Every year, we run #Choctoberfest as a week-long celebration of all things chocolate. Over 100 bloggers participate, and it is a fun time for all involved (not to mention, we drive a ton of traffic to blogs and sponsors alike!).
But what about those long gaps between #Choctoberfest events? A year is a long time to wait to connect with readers!
So, we are not happy to offer mini one-day events! Here’s how it works:
- You pick the date and theme (see more information below).
- We find bloggers to participate.
- You send out products for bloggers to use in their recipes.
- On the day of your event, we post our recipes and promotions
- We also do a giveaway where a lucky reader can win products from you.
Let’s break down this process!
1. Date and Theme
You get to pick the time of year that works best for your brand messaging, along with a theme that makes sense. We recommend choosing a fairly broad theme that piggybacks off of an already established food holiday or regular holiday. Or you could pick a theme that makes sense for the season. Here are some examples:
- St. Patrick’s Day (we would actually recommend posting about 1 week before, since that is when people search for holiday recipes at the highest rate)
- July 28 – National Hamburger Day
- Fruit pies anytime during the summer
For whatever date you pick, we will find some already-established hashtags if possible, and also create a hashtag for your mini event.
2. Participating Bloggers
We handle this part for you! Your event will include 20-25 bloggers of varying sizes (in terms of monthly traffic and social stats). Larger bloggers drive a ton of traffic, but smaller bloggers often have a very engaged fan base.
While we can’t make exact guarantees, here’s what we can guarantee:
- Combined monthly pageviews of at least 1,000,000
- Combined social reach of at least 1,000,000
- Active bloggers only! (i.e. no bloggers who are posting for the first time in months)
We have bloggers from all walks of life and from around the globe. However, at this time, we are unable to guarantee bloggers from any single country other than the United States. If you want U.S. only, please let us know! Otherwise, we will open to bloggers from outside the U.S. as well (though our bloggers do tend to be mostly based on the U.S. and Canada).
If you are looking for bloggers that meet a specific demographic or that live within a specific region in the U.S., please let us know! We can let you know what is possible. We do our best to exceed your expectations.
Please note: we do our best to prevent bloggers from dropping out at the last minute or disappearing. We’ve been running events for 5 years now, so we work with trusted bloggers and maintain a blacklist of bloggers who have let sponsors down in the past. That said, bloggers do sometimes have legitimate emergencies. In this case, we work with you to find a new blogger or provide a partial sponsorship refund.
3. Sending Products
All participating bloggers will make a recipe featuring your product. So, you have to send product to them for use in their recipes. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you want more/popular bloggers to participate, we recommend a product packages with an ARV of at least $50 or a product package that includes several unique, innovative products that bloggers have never seen before. Ultimately, however, the value of the package is completely up to you.
- We recommend also including a Visa gift card with every package, which covers the cost of other ingredients to make the recipe. This is optional!
- PLEASE make sure you’ve considered the weather in regards to shipping. During May – October, products can and will melt. Bloggers are not obligated to use products that arrive melted or warm (if they should be cold). If bloggers drop out of the program due to unusable packages, we try our best to find replacement bloggers, but this isn’t always possible, and in this case, we do not offer refunds. Keep in mind that many bloggers work outside of the home, so packages may sit in the sun until they get home in the evening, even if you ship overnight. Dry ice/cooler packs are recommended, or consider hosting an event during the winter.
- Bloggers will write their HONEST opinions of your products in their posts. We do not force bloggers to say they like something if they do not like it. That said, we do ask bloggers to be fair in their reviews. In other words, if they do not like a product, we ask that they say who might like it. Example: “For me, this chocolate is too sweet, but I prefer dark chocolate. If you love milk chocolate, you will enjoy this product” instead of “I hate this! It is too sweet!”
- We recommend sending at least 2 products or product varieties. That way, bloggers can choose what they like best. Please keep in mind that if you send multiple products, most bloggers will choose ONE to incorporate in a single recipe. They are not obligated to create multiple recipes or to use all products in a single recipe (unless we work out those details beforehand). We do ask bloggers to photograph the entire contents of the package so they can mention the other products they received as well, even if not used in the recipe.
- Instead of sending products, you can also provide a code for bloggers to order via your website. In this case, the code must provide the product(s) for free, with free shipping.
- You can send the same products to every blogger or you can send different products to every blogger. If you send different products, we recommend allowing the bloggers to choose what they get rather than sending at random. However, this is completely up to you. If you want to allow bloggers to choose, we take care of that process for you.
All products must be sent in a timely manner, typically set to arrive 1-2 months before your event date. We talk about shipping timelines before solidifying the date of your event.
4. The Day of the Event
When the day of the event rolls around, you’ll see a spike of activity! All bloggers will be promoting the hashtag(s) we’ve chosen, along with links to their posts and the giveaway. We’ll share the list of links with you so you can easily promote as well if you want.
The day of the event, we check in with each blogger to make sure they’ve published their post and have done the agreed promotions. We do the work for you so you can sit back and enjoy seeing the promotion of your brand without being bogged down trying to figure out if all your links or live.
We also handle custom support for the event, so if people have questions about any of the recipes or the giveaway, we can answer them. For product questions, we will forward to your customer support team.
5. The Giveaway
We all cross-promote to keep things flowing after the event is over, and to continue promoting the giveaway until it ends. Typically, we recommend giving people at least 1 week to enter the giveaway, but your giveaway can last anywhere from 3 to 15 days. It’s completely up to you.
For the giveaway, the ARV of the prize needs to be at least $100. This could be a single product, a gift card, a package of products, etc. You can give away just your product(s) or you can also give away other items. For example, if you are a company that makes cake mixes, you might give away your 5 most popular cake mixes and a stand mixer. Or if you are a company that makes meal kits, you could give away 3 free months of meal kits plus a set of pots and pans.
Your giveaway can be open Worldwide, U.S./Canada, or U.S. only. We recommend Worldwide for the best results. If you can’t ship worldwide, you have the option to offer a product prize in your country of origin and a Visa or Amazon gift card of equivalent value if the winner is from another country.
We cannot require people to make a purchase to enter. However, to enter, they will have to follow you on social media or sign up for your email list (or both). You can pick up to 3 different options for people to enter. To earn additional entries, people can follow bloggers on social media as well. Please note, due to Facebook rules, we can require them to visit your Facebook page, but we cannot require them to like your Facebook page.
In order to enter, we can also have people take other actions. For example, they could visit a specific link on your website and leave a comment. Or they could be asked to check out your line of products and comment on blogger’s posts with the flavor they most would like to try. Or we could have them retweet a specific message. The sky is really the limit, as long as we are not requiring them to purchase something to enter.
You can optionally hold a private giveaway for participating bloggers as well. For example, maybe you give away a special prize back to the blogger whose recipe gets the most comments or the blogger who gets the most retweets. This is completely optional.
After the event is over, we do provide a short report. We do NOT provide a list of emails for giveaway entries (you can, however, require people to sign up for your own email list as one of the giveaway options). We DO provide a list of blogger emails, so you can work with them one-on-one in the future if you wish. Bloggers opt in to allow us to share their contact information when they sign up for your event.
Our one-day mini events are available to brands for $3000. There is no additional per-blogger fee (other than sending product to all participating bloggers).
If you’d like to host an event featuring more bloggers or over the course of multiple, we can work with you! We customize events to fit your brand. Please email us with details.
Ready to get started? Email Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and with questions!
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