Most big brands now include blogger outreach as part of their marketing strategy, whilst new and growing brands, are also taking advantage of the benefits that partnering with bloggers can provide, when it comes to raising brand awareness.
Bloggers work extremely hard to build an audience of often loyal, and trusting readers; a recommendation from them is a powerful word of mouth recommendation, often to thousands of readers. If the blog is closely aligned to your brand values and has a similar target audience, then you stand to benefit; with those thousands of readers essentially becoming receptive sales leads.
Don't be afraid to reach out to bloggers, most successful, established blogs will be well used to dealing with brands and will be able to offer you ideas and suggestions for how you can best work together.
Tips On Working With Bloggers
- Bloggers know their audience and will help to tailor messaging for maximum impact, so if you are paying for content placement, don't be too rigid and if the blogger has ideas or wants to edit the content to make it fit their writing style, let them!
- Many bloggers come from professional backgrounds, typically journalism, photography, content marketing and SEO so don't treat them as hobbyists.
- It takes serious commitment to build a successful blog and many bloggers start blogs along side their day jobs, meaning they are particularly pressed for time with every 'spare' hour, taken up blogging; so cut them some slack and show some appreciation and don't waste their time with waffle .
- Do your homework. Not all bloggers accept paid content, and some don't accept any promotional material at all. Hunt out a bloggers PR or press page and read it before you approach them so you don't waste yours, or their time.
- Support bloggers by doing your part. Promote their blog article about your business/product on your own social networks.
- Don't offer a freebie without letting the blogger know what you expect in return. Some businesses send freebies out in the hope a blogger will use and talk about it with no expectations, which is fine but if you expect social media mentions or want space on the blog in form of a feature or review, get this agreed up front!
- Don't send generic "Hi I really love your blog and would love to work with you!" emails. Show that you are familiar with the blog, mention a particular article you liked, connect on social media first etc.
- Remember that not all blogs are equal. Some blogs might look the part, but in reality could be getting very low traffic levels, so won't send you much traffic and their content won't be seen by many people. Get an idea of their traffic levels, but remember, that not all bloggers are SEO savvy and might report 'hits' instead of the more valuable, unique visitors for example.
- Consider offering bloggers you have successfully worked with "Official Blog Partner" status or similar. This makes them feel valued and reflects well on their blog, whilst you get the advantage of extra visibility and an SEO boost if you provide a badge to be displayed on the bloggers website with a link back to your site.
- Communication is key. Sound out a blogger before offering them an opportunity so you can be sure that they are on the ball and importantly, that you get on with, and can work effectively with them.