Hello, my name is @KylaApplegate and I’m mildly obsessed with economical, 20-something fashion bloggers. It all started in the Spring of 2011 and the rise of Pinterest, the gateway to blog obsession. My first few style searches continually pulled up one blogger in particular: Sydney Poulton at The Daybook. Now, more than a year later, I’m checking her site daily.
Image sourced from Sydney Poulton, blogger from The Daybook
Who do I follow? Writers like @TheDaybook, @KendiEveryday and @AtlanticPacific to name a few. Why do I follow these stylish ladies? They’re good with their money, typically have affordable taste, they’re real and I enjoy their honest voice. Enough about why I love them, here’s why brands should embrace these fly guys and gals.
Image sourced from Kendi, Blogger from Kendi Everyday
1. Bloggers humanize your brand: Bloggers make your brand relatable and relevant with your consumer. By communicating the benefits of your product through a trusted blogger, your target audience will understand exactly why and how the brand is relevant in their lives. All the warm, fuzzy feelings I have toward my bloggers is immediately transferred to your brand the moment I see my favorite blogger loving and wearing your brand.
2. They play well (and legally) with other brands: Let’s be honest, as ideal as it would be, your consumer doesn’t live their life using only your brand. Bloggers allow your brand to co-exist with other brands sans legal complications. Example: seeing your brand’s amazing necklace paired with oodles of outfits convinces me how versatile and covet-worthy your piece is.
3. Bloggers allow you to zero in on your consumer: Imagine this…your ideal consumers (insert target demos here) seated in front of their computers, engaged with fashion and staring at your newest piece - yeah, that’s right, bloggers let you reach your exact target when they’re ready to make a purchase. Just a few clicks and one easy credit card transaction, and you’ve made a sale.
4. Bloggers are an affordable option: These bloggers are posting multiple times a week, meaning constant new content - save your own time, money and effort by letting them create content for you. Don’t forget their star power comes at a much lower cost than traditional celebrity endorsements.
5. Organic and authentic content: Long live real, truthful and honest content! Don’t shy away from the lack of control – minimize risk by selecting bloggers who are already loyal fans of your brand.
And how do the bloggers feel? Glad you asked, the blogger Jeanette from J’s Everyday Fashion was kind enough to share her take on blogging for brands:
Image sourced from Jeanette, blogger from J’s Everyday Fashion
K: In your experience what makes for a successful blog? (i.e. One with an impressive number of engaged, loyal readers)
J: There are so many elements to a good blog, but my top two would be consistency and originality. Nothing can replace hard work, and literally just showing up everyday is half the battle. And my #1 piece of advice for bloggers is to do something different. Don’t choose a blogging niche that is already saturated - come up with a new niche, or a completely different spin on that niche. With those two elements you should be golden.
K: Why do you think people follow / read your blog? (i.e. What do they get out of it?)
J: Getting dressed is a part of our day that we simply cannot avoid. And I provide really accessible fashion that anyone can do. My content has a practical application that women can use to enrich their lives, and make that part of their day a little easier, so it’s fun to read but useful too.
K: What advice do you have for brands looking to work with you?
J: Please don’t guess my name (I actually go by “J”), be patient (it can take a long time to respond) and get creative. I love getting unique ideas for partnering that make it exciting to work together!
K: What would you say are the top benefits for brands that collaborate with bloggers?
J: We all know that word of mouth advertising is the best kind, and when you collaborate with a blogger that’s essentially what you are getting. If a blogger enjoys your company and they share it with their “friends,” it’s a great thing for companies because bloggers have so many friends!
K: How do you promote a brand or product, while still making the post believable and authentic?
J: I only post about it if what I’m saying is totally authentic. I turn down at least 75% of the offers I get, and if I don’t like an item when I receive it , then I let the company know and I usually won’t post about it.
K: What are the ingredients of a successful blog post? (i.e.: A post that is highly-read, commented on, and generates positive sentiment for a brand)
J: The number one question people ask themselves when they read something is “what’s in it for me?” If you can provide something that has a useful application for the reader, then that is the best kind of blog post out there.
K: If you were challenged with matching brands up with the most suitable bloggers for their brand, how would you go about doing this? What qualities would you look for? What considerations would you have?
J: Coming from a marketing background, I think every blogger and every brand should have a clear, consistent brand message. A message that conveys not only what they do, but also what they believe, and why they do what they do. I would match companies to bloggers based on these mission statements or company “personalities.” For example, my ideal company to work with is Dove. It’s not a fashion company, but they make the most sense because of their real women campaign. The realness, no Photoshop, and the idea that “real” women are just as beautiful is exactly what I’m trying to convey through fashion on my website. Our mission statements match up, and that’s more important than anything else in my book.
So what are your thoughts, do you think that brands should invest in bloggers? Do you have any experience? If so, please share!
-Written by Kyla Applegate