I've seen the following scenario play out over and over again. Marketers make contact with a blogger who is seemingly enthusiastic about posting and working together. They send the blogger a free item but the blogger never posts.
Where do you draw the line between being needy or pushy and following up tactfully to score an earned post?
Set Expectations from Beginning
When communicating with bloggers on your give and your ask-you can set realistic expectations about time frame from the beginning. It's also okay to ask them to notify you when their post is live.
Bloggers are busy so keep this in mind. But, if you tell them you will promote their posts on your own channels or send a "thank-you" gift after posting-they'll be likely to notify you as soon as they post.
Tactful Follow Up
Give your bloggers a bit of a grace period and then follow up. Your follow up should not be "hey why didn't you post."
Think soft follow up.
Email and ask how the product you sent them worked out. Say you're just checking in. Or ask if there is anything they need from your end. Sometimes that little reminder is all you need to spark the earned post.
Another way I see brands follow up after being owed a post is to email the blogger and ask if they still want to be part of your brands network because you "noticed they haven't posted in a while."
When to Cut Your Losses
Sometimes a missing post is because a blogger didn't sincerely stand behind your product. If you still think they are a good fit I always recommend giving them another chance and include them on the next campaign. After two missing posts in a row I think it's a good idea to remove that blogger from your network.
To make sure you're making the most out of monitoring for your earned blog posts and promoting them to succeed-I always recommend the following tips to the GroupHigh clients that I work with.
- Have a tool and strategy that monitors the blogosphere for the following three key posts:
- Earned posts. Monitor your network of bloggers so that you know exactly when and how they write about your brand. Since they're already in your network you can consider all of this media earned.
- Organic mentions. Monitor the entire blogosphere for mentions of your brand from influencers that may not be in your network yet. This is a great way to uncover people who love your brand that you have not reached out to yet!
- Niche mentions. Bloggers write about very specific topics which is great for brands. Monitor for niche topics that work with your brand or campaign and reach out to these bloggers based on these posts that let you know that the two of you are an amazing fit to partner up!
- Track bloggers on an individual level as well as overall campaigns or niches that you're working with. This will let you know who to keep working with and which topics lift your brand the most. Track metrics like social shares, traffic back to your site (if available), comment counts on blog posts, and the quality of the posts.
- Since you want bloggers to communicate with you on when they post, make sure you communicate with them regularly as well.
- Don't take on too many bloggers. What I mean by this is only work with the number of bloggers you have bandwidth to communicate regularly with and track their brand lift. Quality of relationships over quantity is way more effective.
Do you have any tips when it comes to working with bloggers who owe you an earned post? I would love you to contribute your input in the comments!