Moz recently shared a Technorati report, which found that 31% of online shoppers are influenced by blogs. We all know using bloggers can be extremely valuable in reaching a more diverse audience, and in turn, can influence purchasing decisions.
However, if you don’t carefully craft your blogger outreach efforts or do your research before creating a blogger relations program, you can easily damage relationships with influencers and fail to reach your desired audiences.
There’s a lot to consider when performing blogger outreach for your client. Here are five common ways you could kill your blogger influencer program. Avoid these familiar faults to maintain effective blogger relationships:
- A Poorly Targeted List
It is vital to have an organized list of bloggers categorized by each blog’s niche. Define the niche bloggers needed for the program to best reach a broader audience through the bloggers’ communities. Partnering with the wrong bloggers won’t add value to your program because you won’t be reaching the target audience you’re looking to connect with.
- A Bad Pitch
Pitching bloggers is very similar to pitching media. Your pitch needs to be tailored and personalized to the blogger. Do your research and explain to bloggers why you think they’ll be a good fit for this program. For example, you could reference previous posts they’ve written by saying, “Since you wrote this blog post, or you’ve done these types of posts, I think you’d be a great fit for this opportunity.” Not only will bloggers appreciate you looking at their blog before reaching out, you’ll also help them more clearly see why they should be a part of the program.
- Clouded Communication
Instilling clear communication with the blogger from the beginning is essential to ensure they understand what is expected of them, as well as any incentives they may receive.
- Your Guidelines Are Too Strict
It is not always necessary to instill a contract, but at least institute a signed agreement for accountability. Depending on what the client’s needs and guidelines are, an agreement is a good way to communicate exactly what you and your brand are hoping to achieve through this partnership. Bloggers knows their audience best, so it’s important to be mindful of this as they may suggest other ways, or ideas, that cater more to their audience. Take this into consideration, as it may be the best way to garner engagement and leverage from the visibility.
- A Lack of Assets
Not every blogger relations program has to include a monetary incentive. However, if you are expecting them to work with your client, the tools and materials needed to successfully write about and promote the brand need to be supplied. If you’re hosting a grand opening or media preview event, invite them to it and give them a “swag” bag of the client’s products/branding. Or, if you’re launching a new product line, send out samples a few times before the official launch for bloggers to do reviews and experience the product firsthand. Some other items to consider supplying include photos/videos, related posts and any company/background information that will help educate bloggers on the brand.
Using bloggers as part of marketing efforts helps you reach your audience by tapping into the influencers’ communities. The more these communities see bloggers they trust having a good experience with your company/brand, the more it can impact their purchasing behavior. Avoid the above five mistakes, and always remember to make sure what you’re offering is of value to bloggers and their readers.