I was invited to lead a seminar at this year's London Edge held at Islington Business Design Centre. London Edge is a tradeshow for subculture and lifestyle fashion (think retro, goth, punk, steam punk, rock etc). Traders and retailers meet to showcase the new season and new brands, and I hosted a talk on two of the three days, about how brands and bloggers can form meaningful relationships.
I arrived on Sunday, pretty exhausted after a weekend away camping, but excited (and nervous) to get going. Public speaking is something I always enjoy, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it wasn't nerve wracking. One of the surreal things about talking to a group is that you often don't know how well it went until the end - it can be hard to tell if people are even enjoying what you're saying while they blankly stare at you!
My talk was billed as:
"How and why brands and bloggers should collaborate - they just want free stuff right?"
Entrepreneur and Blogger extraordinaire ReeRee Rockette lends us her expert knowledge on the blogger universe. This talk with discuss how brands can benefit from blogger collaboration, and how to go about creating meaningful relationships with relevant bloggers that benefit both parties."
I quickly ran home, had a tragically disappointing take away and snuggled down into bed. Ready to do it all over again the next day!
So, here are some bullet points from my talk:
- Although engaging bloggers and influencers isn't a quick fix, it can offer an effective and value for money for creating awareness, generating sales, and improving brand positioning.
- 98% of people trust bloggers, and 84% have made a purchase after seeing an influencer with it.
- Bloggers can also act as an extra customer service division - answering queries about products before purchase as well as after.
- A quarter of 25-34 year olds read blogs every day.
- There are different ways to collaborate with influencers (sponsored posts, affilliate, advertising, campaigns, events, freebies for review etc) but successful relationships needs to work for the blogger, the brand and the audience.
- The reach of the influencer, along with their credibility and authenticity has a value, and often costs money for the brand. And rightly so. Marketing, positioning and exposure costs.
- It isn't just the larger bloggers who have value for brands. Smaller influencers have well defined niches and very engaged audiences.
Thank you so much to everyone who came up to me at the end, or tweeted me after; I may seem uber confident while speaking, but I need reassurance just like everyone else I promise! Ha! I was very flattered and relieved that people said it was really helpful. Phew!