1. According to Technorati’s Digital Influence Report, blogs are in the top five sources of trustworthy information. That’s right up there with the advice one gets from their friends or even their mother! Thus, if bloggers are saying good things about your brand and writing about an experience they have with your product or service, their audience actually trusts this recommendation and is more likely to act on it.
2. According to the same Technorati report, Influencers are MOST active on blogs. 86% of influencers say they have a blog. The cool thing about bloggers is that they need to promote their own blog so they are also active across many digital channels, the blog is just a good starting point for you to establish a relationship in which the blogger can share their view of your brand on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.
Bloggers are also easier to search for on granular levels using very specific keywords and reach criteria. If you’re a GroupHigh user you can even search by bloggers who have a presence on any social media channel(s) that works best with your campaign.
3. Bloggers write about niche based topics not genre like traditional publishers. This means their audience is super targeted and when you find bloggers who align with your product or service niche, through the blogger you are reaching many people who actually do want to hear about your brand.
4. They offer great PR and are usually willing to review products and services from experience. What could be better publicity than that?
5. BlogHer did an extensive study on just how influential bloggers are and how much consumers trust them. They found that 81% of the online population trusts advice they get from bloggers.
6. That same study showed that 61% of consumers has made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blogger. Well, that’s huge.
7. Bloggers can be your brands greatest advocates. When treated well and exclusively they will become big brand fans and write about your brand often.
8. Bloggers fall in to that sweet “mid level influencer” spot. Most of the ones you will work with are not huge influencers like Justin Bieber, instead they are in the middle of the spectrum and studies show that working with more mid-level folk is more beneficial than working with the higher reaching people.
Read this analysis on The Real Time Report. A study on word of mouth campaigns found that action and social mentions are driven more effectively by what they call the “power middle.” These mid-level influencers have a smaller but more loyal audience and drive 16 times more engagement than paid media and “mega influencers.” Guess what else? This tactic wasn’t only more effective, but it also cost less.
9. The good bloggers, to get where they are, have a way with words. Their posts are fun to read, visually driven and creative. This surely beats out ads that consumers are now blind to.
10. Consumers don’t want to learn about a brand from the brand itself. They want to learn about it from a trusted third party. Obviously a brand is going to be biased about themselves and consumers understand that. Bloggers are that perfect third party who can get to know your brand and tell their eager audience all about your experience. So treat them well!
What kind of advocate for blogger outreach would I be if I got you all excited about working with bloggers but didn’t tell you how to implement campaigns with them? So, here is a list of my favorite posts that will make you an expert on blogger outreach.
The best place to get started is by viewing this SlideShare presentation on blogger outreach for beginners.
Check out this post on best practices for connecting with bloggers.
The most important part is to craft a pitch bloggers actually want to read so check out this post on advice from the bloggers you’re pitching.
Speaking of pitching, here are some templates that you can use so you can ensure your sending out posts that will accrue actual responses.
Interested in starting your blogger outreach campaign in house, luckily there is this complete guide.
If you have a lot of time on your hands read this ultimate guide to blogger outreach by Kristi Hines. It’s full of helpful links to additional resources.
This post is great for PR pros. It talks about transforming traditional tactics in to modern ones that line up better with what bloggers expect.
The best way get inspired in terms of your own campaign strategy and creative elements is to look to other campaigns done well. This ebook contains the ten best blogger outreach campaigns, well, ever.
When brands work with bloggers I’m always reminded of real life relationships and how they can go two very distinct ways. You can take it slow and develop the type of relationship that is long term or you can be aggressive and have a really fun one night stand that doesn’t lead to an ongoing relationship.
It’s up to you which way you go with your personal relationships but when it comes to your interaction with bloggers, long term relationships are the most beneficial for digital marketing and PR strategies.
If you’re a brand, a long term relationship leads to advocacy from a blogger who sincerely likes you and will mention your brand more than once creating a sense of trust from their audience in their recommendation.
If you’re an agency, a long term relationship means that you can reach out to the blogger for multiple campaigns when they are a good fit.
