Many brands and products you see on TV and in blogs are there intentionally. These products placements can help increase sales of a particular item. It's also a great way for bloggers to monetize their content.
Product placement occurs when a blogger receives something in exchange for showcasing an item in a blog post. Unlike traditional online ads, which are typically placed in the header or sidebar, product placements appear as content.Placements can appear in the form of a product review, suggested item in a list, giveaway promotion or simple element in the narrative of a post.
So how can a smart blogger find product placement opportunities?
1. Create In-Demand Content
The first step on the path to generating product placement opportunities for your blog is to create great content. This includes a mix of beautiful photos or video and stellar posts that serve a distinct audience. Blogs are usually in written or video format (video blogs are particularly engaging), but always contain compelling content.
Companies like to place products in blogs because it creates an authentic connection with a loyal user base. It works almost like a personal recommendation from the blogger to the reader. And while product placements are ads — and are subject to federal "truth in advertising" guidelines — they don't have an ad-like feel to them. They feel like a natural part of a blog or video.
2. Become an Expert in Your Field
When you are creating blog content, find a “thing" and stick to it. Posts that hop all over the place and land on seemingly random topics won't generate a theme for your blog. What are you passionate about? Can you become an expert in a certain field? Blog on that topic, whether it is fashion or makeup or sports or travel. Sprinkle in a few product placements of your own that are relevant to the topic to show companies that you are willing to do so.
3. Provide Contact Information
Many product placement opportunities start with contact from a brand manager or advertising or placement network. Make sure your contact information is easy to find on your website or blog so that these people can get in touch with you. (It's easy to create a contact form on your Weebly site.)
4. Start Small
You can also seek out brands in the early stages of blogging. But don't run straight to Coca-Cola. Start small with local brands that are a natural fit with your content. Some companies recruit brand ambassadors for blog placement opportunities as well. As you grow a following, more brands will actually come to you to request product placements or promotions.
5. Product Placements Shouldn't Look Like Ads
Be honest when mentioning a product or writing a review. Users will keep coming back to your blog if it is honest and relatable. If you promote a product that turns out to be a total dud or that you would not actually use yourself, readers will catch on and just see your blog as a pure sales site, not an authentic source of information.
6. Grow a Following
Brands want to know that their products are getting in front of an actual group of loyal readers. It's important to grow a steady following using your blog. You can create even more connections on social media. (Product placements on Instagram, for example, can be quite lucrative when connected to the right blog content.) It's not going to happen overnight, either. Slow, planned growth takes time and plenty of hard work.
Michelle Phan is a beauty blogger who started with just a YouTube channel, using product placements to showcase makeup techniques. It eventually led to her releasing her own makeup line and gaining fame outside of blogging.
Not every blog (or blogger) is a fit for product placement opportunities. But if your content focuses on an area where products play a key role, it could provide an avenue for revenue generation. The key is to include product placements occasionally, so your website doesn't seem like a catalog. Don't forget to provide authentic mentions of products, be honest about connections with brands and relate everything back to great content.