Of late, I am seeing several contests, targeting bloggers in particular. But many of them, mostly organized by small time social media consultancy companies or brands themselves fail to differentiate between a blogger vs a general internet user (who has fb/twitter/Instagram accounts but not a blog). Their campaign lists lots of expectations from bloggers, but what is offered in return is either disproportionate to efforts put in by the blogger or is often luck based which means most of the bloggers gets nothing at all.
If you’re in the business of social media marketing and you’re trying to promote a client or an event through blogger contests, here’re some tips you might have overlooked. A contest for bloggers should be different from contests run for general public (read facebook and twitter audience)
Point to remember 1: Reward should be proportionate to effort.
If the expectation is that blogger writes a blog post praising the product/service, then promotes it all over social media, likes Brand’s FB page, twitter account, gain votes on brand’s facebook page by bringing in traffic and many other things, what you give back should be proportionate to this time and effort spent. If the reward is “One lucky winner will get Rs 2000 voucher” then it is like hiring 1000 workers and saying only one of them will get paid at the end of the month. Many popular platforms like Indiblogger and blogadda have understood this and are offering certain guaranteed rewards for every qualified participating entry- though worth a few hundred rupees only, that means that there’s some minimum compensation for the efforts put in by the blogger, besides a chance to win main prizes.
Point to remember 2: Bloggers are not to be equated with general internet users.
There needs to be some differentiation between someone who has a twitter & facebook account and someone who runs a blog. For the former, it may take just a few seconds to few minutes to follow an account, tweet, retweet or share a content. Whereas when a blogger has to write a blog post, he/she spends some quality time- several minutes to few hours. This effort needs to be appreciated. Most of these blog posts add SEO advantage compared to a facebook share that doesn’t get listed on google. So have a mindset to value this contribution.
Point to remember 3: What you think as a “Great Reward” may not be “great reward” for most of the bloggers.
For example, if the prize is “Free Entry to XYZ Conference”- this might appeal to a small set of bloggers, but others will have to think “Is this conference worth attending?” , “How much does it cost to travel to this city from my city”, “What about the time I spend”.. So unless it is a super exciting conference everyone is dying to attend, it might not excite much. Similarly “We’ll not pay you anything, but we will promote your post for free” is also mostly not worth it.
Point to remember 4: Quality vs Quantity
Bloggers should be expected to write quality content. If they also need to promote it themselves and garner votes, then you’re preferring quantity over quality. If my getting rewarded relies fully on the votes I can manage, that means even if I get 10000 people to vote for me there is no assurance of a prize. There could be someone else who might manage a few votes more. It is lots of time and effort wasted promoting a third party brand without any guaranteed returns. So many bloggers might ignore such campaigns, unless the reward is extremely tempting. Rate bloggers for quality of their content, leave the quantity based contests to general internet users.
Point to remember 5: Some personal attention helps
Not all bloggers are same. Someone with very high traffic, good PR and popularity naturally expect better payouts, more personalized attention. You should be able to address their concerns and clarify doubts, which means there should be someone authoritative enough to respond to such queries regarding the campaign.
Point to remember 6: Blog post is different from advertorial
Each blogger may have different style of writing and way of expressing his/her opinion/points. Do give them the freedom and liberty needed. Some agencies try to hold hold too much and moderate the contents strictly- this sort of frustrates the blogger and also compromises on its effectiveness. If you want blog post to read exactly what you have in mind, buy ads or advertorials…