I notice a pattern that occurs every time I meet a new business owner in Ottawa, or when I visit their store. It’s sad to say: but their Instagram accounts are usually weak, underdeveloped and more of an embarrassment than something they can be proud of. It’s lacking followers, lacking professional or high-quality images, there is usually not enough content, there is no sign of engagement and worse, they are not using a single strategic hashtag to save their life. The reality is that very few businesses in Ottawa do Instagram well, which is why Ottawa Influencers have carved themselves a nice digital home in this city.
Some of you know that I am a Marketing and Communications professional and am immersed in the Ottawa Networking scene. I love supporting small businesses and only want to see them thrive. What kills me though, is when small business owners are not fully taking advantage of modern opportunities to do business. Specifically, I have noted that Ottawa businesses are skeptical of working with bloggers and have no clue what we do, or what to do with us. After a few times of having to explain myself and the value of my services, I felt compelled to write a post and help these fellow business owners learn about different roles bloggers can play. I want to show that bloggers are flexible, affordable and are a crucial aspect of getting businesses more exposure online.
Oh, you’re a blogger? What exactly is a blogger?
I am an entrepreneur, just like you! As a digital strategist, I have the knowledge and experience that helps me promote myself (or your stuff!) online. I know how to take advantage of the web and leverage the power of social media to get (your stuff!) noticed (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). Think of a blogger as an independent and modern day journalist.
I love to write and share my compelling stories online. In fact, I get paid to write these stories! I am creative, strategic and know how to integrate your products in my everyday life. I am not a model or magazine, I am a stylist which mean I have a voice and will want to choose what I promote. I have loads of people who follow me because they like my style and can relate to my lifestyle. When I talk about new products, ones that I love and endorse, odds are they will like them too! I can offer you a truly targeted audience, which is why it’s crucial that your product is a good fit.
Bloggers offer a new way of advertising; but good bloggers have the skill to do it softly and remain authentic. Bloggers can also be called influencers or brand ambassadors.
I can’t afford it.
Never assume that everything is too expensive. Again, like you, bloggers are running a business and offer a variety of services that can accommodate your budget. Just remember to offer a fair exchange; whether it’s in the form of product or payment.
Also remember that each blogger will have different prices based on their audience size, desire, experience and availability. You will pay more if a blogger has a large following, is not crazy about your product, has been in the game for a while and is extremely busy with bigger fish to fry.
How do I work with you? What services do you offer?
Again, prices may vary from blogger to blogger, but generally, here is what you can expect:
- Event promotion (FREE)- You can invite bloggers to your event and comp their ticket in exchange for a blog post before or after the event.
- PR event ($/$$)- You can host an intimate event, exclusively for bloggers, and have the opportunity to talk about your new business venture or product that you are promoting. Typically, this involves a meal and gift to encourage the bloggers to write about your initiatives.
- Product reviews (FREE/$)- You can give a blogger free products to review. Only do this if you want authentic and honest feedback for your products.
- Banner ads ($/$$)- You can pay a blogger to advertise your product or business on their blog.
- Newsletter or Social Media Mentions ($/$$)- You can pay the blogger to post your product on their newsletter or social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Fitbay, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
- Sponsored blog posts ($$)- Writing takes time, so it will cost more money for a blogger to write about your product. If you want nice photos of your product integrated in the bloggers lifestyle, this may also come at a cost.
- Brand ambassador ($$$)- Building a longstanding relationship with a blogger and having them represent your brand or use your product exclusively (includes being a spokesperson or doing TV appearances or hosting an event around the blogger).
- Coaching ($$$$)- Business coaching is your one-on-one opportunity to work with a blogger and learn about digital strategy, marketing and how to blog for your own business.
If you have any more questions, I am happy to answer. Leave them in the comments bellow.
PS- Stay tuned for my “9 Ways to illustrate your brand story: Instagram Workshop” for small business. I’ll be launching this in mid April and I can’t wait!