What is worse than taking one of your company’s most strategic marketing tactics and failing in the execution? Well actually, there are quite a few things that can be worse but looking like an idiot is pretty high up there, isn’t it?
Blogger outreach, depending on how you go about it, can either push your company’s success forward or leave you in a standstill. And in today’s fast paced world of digital marketing, the last thing you want to do is stand still.
Here are some “tactics” to ditch when it comes to your blogger outreach campaigns. They’re little tidbits that I’ve heard from both the bloggers you’re reaching out to as well as fellow PR professionals and marketers.
For each of the following, ask yourself if you are currently using these strategies in your own outreach efforts. If you are, it’s in your best interest to ditch them immediately.
Sending Press Releases
I’ve heard rumors that bloggers are creating a war on press releases…
What this means for your campaign—you don’t want to pitch a blogger like you would a traditional journalist. Unlike journalists, most bloggers don’t blog as a career, they have another full time job. Thus they have very limited time and don’t want to spend it dealing with the press releases that you’ve sent to 50 other bloggers.
Speaking of those 50 other bloggers, they want be sent original content and personalized emails. Not press releases.
Ignoring the Little People
When you are scouting for bloggers, look for the ones who are a contextual fit for your brand. If they are good writers, their blogs look well-kept and there is clearly at least some engagement going on in the blog, reach out to them despite their lack in followers!
Don’t forget, baby bloggers grow up to be big bloggers and you can never have too many people with an engaged audience on your side.
Using a Database of Bloggers
The wrong blogger outreach tool could really stifle your efforts to form awesome relationships with bloggers.
For example, if you are using a database of bloggers, you are reaching out to the same bloggers that everyone else in your niche is contacting. From annoying bloggers in the database to having to deal with too much competition to get their attention, a database very well may cripple your efforts.
If you want to be able to have access to the entire blogosphere, check out GroupHigh’s customizable search function. Or even use a Google blog search which is more time consuming than a database but at least you may not be reaching out to the same bloggers that everyone else is.
Treating Bloggers as One Night Stands
Maintain your relationships with bloggers just like you do your real life relationships. And if you’re not maintaining your real life relationships, well, that may be your problem.
Anyway, keeping in communication even after you’ve gotten your post or mention will pretty much ensure that those bloggers will work with you again in future campaigns.
Sending Cookie Cutter Pitches
Refrain from sending cookie cutter pitches. The key to blogger outreach success is to let the blogger know that you picked them out for a specific reason and that your email was written only for them.
- Find and use their first name
- Reference a specific post or a topic they write a lot about
- Tell them something you like about their blog (no, you can’t just say “I like your blog.”)
Dropping the Ball on Actually Reading the Blog
In order to personalize your email to bloggers, you have to actually read the blog, not just the tags.
This not only aids in personalization but you’ll also find out if you’re reaching out to the right bloggers. For example, you may be doing a campaign for your organic bread client. By reading through food blogs, you’ll be able to eliminate the ones who only write about gluten free products. How embarrassing would that be to offer a gluten free blogger bread!?
Forgetting the Value of a Two Sided Relationship
When you reach out to bloggers, ask yourself what you can offer the blogger and include that in your email.
From exclusive content to a well written guest post to a product or gift certificate from your company, offer the blogger something that makes it apparent that they will get something out of working with you.
What blogger outreach tips have you had to get rid of to clean up your strategy in the past? Cheers to a good discussion in the comments below!