Bloggers are a force to be reckoned with in the digital world. Considered one of the most influential sources of information, a solid blog mention can catapult your brand to success, while a detailed and unhappy review can become a public relations nightmare.
So how do blogs work into your outreach strategy? Can you use this highly influential digital space as part of your marketing strategy? While we all love organic links and mentions in blog posts, these can’t always be created on our marketing timeline. The best strategy to bring these blogs to your brand is through blogger outreach.
Why do bloggers matter?
In simple terms, successful bloggers have their own built in audience. They have created their audience through careful content curation and marketing. Influential blog creators will have not only the home blog, but also their own space on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more. They know how to sell their brand and can sell your product at the same time.
Most bloggers have created their own custom niche. They know their audience and what will appeal to them. This also makes influential bloggers easy to research. You can target your content reach by scoping out who is popular in your industry with little effort.
Essentially, blogs offer a ready-made content marketing opportunity.
Blogs provide trusted reviews.
In addition, consumers trust reviews. Surveys show that 88% of consumers “always or sometimes” consult reviews before purchasing. Many of those reviews are from blogs. and are highly trusted. Between 81-99% of people surveyed indicated that they trusted the information they gained from blogs.
So what does this mean for your brand? Getting mentioned by a blogger, who has positive things to say about your brand, means that consumers will also view your brand in a positive light. Bloggers offer a way to make consumers trust and like your product.
Blog outreach is an important tool for marketers because it can assist your brand at multiple stages in the funnel. Outreach has been shown to improve the bottom line by increasing sales. Blogs can help increase awareness and improve SEO rankings, as well as improve engagement through social media buzz.
Creating a Blogger Relationship
There are two different ways to generate relationships with bloggers. Clients can create a widespread campaign, or a focused more personal relationship. Both strategies have merit, and your brand may choose different strategies for different times.
A widespread campaign is designed to create noise and notice. This involves reaching out too many different blogs over a short period of time. Heavy on link-building, this approach is great if you have events, scholarships, or a new product launch. It also is the most likely approach to result in a large number of denials since there isn’t a close relationship with the companies and bloggers with whom you are attempting to partner.
A focused and personal approach involves developing a relationship with a blogger. Some call this an ambassador program, where the blogger helps introduce your brand to the world. You will likely end up with multiple mentions over time using this approach, and these mentions will typically feel more authentic to the customer. Think of positioning yourself as the go-to snack for a popular hiker, the favored cleaning product of a mom blogger, or the go to stock market app for a financial writer.
Not all Mentions Are Equal
It’s easy to get excited whenever you get mentioned. In general, links are good. If you are targeting high-quality blogs, then even a small mention can help improve SEO and awareness. What is even better, however, is when these mentions feature a recommendation, review, or practical example of your brand being used.
For example, 87% of consumers say they read a blog or check social media before purchasing electronics. In order for these influencers to provide this information about your product, they’ll need a little information from you. When pursuing outreach opportunities, you’ll want to provide these writers with the tools they need to create this content.
- Provide a description of the product or service your offering when sending your outreach.
- Share your brand. Include a usable copy of your logo as well as your brand message. If you have a social impact, make sure to say so.
- Attach high-quality images or video. Not all bloggers will have the time or energy to create images of their own.
- Answer questions. Be responsive to inquiries about how your brand works, available options, and company favorites.
- Be specific about your needs. Do you need a post by August 9th? Where are your trying to publish this content (internal or external)?
Cultivate your blogger outreach to work with content influencers in a way that makes sharing run smoothly for everyone.
How to find quality bloggers?
There are many blogger outreach tools available, such as Buzzstream or the use of scraper tools. Tweepi allows you to dive into Twitter to research. aHrefs allows you to use keywords to compare competitors. You may also do manual research, sifting through Google searches or exploring well-known industry names. Don’t forget to ask the writers you already know too, as they may be able to offer a referral.
Once you have conducted this research, you’ll end up with a list. The next step is to sort this list and rule out sites with low DA and minimal traffic. If upon review, you find a site has not been updated in years or has low readability, this should also be eliminated. You’ll want to check the numbers for the page’s monthly visitors, as well as where and how many social media followers the blogger possesses. Look for bloggers with a good reach and message that matches your brand vision.
Evaluate the blog based on reading actual posts. This will not only help you determine quality but will give you talking points during your outreach. Review the additional topics covered, as well as the homepage and sitemap. Check the comments section to see both audience engagement and the ability of the blogger to moderate conversation.
Tips for pitching blogger outreach.
Pitching is similar to applying for a job. Most people scan the first few paragraphs of your message and then move on. Because of this, your first impression matters. Some suggestions for the most effective pitches include:
- Use first names. Avoid “to whom it may concern.”
- Customize your subject line.
- Add personalized details. Instead of saying, “I really like your blog,” discuss how you “enjoyed their analysis of green building materials for sheds.”
- Explain why you are reaching out. Be specific about your goals.
- Link back to your site. Most bloggers will want to review you and your brand before discussing content opportunities in depth.
Remember that blogger outreach is about quality, not quantity. Sloppy outreach strategies can cause harm from diluting your brand’s trust to even getting labeled as spam or penalized by Google. Take the time to construct detailed, researched plans and then start creating relationships. Blogger outreach can be highly valuable to brands as a marketing tool. When done correctly, blogs can provide the point that connects your customer to your sales.