The days of influence marketing solely backed by celebrities or public figures are long gone. Today, people publish their own opinions and find their voice online by publishing blogs that carry influence of the same caliber, if not more. Bloggers can engage on a personal level, strengthening influence with their audience, and in fact we are seeing higher engagement rates in some cases vs. paid advertising. But how do health marketers create an “influencer campaign” and where to start? When considering outreach to bloggers for a potential partnership, think about the following considerations:
Key Considerations For Health Blogger Outreach
1. Content: When you review blog posts, evaluate the quality of the blogger’s writing and voice. Do their posts read like personal narratives or dense essays? Aside from writing, do they also feature videos? Make sure that the assets (and format) you have, or envision creating, are a match.
2. Positioning: After reading a blog, the positioning and viewpoints should be clear. (If they are not, you might cross that blog off your list.) Consider how these align with your messaging, because like any other business, bloggers must choose their position effectively.
3. Audience Engagement: A highly engaged audience means the writer has more influence. Assess comment volume, because this is a clear sign of a strong committed following.
4. Endorsement Policy: Strict regulations for endorsements on blogs (other than FTC guidelines) don’t exist, thus how paid advertisements and promotions are handled on blogs varies across the board.
Using these considerations, develop a list of potential partners for your influencer marketing initiative. To narrow your list even further, think about the nuances below to find the perfect fit for your consumer healthcare brand:
Quality vs. Quantity
Frequent updates on a blog can increase engagement and relevancy within a particular industry or area of focus. Steer clear of blogs with unusually long gaps between posts. Experts who blog for business have a strict content schedule to keep their followers coming back. Consistency is crucial in terms of quality and frequency of posts.
Shallow vs. Deep
Health products are a personal matter and so the best bloggers relate to their audience with personal experiences. Brief posts with less information, more images, and many ads are a red flag. Seek out bloggers that use their platform to offer valuable information, education and resources for their audience.
New vs. Established
Even if a blog is “young,” still consider it. New blogs can catch fire quickly when there’s a credible expert producing quality content. Someone just starting a blog may be more eager to form a partnership, whereas a more established blogger will be less accessible to partner with. And be aware that some bloggers avoid endorsements completely because it may alienate their audience.
Broad vs. Narrow
It’s best to reach out to blogs that focus on one topic in addition to blogs that cover many related topics. Blogs with a focused purpose tend to have higher quality, while blogs that cover more topics may have wider reach. For example, Better Bones focuses mostly on bone health and osteoporosis compared to Spine Health, which features content about all bone-related issues.
Collaboration vs. Independent
There are blogging platforms that leverage a group of contributing experts. For example, Get Better Health, which positions itself as “smart health commentary,” has several contributors that each has their own blog. Depending on marketing goals, reach out to both individual and collaboration blogs, which can also be a great source to find individual health bloggers.
Paid vs. Free Endorsements
FTC guidelines require bloggers to disclose that they were paid to feature a product in their post. Some bloggers choose to endorse products they like and use, or the manufacturer provided them with free samples, and they felt compelled to include the brand in a post. Your strategy and investment will differ depending on the types of blogs you choose to include.
Consumer health product marketers should view blogger outreach, and influence marketing broadly, as a viable channel for increasing brand awareness, increasing engagement and driving digital traffic to your site. Many bloggers are eager to partner with brands, especially when they fit with their own brands and voices, so this is a real win/win situation for your brand, the blogger and consumers.