Your pitch is your virtual introduction, a blogger’s first exposure to you and your brand. The pitch should:
Since blogger outreach should be an ongoing and non-abrasive process, I always recommend, when possible, to engage with the blogger before pitching. Share their content on your digital channels, tweet them a questions or compliment and comment on their blog. This way your email won’t be the first time they meet you and you’ll have better luck getting a response.
Want to see real life examples of pitches that work? Luckily I created this ebook full of such pitches.
Because you want your long term relationship to be mutually beneficial, set some standards or some qualifiers in place for any blogger you work with.
First of all, make contextual choices. Don’t reach out to any given blogger within a genre, dig deep and find the uber specific or niche bloggers. For example, if I were doing outreach for a green, non toxic, educational toy company I am not going to reach out to any mommy blogger’s email address I can find. I am going to dig deeper and find mommy bloggers who don’t write about frugality (my toy is pricey), who have an affinity for things that are green and “hippie friendly” and bloggers who write about educational toys for young children.
Next, you don’t want your brand mentions from your snug fitting contextual blogger to go unheard. So of course they should have some sort of reach but the best type of reach is brand specific. Where do you get a lot of exposure? If it’s Google then set a minimum MozRank as your qualifier. If it’s Twitter or Facebook, be picky with the social following. You get the drift…
When you meet someone, you have something to offer them. Good conversation, an interesting background and/or looks (let’s not make this deeper than it should be).
Don’t think this is any different when it comes to blogger outreach. In your pitch, tell the blogger what you can offer them. Payment, free product, an exclusive post, etc. are all popular offers.
If you’re reaching out to quite a few bloggers you may want to make a list based off of context and then segment it by reach in to an “A list” a “B list” and maybe even a “C list.” This way you can customize the meat of your pitches according to what you’re offering the blogger which is going to be different per list or per how far they reach.
For example, maybe you are willing to offer the “A list” payment for posts but your “C list” is a list of bloggers who are great contextual fits and you think create awesome content but they’re kind of a little blogger so you offer them something free from your brand.
I think you’re catching my drift and can visualize how segmenting your bloggers may help your own brand or influencer outreach process…
No one wants to feel like they’re part of a “one and done” type relationship. In your pitch or first few emails make it apparent to the blogger that you would like this to be an ongoing thing.
And fulfill the promise. Keep a list of bloggers who like your brand and have written about you. Send them email updates about your brand. Ask for their opinion on a new product. Give them exclusive information or product before the rest of the world.
Keep in mind that while it’s tempting and easy, blogger outreach is no one night stand. The “spray and pray” tactic isn’t the route you want to take. Lay the groundwork. Ease yourself in to the blogger’s digital realm…
When it comes to laying the groundwork for blogger relationships, do you have any additional suggestions? Would love to hear other opinions in the comments section. Cheers to a good discussion!
Who is more qualified to tell you how to do it with bloggers than the bloggers themselves?
This is exactly why I love engaging with bloggers and asking them what works and what doesn’t when it comes to all aspects of working with PR and marketing pros on campaigns.
Recently I asked a bunch of bloggers to share their best experiences working with PR reps. What I found out and gathered up are a bunch of mutually beneficial relationships made possible by phenomenal PR and resulted in some awesome posts for brands.
Scott Thomas: Grillin Fools
Scott runs a grilling blog and has a lot of experience writing in his vertical for big brands like Sears and Wal-Mart. However, he says no one has ever treated him as well as the PR team at Char-Broil.
Scott initially formed a relationship with Char-Broil when he asked them to send a grill as a prize for a charity BBQ contest that he was running. Char-Broil didn’t send him a grill, they sent him three. They also asked Scott to write for them and now he’s a monthly contributor—an All Star Blogger on their site.
Here are the things that Char-Broil has done to go beyond the pitch and really stand out as an example of phenomenal PR:
And the results of their phenomenal PR? I think we can consider Scott to be an advocate of Char-broil’s company and he writes about them to his huge network regularly.
Marissa Vicario: Where I Need to Be
Marissa runs a blog about wellbeing and health and values the effort put in to a personal pitch. This lets her know that the PR person took the time to be certain that the product they are pitching is a good fit.
