers out there in terms of reach. That’s not always the best place to start.
What you should do is start out by evaluating the blogger’s engagement. Some points to consider: How often do they post? Do they receive comments? Does the blogger take time to respond and interact with fans? Is their content shared by others or linked to from external websites?
Besides engagement, the most important thing to note before reaching out for a blogger partnership is the type of content they create. Does their voice, theme, and editorial mission match that of your company and online video campaign?
Databases like Cision offer useful search tools to help you find bloggers, but their results are not always comprehensive and membership is pricey. Navigating the platform also takes some getting used to, so it’s best to work with professionals who have experience using these programs. Overall, the most successful blogger campaigns are created and managed by people who actually read and follow blogs, which brings me to the next tip.
- Leverage a Good Public Relations Team: Involving your PR team can make or break your campaign. The right PR professional will already have a list of bloggers and blogs that are dedicated to your industry. They’ll have existing relationships with online influencers you’re trying to reach.
If they’re really good, then they will know if the blogger has worked with other brands in the past. A joint effort between PR and marketing teams can help narrow in on exactly the right blogger for your video campaign.
Don’t have the luxury of working with a PR team? Create a list of bloggers you would like to work with and then start interacting with them through social media and their blog. Share their blog posts and content and add your own comments or feedback to it. Why? Because, again, it’s all about relationships and being an expert on influencers in your realm.
This is one known method of getting on a blogger’s radar. Once the relationship is built, you can approach them about potentially working together.
- Set the Right Expectations: When working with bloggers, understand that some of them might require payment to publish your brand-created video content. And they’ll definitely ask for payment if you’re looking to them to create the content. My suggestion is to create a list of 3 to 5 of your top bloggers that you’re willing to pay for placement. Then, make a list of 15 to 20 second tier bloggers and online media that you can reach out to on more of a PR/editorial level introducing them to the video campaign.
Marketers should also expect a blogger to request other forms of cross promotion throughout a campaign. They may want your brand to share their own content across your company channels and social media. It should be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Make sure that these items are spelled out and agreed upon in contracts and statements of work. While it may seem like a lot of work and money, the return can be huge when done right. Your videos can get introduced to a whole new audience and getting videos embedded onto blogs can do wonders for search engine optimization.
- Get Smart on Video Seeding: In a nutshell, video seeding is the process of distributing videos to a target audience across websites, video platforms, social media, and blogs. Rather than using a traditional advertising approach and appealing to the masses, video seeding ensures that your video is placed on a specific channel at a specific time for the right user. Vidyard shares some in-depth knowledge of video seeding in this article.
One video seeding tip is to create tailored content for the blogger’s audience that you’re trying to reach. The majority of bloggers write about products, services, or issues that they have experienced. Marketers can take these pain points and show users how your services or products can solve problems.
Taking this approach can give you ideas on video content creation and may also lead to your videos being shared and embedded onto the blog. Going through and reading the responses to these blog posts will essentially provide you with the video script.
My agency Clear Online Video worked on a campaign with Tether Tools, a photography company, that took this approach a step further in a series of videos. Not only did it interact with industry bloggers but Tether Tools actually researched blogs and comments and created new products based on the pain points its audience described in these posts.
When the content was published, it was picked up and embedded onto several industry blogs and sites that reached its target audience.
- Turn a Negative Into a Positive: There may come a time when your products or services are the topic of a negative review by a blogger. Rather than ignoring or criticizing the blog, work with the blogger to resolve the issue. We experienced a similar crisis with Microchip Technology (a provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors) a few years ago when one of its new products received a negative review by an industry video blogger.
The CEO of Microchip along with the PR team personally reached out to the expert and listened to the complaints and issues. They heard the blogger and promised to make improvements to the product in the future. The blogger was taken aback by the level of customer service, and released a new vlog praising Microchip on its customer service skills.
Microchip humanized itself even more by creating a tongue-in-cheek video explaining the mistake and what it was doing to improve the product. In the end, the results from the blogger’s audience were highly positive. The situation was not perfect, but it turned a negative review into something positive.
Content is key and that’s especially true when you’re trying to get other people to publish your videos. It can’t be a completely promotional video. No professional blogger will publish that type of material.
Content should be tailored to the audience (and the blog/online media’s audience) that you’re trying to reach. It can be educational, emotional, have a strong call-to-action, and be relatable. Take these tips and think about how they can be applied to your brand’s online video strategy.