Tim Bay, VP of Digital Marketing from Wilton gave some insights to social media marketers on how to find the right bloggers for their campaign and measuring success.
Wilton is the industry leader in cake decorating, bake ware and food crafting. Wilton wanted to work with bloggers and leverage their influence to reach and engage new bloggers. Wilton wanted to reach a segment that they didn’t talk to as much as they liked – novice and casual bakers. They thought mommy bloggers would be the perfect way to have a third party endorsement and build general awareness of the brand. Wilton sought out to develop a “mommy ambassador” program that invites 8 high influence bloggers to tour the corporate office where they can meet with product manager and senior management.
Wilton’s blogger business strategy summed up to this formula: Reach + Engagement = Influence. They wanted to find the right bloggers who had a large amount of influence to promote their brand.
Wilton used quantitative and qualitative data to measure the bloggers influence. Quantitative data was measuring their website traffic (using alexa.com or compete.com), their social following (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) and their digital footprint growth. Qualitative data dove deeper into the quality of their influence such as the type of posts they have, subject matter of posts, number of comments they receive or their work with previous brands. Wilton also looked ahead towards measuring success. Wilton measured success by asking these six questions:
- Could we build a positive and productive tactical relationship with bloggers?
- Could we get the bloggers excited and engaged?
- Increasing brand awareness
- Drive traffic from blog posts to key areas on website
- Do we attracted engaged visitors to our digital properties as a result?
- Do readers the blog seem interested and excited about what we offer?
At the end of the campaign Wilton developed six guidelines for success for their blogger campaign:
- Developing a tactical relationship – receiving feedback through survey
- Sharing success of the product with the blogger
- Building Awareness
- Engaging blog readers
- Driving class registrations
Key Takeaways from seminar:
- Align your blogger strategy with your overall digital marketing strategy – as your marketing strategy evolves, your blogger strategy should as well
- Level set expectations around influencers
- Don’t take shortcuts – spend the time to find the right relationships and then nurture those relationships
- Recognize all bloggers aren’t the same – they have different backgrounds, different business approaches, etc.
- Make it multi-faceted strategy (not all of your blogger relationships have to be the same)
- Identify measures of success before you start – even if soft measures
- Be comfortable with not controlling and dictating the message, but do prove bloggers information on your programs.
- Engage bloggers in your brand – speak with them, not to them