Winning at brand-blogger partnerships is a weekly series from Marketing Profs on how brands are teaming up with bloggers to create winning influencer marketing strategies.
Many B2B industries are small, and people run in similar circles. So when you’re looking to connect with B2B bloggers, keep in mind that the relationship is more important than ever. Here are three tips for establishing yourself—and your brand—with B2B bloggers.
Behind every B2B blogger is an actual, living person. Sometimes when we are dealing with online topics it can be easy to overlook this fact. However, with your goal in mind, you’ll want to focus on meeting the faces behind the blogs. No matter which industry you are working in, chances are the niche is small and close-knit.
In order to find the most applicable B2B bloggers in your realm of business, you’ll need to think outside of the web. Start by seeking out offline opportunities to bump shoulders with bloggers, such as conventions, business events, fundraisers, or via introductions through colleagues and peers.
The Giving Tree
As with any relationship, you want to take things slow in the onset. The outreach email or pitch is very important and you need to remember to keep it personalized and relevant.
Avoid rushing in and showing yourself to be overly eager; the last thing you want to do is scare them away. At the same time, while both parties are fully aware that this relationship that will eventually revolve around business, you need to slow your roll.
Start by being the proverbial giving tree, the one who gives, gives, gives without expecting a thing in return. Ann Handley of MarketingProfs suggests shooting for the 9+1 Rule: you do nine things for an influencer before asking them to do a single thing for your business. What to offer? Try sharing their content, offering to guest blog for them, or including them on your site’s Top 10 lists.
Nature versus Nurture
Okay, so now you have an influential B2B blogger or three who are batting for your business. What do you do now? Well, you surely don’t sit around on your laurels expecting things to run their course naturally. You must nurture the relationship, while also maintaining your modern day relevancy. Businesses change rapidly, and even more so with the web.
Take social media channels, for example; there seems to be a new app or social media site popping up every week. In order to nurture your B2B blogger connection, you need to keep the blogger in the loop of the constant changes in your industry and business.
For example, you might have a new product coming out in a few weeks. Take a peek at the B2B bloggers’ sites and see what kind of products of a similar nature they are blogging about. Suggest a follow-up post that discusses your new product.
Another way to stay relevant is to make a connection to their latest blog posts. For instance, if they are blogging about the hottest trends in marketing, and you have a new tool that you are putting out for online marketers, share the wealth. Give the blogger free access to the program along with the understanding that they will include you in their next post on trending marketing tools.
Staying in touch with B2B bloggers who are influencers in your industry is like keeping connected to colleagues in the workforce. You support each other, and you know the relationship is important to your company’s overall success. That’s one of the reasons that blogging is so popular when it comes to advocating for brands, and influential B2B bloggers are especially keen at the practice.
Have you worked with influencers for any b2b campaigns or projects? Any and all tips are welcome so weigh in!