While Marissa is open to contextually fitting pitches of all types, including content placement, she especially dislikes when she’s pitched to post a pre-written piece of content or an infographic that doesn’t fit seamlessly with her existing content.
On the flip side of the coin, the best way a PR rep can get Marissa’s attention is to make it apparent that they are open to working with her beyond a single post and want to foster a long term relationship and include her in the brand.
I’ve heard how much value a proposed long term relationship in the initial pitch has from many, many bloggers. So, I think we should take Marissa’s advice and double check our pitches to make sure they don’t come across as proposed one night stands?
Kristina Clemens: The Chic Girl’s Guide to a One of a Kind Wardrobe
Kristina runs a DIY style blog and has also recently put out a DIY style book. She gets several emails a week from PR reps asking her to promote their company on her blog. Many of them are impersonal and simply ask for a link without offering anything in return.
However, in the mass amount of bad pitches she gets, Kristina got one that stood out from a PR rep at RedEvelope—a mail order gift company. The components that made this pitch stand out were quite simple. The pitch was personal, provided details of the campaign and addressed Kristina by her first name. The personal aspect of this pitch is something that Kristina says she doesn’t see a ton of.
Kristina and RedEnvelope agreed on a free product for her and a discount for her audience in exchange for a post. Because the PR rep at RedEnvelope was such a joy to work with and offered phenomenal PR, Kristina decided to recommend them in her book in addition to the agreed upon blog post.
When Red Evelope went beyond the pitch, Kristina was motivated to go beyond the post and place RedEnvelope in her book. Talk about an extremely mutually beneficial relationship!
Lauryn Blakesley: The Vintage Mom
Lauryn runs a parenting blog and deals with PR agencies on a regular basis.
One encounter that really sticks out to her as an example of great PR was with Cutting Edge Stencils who does their blogger outreach in house. What Lauryn really liked was that they had clearly outlined blog requirements/expectations. So, right away she knew what was expected her blogging efforts as well as how she would get compensated from the very beginning of her relationship with the stencil company.
Lauryn also enjoyed how helpful the PR rep at Cutting Edge was after the review was finished and they helped her promote her post and giveaway on their own channels so Lauryn got new exposure for her blog.
Not to mention that they followed up and thanked her for her hard work.
By having a clear plan in which Lauryn knew what was expected of her and what she would get in return for her post is something we can all do in a pitch as the value of being clear and concise should not be overlooked.
Karah Bunde: The Space Between Blog
Karah runs a DIY interior design blog and has had a phenomenal experience working with KILZ brand primers and paints.
Karah started a full home renovation 7 months ago and formed a relationship with KILZ to be her primer sponsor since she’s a brand loyalist.
What Karah and KILZ has is an actual partnership. They work together and promote each other. Karah can approach them with out-of-the-box ideas and they are receptive to them. She is able to mention KILZ in a variety of posts because the brand comes up organically while she is writing.
KILZ not only provides Karah with the primer she needs for her home renovation but they also promote Karah’s content and projects on their own social media channels and newsletters. It’s good marketing for KILZ because their customers can see how a customer makes real-life use out of their products and Karah’s blog is exposed to new readers. Both sides are gaining authentic new fans and this is exactly how a blogger/brand relationship should be.
I love Karah’s example because it stresses the fact that promotion can occur on both sides. The blogger promotes the brand and the brand can promote the blogger as well!
Josh Robbins: I’m Still Josh
Josh is social media HIV activist and HIV blogger. He deals with PR pros on a regular basis and recently had an amazing experience with a PR rep from a pharmaceutical company.
What caught Josh’s eye with this example of PR amidst his other experiences was that this rep went out of her way to make sure his post had an exclusive quote, content and photos. Therefore, Josh’s post stood out from the other mentions that the pharmaceutical company was getting. Not only did she get him exclusive material, but Josh says the quickness of her responses and gathering of quotes and photos really helped.
She also promoted his article heavily on her own channels. The brand got good PR and Josh says his blog benefitted greatly from their large audience exposure.
This example shows how phenomenal PR and exclusive content starts off a valuable relationship for three sides: the brand, the blogger and the audience.
