Game Plan: Working with Bloggers for Every Step of the Buyer’s Journey

Blogger outreach is a pivotal component of many a good outreach marketing strategy.

Something I’ve noticed, though, is that many people go in to blogger outreach without a solid game plan in place. OR some people rock at using this tactic for brand awareness but don’t line up a strategy that utilizes bloggers for all steps of the buyer’s journey.

Therefore I’ve put this one together for you!

Awareness

The awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is the easiest and most common stage in which brands work with bloggers.

Popular ways to engage bloggers to create epic brand awareness include product reviews, giveaways, and ads on their blogs.

This is a fantastic way to get word of mouth recommendations out to a blogger’s targeted audience and encourage readers to continue to research your brand, product or service and hopefully become a consumer.

The problem is, a lot of marketers stop here…

Research/Brand Consideration

So you worked with 20 bloggers who all reviewed your awesome new product or service. But to stop there would be like mixing up a batch of cookies and not putting them in the oven. You’re just not quite to the warm ooey gooey part where you make these potential consumers want you…

I think that the reason this part of the journey doesn’t get marketed at as much as marketers cross their fingers for is because we don’t have a lot of control over this middle stage.

With awareness we are not giving consumers a choice to hear about us. We just hope they organically come across us in a post that targets their interests.

When someone is in the brand consideration stage they are taking it upon themselves to research your product or service.

The most important thing to keep in mind that this stage doesn’t usually include the consumer coming to your site this is where they are looking for word of mouth recommendations of your brand.

Here are some popular ways that consumers may consider your brand and how to market with blogger outreach:

  • Ask their social networks: Bloggers are active on a plethora of social media channels to promote themselves much like you promote your brand. They are also eager to reply to social media questions about brands and make their recommendation so establishing a network of bloggers who are also your brand ambassadors or advocates is CRUCIAL.
    • I’ve written about this topic a lot so if you’re unsure of the value of ongoing relationships with a network of bloggers or exactly how to get started just check out this post!
  • Take to the comment section: 61% of consumers have made a product purchase based on a recommendation from a blogger. This shows us that consumers trust bloggers. Many have their “go to” sources on a topic and therefore will ask their opinion before making a purchase decision. If you look at the comments section on any given blog post, often this is the channel that consumers ask a blogger for their opinion on a product or service.
  • Google: No brainer, consumers are going to search for product reviews and bloggers who are talking about your brand, product or service. Make sure you are ranking well and find out which bloggers rank when certain searches are ran pertaining to your brand. Make a list of these bloggers and make them your BFF!
  • Blogger events: Aside from the fact that blogger events are uber fun they are also way to get rounded out perpetual content surrounding your brand. These types of posts strike a chord when a buyer is looking in to your brand. They can see the blogger or groups of bloggers interacting with all aspects of your brand.  It’s all about that human element.

This post gives an intimate look at my favorite example of blogger events.

Making the Choice

Now, in this stage we are back to having a little more control.

Although, this stage is very different from the brand awareness stage where you take the “Johnny Appleseed approach” and sprinkle product mentions to relevant bloggers.

This stage is where the buyers are seeking out your brand and probably checking out your site. Though consumers are semi receptive to what your brand has to say about yourself, word of mouth is still where it’s at.

There are two great ways to incorporate word of mouth on your website.

Link to earned posts: Have at least 2 CTA’s on your site that takes consumers who are “checking you out” to a page with links to earned posts about your brand.

Have bloggers write content: Know which bloggers are passionate about the product or services you offer and work them on writing content specifically for your site. Have them cover points like:

  • Creative use cases of your brand’s product or service
  • Images of them interacting with your product or service
  • Quotes and headshots on the homepage

Action Time!

Now you know how to get in front of potential buyers using blogger outreach and reel them in to your brand in an authentic way. What are you waiting for!?

Do you have any additional tips on working with bloggers in every stage of the buyer’s journey? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

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