This weekend I was looking through our last 3 months sales report and as I was going through it I realized that amongst all our marketing channels, blogger endorsements have been the most valuable for us. Literally, when it comes to qualified leads, endorsements through relevant bloggers has been one of our leading source.
So I thought of sharing my experience identifying relevant partners for our brand
Earlier this year I reached out to one of my personal favorites and the woman behind Miss Mustard Seed, Marian Parson and I told her about our Belgian Linen drapes, about our company's vision and why I think she would love our drapes. She was super friendly and agreed to try out our drapes for her family room.
The result: Our site traffic peaked to 20K for the next few weeks (note: for a site that had launched only a few days prior to Miss Mustard Seed's post getting thousands of visits is a pretty big deal) and it resulted into our first few sales as well.
Just one blog post and we saw a hockey stick effect on our daily visits and conversion numbers. Fortunately, we have been able to maintain that through pure word of mouth from our happy customers and the reviews they write about our drapes.
That actually reminds me of some of the comments we received from our initial few customers who saw our "Belgian Textured Linen-Oyster" drapery photographs on Miss Mustard Seed - Sharing just a couple here....
From a lady who manages an antique store in Virgina:
"I follow Marian's interior design taste blindly and when she says she loves a product I buy it"
From a housewife in Atlanta:
"I am reading Miss Mustard Seed's blog about her Belgian linen drapes and would like to buy the same ones"
Miss Mustard Seed's blog post had such a positive impact on our brand, that we decided to reach out to other similar home decor enthusiasts.
I started reaching out to other bloggers who blogged about home interiors - got quite a few responses and we decided to partner with a few of them. Some of them wanted to use our drapes, hang it in their homes and then blog about it. While others wanted to blog about us in exchange of fee.
A clear trend surfaced - traffic through bloggers who wrote about us in exchange of fee were not significant and I would not consider those leads as well qualified. Whereas endorsements through bloggers who used our drapes for their own homes resulted into significantly better ROI for us.
The idea of getting any and every blogger definitely did not work well for marketing budget spent. Instead, here is what I did to identify relevant partners for our brand
- Looked at their blog site Alexa rating - Just enter any sites url into Alexa to see the US and Global site rank (this score is dependent on hits the site gets)
- Looked at their social presence - Follower base on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. I don't think ROI will be relevant if their social followers are less than 20K
- Looked at their media kit to figure out the demography they cater to (age group, gender etc)
- Overall web presence
Taste makers help us visualize design. Not all of us know what colors to introduce in our rooms, what kind of drapes to hang with what kind of wall colors, how to arrange pillows..etc. So following design enthusiasts, designers etc are the best source of design inspiration and ideas.
Our taste makers will help us introduce the designs and the look to their readers' homes, because every home deserves to be luxurious and tastefully done.