Brand: hi @blogger let's work together! I'd love you to review my new product.
Blogger: Um @brand, your brand has nothing to do with my blog and I don't do product reviews.
Insert embarrassed brand marketer/PR pros face here. Not to mention, any blogger outreach "blunders" are often made public and shared by bloggers and fellow marketing professionals because they think it's funny. (It's a little funny...)
After you've honed in on your strategy, the hardest and most time consuming component of blogger outreach seems to be figuring out which bloggers are open to working with your brand and are a good fit to work with.
The following four identifiers are crucial to the identifying part of your campaign. I've listed them in a specific order-not of importance-but in order of the easiest way to narrow down a big pool of bloggers.
First and foremost you only want to target blogs that fall in to your brand's niche. From a pool of genre bloggers, eliminate any bloggers who haven't posted about they niche keyword(s) that you've decided encompass your brand and goal with blogger outreach.
The easiest way to do that is to check out the post topics that the blogger writes about actively or at least semi often.
Establish a post tactic and filter by blogs who partake in your chosen tactic.
Are you announcing a new product? You might want to talk to bloggers who do product reviews.
Do you want to write your own thought leadership article about a hot topic? Then make sure the blogger takes guest posts.
Perhaps you have a decent budget and want to pay the blogger to write about your product or service. Then you need to make sure that the blogger does sponsored posts.
Are They Open to Working With Brands?
Whether or not a blogger is approachable is a concern of many marketers and PR pros.
Bloggers seem to fall all over a spectrum of approachability. On the far left we have the bloggers who write about a passion and don't want to be bothered by brands. On the far right we have the bloggers who are also passionate but need monetary compensation in order to keep up with their blog. And we have a ton of bloggers sprinkled in between.
The easiest way to see if a blogger is open to working with brands is to read through their posts and see if they've worked with brands in the past. They are legally obligated to disclose this information so it should be somewhere on their post.
Going back to post tactic, if they've taken part in your desired post tactic in the past, they are likely open to it again so this also covers the whole "is this blog approachable" dilemma.
Because we don't want our awesome brand mention to fall upon a minimal audience it's wise to have a target reach in mind and filter your pool of bloggers to eliminate the ones with little to no reach.
When determining reach marketers and PR pros look to blog traffic by month, Twitter followers or MozRank.
Note: Don't set the reach too high because small bloggers grow up to be big bloggers. The goal here is to eliminate the ones who have little or no audience.
Once your bloggers have been filtered by genre, niche, post tactic, approachability and reach you should be left with an uber relevant list of bloggers to reach out to.
With an outreach tool like GroupHigh, this process is executed in minutes. If you don't have access to one or the company budget for it, the process can still be executed with Google blog search or searching for genre specific lists of bloggers and then manually reading through each one and eliminating the ones from your list that don't meet your criteria.
What criteria do you look for when choosing a blogger who is a good fit for your campaign?