Bloggers, let’s talk about your media kits

Yesterday I wrote the media kit that I want to see as a marketer.

My situation is a little bit different. As a digital marketing generalist, I’m sometimes asked to work with bloggers on influencer programs. Then, with Mass Consternation, I am the blogger. While I’m careful to avoid conflicts, there’s definitely knowledge sharing going on. Thus Mass Consternation’s detailed media kit.

What I look for in an influential blogger

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Grove Collective does beautiful work with influencers. And not all are review posts.

To understand what I want in a media kit, let’s look at what I look for in an influencer. I’m definitely all about the long-term relationship. I know I reference the Edelman Trust Barometer data a lot, but it reports that people are more influenced by peers than brands. And while bloggers sometimes become minor celebrities, they are just people – peers. So I want my clients’ brands to be shown improving the bloggers’ lives. I don’t want a friendly, but clinical review. I want a road trip that happens to be in a particular car. I want the bloggers to celebrate their birthday …in my client’s restaurant. I want their child’s back-to-school outfit to be from my client.

When I’m assessing a blogger for inclusion in a campaign, I’ll start by looking at their website. What’s the tone? Is it reviews and reports, or engaging stories. Sometimes I have a need for review sites, but not often. Is the photography high quality? Which brands have they worked with? Are they equal to my client’s brand? I recall one food blogger who used Wonder bread to showcase the amazing food in South Carolina. Oh, and spelling, grammar and punctuation need to be good. Not perfect, but not error-ridden.

Next, I look over their social media accounts. They needn’t be active on all platforms, but on their main ones, they need to engage. I’m working with them to get to their audience, so there needs to be one. It’s cheap and easy to buy Instagram followers. I want a decent percentage of likes/comments to followers. It’s a little subjective, but if an account has more followers than I do, I want to see more engagement.

Components of media kits

While I look at all of the blogger’s online presence when assessing brand fit, I do value a good media kit. It can make my job easier. And I’ll think more favorable of the blogger. Here’s my spreadsheet of what I look for. Yes, it’s deep, and a mix of qualitative and quantitative measures.

Most media kits I see are pretty, but scant on details. They are also usually PDFs or JPGs. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I’ve never printed a media kit and a link is easier to share and manage than a file.

Website Metrics

While page views are important, they alone don’t describe the visitors’ behavior. Either adding unique visitors will show that people either come back or visit more than one page. Including the percentage of new visitors also shows this.

I also want to know where your visitors are located. They may have 150,000 monthly unique visitors but if they’re in a different country or city from my brand, that’s useless. Knowing what the visitors like is also important. Google Analytics has this in the Interests menu. I can see what people are interested in and what they’re currently shopping online for. This is more important to me than age and gender (more descriptive). I have left age and gender in the Mass Consternation media kit because others still want it.

Social Media Metrics

Influencers-Media-Kits-Canon-Pixma-EventSocial media is a hard area to quantify. I look at the counts but also check the profiles. As I said earlier, I want to see quality engagement. If that’s not there I may as well book a banner ad. It’ll be just as effective and probably cheaper. However, transferring that to a media kit is difficult. Adding links to the profiles make my life easier. I use Klear as a way of assessing profiles for engagement. I don’t fully understand their algorithms but they seem harder to game than Klout. Probably because they’re more a scored database than an influencer network. It’s only effective for bloggers active on the network though. It pulls in Twitter automatically but not the other platforms, which may skew reports.

Finally, I’ve added a link to my Webfluential media kit to the bottom. It’s a third-party confirmation of the metrics. Their WordPress plug-in doesn’t work well and the metrics are sparse, so it’s just a link.

Previous/Current Partners

The brands listed aren’t deal makers or breakers, but helpful information. If a blogger has worked with Walmart, I won’t recommend them for Nordstrom. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad blogger, just not a fit. If they’re new to partnering with brands I may need to coach them a little more on the FTC compliance requirements. And if a partner list is long but I see no evidence of FTC compliance, then I question their professionalism.

Remember different brands have different goals, so some may demand fewer metrics in media kits. Others may want different metrics. We know influencer marketing is most effective with long-term relationships. That’s the kind I prefer to work with, so these requests are based on that.

This feels like the most arrogant post I’ve written. It probably is. But I need to be strict for my clients. It’s their time, money and reputation on this. I can’t afford to do things just to be nice. I don’t want my clients to become another Burberry.

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