To Pay or Not to Pay – Is This Even A Question?
What are your thoughts on compensating bloggers? What about if they are just sharing content on their social networks? If you’ve ever ran or even thought of running an Outreach Campaign – you’ve thought about whether or not to pay.
Outreach Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Blogger Outreach, – whatever you call it – has now been around for awhile, you would think this question would have settled itself out by now, but it hasn’t. As the market matures a little at a time, we are seeing more Marketers completely onboard with compensating Outreach Partners. This is great news! But, the majority are on the fence or dead-set against it. Danny Brown wrote a great post for us last year about Why Influencers Deserve to be Paid. Here is another look at compensation:
Why Should You Compensate Outreach Partners?
Influencers work hard to create content and build an engaged audience. It takes a lot of time and thought – it doesn’t just happen overnight. You are looking to use them as a medium to reach their audience who has a great amount of trust in the author. You’re asking them to create ‘brand-worthy’ content – this takes time and effort. They are providing you with something of value – why should they give it to you for free?
By not paying, you are immediately cutting out the top-tier partners. By ‘top-tier’, I don’t necessarily mean huge audience – I mean the awesomely fantastic partners whose content and voice are perfect and they have a truly engaged audience. You won’t necessarily get to work with the partner you were hoping for because they discovered long ago that it’s not worth their time to work for free. Don’t be surprised when they turn down working for coupons, prize packs, or whatever other meagre (and possibly insulting) offer you thought they would jump at. By not paying, it might also mean that you aren’t effectively reaching your ideal target audience.
You get what you pay for. Period.
The Main Concern:
- Compensating a blogger takes away from the authenticity or credibility of the post
We hear this all the time from clients and across the social sphere. Outreach Partners have an engaged following for a reason – they are authentic and their audience resonates with their thoughts and opinions. If you are working with a vetted, quality Outreach Partner – they are going to be more concerned with what their audience thinks than the money you pay them. If they feel that what you are offering isn’t a fit with them, their blog or their audience, they will decline the opportunity. In the end, their audience is what matters and they know that they will lose them if they partner with a brand that doesn’t fit.
Does Compensation Mean Cash?
Not necessarily, but a lot of the time – Yes! If the product or service you are offering is worth it to the Outreach Partner, then they may see value in it. For instance, a lot of Fashion companies will offer clothing to Fashion bloggers in exchange for a post showcasing different looks using their line of clothes. A Fashion blogger may agree to this because they are receiving something of value and they style it themselves, making it their own. This way, they know that it will fit with their own style, blog and audience.
If not cash, offer something of value.