If you want more advice from real bloggers, check out this post on how bloggers explain how they like to be pitched. And if you’re ready to start finding blogs to pitch check out GroupHigh’s index of over 13 million bloggers and if you’re already a GroupHigh user let me know if I can give you some more blogger outreach advice!
Do you have any examples to share either as a blogger or as a PR rep of an awesome brand-PR-blogger relationship?
When you come across bloggers who have an affinity for your brand, many pros make the mistake of trying to score a onetime mention.
The goal with blogger outreach is not a brand mention or product placement but rather an ongoing relationship with bloggers.
Now that we got that out of the way, an ongoing relationship and advocacy is the result of a mutually beneficial relationship. Before you reach out to bloggers, put yourself in their shoes and determine what you can offer them that would make both sides feel compensated and comfortable with the exchange that results in word of mouth recommendations for your brand.
The following are the primary types of ways to compensate bloggers. For many who take part in this ongoing process, compensation is ongoing as well and may be a combination of the following.
First and foremost and by far most obviously, bloggers usually prefer cash for posts. Now remember, nothing is black and white, especially bloggers. So there are the handful that don’t ever take cash for a post. But, the majority of bloggers who work with brands prefer paid for posts.
It makes sense if you think about it. It takes a lot of time to curate an audience, produce good content and stay engaged with their networks. It’s nice to be compensated for all of this effort, especially if this effort is helping your brand to sell a product or service.
Look at it this way, if you want them to invest in your brand with their word of mouth recommendations, you should reciprocate that investment in their blog…
Some worry that paid for posts lead to insincere or less trusted posts. You can avoid this by reaching out to bloggers who are already a niche fit with your brand. Maybe they’ve mentioned your brand in a positive light in the past? You can find bloggers who have written about your brand previously within seconds if you’re a GroupHigh user by using the post content filter.
The effectiveness of this tactic depends on a few factors. First of all what is the monetary value of your free item and is it truly useful to the blogger? Second, how much of a reach does the blogger have? Some of the “bigger bloggers” require more compensation than a product.
At any rate, offering a free product from your brand is great to spread brand awareness and a great way to introduce your brand to the blogger.
The most effective way I’ve seen this done is when fashion brands let a blogger pick something out with no string attached and see if it elicits a post or not.
Sending free product is also a good way to nurture brand advocacy. Maybe you put all bloggers that you’ve paid for posts in the past on a list and send them free products from your brand—either new releases or items before they’re released to the public to make the blogger feel like part of your brand.
This tactic is working less and less. But, it’s not dead, so if guest posting is your strategy just make sure you do it tactfully.
When emailing the bloggers for content placement make sure you reference a post, a post topic they often right about or a piece of information from their about me page that makes the blogger realize you have actually taken a look at their blog. Explain, briefly, why their audience would like your piece of content.
Offer to promote it on your own digital channels and promise a piece of exclusive content.
Keep in mind that some bloggers who take guest posts also require payment for placement of your content.
The best way to form a lasting relationship with a blogger while simultaneously acquiring an awesome post is to offer them something exclusive.
It can be an interview with your CEO or a sneak peek of your new product or service. It can be an article of clothing that only gets released to a handful of influencers. The possibilities or endless but the results are the same—a lasting relationship and the blogger feeling like they are part of your brand.
And keep in touch with bloggers. Allow them to have a say or contribute an opinion about changes happening in your company or about your products.
Whether you’re offering cash, free stuff, exclusive information or awesome content—keep in mind how much time and effort a blogger puts in to their blog as well as how valuable their word of mouth recommendations are and how engaged their audience is. When considering these factors come up with something that is truly fair and creates a mutually beneficial relationship.
Is there a way you think works best to compensate bloggers? Share your opinions in the comments section below and cheers to a great discussion!
Jump in to my hypothetical world and let’s say you’re reading a blog post on a pair of jeans to buy. Do you trust and prefer the post that says “Green Girl Jeans sent me this pair of jeans and they look good on me—here is a picture.” Or the post that says “I flew out to Green Girl Jeans, learned about the ethical practices of their manufacturing process and got to try on 5 pairs and pick out which one I liked best.”
