Are you are a fan of word of mouth marketing and blogger outreach but have always thought it was more of a B2C tactic?
Are you currently doing blogger outreach for B2B but you feel like you may be doing it wrong?
Feel incompetent no more, this post is for you.
Because there is a scare amount of literature on blogger outreach for B2B, many marketers are groping their way in the dark when implementing a blogger outreach strategy and crossing their fingers that it works and they get high fives from their bosses instead of the scary “come in to my office” chat.
Why Blogger Outreach for B2B
A ton of value lies in having a professional in your target audience’s field recommend your product or service from experience.
Think about it, I can recommend my brand until I’m blue in the face. I can talk about it at every party I go to, write GroupHigh centered posts and even stand in the street in the middle of the night shouting how awesome my company is. But that doesn’t work…. What does work is having an outside party talk about my brand. Or tweeting about it. Because it’s sincere and the outside party doesn’t have the bias that I do.
If you prefer to stick to the hard core facts instead of a “makes sense idea,” this post is full of studies and stats.
Bloggers Role in B2B Sales Cycle
With B2B, influencers are crucial to push customers through the sales cycle. And because the sales cycle is so long, customers will continually do research and are swayed on a daily basis until the day they sign the purchase form.
Thus, having bloggers to show up in Google, share their experience and talk about your brand, consumers will be more apt to see your brand in a positive light and move to the next stage of the sales cycle.
Time to Check in With Your Buyer Personas
To find out which blogs your target professionals follow, it’s time to check in with your buyer personas. Put yourself at their desk, or in their bed with their laptop or wherever you picture them reading their daily blog posts. Then answer the following questions to narrow down the perfect niche of blogs that you locate for a successful campaign.
– What types of blogs do they read daily to stay up to date on their industry?
– What posts in particular would spark their attention?
– What problems do they face in their industry that your product or service could be a solution for?
Your Goal and How Blogger Outreach Can Amplify It
Announce a New Product or Service: Bloggers love to stay ahead of the trend and cover new products or services. Offer them inside information about an upcoming release or offer the blogger the product or trial of the service before it’s released to the public.
Networking: Networking with bloggers is crucial for any B2B brand. You don’t have to reach out to a blogger to get an immediate mention or product review—instead reach out to establish a network—simply introduce yourself as someone who plays in their field. Establish a friendly relationship don’t just try to get something.
It also may be helpful to create a LinkedIn group to house your network of bloggers and keep the communication going via interesting discussions and post sharing. This way when you reach out to the blogger you can simply ask them if they want to join your linked in group, a non-abrasive tactic.
Product Mention: Present a solution for a problem that your target consumer faces in their workplace. Whether it’s a product or a service, have the blogger take it for a test drive and ask them to write about their.
Brand Awareness: If you’re after simple brand awareness, there are many successful blogger outreach tactics you could use. A product review is always great or a guest post by someone at your company. (A post on an industry topic with one mention of your brand not a post about yourself)
Promote Content: Ebooks, business blogs and white papers are some of the most successful ways to generate leads. Reach out to bloggers to help you promote the awesome content and resources that you’re creating. (With lead gen forms that need to be filled out before the content is downloaded, right?)
Lead Generation: Having bloggers promote your content is certainly a good lead generation tactic. But webinars are the number 1 lead generation tactic for B2b. Approach an influential blogger about speaking at a webinar that your brand hosts on a hot topic. Set up a landing page where the attendees are required to fill out their name and email address.
Hone in on Your Target
The key to successful blogger outreach whether you’re campaign is B2B or B2C is to be niche focused. Don’t make decisions based on numbers such as traffic and Klout, make contextual choices. Contextual choices are important no matter what the audience size is because a niche blogger is going to have a group comprised primarily of your target buyers. It’s like fishing for 100 salmon in your bathtub as opposed to a huge lake.
The easiest way to find niche bloggers is to create a genre pool and then read through the blogs and only reach out to the ones who write actively in the niche your brand falls in to. If you’re a GroupHigh user, niche sorting takes less than a minute if you use the post content filter.
If you can, find the blogger on LinkedIn to get a feel for their role in the company and have enough information when reaching out to appear like you’ve done your homework.
When you reach out to your blogger make sure that your pitch is short and to the point. Meaning you aren’t going to tell your life story and tell the story about the night you were born but you also need to make sure you tell the blogger what you hope to make of the relationship and let them know what you have to offer them.
What are your thoughts on using blogger outreach for B2B marketing? Cheers to a good discussion in the comments below!