Do you feel like your blogger outreach strategy lacks some oomph?
Or maybe you are working on an influencer marketing strategy but something just doesn’t feel quite right.
The following ten tips will take any blogger outreach strategy from “meh” to “yipee!”
Reach out to a new niche
Take your buyer personas a little bit further and think of a new niche of bloggers to get in front of. Extend your brand’s presence outside of the genres it has been solely existing in.
Example: An athletic apparel company could reach out to travel bloggers and offer them free clothes for their adventures. This spices up the earned posts and gets the apparel company in front of new audiences instead of only the bloggers who write about yoga and running.
Master the art of personalized pitching
This is one I’m really passionate about. I see so many busy marketers justify mail merges when contacting bloggers and then wallowing in disappointment when they don’t hear back from the bloggers they want to work with.
It does take some extra time but writing personalized pitches is worth the time.
When reaching out to a blogger, you can let them know you’ve actually been to their blog by reading the “about me” page and referencing something. Or, reference a post that you read that showed the two of you were a good match.
It is also a good idea to start a real conversation. Don’t just reach out with a vague idea of how you can help each other. Point out an article that urged you to reach out. Or congratulate that blogger on a certain achievement.
Run your campaign across many social platforms
As you’re promoting your business, bloggers are promoting themselves across many social channels for maximum reach.
Utilize this by creating an outreach marketing strategy that makes use of a blogger’s many social channels instead of only focusing on the blog.
For example, I could be promoting a fun new kitchen gadget. Of course, I want to score an awesome blog post but I may also equip my bloggers with a hashtag to use on Twitter and Instagram so that the mention of my gadget extends further than the blog. I could also ask the bloggers to pin a recipe they created with the cooking gadget.
Cross-marketing works here as well, just like it does in any digital marketing area.
Grow a network instead of campaigning
Instead of trying to scale your blogger outreach and segment it into different campaigns, you may want to consider growing a network of “go-to bloggers” who write about your brand on a regular basis.
Mentions that occur more than once are more trusted and thus cause more action as opposed to awareness.
Keeping in touch with bloggers who genuinely love what you offer is important. Send updates, new products, and random gifts to stay on their minds and show up in their posts.
Furthermore, when you need help promoting a piece of content or a new product, they’ll likely assist with authentic posts.
Give their audience something pretty to look at
Don’t lose sight of the value of visual appeal. Whether you encourage bloggers to weave in many photos of them with your product or you give them high res images, make sure that your blogger outreach strategy emphasizes scoring posts that are visually appealing.
Giving away original research is the best way to get a positive response from your blogger outreach. Set up original surveys or research studies, and reach out to bloggers with your data. It always works!
In a word, don’t start your outreach unless you have something of value to offer.
Authenticity over numbers
Make sure to maintain a focus on the bloggers who genuinely like you and who fit into the niche that your brand falls into.
This passion comes out in posts and is more effective than a large social following.
More importantly, authenticity cannot be faked. Unless you sincerely want to build a valuable relationship, your email will feel fake.
Keep in touch
Don’t let your bloggers ever think you just used them for a post. Send thank you notes for mentions, send out a monthly newsletter to give them exclusive information about your brand, and send them free swag and products from time to time.
This way you can work with them on further projects.
Relationship building is a huge component of blogger outreach. You don’t just want one link or one project: You want those bloggers and influencers to become your loyal promoters.
So make sure to engage with them on social media, follow up through emails, and, yes, keep in touch!
Promote on your own channels
Bloggers are building up their personal brands so share their posts on all of your social channels.
Make sure to tag them in your updates promoting your articles where you promote those articles. This is a great way to get them to engage with your brand.
Once they engage on social media, you can reach out with your collaboration offer. You can then follow up on social media. Cross-marketing works here as well!
Ask for their input
Don’t hesitate to have your bloggers weigh in. It just fosters healthy communication and gives you tools to improve your strategy.
I’ve seen brands survey their bloggers on their outreach and ask them what they like and what they’d like to see improved.
I’ve also seen brands ask bloggers to recommend other bloggers to work with. Communication is great!
Think outside of the box
All of the best blogger outreach campaigns weave in an element of creativity and something “new.” Modern marketing is all about thinking outside of the box instead of following a stiff set of rules and blogger outreach isn’t any different.
Each of those ten tips was derived from blogger outreach projects we’ve been working on lately or have helped clients implement. They are solid and easy-to-implement strategies.