The well rounded posts that tell a story and a little bit of information about the brand always is more readable, sincere and trusted right? Behold the power of hosting blogger events and allowing bloggers to insert themselves in to the story of your brand…
I’ve seen this tactic used in small to huge brands and to make my point, I’ve curated these examples of blogger events done well to represent all areas of the brand size spectrum and a variety of industries.
Instead of sending bloggers a coupon for free pizza or even having pizza delivered to them, Pizza Hut hosted an extensive event for bloggers to promote their new 3 cheese stuffed crust pizza. In this article about the event in Forbes, their director of public relations explained “the more people know about our brand, the more reasons they have to become a greater fan of the brand.”
Pizza Hut didn’t just fly bloggers to Pizza Hut’s headquarters and stuff them full of their best pizza and give a presentation. They flew them to Austin, gave them a tour with their executive chef, took them to a BBQ dinner and took them to a party put on by MTV with an open bar. Of course in the midst of all the fun, they got an exclusive preview of Pizza Hut’s new pizza…
The focus of Pizza Hut’s event? THE BLOGGERS and showing them a good time in Austin, not Pizza Hut itself. What Pizza Hut did that we’re just now starting to see is “wining and dining” bloggers. Giving them something to write about other than just the pizza.
Nonprofit organization based in Florida, Give the Kids the World, provides free vacations to children with life threatening illnesses and their families. Last year, they decided to weave blogger relations in to their PR strategy and go all in with their outreach efforts by hosting an exclusive event for bloggers.
The need for blogger outreach became apparent when they realized that communicating details about their organization via Facebook meant they were constantly contacting the same people. Not to mention these same people were already aware of their organization.
So they hosted an event for 60 bloggers and invited them to the storybook-like resort where the bloggers had dinner with the kids and their families, learned more about Give Kids the World, took a tour of the facilities and were even entertained with a show.
According to PR manager, Mark Hoewing, the event was a phenomenal success and accrued over 60 posts and thousands of tweets. Mark said this event taught him “the importance of having bloggers at an on-site event when possible and the value in giving them a cause to make the trip and to make it worth their time.”
Mark also advised to make bloggers feel included in the brand. He did this by making “awareness angel” pins and giving them to all the bloggers who came to the event. He now addresses his network of bloggers as the awareness angels when he emails them for their advice and to help promote things that Give the Kid’s the World is doing.
Most importantly, Mark says, don’t make the event about YOU make it about THEM. The event should focus on how important the blogger is to your campaign and make them feel like part of the team.
Discovery Place is a large science museum in Charlotte North Carolina who credits bloggers for being part of the reason they are one of the most visited places in North Carolina.
Logan Stewart, former manager of marketing and public relations at Discovery Place wanted to appeal to the “mom blogger” niche in the area. Since visiting the museum is often a family event, Logan organized a “Bloggers Open House Event in February of last year that included local bloggers AND their children.
He researched parenting and family blogs and connected with them through Facebook and Twitter and had about 25 attend the event.
Discovery place offered a breakfast and while they hosted a 15 minute presentation for the bloggers, they had entertainment for the children. After the presentation the bloggers visited the museum and IMAX theatre for free.
Events like this one with bloggers as influencers is part of what makes Discovery Place continue to rank in the top ten most visited attractions in the entire state of North Carolina.
Lori Riviere of the The Riviere Agency, specializes in fashion, beauty and lifestyle marketing/PR and she strongly believes in blogger events and has used them successfully for her clients for several years.
One such success story is a blogger event she hosted with Touch Boutique in Miami to promote the clothing store’s grand opening. Lori hired 3 bloggers to judge an in-store style challenge where guests created an outfit from items at the store and posted the photos of their outfits on their social media channels with the hashtag #touchstylchallenge.
The bloggers promoted the event on their own networks giving the boutique and the style challenge coverage on big online outlets and local newspapers. The event generated such a huge buzz that Touch Boutique received calls from all over the country from people wanting to buy the outfits they saw on the various digital channels.
Based on Lori’s experience with Touch Boutique’s campaign and other blogger events that she has hosted she has some tips on working with bloggers for events:
Have you hosted any blogger events that you would like to share? Email me, tweet at me or share in the comments below, I’d love to hear about your experience!
