While influencer marketing skyrockets in popularity, many marketers are left swimming in its murky waters, trying to figure out how to do blogger outreach, how to double up with engagement on social media and how to track all of their efforts. Whether you're investing in a heavy guest post strategy (a la Buffer style) or reaching out to bloggers for collaborations, you'll want to maximize engagement to ensure you get responses hitting your inbox in droves. Twitter is one of your most powerful weapons for engaging influencers and getting on their radar. So, instead of blasting out the blogosphere with pitch emails and crossing your fingers for a high response rate, supercharge your blogger outreach efforts with social media right from the get-go.
Here's how to combine blogger research, tracking and social media engagement all at once.
Start with research
So, you're just starting out with blogger outreach. You might have a vague idea of the type of blogger you want to reach out to - or even a few you'd like to connect with - but by no means have you created an exhaustive list. You'll want to find a CRM tool that helps you track all of your outreach efforts all in one place. I use Streak, as it seamlessly integrates with my inbox and allows me to track everything right where the outreach is happening.
Finding bloggers to work with in your industry can be easy peasy if you use an influencer marketing tool or, at the very least, you can start out by setting up Google alerts. Think of keywords for your industry that will populate relevant articles. When those Google alerts come through your inbox, check out the articles and see if they're relevant to your subject matter. If they are, you'll want to add those publications to your CRM. If you're hoping to get on a particular writer's radar, look for their byline at the end of the article. Usually it will contain a link to their Twitter handle; if not, you can usually find it online (along with their email address), as writers tend to be hyper-active on Twitter or have personal websites for their freelance work.
Divide and conquer your contacts into Twitter lists
As you start identifying publications and writers, you'll want to keep up with them in more ways than just a follow up email. You can do this easily by adding them to Twitter lists so that you can engage with them at any point in time. I recommend using a tool like Hootsuite as you can easily add a Twitter list as a stream on your dashboard for monitoring, inserting yourself into conversations and other engagement.
Here's just a sample of what your Twitter lists might look like.
- Influential individuals. These people might be blog owners or writers for other publications. If the latter is the case, you might want to reach out to these people with timely stats that they can use in their articles. Be a resource to these people and you might just get a mention in a huge publication! Influencers that manage their own Twitter accounts, as opposed to a social media manager, are by far the best to connect with.
- Potential guest blogs. It all depends on how you plan to work with influencers but if you want to guest blog on a bunch of publications, you'll want to keep a list of those for engagement. Following this list will also give you insight into the types of articles they publish, as well as guide you in what to pitch to them.
- Maintained relationships. These are people you've already built partnerships with. Aside from a thank you email, you'll certainly want to keep up with them so that you maintain long-term relationships, possibly work together again, or at the very least support one another on social media. Go and build that tribe!
- Engagers. Whenever I notice someone engaging with my content I'll follow them (if I'm not already doing so), and then I'll also put them into an Engagers list, so that I can make sure to reciprocate. You'll find that there are some people out there hustling to build an engaged following, just like you, and these people are perfect to have a "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" sort of relationship.
Regularly engage with those lists
Set aside short engagement waves on Twitter every day. You don't want to get lost in the abyss that is Twitter so cap the time at 30 minutes twice per day at peak times. Before you even start blasting out your outreach emails, go into your lists of leads and start inserting yourself into relevant conversations. Read the articles they publish and share and help spread the Twitter love (assuming the information is relevant to your audience). A simple RT won't do much to get on anyone's radar these days so try an MT where you add in your own dialogue or opinion on the subject matter. Start building a genuine relationship by reading their articles, leaving comments on them, and even replying to the person directly on Twitter to start a dialogue. Then, when you go to email that blogger you can reference the Twitter conversation you had and establish common ground right from the start. This will help you ease right into your pitch.
Now that you've had a peek into my blogger outreach and Twitter engagement process, it's time to supercharge your own campaigns. Do you use Twitter or any other social media channels for influencer engagement? If so, sound off in the comments with your tips or experience.