When it comes to blogger outreach, brands can ensure a blogger’s brand mention is authentic and trusted by their audience through establishing a long-term relationship—one in which the brand works with the same blogger on an ongoing basis.
But if your goal is to increase brand awareness and engagement, it’s also important to keep growing your network of bloggers. Building an army of brand advocates requires a continual focus of adding to your network. After all, the more influencers you have talking about your brand, the better your chances are of growing your brand awareness.
While there are a few platforms out there—GroupHigh being one of them—that help brands build their entire influencer marketing database, another means to grow your network is by relying on your current contacts.
Here are 4 of the most common and successful ways that your brand can utilize your current network to establish new relationships.
One way to meet new bloggers is by looking at those who are engaging with your blogger through blog comments. Often times, those reader comments are from people who have blogs and platforms of their own.
An easy way to check if the commenter is a blogger is by seeing if their name is hyperlinked. For example, one of the bloggers I follow is Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline. I noticed in her recent recipe post that if I hovered over each commenter’s name, like with Meegan’s above, I was led to a new blog.
In most cases, when a reader leaves a blog comment, that person has to submit a name, email, and website as part of the publishing process. As a result, brands easily can trace the source of reader comments, which often lead to other bloggers.
In addition to scanning for who comments on your blogger’s post, brands should take time to check out the corresponding social shares. Scanning Facebook comments and Twitter retweets can often yield new influencer contacts. Beyond that, brands should also aim to scan each contact’s channels on a regular basis to see who they’re regularly sharing content from.
For instance, Amy at One Artsy Mama is a blogger I frequently work with on brand collaborations. When I was last stumped on how to meet new blogger contacts, I turned to her Facebook page. You’ll notice that it’s made up of curated content from both her blog, as well as from other bloggers. In the above screenshot, Amy shared a post from Jennifer at Tatertots & Jello. Right off the bat, I’ve found a new blogger to build a relationship with.
Bloggers spend a lot of time and energy on nurturing their audiences, both on their blog and on their social channels. So when brands take notice of the different platforms a blogger contributes to, it often leads to finding new contacts.
A blogroll is simply a list of other blogs that the blogger likes and recommends. By its very nature, blogrolls are meant to be a way to discover new contacts within the blogger’s network. Although not all blogs feature blogrolls, one quick way for brands to check is by looking at each blog’s sidebar.
For example, Pamela at From My Front Porch To Yours is a blogger I’ve worked with where I’ve met new contacts through her blogroll. And what’s great is that bloggers, like Pamela, usually recommend those who are within the same niche. So odds are if the blog itself is within a relevant space for your brand, the blogroll will lead to other relevant blogs.
Brands can easily find new influencers to connect with through their current contacts by scanning each blog in the network to see if there are blogrolls listed.
Referrals & eIntros
Bloggers spend so much time and energy on nurturing their own audiences, which include other influencers. So chances are, if you ask your contact if she knows anyone else who might be interested in working with you, the answer is yes.
One way I ask for referrals is by letting my contacts know during campaign collaborations that I’m looking for more participants to join. As a result, I usually receive a recommended list of bloggers or even in best case scenarios, email introductions where the blogger will loop me in directly with her contacts. This is great because I no longer have to rely on a pitch in order to gauge interest. The blogger has backed my campaign and essentially pitches it on my behalf.
Bloggers enjoy giving back to their communities, and it’s a huge benefit to have a blogger friend set you up with a brand collaboration. Brands should keep this in mind when working with bloggers, as asking for referrals is a mutually beneficial practice.
If you’ve been following GroupHigh, you’ll know that the key to blogger outreach is fostering great relationships, one in which your brand continues to work with the same blogger on a regular basis. But in order to keep growing your brand awareness to targeted audiences, you’ll also need to keep adding to your network of influencers because each one has an audience of their own.
The best place to start in looking for new contacts is with utilizing your current network. And while it’s great to be on the lookout for new contacts through scanning blog comments, social shares and blogrolls, the best way to introduce your brand to new faces is by asking your current contacts to make the introduction themselves.
How do you grow your existing network? Share in the comments below or on Twitter @GroupHigh.