One of the many awesome things about working at GroupHigh is the fact that I get to chat with PR and marketing pros about all things blogger outreach. All day.
From what works to what doesn’t, I’ve picked up some pretty cool tid bits over the past year.
Until talking to some of our user base I had never considered asking bloggers to recommend other bloggers for a campaign because I assumed blogs were a little competitive. What I have learned, though is that bloggers actually don’t tend to be competitive as much as they tend to be collaborative.
So when one of my clients told me that every time they form a close relationship with a blogger they ask for contact information of other bloggers who would be interested in the campaign, I was surprised. But the client explained the bloggers are friends and a tight knit network and always glad to help each other out.
Oh what a hot topic a mail merge versus a personalized pitch is. And anyone who has talked to me or read my content knows that I am in love with the personalized pitch approach. But…
I talk to clients every day who say blogger outreach works for them with mail merges.
Here is one of the catches I’ve noticed. Segment your bloggers in to an “a list” or a list of bloggers that you’re dying to work with. And don’t you dare put them on a mail merge. Read through their blog. Read through their “about me” page and tailor a pitch just for them.
However, it’s a bit much to do this for hundreds of blogs, right? For the bloggers who don’t fall on to your “must work with” list you might consider a mail merge.
Whether it’s in a mail merge or a personalized pitch, make sure the focus of the pitch is what the bloggers get out of working with you.
Recognize the hard work and talent they put in to their online space. Don’t hesitate to offer due compliments or even ask questions about a topic they write often about.
Add a human, conversational element to your pitch. Blogger pitches are so different than pitches to traditional journalists and this is where I’ve seen many PR pros get hung up. If you think this may be you, I’ve already written a post on the topic, read it here.
From what I’ve been told, having a network of “go to” bloggers is extremely valuable. Not only does it cut down the time it takes to find and reach out to new bloggers but an ongoing mention is true advocacy.
This isn’t just for brands doing blogger outreach but for agencies as well. Many agencies have a list of “fashion bloggers” or “mom bloggers” that they can reuse for different clients.
Of course bloggers with a far reach are very effective. But when choice are made contextually versus numerically, you can partake in the “long tail approach.” This means that when you are simply looking for niche fitting bloggers with good content that of course you’ll reach out to the ones with a far reach but you’ll also reach out to the ones with a smaller but loyal audience as well.
Not to mention that baby bloggers grow up to be big bloggers and they’ll appreciate the investment in their blog and attention that you paid them when they were still small. Which leads to long term and passionate brand mentions.
I had a client tell me that she was the first person to reach out to a blogger once (and this was a big brand). The blogger was so excited that she continuously wrote about the brand and has grown over the years but still advocates for this brand. What a good investment!
Have a specific topic you want your bloggers to actively write on. Meaning they’ve posted about it more than once. But think of different genres of blogs that someone may write about this topic within.
For example, a client was looking for bloggers who wrote about running. Instead of only reaching out to “running bloggers” the client was creative with the verticals and reached out to the blogger as long as they incorporated running in to the blog.
Examples include a beer blogger who writes about running to justify the beer calories, a mom blogger who was running to lose baby weight, and of course a bunch of athlete bloggers who wrote about all things running.
Bloggers are super loyal to their audiences and vice versa. The blogger’s recognize that they couldn’t be where they are without their audience and the audience takes a blogger’s recommendation as they would one from their peers.
Many of my clients give bloggers something exclusive that they can pass on to their audience. And when you offer this, truly make it exclusive….
Get creative in your campaign so that the blogger can have an entire brand experience to write about.
For example, host events in cities for local bloggers where they can experience your brand whether it’s a retail location or you host a catered event where bloggers can interact with representatives from your brand.
Instead of sending a blogger a pair of jeans send them a gift card so they can experience your store and try on a few pairs of jeans.
This human touch that you give your campaign transcends through the blogger’s post and to their audience members, making a brand stand out.
Clients have told me that by far their best campaign results were always from in person events.
Sometimes time doesn’t allow this one and that’s okay. But, if you have the luxury of time before reaching out to bloggers—engage with them before sending your pitch email.
