Do you want to attract more attention to your business? Are you wondering how you can build relationships with the influencers in your market? Who would have known that the popularity of bloggers would grow to reach such mammoth levels.
Blogging has revolutionized the way we communicate, share and interact and this has provided the platforms and the marketing networks for businesses to achieve global reach and influence.
Blogging has in turn led to the increase in the popularity of “Blogger Outreach” programs. While the online community remains divided upon their opinions about this new age marketing strategy (some calling it a PR gimmick), others maintain that it is merely a symbiotic channel to further strengthen the relationships.
Understanding Blogger outreach-
We all have grown to appreciate the importance of a blog for each business. It is a marketing platform which provides opportunities to enter into a dialogue with online users and create awareness. The main aim of the blog is not to market products and services, but to attract attention with inbound marketing by educating, informing and entertaining its readers.
Blogger outreach is an initiative in which the business owners try to reach out to the bloggers of the same niche and have them to market and promote your business to their audience in an educational format.
Here is a simple example.
Let’s say you are in the business of designing and selling fabrics. You reach out to a blogger that has online influence amongst other businesses in the fabric designing and selling niche. You invite them to special events, give them an experience with your products or let them meet with the executives of your company. Then they can go and tell a story to their audience on their blog.
Every brand has a story to tell and you have to think of ways you can inspire others to tell your story. Once you have figured out who the main industry influencers and bloggers are in your industry, then you can start to reach out to them. It’s important to take note of how they interact with other brands too. You’ll discover the parallels and distinctions between public relations and blogger relations, and how to treat each type of influencer differently.
As influential bloggers have a trusted, loyal and large audience, gaining access to them can be a powerful form of marketing. It gives you access to their network.
This is easier said than done!
Getting the bloggers to review and publish content about you is not going to be a walk in the park. It is not about you, it is about them. So you need to offer something of value to them.
Here are some of the tips you should keep in mind while attempting to reach out to the bloggers.
1. Carefully select your bloggers
Any initiative should start with research and it is important for you to understand the bloggers of influence operating in your own niche. Perform the search on Google or Technorati and get a list of blogs operating in your category. Go through the list and understand which blogs have influence with their followers. Then go and check out their blog and see what they publish. Is it topical, well written and does it have community engagement with many comments?
You also need to determine the bloggers social proof. This is evident by the number of retweets, Facebook and Google+ shares.
A good rule of thumb is that the more retweets and shares there is, the more influential the blog is.
2. Develop a bond with them
Your blogger outreach initiative is going to fail if you are just looking out for easy marketing and aren’t really interested in building a long lasting bond with them. Follow the blog, comment on wherever you deem appropriate, be transparent that you are looking for a review and do not be pushy. Sugary sweet reviews sound painfully phony anyway.
With the right approach and these tips both you and the blogger should be able to gain from a blogger outreach campaign.
**Mike Swan – 3 Social Media Tools to Identify Influential Bloggers| Business 2 Community.
**Michael Stelzner -Blogger Outreach: How to build Relationships with Bloggers.