8 Top Tips for Getting the Most From Your Sponsored Post
Photography by CRAIG DEARSLEY PHOTO
We are so excited to be launching our brand new media kit within the next week or so! It has been a long time coming and will see a few changes to the way we do things around here. Whilst putting it together we have been reviewing our sponsored posts to see what has made many of them so successful and we thought it would be useful to share these tips with you too.
In blogging world we are still only babies, so trying and testing has been our preferred method of learning. We have spent the last two years evaluating our sponsored posts to find out what makes them so effective, we have experimented with different layouts, formats and content and would like to think after all that, that we now have a good idea of the types of information and features that will make a sponsored post that bit more awesome!
Now I am not saying these tips are relevant to all blogs, as we all have our different ways of doing things and I am definitely not saying that adhering to all these tips will open the floodgates for millions of enquiries. Instead I would like to give you a little insight into our sponsored post process and hopefully shed the light on a few hints and tips that might maximise your chances of a successful sponsored post.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS IS RELEVANT TO THE BLOG
You will be amazed at the number of enquiries we get day in and out from companies looking for sponsored posts for anything from teeth whitening kits to laser eye surgery to weight loss products to sex toys, (Yes you did hear me correctly!) to businesses that fit our brand perfectly.
If you are interested in holding a sponsored post on a blog such as this one you might want to make sure your products fulfill the niche of the blog. Bespoke Bride specialises in original, unique, personalised and handmade weddings so it would be fairly safe to assume that information on teeth whitening or laser eye surgery would be pretty wasted here.
Get to know the blog, take a look at the type of content they post, what is the aim of the blog? What types of posts get the best reactions. It might help to take a look at the blog comments but remember to check social media too as this seems to the most popular way of engaging with readers nowadays.
If you have considered all of those things then there is a pretty good chance that we will think you are great fit, which means when we come to write about you we will be completely authentic in the things that we say. We think our readers are very smart and would spot it mile off if we had written something that we did not wholeheartedly believe in.
2. DO YOUR RESEARCH
It is only natural when you start thinking about sponsored posts that you head straight to the ‘biggest’ blogs, however biggest isn’t always best. It is much more effective to judge a blog on its targeted audience rather than on its views. Ask different bloggers for their media packs and make sure they have on offer exactly the type of post and audience you are looking for. You could also ask other similar business for their recommendations and advice on which sites to advertise, after all reputations are usually built on referrals.
3. MAKE SURE YOU ARE HAPPY WITH THE SPONSORED CONTENT ON OFFER
This has been pretty important to us over the past few months as we have started to reevaluate the way in which we present our sponsored posts. It probably comes as no surprise that some of our most popular posts here are on Bespoke Bride are our DIY’s therefore we are now looking at creating these types of posts using our sponsors services or products such as ‘Jess’s Summer Skin Refresh’ . Of course not everyone will fit so neatly into these types of features so we have created a list of other post types that you might find are a better fit some good examples include ‘Balloons Are Back! 5 Ways to Use Giant Balloons at Your Wedding’ & ‘5 Reasons Sandon Hall is the Perfect Place to Hold Your Festival Wedding!‘. Creating content that fits in nicely with our mainstream posts will hopefully create even more authenticity for our readers.
4. HAVE A CALL TO ACTION
Again it probably comes as no surprise that some of our most successful sponsored campaigns have been those that give people a reason to click. Think about hosting a competition, discount code or a special offer for a limited time only. Our most recent competition was hosted by Michelle of Silverstar Photographic who will be heading to Iceland next year to photograph the wedding of our lucky winners! (We’re not jealous -honest!)
5. COMPLEMENT YOUR SPONSORED POST
One thing we were terribly worried about when we first started to offer sponsored posts on our blog was the click through rate. We noticed that the click throughs on sponsored posts were quite low, however when coupled with ads in the sidebar, click throughs seemed to become much higher. When that particular sponsor then went on submit a real wedding or guest post the click through rate increased again. For a little while we wondered whether this could just be a fluke, then it hit us that the more of a presence an advertiser has on a blog the more likely the audience are to engage with them.
There is more to sponsored posts than simply whipping up a post and hoping it will drive a tonne of traffic your way. Instead you need to consider it as part of a wider campaign. You might have won us over and made us love you but sometimes our readers need a little more persuasion. They want to see you in action, they want to see your products and they want to get to know you.
6. MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS UP TO SCRATCH
So you have a sponsored post, you have an ad and you have submitted a real wedding, yet none of these click throughs seem to be converting to leads. Now it might be time to give your website a thorough audit. Is the site easy to use? Are the products easy to find? Is the site attractive? Be honest with yourself and put yourselves in the shoes of the customer. If you really think there is nothing more you can do to make the site any better, maybe it is now time call it quits with that blog and find another that might fit your style and budget.
I can also not stress enough how important it is to have a site up and running. We receive a fair few enquiries from businesses that request guest posts when their site is still being built. We need to have somewhere to send our readers, if we don’t, then the post has been a waste of not only our and your time but our readers too and we hate to disappoint.
7. TRACK YOUR TRAFFIC
If you plan on running any sort of advertising campaign you really need to have google analytics linked up with your site and you need to know how to use it. I have lost count of the number of people I have heard say they have it but no idea on how to use it. How do you expect to know if you have money well spent if you cannot track where your traffic is coming from?
Even with Google analytics however, it can be hard to track bookings so be sure to ask where they found you or how they heard about you. Not only will this help you keep tabs on your campaign it will help the blog owner too. We are always striving to do more to help our advertisers so it is useful to keep note, in order for us to evaluate your campaign too.
8. ASK FOR FEEDBACK AND GIVE IN RETURN
As well as keeping track using analytics it is also important to get feedback from the blog owner. Once your campaign is over find out how many clickthroughs your post received, how many likes & shares on Facebook, Retweets and Favourites on Twitter – you get the idea. The more data you can gather the more you have to work on for your next campaign.
It works just as well to give the blogger feedback as well. As I mentioned earlier we are always striving to do better so giving useful feedback, like your traffic, enquiries, bookings will help the blogger learn more about leading a successful campaign. Dont be afraid to give suggestions and advice either, we want to learn just as much.
If you interested in viewing our new media pack then drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you have any questions feel free to use the comments section below. I really hope that you have found this post useful and I hope it will help you in your quest to bag some pretty darn awesome clients!
Much Bespoke Love