I’ve heard from many clients that they’ll find bloggers they want to reach out to and put these bloggers in a list. But, instead of pitching them right away they find them on Twitter and like them on Facebook and engage on their digital channels. They’ll also read a blog post and comment.
In both social media engagement and post commenting, I’ve heard that asking the blogger a question works better than a simple typed out compliment. It leads to an actual discussion. Which makes the blogger retain your name.
I’ve even heard of clients sending their pitch to bloggers via Twitter and have seen good responses. Maybe because Twitter doesn’t have a spam filter?
Have you learned any tips or tricks about blogger outreach that you would like to share in the comments below? Sharing an experience leads to good blogger outreach karma, you know…
Blogger outreach is a commonly used tactic for brands to promote awareness or a new product or service. But, another awesome use of blogger outreach is to promote some of your brand’s best content.
We all know the value that a great ebook or infographic can bring to a brand. And while creating epic content is tricky, time consuming and brain juice draining enough—it needs to be promoted heavily so that it can actually be seen.
One of the many effective techniques when it comes to promoting a piece of content is blogger outreach. Besides the normal tips and tricks such as finding bloggers in your vertical and sending them some polite strung together words—here are some more innovative ways to promote your content through blogger outreach.
Do you have any additional tips for using blogger outreach to promote content? I would love to hear them in the comments below!
We all know that blogger outreach is a useful tactic for brand awareness but I’m starting to see more and more brands enlist the help of the bloggers to revamp their image.
This trend has become apparent particularly in the food realm lately. I’ve come across many campaigns executed by well-known food brands who utilize bloggers to modernize their image and/or spread the word about a new product.
Check out these fantastic examples of food brands working hand in hand with bloggers to spread word of mouth experiences, recommendations and positive brand experiences.
In an effort to revamp and modernize their restaurant’s image, Red Lobster has been hosting dinners for bloggers all over the country. They are being praised on the professionalism of the entire process from start to finish.
Their PR pros contact bloggers on a personal level, allow them to bring a plus one, let them order anything on the menu and provide superb service at the dinner.
Thus, instead of bloggers receiving a simple gift card which would lead to a decent post, the posts about the dinners emphasize the friendliness of the staff and the new gluten free and even vegetarian menus. They are much more dynamic than a post that would usually result from a simple gift card.
Chuck E Cheese’s wanted to modernize their image with the promotion of programs that not many moms were aware of such as their gluten-free pizza and rewards calendars. They enlisted the help of M/C/C, an integrated marketing agency, to help them further their image and promote their lesser known programs and food options.
M/C/C used GroupHigh to find influential mom bloggers who were family focused and offered them gift cards so that the moms could take their entire families to Chuck E Cheese’s and personally try out the newer items.
Chuck E. Cheese’s was able to connect with more than 650 mom bloggers who promoted the brand to their network of millions of other moms!
Through the mouths of bloggers, Pizza Hut wanted to show the world an inside look at their brand and give the company a more complete and humanized image. So, they recently flew bloggers to Austin to promote their new 3-cheese stuffed crust pizza.
They were given a tour of a Pizza Hut in the area and even driven to a party sponsored by pizza hut. Of course they sampled the new 3-cheese stuffed crust pizza accompanied by an open bar!
The blog posts that Pizza Hut earned from the blogger event mentioned the new pizza mostly in a favorable light while some were even critical. But the focus here is that the majority of the posts encompassed an entire experience with Pizza Hut as the focal point. It made for much more interesting posts than “I ate at Pizza Hut and it made my belly happy.” Right?
As far as blogger outreach is currently concerned, the norm is to send a blogger a free product—a free pizza or gift card—but Pizza Hut definitely took it a lot further than that and for that and it made their earned posts stand out.
In an effort to add an element of health to their image, Food Lion teamed up with Theory House, an agency who contacted bloggers in the Baltimore area. They hosted a blogger cook off at a local Baltimore restaurant where bloggers were challenged to cook a healthy dinner using only Food Lion brand ingredients for a family of four.
Jim Cusson, president of Theory House, stated that many of the bloggers came in as influencers and left as advocates for Food Lion’s brand. What can be better than that?
