Last year the Technorati Media ‘Digital Influence Report’ noted that blogs had become the third most influential digital resource for users looking to make purchasing decisions and the fifth most trustworthy source overall for information on the internet!
With these kind of stats it’s going to be impossible to ignore the ‘blogosphere’ in 2014 and if you want to effectively capitalise on blogs as a marketing resource it’s more important than ever to get your blogger outreach strategy just right. To help, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for more successful blogger outreach.
1) Make yourself known in the community – It’s important to gain trust as a reputable source of opportunities, so follow bloggers on Twitter, post in Facebook groups, get your face & name out there as a ‘PR’.
2) Personalised emails – The words ‘mail merge’ should no longer be in your vocabulary. Personalise your emails with first names, at the very least!
3) Short & snappy emails – Bloggers are busy people & get tonnes of emails, so keep your messages short and put your incentive first. Do you want to send them your amazing new product to review? Forget the press release & make sure you tell them what will benefit them in your first paragraph.
4) Follow up emails – Don’t get a reply? Follow up! It’s so easy to read an email and even if the content is amazing, forget all about it (remember, busy people, tonnes of emails).
5) Build relationships – The brands that do blogger outreach best are playing the long game. You might want to use the same blogger a few times, the more you talk to them & offer them collaborations and opportunities the more likely they are to recognise you, respond to you and put effort into a post for you.
6) Comment, tweet and flatter – genuinely! Read blog posts & if you like them, comment on them. Even if you’re not actively contacting bloggers you should be trying to keep up to date & in contact with at least your most important bloggers. Retweet blog posts, Like bloggers on Facebook, & join in conversations.
7) Forget the fake pleasantries – Don’t pretend you’re an avid reader of a blog or that you’ve found a particular post interesting because ‘insert fake reason here’. Unless you’ve already built up a relationship with the blogger and they know you, it’ll come across as much more genuine if you tell the truth – that you found them doing research for your brand & thought they’d be a perfect match.
8) Be open, honest & transparent – Tell bloggers what you expect of them and what you can offer in return from the off. It saves a lot of wasted time and they won’t feel like you’re trying to trick them into working with you! Tell them how many links you need, any key words and if there’s any specific information you’d like them to relay to their readers.
9) Allow plenty of time – Bloggers usually blog in their spare time as a hobby, most don’t blog professionally so be flexible with timings. If you need blog posts to be live by a certain date you need to start outreach at least 4-6 weeks before said date. And tell bloggers a concrete date to allow them to schedule the post.
10) Budget – gone are the days when blogs can be used for free advertising. While most don’t blog professionally, bloggers understand the value of their influence. Having budget to incentivise bloggers will mean you can work with more influential bloggers.
11) Don’t send press releases – blogs aren’t news sites, there is nothing more likely to anger a blogger than being sent press release after press release – talk to them instead!
12) Know the rules – Google & in the UK, the ASA, have both recently implemented some policy changes that affect what we can and can’t do with links now. Make sure you’re clued up or you could be slapped with a Google penalty.
13) Be Relevant – There’s no use offering a beauty blogger samples of washing detergent to review (you’ll laugh but it’s happened). Think about the kind of content a blogger wants to offer their audience and if you really want to work with them, contextualise your brand. To advertise their new detergent in Brazil Ariel sent the country’s top fashion bloggers stained pieces of designer clothing along with samples of their new detergent. The campaign was a huge success and bloggers loved the creative approach Ariel had taken
14) ‘No strings attached’ gifts – By sending your favourite bloggers or those you want to work with more small ‘no strings attached’ gifts or special ‘bloggers only’ discounts will work wonders for your long term relations.
15) Employ a blogger – Okay, we’re biased, but whom better to navigate the ‘blogosphere’ than people who live in it? Here at Digital Visitor many of us are seasoned blogging pros, from fashion to film-making, crafting and even Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (!) – and because of this we can offer unique insight into the world of brand/blogger relations. To find out more about how we can help your brand through blogger outreach or social media campaigns contact our team now!