Congrats, you’ve secured a partnership with a brand! Maybe it’s a sponsored blog post, maybe you’re doing a product review, or speaking at an event. These best practices come into play anytime you agree to work with a brand.
This post is the fourth in a series about Partnering with Brands, by regular contributor Jenna Urben who blogs at The Urben Life (clever name!). Jenna’s background is in marketing and advertising and she’s worked with a whole host of big-name brands – so she knows what it’s all about!
You can read the other posts here:
Thanks, Jenna, for this extremely useful series!
Be clear, direct, and honest with brands
When you’re communicating, assumingly via email, say what you mean and don’t beat around the bush. Make sure you both understand what the deliverables are – one blog post with three images, four social media shares, etc.
And of course, be honest about your statistics and demographics! You want this company to keep coming back to you for more work, so now is the time to make them feel confident in their decision to partner with you.
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Be transparent and honest with your readers
Did you know that you are required to disclose sponsored posts? Make sure you’re up to date on the latest ASA rules and guidelines (FTC in the US). In addition to the mandatory disclosure, you should fill your readers in why you’re excited to partner with this brand, why you love their products, why you want to share their products with them, then get into the post. It should be natural. If it doesn’t feel natural, remember why you wanted to feature this brand on your blog in the first place.
Related: How to Get Your Readers to Trust You
Include everything you promised, on time
Make sure you include everything you agreed on – links, photos, videos. Then make sure you’re meeting all your deadlines. Put key dates in your calendar like when to send the draft in, when different posts with go live, and a reminder to send your posts to the brand. Meeting these deadlines reinforce the idea that you’re a great influencer to partner with!
Track performance and engagement using analytics
Amidst all the planning, content creation, editing, and publishing, it can be hard to remember you need to track how well your sponsored posts perform. What type of feedback do you receive? How many link clicks do you get? Are you getting a lot of shares? These are all important and fairly easy to track. To go a step beyond, you can activate tracking codes into links and search for more in-depth analytics. As long as you can show that your post provided valuable information and value to your readers, you’re on the right track!
Communicate with brand how awesome the post performed
Last but not least, once your post is published and the comments are rolling in, make sure you express your excitement working together with the brand. Let them know how the post performed and how your audience reacted. To go a step beyond, provide a recap of the deliverables and goals, give a summary of the content, and share awesome comments you received regarding the brand, etc. This would be a good time to not only share key stats, but also pitch a new partnership idea. The following project doesn’t have to happen right away, but at least you both are thinking about and planning for another sponsored post.
Do you work with any brands? Who are your favourites?