Since Food Lion’s blogger cook off was another all-encompassing brand experience as opposed to sending bloggers a gift card it generated thousands of social media impressions during the actual event and many blog and social posts followed.
Wendy’s recently launched their “sweet made sweeter” campaign where they reached out to bloggers to help them spread the word that their popular Frosty dessert now comes in a cone.
Their marketing team sponsored mom and style bloggers to go to Wendy’s and try the new Frosty in a cone and they then were tasked to write a post about a nostalgic memory that the Frosty evoked. The posts also included photos of themselves and even children when applicable eating said Frosty.
Because Wendy’s isn’t a client of mine, I can’t speak of the results but I’d go as far as to bet my next pay check that the campaign got many new families through their doors and drive-through windows. You can check out a short blurb and links to some of their blogger’s posts.
The reason this campaign sticks out is because of the step further Wendy’s took the posts. Sure they didn’t host an event like some of my other examples but they gave it that extra personal touch when they asked the bloggers to write about a nostalgic memory that eating the Frosty in a cone evoked. It makes readers look at Wendy’s in a totally different light.
What are your thoughts on using blogger outreach to revamp a brand’s image? Do you have any examples of brands that have done this well?
I don’t know about you, but as a person in the digital marketing/PR field, I wear many hats. And one of those is the blogger outreach hat.
For me, the hardest part is actually finding the bloggers to reach out to. Once I’ve found the bloggers in my vertical, the pitching is just like making friends a cocktail party—it comes naturally and easy when you are simply personable.
So finding bloggers. It doesn’t have to take a whole week to compile a fantastic list and it doesn’t have to be a frustrating and unorganized process.
Before working at GroupHigh, I did blogger outreach the “manual way” for an ecommerce company. I remember running a campaign to promote an infographic as a newbie and spent two 8 hour work days putting together a spread sheet of bloggers to email complete with their email address or link to their contact form, a note or post to reference and I looked up how many Twitter followers they had. Talk about boring and having a headache when all is said and done…
Along the way I’ve picked up some tricks and tips that can help cut down the most time consuming part of blogger outreach—actually finding the perfect bloggers to pitch.
I am a huge fan of blog rolls. They are lists of blogs that a blogger puts together in a certain niche. I look at it as the bloggers already doing the work for me. And I consider these blogs as “pre-qualified” because a blogger isn’t going to vouch for another blogger unless they mean it as it would be a poor reflection on them…
For example, for a client I needed mom bloggers who wrote about nut allergies for a nut free candy company I was promoting.
I simply Googled “nut allergy blog rolls” and instantly found two containing over 100 blogs collectivey. Gold mine.
Once I joined the GroupHigh team, I obviously didn’t have to do blogger outreach manually anymore. I get to eat my own dog food so to speak and for that, I’m lucky because it cuts blogger outreach time probably in more than half.
But GroupHigh isn’t the only tool out there as it’s not in everyone’s budget. So here is a post that dissects some of the other tools out there that might be able to take your campaigns to a better and more effective level as well.
Many bloggers tend to be part of a tight knit community within their verticals. Instead of competing against each other you’ll find that they can be very friendly and eager to share each other’s words.
With that said, a colleague of mind told me that every time he forms a new relationship with a blogger he asks the blogger for contacts that would be interested in working on the campaign too. He said it works very very well for him. So why not give it a try?
What if you didn’t spend time qualifying your bloggers with numeric stats? Instead of finding out blog traffic, Twitter following and/or MozRank, what if you simply looked at the blog for a professional appearance and great content.
Search for blogs in your niche instead of entire genre. For example, one of my active wear clients reaches out to fashion bloggers who have an affinity for writing about active wear not just fashion in general. They also reach out to health blogs who recommend brands that they like for exercise not nutrition blogs in general. Get the drift?
Do you have any tips to offer on saving time finding bloggers to work with? Please share in the comments below in honor of collaboration!
At GroupHigh we believe that the secret to successful blogger outreach and blog marketing revolves around building relationships. Everything you read here as well as the products we make reflect that thought.
To learn more about GroupHigh and how our software can help your blogger outreach efforts check out the GroupHigh website