11 Tips for Managing Your Blogger Ambassador Program
When the blogger and brand connection evolves from a short-term engagement to a potential long-term partnership, a blogger ambassador program is a natural progression to a mutually-beneficial relationship.
The brand gains a valuable advocate and expert with an audience and brand of their own. The longer the engagement, the more intimate the blogger becomes with the brand’s products, becoming an extension of the company’s voice in many ways.
It’s a win-win, as long as your plan for managing your blogger ambassador program can be sustained long-term, which comes down to discussing expectations on both sides of the partnership up front.
Here are a few tips to tips to set clear expectations and manage your blogger ambassador program once it’s up and running:
- Get alignment from your internal team on the strategy and action plan for your blogger ambassador program. You’ll need the right balance of buy-in from leadership and hands-on support from your colleagues to effectively manage it. (Mack Collier has this at the top of his 10 things to remember when creating a brand ambassador program, and I couldn’t agree more.)
- Clearly communicate your needs and objectives so that you and the blogger are clear on whether their participation in the program is a good fit.
- Assume you will need to compensate your ambassadors in some way, shape or fashion – whether monetarily or otherwise. Don’t be afraid to ask the blogger how they’ve preferred to be compensated in the past, and be honest up front of what you’re approved to compensate with on your end.
- Consider crafting a written agreement for use with your ambassador(s); include information on the length of the relationship, expectations on both sides, and what the compensation entails. Ideally, this would go through your legal department prior to asking an ambassador to review and sign.
- Work with the blogger to establish concrete guidelines for blogger disclosure on any content produced, published and shared (See FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising for reference).
- Put together clear brand standards (use of your brand name, key phrases, main messages, overall brand tone) and work with ambassadors to reinforce a consistent voice when speaking for the brand.
- Setup coded, trackable links back to your website and campaign assets for each of your blogger ambassadors so that you can properly segment and measure results from individual campaigns (and don’t forget to set up templates for tracking and reporting metrics).
- If you’re selling online, take the point above one step further and create unique affiliate codes, promotions or offers for your bloggers and their audiences. The more relevant and targeted the offer, the easier it will be for the blogger to evangelize and share with their audience (and making the partnership intrinsically valuable).
- Establish consistent touch points for communication on a weekly and monthly basis. Set milestones for program review so that you and your ambassadors can plan ahead to discuss capturing opportunities, shifting gears and/or refining the approach.
- Learn to relinquish elements of managing your program where a blogger’s expertise would be an inherent strength. An example would be asking bloggers to help moderate comments. Lean on their knowledge, reputation and leadership as an invaluable voice in growing your community.
- Share brand case studies, customer testimonials and any training or sales collateral that can help ambassadors understand the core of what differentiates your business from competition.
What are your tips for building and managing an effective blogger ambassador program? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Image credit: Drew McLellan