By ProBlogger Advertising Expert Alita Harvey-Rodriguez of MilkIt Academy.
It’s a tough world out there for bloggers. You all have incredible engaging content that your readers love, yet almost everyone expects something for free.
You probably know that your content is more valuable than you’re paid or compensated for but justifying your media prices can often be a battle. However, things are about to change for bloggers and justifying media prices are about to become a lot easier, if you know how to change the conversation.
I’ve been working with tier 1 advertisers, brands and software providers for over a decade and one thing I know about is when trends are changing and strategies need to be approached differently. I also understand the art of influential selling.
The first thing you need to know is you have something no other media outlet has, religious loyal following. You have what’s called ‘emotional influence’. No brand or traditional advertiser has this.
Take Aussie start-up HiSmile for example. In three years they have built a $10m business all thanks to a strategy to use influencers and celebs to spread the word. Millennial founders Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic decided on several when launching the company, and while most traditionalists would be thinking “$10million on just teeth whitening? Impossible!” it’s not – the game has changed and the fastest-growing and most influential brands get it.
Now it’s time for you to understand the power that lies in the future of your creative little hands.
Challenges Advertisers Are Facing For The Future
Banner blindness is a real thing. Consumers are no longer reacting to advertising like we have in the past. Media has taken a paradigm shift, no one really watches TV ads, reading, magazines or looking at billboards anymore.
This is especially true with millennials who are about to take over the Earth in terms of wealth creation, and the way these guys consume media is wildly contradictory to previous generations. Brands really need to start thinking like millennials.
The rules of advertising, the way people interact with advertising and get new ideas about products to better their lives have changed forever. Advertisers are having to find new ways to create awareness.
- Ad blockers – The usage of these bad boys have sky rocketed in the last three years. According to Statista in 2015, 198 million internet users use Ad Blockers, up from 54 million in 2013.
- Not something advertisers will have to worry about too much with booking media through Bloggers
- Penguin 4.0 – If you’re not all over this like a rash then it’s time to brush up on the 411 surrounding the good news for quality advertisers… like you, a blogger! Google’s now real-time algorithm update in short will be stomping out any spammy looking website’s backlinks. Google wants amazing high quality content. Simples. (We presume this is going to affect a few CDN Content Delivery Networks)
- Shift in consumer advertising consumption – Like I mentioned earlier in this post, consumer behaviour has changed massively, no one really watches TV ads, reads magazines or notices billboards anymore, especially the millennials. We rely on real social media (Word of mouth from trusted sources like our friends and you!), we tune into LIVE TV and stream when we are ready to watch and when making a big purchase we research to either find the best deal or the best fit for our elaborate needs.
How to pitch better as a blogger
So now knowing all of this, here is my advice to help you pitch to the top of the town with confidence.
Brand managers and media buyers need to be comfortable with new ways of buying media, and you need to get yourself in the mix. Especially if you have good traffic and a solid social following.
1. Your strategy should be two fold, new followers and new advertisers
This is pretty self explanatory. If you want funding to grow your blog you need to have a dual focus.
2. Create your hit list
Who will you be approaching in 2017 and beyond to advertise on your blog? Let the hustle begin!
My advice: THINK BIG. There is no such thing as too big. This big thinking has helped us secure celebrity endorsement for our brands before, “if you aim, shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”
3. Communicate with authority
When cold calling, have a basic script ready with your elevator pitch and why your phone call will matter to them. I admit, not all calls go to script, but it’s good have on hand if you’re not a confident cold caller.
You have value, avoid discounting yourself and instead think about how you add value. Providing brands with estimated ROI (return on Investment) tables can help you seal the deal! We use this strategy all the time with selling software. This is the info that really matters to a CEO when choosing what gets approved in the budget.
4.Have a solid advertiser sales process
Make sure you have a firm process for offline sales. When a brand manager asks you what the process is have it there with you in a step by step process making it easy for you to manage and keep your busy brand manager happy.
The power is in the hands of the bloggers. The future for bloggers securing funding from brands is knowing your value and how to pitch yourself correctly.
I hope these tips help, let me know how you go and leave me a comment below!
Alita Harvey-Rodriguez is known as one of Australia’s leading Digital Marketing Futurist and the brains behind Milk it Academy. A training platform an consulting firm to advance businesses into the Millennial market place and improve marketers skills into new school digital leaders.
For over a decade Alita has worked with global brands including SAP, Experian, SEMRush, TS14+, Estee Lauder, Myer & Online Retailer. Alita is a regular contributor to Womens Agenda, SEMRush, internetretailer.com.au, 2015 ORIA Judge (Online Retailer Industry Awards) and the leading lecturer at the Digital Marketing Institute for Email Marketing and Marketing Automation. Follow Alita on Twitter at @MsAlitaHR
Great post! Personally, I stopped watching advertising and looking at billboards in the 90’s! Ha! But I love a great blog post, like this one…
Thank’s David! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.
I totally agree with you. Nowadays, people don’t really focus on the banner ads and the others.
Bloggers need to build a strategy according to their audience. Making new connections and understanding about the market is required.
Thanks for sharing this article.
Pleasure Ravi, I’m glad you enjoyed the read.
Although I’m a parent blogger, I do see the whole influencer thing from a broader perspective. It’s interesting to look at games at the moment- Mafia III wasn’t given to the press in advance of launch and the freebies that perhaps 5 years ago would have gone to the journos went instead to “influencers”- a bunch of YouTubers got the vinyl soundtrack and a record player to play it on, as well as the game and other stuff. They went on to really highlight the game was due out soon, and I see the same thing happening now with Dishonoured 2- no review code going out in advance of the launch.
With games it’s understandable to a degree because whatever goes gold is almost always subject to a large day 1 patch that can often change the game on release. But lets face it, games publishers have cottoned on to the fact that publicity is king and that “subjective reviews” won’t stop a game selling unless it’s a real stinker.
I think it’s often the same with traditional products and bloggers. We’re moving away from the “have X to write a review” to “have X, we have this cool lifestyle idea for you to roleplay with it” and as a blogger I personally find that more engaging. Someone gets something for free, and in a lot of instances are also paid to review it, it’s going to get a subjective glowing review. Experiential usage gives the end user both the lifestyle to buy in to and the “in use” stuff to look at. And as a blogger it’s more fun too!
Any blogger that’s been pitched more than once knows there’s zero exaggeration to the above. At least 90% of agencies and company’s pitching something to bloggers do this, and it never works. The only good thing about this from the agency’s point of view is that they have been doing it for so long that most bloggers don’t even bother to publicly shame their crappy pitches.
Bloggers don’t want to have to spend ten minutes trying to decipher our pitch to figure out exactly what it is that we, our company or our product are. If it sounds intriguing and worth writing a story about, the blogger can find out more in a press release that we attach to our email, or can reach out to us with questions. Eventually, thanks for continuous support with amazing post.
With best wishes,
The elevator pitch link is broken…
Completely agree with the gist of the article. However, pitching potential advertisers is very time-consuming. I’d prefer to find someone who specializes in advertiser outreach, give them exclusivity and then split the revenue with them.
Any advice on where to find people like that?
Hi Jacob, have you tried Blogger agencies?
I haven’t, but I would. Can you recommend any?
“Think Big ! If you have to shoot, shoot for the moon” i enjoyed this line. We need to think outside of the box if we want to be unique with our qualities. As, we are stepping into a new phase of technology we need to keep in mind that with advancements we are having some challenges too. This post helped a lot to have an idea about upcoming obstacles for the bloggers.
Thank you Alita
Best wishes for you