By Janette Leon-Speyer and Ilana Youngheim, Web Success Team
Blogger outreach is an important component of online marketing. Many promising connections come from influential bloggers. Bloggers can help you get information out to their readers that you can’t get on your own. It takes some hard work but in the end the impressions that you can get are worth the effort. And it’s an excellent way to increase exposure to your brand, gain Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers and Evangelists for your Brand.
First we start out making a list of potential bloggers we can reach out to. That list usually consists of 200 plus bloggers. You never know how many responses you will receive. There are many companies that set up special teams for blogger outreach. If you have more than one campaign going on and there are 200 blogs per campaign, there is an amount of coordination of emails and management.
Develop a Winning Campaign Strategy
That being said, you should have a strategy set up before roll out. How you will attack the campaign and the bloggers. Most bloggers want something in return for posting. You don’t have to give money but some type of free product. If you’re a toy company and your campaign is to promote a new toy then give them that toy to review and one to give away. You can also do discounts or gift cards. The key is to get them to talk about the product.
There is a great social aspect with bloggers. They not only post on their blog but also post to their Facebook and Twitter pages as well. You can specifically ask for this in your email to them. Now, they may have 5,000 people coming to their blog a month and 6,000 people like their Facebook page and 7,000 people are following them on Twitter. Take all of those numbers into account.
Make sure you follow up with them to see if they received the product you sent or they have everything they need to post. After they posted send a thank you. We always keep in touch with our bloggers throughout the year. These relationships are key! We want them to continue to post for us on other campaigns we may have in the future.
Getting Started: The Program
Now that you have an idea how the process works. Here is what you need to get started on your own blogger outreach program:
- Start off by knowing your target audience and set realistic goals.
- Do a Google search using keywords, for example: Mom Blogs, Craft Blogs, Sugar Free Blogs, etc.
- Visit each blog to make sure it is legitimate and locate the contact information.
- Get the URL and find the influence of the blog.
- Enter the details on an Excel spreadsheet. (Blog Name, URL, Email, Influence).
- Create and customize an email message for the bloggers. Customizing is important. You want the blogger recognize you know about them and you’re talking directly to them.
- Make notes of your conversation on the Excel sheet, your response and their response. This way you have something to look back on.
The Key to Blogger Outreach Success
Blogger outreach is a process. It does take a lot of time and there are many programs out there to help you. The key to a solid program is a relationship with the bloggers. It’s a business just like everything else.
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