A lot of people often ask me about the connection between digital marketing and blogs. According to my research and experiences, I can tell you for sure that blogger outreach is one of the most essential components of digital marketing. It gives you can incredible opportunity to connect with your audience and help them relate to your train of thoughts. Once the people start seeing things from your perspective, they become more inclined to buy your products or subscribe to your service. If I write good blogs, people will have a genuine interest in my opinions and sales pitches.
High quality content in blogs can easily inspire consumer confidence. The key word that you need to focus on here is high quality. I cannot insert random information in a blog post and expect my target audience to read it, let alone enjoy it. I need to make sure that everything I post, offers a certain degree of value that the readers seek. In my humble opinion, the purpose of blog posts is to educate and entertain the people. This is why bloggers are quite different from ordinary journalists and writers. Their task is to keep people engaged, amused and informed all at the same time.
Blogger outreach is quite a broad topic that consists of a few basic elements. Each element has its own pair of do’s and don’ts. Today, I am going to discuss these elements and their do’s and don’ts with you. My goal here is simple; it is to help you achieve better blogger outreach at the cost of minimal effort and expenses.
1) Contacting Bloggers
Contacting bloggers is one of the biggest challenges you will face with your blogger outreach campaign. Throughout my career, I have been very careful when it comes to creating first impressions with bloggers. If they like you from the onset, you’ll build a healthy relationship that you can count on for years to come. If they do not fancy you, you may end up incurring their wrath.
Your first priority is to study the bloggers, assess their work and find out as much as you can about their personalities. Once you believe that the blogger would be a great addition to your campaign, send in an email describing the details. I like to keep my words ultra sweet in the mail. Be sure to talk about their blog, otherwise you might come off as a phony.
If you send out poorly written emails to numerous bloggers that you do not even know, you are asking for a lot of trouble and failure. My motto is simple. Never contact a blogger that I have not read the work of. If I don’t know who they are and how good they are, I have no business mailing them. I’ll be a little devil here and plant the seeds of fear in your heart. The internet is full of bloggers who do not need a second invitation to rant about you. Their rants can translate into really bad publicity for you and your campaign.
2) Retaining Connections
I know that “staying connected” is a very clichéd phrase that has been overused for far too long. However, when it comes to a successful blogger outreach campaign, your safest best is to maintain strong connections with the bloggers that you have on board. This is because bloggers are people who provide a unique service, and therefore require special care and attention.
If you have some free time on your schedule, make it a priority to get in touch with one of your bloggers. Make sure that this becomes a habit, a part of a regular routine. Bloggers do not appreciate being contacted once in a blue moon. Whenever I talk with bloggers, I make sure that I engage in a friendly chat with them. That being said, you should try to make the conversations as productive as you can. Bloggers are very busy individuals and they certainly have no time for useless discussions. Another thing that I personally focus on is being grateful. You do not necessarily have to be pretentious with your words, but a simple thank you every once in a while during a conversation will be much appreciated.
Do you have a tendency to contact bloggers only when you want them to write a post? Then it’s about time you change your ways. I have done that a few times out of ignorance, and the results were definitely not pretty. Do not make them feel disposable, make them feel valued. Let them know that they are unique and special. Try not to make your conversations sound robotic or coerced. I always try to develop a genuine interest in their actions and opinions.
3) Gaining Control
I don’t know if you have noticed this, but bloggers greatly value freedom of speech and tend to be highly opinionated individuals. A person can’t be blamed for trying to be independent with their words, but you need to be the one imposing limits and restrictions. Gaining control over the message conveyed by your bloggers is no easy task and requires a special set of skills.
In order to control the message, the first thing I do is get the blogger on the same page as me. Once that is done, the rest of the things simply fall into place. With a little bit of effort, you can easily influence the words of your blogger without having a stranglehold on them. Soon enough, your blogger will be converted into an enthusiastic ambassador for your brand.
Do not ask bloggers to submit work to you for approval. It’s considered a form of disrespect and disrupts the team chemistry. I have also noticed that asking the bloggers to follow a certain script does not pay off in the long run. Blog readers are very perceptive, and they can easily understand whether a blogger’s freedom of speech is being restricted or not.