What are Blogger Outreach Best Practices for 2017?
In our last blog post we talked at length about influencer marketing. It’s important to understand the concept because that’s exactly the end goal of blogger outreach.
Blogger outreach programs by design build connections with “influencers” or people with large internet followings. In this case, large blog followings. These bloggers then promote your product on their blog, acting as a third party advocates for your brand.
With any luck, their followers will like your product and either make a purchase or turn into another type of conversion (email campaign, social media follow, etc.).
The concept is simple, but attracting the best and brightest bloggers isn’t. Building blogger outreach networks requires a combination of leverage, compromise, logic, and sometimes a tad bit of bribery. (Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting anything unethical.)
Find Your Targets
“Targets”, refer to bloggers within your specific niche. If your niches don’t aligned it won’t matter if the blogger has 10,000,000,000 readers.
For example, if you’re selling “sporting goods apparel,” you don’t need bloggers within the tech world. There just isn’t any overlap. Instead, focus your outreach on finding blogs that pertain to your niche. What follows are some quick strategies to find quality quality niche bloggers.
Tap Your Following
One effective way to discover blogs is sending out “feelers” to your existing social media following. These are the people already loyal to your company. Chances are the blogs they follow will relate to your product.
Utilize Analytical Tools
Always utilize what’s already available. Many online tools exist that are designed specifically to help companies make sense of web traffic. For instance, BuzzSumo allows users to search for influencers and trending content based on timeframe and content type.
Influencer platforms are databases of influencers, bloggers included, that facilitate outreach. Companies create their profile and search for bloggers that fit their specific criteria. Bloggers are typically searchable by price, website traffic, demographic etc.
The all in one nature of these platforms puts an enormous amount of bloggers at your fingertips. Make your searches as narrow as possible. Being picky about your choices is encouraged.
Blogger programs consist of an offer to influencers posted on your website. These are a passive form of outreach, in that you’re making your intentions known, but waiting for bloggers to approach your company. We don’t recommend relying solely on blogger programs, but they are a must for anyone trying to utilize blogger outreach best practices in 2017.
Make Your Offer
Now that you’ve found prospective bloggers it’s time to start reaching out. This step should work like somewhat like a sales pitch. Gather your information and tell bloggers what makes promoting your brand worth their time.
There are several different mediums and negotiation techniques available, depending on your unique situation. Here are our favorite techniques and practices for you to choose from.
Compile your favorite bloggers into a list and get ready for some old fashioned email marketing. Your goal here is just like any other email campaign, send out offers and target conversions.
Send emails detailing your entire campaign strategy;
- Why your product is valuable
- Your traffic numbers
- Your campaign goals
- Your ability to compensate the blogger
- Your knowledge of the blogger’s platform
We could go on and on but you get the idea. Show the blogger that you’re running a serious campaign. Oh, and don’t send out email spam. Personalized emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates, per Experian. Most importantly, send out the emails by hand, one by one. Don’t drop them all into an email tool, or the emails will be discarded almost instantly.
Pitch bloggers what benefits they’ll receive from promoting your brand. After all, no one works for free. This is a fairly open ended pitch, as the benefits could take many different forms.
Their best “benefit” from your perspective is your brand’s ability to draw more traffic to their website. This makes the exchange perfectly equal. Your brand gets more traffic because of their posts and their blog gets more traffic because of your brand.
However, this usually isn’t the case. More than likely you’ll need to offer things like social media mentions, backlinks, or other SEO boosting practices. Free products to review are another excellent persuasion tool.
When all else fails you can always offer the blogger money. Yes, he or she will need to preface their blogs with a disclaimer, but they should already do this with free products.
When you’re financially invested into a blogger contract make sure to set stringent expectations. You don’t want the blogger going back on their word. It’s easy enough to stop backlinking or sending out free products, but withholding payment for services is an entirely different issue.
Any outreach campaign that results in a paid or business transaction will not have organic SEO value nor will it have as much impact as an earned mention. These have to be legally disclosed and both Google and users will not give these as much credibility. Exhaust every avenue before relying on a business transaction.
Organizing your blogger outreach best practices is only becoming more important as content marketing increasingly dominates digital marketing. Build your blogger outreach network now to watch your brand awareness grow in the future.
Remember, bloggers rely on us as much as we rely on them. Don’t be afraid to bring your company into the limelight.
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