Chloe Divita, of the BlogPaws Executive Team and Felissa Elfbein author of the blog Two Little Cavaliers spoke about Content Creation for Brands, How to Do It With Panache!
These ladies are both experts in the field of pet blogging, and Chloe is a widely recognized leader in the pet industry. I knew this session would be a goldmine of blogging advice!
One of the first things they talked about was finding the areas where you can exert influence. Identify your strengths and match them to your social media channels and audience. For example, If photos are your big strength Instagram would be a good channel for you to focus on.
In thinking about which social media channels to invest your time in, ask yourself:
Who is my audience and where are they spending their time all day? Find out which channel(s) they're on and at what hours of the day or night
I've been thinking about that a lot lately and doing some research. I'm not crazy about Facebook and never paid much attention to it. Recently though, I realized that a good majority of my readers prefer to hang out on Facebook - A Lot. So I've jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. I'm starting to embrace that channel and learn what my readers want to see on Facebook.
I also just discovered that my top Tweets, according to Twitter analytics, are posted at or close to 6pm! That really surprised me, I always thought my readers were more of an early bird group. Based on this new knowledge I'm altering my Tweet scheduling to take advantage of evening activity.
Chloe and Felissa explained the difference between Paid Media and Earned Media
Paid Media refers to getting paid, for example, to post x number of tweets per campaign or per month, etc. Earned Media is when your audience builds and earns media the brand didn't specifically pay for. YOU created the engagement on your own.
One of the goals of PR people is to obtain earned media for their brands/clients. I guess this is why so many of us get contacted regularly by PR reps asking us to share their clients' content or review products without pay. It's part of their job to get that exposure for the client. This was news to me but it makes total sense, now I understand why PR reps often contact me with such requests vs. a paid campaign offer.
One of the most valuable and fun things we did in this comprehensive three hour working session was the Sponsored Campaign Exercise. Chloe and Felissa handed out 2 flyers, one outlining an overview of a dog product campaign and one of a cat product campaign.
We were asked to complete a campaign blog post outline for one of these sample sponsored (paid) campaigns. This was a great exercise and really required us to think and plan out the steps required to complete a quality sponsored post.
|Me with the beautiful Sugar The Golden Retriever at the Hill's Pet booth. Sugar was their Blogpaws conference Ambassador. She did a great job!|
In creating sponsored campaigns, we were advised to think about these important points:
> What you want readers to take away from your blog post
> What you want them to do; what the call to action is. Do you want them to visit a store to make a purchase, visit their Veterinarian, etc. Think about how your unique perspective or story will influence them to fulfill this action
> Be sure to make your content easy to digest
> Think about how you (and your pets) align with the brand or product
> How you serve both the audience and the brand's goals
> What you have observed about the product
> How your pet reacted to the product or service
> How you use the product in your own home
> Showing the product on store shelves and with your pet is important to the brand. Think about ways in which you can creatively capture these images.
With these points in mind, we spent 15 minutes on our own creating an outline for our example sponsored blog post. Afterwards Chloe asked if anyone would like to share what their chosen "story" was for their post. It was interesting to hear the different stories and situations people came up with as the storyline for their sponsored campaign.
We spent some time discussing points we each included in our campaign outline. This discussion was really helpful, it's interesting to see how others approach a campaign and the various points they came up with to focus on.
|Surfin' Jack from Lucy Pet Products chillin' at the conference.|
They rounded out the session providing helpful hints to consider when promoting sponsored posts:
* It's OK to place a link to another one of your posts in a sponsored post as long as it's related to the topic and doesn't contain information about a competitor! Likewise you can link from another of your posts to a sponsored post as long as your post doesn't contain competitive information.
* We were reminded that if you use any Affiliate links within a blog post, you should state at the top of the post that it contains affiliate links.
* You should tag the brand in all your social media shares, it is very helpful to the brand.
* Closer images that really show the faces of your pet are best, too much background can be distracting.
* They touched upon optimal image sizes for various social media channels. For example: optimal photo size for Pinterest is 735x1102, For Facebook it's 940x788, Twitter's size is 1024x512 and Instagram's optimal image size is 1080x1080.
* They also mentioned that Pinterest photos do best with a text overlay.
There was lots more to this session, these are just the points that resonated most with me given where I'm at in my blogging journey. If you missed the conference, or you missed this valuable session while at the conference, I hope you found it helpful!
I've purchased my BlogPaws conference ticket for next year, have you? I hope to see all of you in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in May for BlogPaws2017!
Visit my Pinterest board FOR BLOGGERS for lots more helpful tips and advice for bloggers from social media and blogging experts. Let's follow each other on Pinterest!
If you enjoyed these tips, you'll love Part I of my conference Blogging Tips & Hacks with many more valuable blogging tips!
Did you find this advice helpful which of these tips resonated most with you? Leave us a comment and share!