Over the last few month we’ve put together a mini series of articles all about working with fashion bloggers. In this, the final article in our series, we are focusing on the details of the collaboration process.
What happens after you’ve found the bloggers that are the right fit for your fashion brand?
As I wrote in the previous post, you should have about 2-5 blogs you think are right for your brand and your goals.
Even if you plan on collaborating with only one blogger, it is better to keep your options open and have a safety net. It is also a good idea to “shop around”. Find out what each blogger is offering, just to get a better idea and make a smart and educated decision.
How to Approach a Fashion Blogger for a Collaboration
If they are somewhat recognizable, chances are they receive plenty of emails each day. There is even a chance that you won’t get a reply, so keep it short and sweet. Another important thing to remember, is that blogger is a creative. You might have some ideas how the blogger collaboration should go, but you can’t have a full control of it.
With that in mind, your email should start with why you appreciate the blog. Let the blogger know that you are familiar with the content and understand what their blog is about.
Then you can expand a little bit about your brand and why you see a potential collaboration as a good fit. This is especially true for collaborations with bigger blogs, as there are a lot of people who want to collaborate with them.
Your general marketing goals should be in this email as well. This is important because it allows the blogger to assess the amount of work and come up with options based on previous experience.
I suggest that you leave the creative ideas for later. Later on you will be able to tell what you had in mind, brainstorm and agree on the right way to go in terms of strategy and creative direction.
Once you get a positive reply, it is time to move forward.
Before you do though, make sure you and the blogger are one the same page in terms of fees and payment. It’s not a secret that bloggers with large following will ask for a fee and just a barter won’t do.
What the fee will be depends on the blogger, on the amount of followers, on the level of engagement, and on the type of collaboration.
Expect anything from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands per feature. And this is why I recommend approaching a few- you can have a few options and make a choice.
Types of Designer/ Blogger Collaboration
There can be several ways to go when it comes to collaborations. We will concentrate on the most common ones.
Blog Feature. This is the most obvious and simple way to collaborate. For a personal style blogger, featuring your product will probably mean styling it in an outfit or several outfits depends on what you agree on. Creating a visual story is also very common.
My suggestion is to discuss with your blogger the general styling of your piece, unless you provide a total look. Another option is creating a flat lay. This one is particularly great for jewelry and accessories.
Some bloggers might want to add your campaign images, but this is a less favorable option because it screams out: sponsored content! Unless the blogger writes about emerging brands on a regular basis, for example like Style Bubble does. Make sure to include links to your product and website. You want to make it easy for readers to navigate to your site and purchaes exactly what they see in the blog post, without having to search.
Measurability of a blog feature: It is not an easy task to track the exact ROI here.You can track the people who visit your website through the blog, and you can also track any purchases that were made from that click, bu properly setting up goals and tracking in your Google Analytics. You can also track see the amount of comments made on the blog posts and the engagement on the social media. But you will not be able to measure the overall reach and brand awareness created, since there will be people who saw the post but did not click through.
Social Media Collaborations. This option can come along with the blog post feature, but can also be offered on its own. Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest mentions count. These days Snapchat is an important player as well. Each of those will have its own fee, or a blogger will offer you several combinations that you can choose ( i.e. 2 Instagram images + 1 Snapchat feature).
Measurability of a social media post: It is not a strong feature of this type of collaboration. You can check out the posts and take note of the likes/shares/comments/etc but the main point here would be increasing the popularity and the exposure of your brand to new audiences.
Banner Graphics. Banner placement is not as popular as it once was. It is a somewhat effective tool to advertise and collaborate with the blogger. Because it has been really overdone, chances are readers will treat it the same way they treat blunt advertisement: by ignoring it. Also, more and more people have installed ad blockers on their computers and therefore won’t see it at all. So if you go for this option, you better make sure it is noticeable and attractive. On other hand, you have full control of the visuals, which is a nice plus.
Measurability of a banner graphic: You have an exact measure of your success; click through and ROI data are very easy to figure out in this case.
Collaboration on a project or collection. This is the most creative and probably exciting way to collaborate. Though there are many ways to do so, and the more unique and interesting, the better. The collaboration can be an interesting visual campaign or a story, a product you created together, an experience you decided to share, a trip you decided to take (it can be even somewhere nearby or in the city, doesn’t necessarily mean luxury resort!) .
Creating new and innovative ways to collaborate is not easy but very rewarding. The more personal and true it feels, the better. Readers will appreciate the authentic content, even though it is sponsored.
Measurability: it is similar to the blog post collaboration. And if you sell a product together, you can compare sales of the collab item to those of your other pieces that aren’t featured by the blogger.
The Very Important Details
Be clear about everything: each tag, hashtag, mention you expect to come with this collaboration, each link, and referral. It is better to have it all confirmed and supervised, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
Time frame: when is the collaboration going to be published? And if there are several segments or social media mentions, then you need to determine the time frame for those as well.
Sponsored content: It is important to make sure that the blogger discloses the collaboration. You wouldn’t want to be fed a sponsored content without knowing it, right? There are legal ramifications if the blogger does not disclose that they have been compensated.
Payment and payment terms: also should be discussed as in any other business deal. How much, when, and how (paypal, check, ship date for product-based payment, etc)
Blogger Collaboration Aftermath
Once the collaboration is out there for the entire world to see, make sure to use that attention to promote your business even further. Offer a discount, for the readers who came through the blog (you should arrange that with the blogger of course), create a contest or a giveaway that will excite the readers and bring you even more exposure.
Make sure to measure and follow the results of the collaboration. Did you get more visitors or followers – and in what percentage? Did you see an increase in sales? Did it bring interesting business proposals your way? Of course you measure that through analytics tools but also in more traditional ways, like asking the person how they found you and your brand. 🙂
To conclude, blogger collaborations are a great marketing tool, as long as you use them wisely. Set the right goals, do your research, have a certain amount of control in the collaboration, and use the attention you get to the fullest.
Guest Post: MODAGRID is a platform where you can explore fashion by high end emerging brands. We gather and curate clothes and accessories sold online by the best designers out there.
This post is part 4 of a 4 part series. Get more helpful info on connecting with fashion bloggers here:
Part 1 – What Designers Need To Know About Working with Bloggers
Part 2 – Collaborating with Bloggers: A Guide for Finding Your Way Through the Blogosphere
Part 3 – 7 Questions Designers Must Ask Before Collaborating with a Blogger