Blogger outreach, better known as the PR side of social media, involves creating, building and maintaining relationships with the most influential bloggers within your industry. These valuable interactions can help you expand your reach and build brand awareness amongst your target market. With over 1.5 million new blog posts every day and 77% of active internet users reading blogs, coverage in the blogosphere can greatly increase your potential brand exposure and drive interest for you brand. Getting coverage with one of the key influential bloggers in your industry is worth more than any Google campaign! Your product or service can achieve instant credibility that greatly contributes to brand equity. What’s even more interesting is that 66% of journalists use blogs and 48% use Twitter to assist them with research and reporting (a trend that is ever increasing).
To successfully use blogger outreach in your public relations strategy, you will first need to find the bloggers who cover your space and topics. Free tools such as Social Callout or straight Google search, can help you build and research your list.
The rules to successful blogger outreach:
- Never Spam. Sending spam is the best way to get your email address blocked by a blogger.
- Personalise. Always address the person you’re pitching to by name, and individually tailor your approach based on your knowledge of their blog’s content. A little acknowledgement of their hard work goes a long way.
- Socialise. If you really want to get the writer or blogger’s attention, read their blog and leave comments as well as interacting with them on social media such as Twitter so as to build credibility, interest and longevity.
- Build Relationships. PR professionals work hard to cultivate relationships with the media… bloggers are no different. Build relationships with various bloggers through supplying consistent and frequent high-value content and follow-through.
- Be Professional. Professionalism goes a long way in any industry; address the person by name, show you respect their time by being concise and to the point, and never demand anything.
- Be Responsive. Nothing can kill a pitch more than being unresponsive to their requests. When a blogger requests additional information or resources, you get it them right away. Always acknowledge the request and communicate every step of the way with them.
The success of your blogger relations program also depends upon how well you translate PR and marketing messages into stories that will resonate with your target bloggers and their readers. Unlike the news media, bloggers don’t necessarily require the story to be new; relevancy is often more important.
Finally, make a commitment to be in this for the long-haul because blogger relations are very personal and an ongoing program is more effective than a one off campaign approach.