In today’s world of over-marketing, consumers are turning to real people and relatable influencers to form their opinions on brands, businesses, and services. Whether you’re a local gym, or a national jewelry brand, connecting with the appropriate bloggers who are cohesive with your brand can create a wave of authentic publicity that can funnel sales and growth!
Before you start:
- Decide what you can offer – Determining what you have to work with up front will keep you on track with both your budget and the amount of product and services you can provide. Do you have a budget for quality bloggers who are asking for a fee, or will you only be providing samples in exchange for reviews? Is there a limited amount of product samples you can distribute to bloggers?
- Set goals – Blogger collaborations have a variety of benefits, but be sure to decide overall what you’re main goal will be. Maybe you want to drive sales, encourage user generated content, build your supply of brand images, target new customers, gain publicity or increase brand awareness though consumer reviews. Since there are so many bloggers, every one of which approach things a bit differently, this will again help to keep you on track and focused.
In order to maintain the authentic, genuine nature of your brand, you don’t just want to move forward with every influencer you come across. Remember, essentially, these bloggers are creating content for your brand, so you need to feel comfortable and confident they can do so accurately!
- Match up your markets – By now you should have nailed down your target audience because you can’t market to everyone on the planet. When you’re considering bloggers to work with, make sure their reader audiences matches the market you’re targeting with your brand.
- Quality over quantity – A blogger doesn’t need to have 20K twitter followers for a feature to benefit your brand. In fact, as The Shelf suggests, don’t go for the “Kim Kardashians” of the blogosphere. What you want to consider is the quality of their content, connections, activity, and relationships. Do they regularly promote their content on social media? Do they interact publicly with brands they’ve worked with? Are their readers actively engaging with them on social media? These are the type of questions you want to ask yourself. Focus on evaluating the quality of what they are doing! A quality blogger will certainly have a strong following coming soon.
- Think long term – Stay away from “one and done” relationships and focus on bloggers you can see yourself building a relationship with over time. As bloggers grow, they tend to remain close to brands who helped support them throughout the development of their blog! Great relationships are built when both parties see the potential in each other.
If you still have no idea where to start with pinpointing bloggers, here are 40 top PR pros sharing their tips on finding effective influencers to work with!
Make the most of it!
It’s not as simple as sending a sample out and relaxing for week or two and then having a glowing post pop up. Follow these tips to get the most out of your blogger collaborations:
- Provide all necessary information – While you can’t monitor everything a blogger will post, you can make sure you send them any important facts, information, or current focuses off the bat to ensure accuracy of the information presented in their coverage.
- Hashtags – Ask bloggers to use a particular hashtag when sharing so that 1) you can find their content and 2) to help build your community, spreading your message.
- Find something to measure – Whether you make a unique discount code for each blogger to share with their readers, ask new clients how they heard about your business, or track clicks from their website to yours, find some way to get a general idea of the impact that blogger is having for your brand. That way, you’ll be able to analyze what type of bloggers were most successful to improve your outreach success in the future.
- Don’t forget your manners! – Always send each blogger a personalized thank you note or email to show your appreciation and encourage your long term relationship.
- Communication is key – Be sure to keep in frequent contact with your blogger connections. When you release a new collection, product, or service, send a sample to the bloggers you’ve created the strongest relationships with! Or invite them into your business to try your new service. You may not get another full featured post, but they’ll most likely give you some social media shoutouts, plus it’s a great opportunity to keep the relationship active.
- Bad reviews are valuable too – When you decide to begin blogger outreach, it’s important to acknowledge the risks as well. A successful blogger is honest and open with their readers. This is part of what keeps them genuine and relatable, and why readers value their opinion. Once you send your product or offer a sample service, know that you can’t completely control what the blogger says about it. Bad reviews provide you with valuable feedback that you might not be able to acquire from anywhere else. They direct you towards areas of your brand that need improvement and gaps you may be missing in the everyday craziness of owning a business. If you receive a mediocre or poor review, revisit the blogger again when you’ve made any necessary changes and ask them for a followup post on the improvements you made!
Hope you find these tips successful in your blogger outreach! Feel free to ask any additional question in the comments! And, if you just so happen to be looking for an awesome placement opportunity for your brand, get in touch!