Maybe you still need to convince yourself that bloggers are a pretty epic way to promote your brand? Or, what I hear of often, is that marketers need to convince their bosses to board the blogger outreach train.
Regardless of the why, the who is the bloggers and you don’t want your competitor to scoop up yummy blogger mentions before you can get your brand on board. So print out this post and keep it with you because you’ll never know when you’ll have to make the case for blogger outreach.
What the Facts Tell Us
When it comes to marketing tactics, I’m a fan of following your gut and the research. I’m guessing, though, that your boss only cares about the research so here are some good talking points:
- This SlideShare presentation from BlogHer shows just how much consumers trust blogs and here are the biggest takeaways:
- 81% of the online U.S. population trusts the information and advice they get from bloggers.
- 61% of the U.S. online population has made a purchase based on a recommendation from bloggers.
- Remember how outbound is out? I want to remind everyone that 70% of consumers make a product decision based on an article not an ad.
- The average buyer consults 11 product reviews before making a purchase decision. Most of these are blog posts.
- 77% of internet users read blogs, a number that is rapidly climbing. The bloggers need to make money to perpetuate their craft. Brands give these bloggers money for word of mouth recommendations. Are the bloggers talking about you or a competitor?
- And if all else fails you can always pull the argument that “everyone else is doing it with bloggers” out of your back pocket… Using GroupHigh’s search I can type in keywords to pull up thousands of bloggers in a genre and then type in a competitors name and have immediate access to all of the bloggers who wrote about said competitor. This may be enough to scare your higher ups to let you start a blogger outreach campaign…
- Bloggers are easier to search for by granular contextual criteria than influencers on other platforms. In addition, to promote themselves, they are active on a variety of social channels and thus spread their brand recommendations through a variety of digital mediums.
Have a Plan in Place
Before executing blogger outreach or even convincing someone else to board the blogger outreach train with you, make sure you at least have an outline of a blogger outreach strategy in place. It just makes you look uber credible to have all of your facts and game plan to lay on the table.
Here is the spark notes version of what to consider but definitely do the research on industry trends and blogger outreach best practices.
- Consider your buyer personas. For each one, think about what types of bloggers they would follow or seek out for advice.
- When searching for bloggers define a genre and then a niche or niches within each genre for ideal bloggers.
- Emphasize contextual fit over reach. Many followers doesn’t translate to influence. However a niche fit, great content and visually appealing blog can.
- Develop a plan that uses bloggers as a springboard for a multi-channel campaign. Meaning you start with bloggers and then work with them not only on an awesome post but across their other social channels as well.
- Have an epic pitching strategy in place that is complete with an emphasis on personalized pitches.
- Value ongoing relationships with bloggers and implement a strategy in which you create a network for the brand you represent opposed to the traditional campaign mentality.
- If blogger outreach is going to be something that you want to do a lot of then research tools to streamline the process and maximize its effectiveness. This post can help you identify whether or not you need the tool and choose the right one.
Don’t Be Afraid to Show Excitement and Creativity
The best and most effective blogger outreach strategies contain both creativity and a genuine love for the brand and product being promoted. This excitement comes from the marketers and the bloggers. So don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and cut through those lines in the sand that some marketers have drawn for us.
Be open ended in your blogger relationships. Meaning you reach out and introduce your plan but allow the bloggers to weave your brand in to their content organically and however they see fit. Authenticity is pretty neat…
In the comments, please don’t hesitate to ask me for tips and advice. I have a plethora of case studies and experience to share so just ask it’s what I’m here for!