Episode 26: Today on Episode 26, we’ll be talking about sponsored posts and how to write them. We’ll discuss the dos, don’ts and the things you should know!
How To Write An Awesome Sponsored Post
Last week, in episode 25, we talked about media kits. What to put on them and how to communicate what you have to offer with someone who wants to work with you. Today, we’ll talk about what you should and shouldn’t be doing when it’s time to write that sponsored post.
I’ve spoken about this before, but it’s important if you are any kind of influencer, whether it’s social media or video, and are paid in cash or any form of compensation… you need to disclose your relationship with that brand. It can be something so simple as saying “Thanks so much XXX for sponsoring this post,” or “I was so thrilled when XXX sent me this water bottle.” It doesn’t have to be a lot of legal jargon, but just needs to tell the name of the brand and whether or not you received something.
We’re not governed by FTC regulations in Canada, but we still make it a practice to disclose. Same with sponsored tweets or other social media shares, which should say #ad or #sponsored or something to that effect.
Choose an Idea
Come up with an awesome idea that people want to know about. How does it affect their life or how would people want to use this product? For example, we work with Libman cleaning products. When they approached us for a post, we brainstormed what ways our audience would find them most beneficial. There’s nothing worse than going to a blog that you love and finding that the things shared are no longer relevant to you. We did 5 ways to keep your baby safe when they learn to crawl. It wasn’t a review post, but rather how you can incorporate the product into your life. We put things like; beware of stairs, electronic cords, etc. We then put tips for how we keep our floors clean and we added in Libman. That’s how you organically incorporate the product into your sponsored post. Remember, you always want to work with companies that you agree with and only share what you believe to be beneficial.
If you are doing a review post… none of those things I just mentioned really matter. You want to make sure that you’re taking the product, breaking it down and giving honest feedback on the product. Using Libman as an example again, for that post you would choose features about the product to talk about rather than incorporating the product into the conversation. Honesty and transparency are key.
What Happens When You Don’t Like The Product?
Many bloggers have found this hard. It can be handled in different ways. Some bloggers disclose on their site that they will give an honest review, whether it’s good or bad. Other bloggers decide that if they don’t like the product they give feedback to the company and let the company decide whether they want to go forward. They might either keep the product or agree to send it back at the company’s expense. Some go to the company and respectfully say, “This isn’t a good fit, and I’m going to have to back off.”
Your Blog, Your Company, Your Brand
You decide how you want to go about handling sponsored post and reviews on your blog. You’re the boss. On our blog, we vet people before they even get to the point where they send us products. If you send be something without talking to me first, I have zero obligation to post about it. If I like it, I might share on social media or with people in my everyday life. These are all different conversations you need to think about before you even take the product.
What To Do With The Post Once It’s Written
This depends on the conversation you had with the brand. If it’s an ad network, you need to follow the rules. If there are no rules, you might want to just ask. Once you write the post, you may want to say “Hey, did you have a certain week that you’d like this posted.” They have editorial calendars and may have certain times that their post will get the most traction. Asking is something that will make you standout from all the other bloggers out there.
Next, you’ll want to promote on social media. Not everyone agrees, but I feel that if a company is sponsoring me, I need to promote it across all my social media. That’s part of the package. That’s mutually beneficial since I get more viewers on my site, which helps me in the long run. Since we do everything with evergreen content, we can schedule social media promotions on a regular schedule! This could be once monthly or whatever timeframe works best. We don’t give a set number, but they know they’ll be promoted through our social media channels on a regular schedule.
The specifics are things you need to decide what works best for you. Work to blow the socks off of every single client. You won’t be able to please everyone all the time, but if you aim to blow the sock off you should at least always wind up with them feeling their experience was “okay” and never bad. Mistakes happen and sometimes communication gets muddles BUT do the best that you can with what you’ve got, and always strive to get better.
That’s it for today. Until next time, thanks for listening to the Sandbox to Success podcast, with your host: Katrina M. Thom. If you like what you just heard, leave us a message at iTunes or Stitcher. We would also love to hear what you have to say. Use the hashtag #totspodcast to connect with us on twitter. Don’t forget to check out the show notes, which can be found at www.totsbusiness.com. Join us next time for another edition of the Sandbox to Success podcast. Have an AWESOME day!