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Blogging and vlogging are clutch when it comes to promoting authenticity for a brand. It’s a great way to get content in front of your audience but in a more personal, editorialized way. A recent study showed that 43 percent of millennials rank authenticity over content when consuming news. They want to trust a company or news site before they even bother reading the content that is being produced. A survey by Google found that vlogging allows viewers to see videos less as head-on advertisements and more as authentic, enthusiastic online “show and tell” videos from a trusted friend. Many companies blog from within, or have employees write their blogs. Other organizations opt for paid bloggers to produce and promote their content. Here’s how to get started.

What are your goals?

There are several questions that need to be answered before kicking off your program. What exactly will you be promoting? Is it a series of informational blogs about your company? Are you supplementing a product or funding announcement? Is it a “get to know…” series? Obviously that is the first thing you need to establish. Who will your audience be? You may want to target investors, potential customers, industry influencers…this is also important when it comes to designing your program, and you want to make sure you keep within your budget.

Who’s going to write?

Budget is the best place to start here. It’s important to set one and stick to it. Most bloggers who work with brands have a media kit/rate sheet, so that’s a good start. There’s really no standard rate, so these are going to vary from writer to writer. Are their rates negotiable and are there extra charges? Be sure to read the fine print. Many charge for promotion on their own social platforms, too, and you do not want to get blindsided by extra costs. The goal here is to be profitable, right? Many bloggers work with an agent, so it’s good to know out of the gate exactly who you will be working with to keep lines of communication open. When it comes to negotiations, it’s important that your guidelines and goals are clear. What’s the approval process? How much liberty does the blogger retain when writing? What is the payment schedule?

So you hired a blogger – how can you make their life easier?

Your writers need to be familiar with your brand. Provide them with any press materials, white papers, SlideShares and whatever else you have available to ensure they are as familiar with your message as possible. You can include demos of your product, logos, case studies, landing pages and introductions to company executives you may want to feature. This will enable them to become ambassadors for your company. If you have others that are blogging, introduce them and foster a community so they can bounce ideas off one another.

Measure your success.

Of course, you want to know if blogging budget is money well spent, right? You can track your reader views and ROI with trackable links or Google Analytics. The managing team should constantly watch a blogging program and always be prepared to make improvements or adjustments where needed. Also, it is important to promote your blogs beyond your website, for those that may not visit your website regularly, or at all. Using social media and cross posting can assist in getting these readers back to your site.