Have you ever considered running a blogger outreach campaign? If not it might be time to consider adding this effective tactic into your marketing mix. Many of the world’s leading brands are moving their budgets to blogger outreach (and away from advertising) for good reason.
Today many consumers are more loyal to their favorite blogs than they are to their favorite magazines. People choose the blogs they read based on the topics discussed and the tone of the content. Popular bloggers are doing a great job of sharing their personal experiences, creating enticing visuals and inspiring their readers’ purchases in the process. If a blog features a product or service, readers see it as valuable information.
If blogger outreach sounds like something that would benefit your brand, your next question should be, “how the heck do I get started?”
We’ve simplified the blogger outreach process as much as possible for you in the eight steps below. Just remember that running a blogger outreach campaign is no simple task. Regardless, it can be a great way to organically earn credibility and attention for your product.
1. Establish Goals
Your goals set the stage for your blogger outreach program. Are you hoping for brand awareness? An increase in website traffic? Clicks? Conversions? People to join your newsletter or sign up for a free trial? Are you looking to earn awareness for your product in a new target market? These goals must be carefully established before moving forward as they will shape the strategy and approach of your blogger outreach program.
2. Create a Strategy
The first step to a social strategy is defining the “who.” You should have a deep understanding of your target customer personas and how they digest information online. After you understand this, you will need to craft a story that bloggers will want to tell. This may require doing a giveaway, sending out free product or providing bloggers with an experience they can write about.
3. Build a Detailed List
Once your customer personas and blogger requirements have been established, a list can be created of communities that target the appropriate audience. Set requirements that will help you determine who makes the list. For example, What are the minimum traffic requirements for bloggers you work with? Are they required to have a certain social following? Would you like to work with bloggers who have an email list only? Do you prefer to work with bloggers who post lots of photography? Do they need to be located in a certain geographic area? Not only will this justify your efforts, it will provide you with a way of benchmarking results down the road. Ex: Do bigger blogs always perform better or do smaller blogs with a more tight-knit community garner a larger response?
4. Craft Your Initial Message
After you’ve built your list, it’s time to get ready to reach out to the bloggers. Write a friendly email to each blogger that acknowledges a familiarity with their community. This message should clearly and consciously indicate your ask to work with them and why you feel it would be valuable to their readers.
5. Begin Outreach
After you’ve edited your initial message a few times, press send and start communicating with your bloggers. Be willing to clarify any questions, provide additional information and brainstorm angles with the blogger that are most relevant to their community. Also understand that each blogger operates his or her media outlet differently. Most will require free product and/or some type of payment to work with you.
6. Establish a Blogger Agreement
Once you’ve had a few conversations and agreed to move forward in working together, we recommend putting together a blogger agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to approve the post angle, review the communication kit, negotiate pricing, and to establish an expected publish date. Agreements aren’t meant to be intimidating, rather, they are meant to clearly communicate expectations for both parties.
7. Amplify the Conversation
After your bloggers publish their posts about your brand, be sure to share their posts on all of your social media channels. Sharing these posts will show your appreciation, increase inbound links and give further credibility to your product.
8. Track Performance
Once posts have been published, track to see how traffic, social followings and sales conversions have been effected. You can also monitor social mentions, hashtags, referral traffic, and social shares. This process will help you gain deeper understandings of your audiences by showing you if the appropriate target audience was reached.
If you have more questions about blogger outreach campaigns and how they could work for your brand, leave us a comment below or get in touch!