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The whys and hows of blogger outreach

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Anyone who’s serious about business knows the importance of establishing connections. Knowing people can turn your business from a humble startup into a fully-grown business in a matter of days. A company that has connections is far more likely to receive the exposure needed to market their products, and one of the most effective way to do so it to use the internet.

The digital realm is full of opportunities when it comes to marketing. There’s the basic banner advertisements that we’ve all seen and grown to despise, and then there are more creative methods such as using social media. While banner advertisements won’t be going away for some time, they’re static and very simple to block and not entirely effective. Although banner advertisements are better than nothing, the best thing to focus on for most businesses would be social media.

However, there’s a common misconception that social media only means platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. While the majority of social media is on these websites, they aren’t textbook definitions of what social media marketing should be based on. One of the most common types of website that we see on the internet today are blogs, and the communities based around them can also be considered social media platforms because the blogger (or team) has connections and influence over their following. This is what’s known as blogger outreach; the strategy of using bloggers and their influence to gain exposure.

Why use blogs?

Bloggers are known as micro-influencers. They’re not on a celebrity status with millions of followers, but they do have a loyal following that they have influence over. They can sway their reader’s opinions, and they have the power to use that influence for the sake of another company.

In fact, most people spend a good few hours researching a product before ultimately deciding to buy it. During this time, they can visit up to 7 different blogs and look at various different opinions and reviews on something. As a company that wants to sell a specific product or market a service, it’s crucial that you get the exposure you need by investing in these micro-influencers and take advantage of their control over their readers.

Bloggers are also usually active on more traditional social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. They’re sometimes active on YouTube and Instagram as well, so their content can reach a potentially massive audience. In addition to just producing written content, they can also attach videos and even audio podcasts on their blog posts to enhance something’s exposure. It’s not uncommon for a blogger to create a video review on a product they’ve been given to review while also accompanying it with a written one. This mix of different media ensures that they have a wide audience, one that you’ll want to try and take advantage of.

In addition to the mixed media they use, they’re also (usually) experts in their field. If you’re trying to market a software product targeted towards small businesses, then it’s a good idea to look for a blogger that specialises in business and startups in order to get maximum exposure for your blogger outreach campaign. Similarly, if you’re trying to market something like a contracting service, then you want to attract attention from blogs that focus on home improvements or construction. It’s important to specialise your marketing campaign and knowing which bloggers have a lot of influence can mean the difference between a successful promotional campaign and a failed one.

Lastly, we can’t forget that bloggers are trustworthy sources of information. As opposed to a review written by a business or a company, bloggers are more direct, personal, and you can interact with them and ask questions in comment sections. This increases consumer trust and they are far more likely to trust an article written by an individual they have some connection to as opposed to a business or website that is run like a company.

Now that you know what blogger outreach is and why bloggers are so important to your company, let’s take a look at how you can incorporate those strategies into your existing business plan.

Effective blogger outreach

Firstly, decide if you’ll handle blogger outreach on your own, hire a team, or outsource it. Blogger outreach takes an extremely long time to get to grips with, so hiring a company such as FatJoe, TheHoth or Gotch SEO to do it for you can save a lot of time and effort, but do expect to pay a lot of money for it. If you decide to hire a team, make sure they’re very experienced with concepts such as search engine optimisation and that they have a brief understanding of what your company is about before you hire them—your marketing department is only as good as the knowledge they have of your business!

Next, do your research. There are plenty of software packages like NinjaOutreach and GroupHigh that will help you research and find blogs to approach for your outreach needs. They can be organised by follower count, the types of posts they have and you can also check their latest updates within an easy to read interface. Alternatively, you could just look up communities that specialise in your chosen industry or niche and look for the most popular bloggers and influencers to speak with. Once you’ve done your research, you can start approaching these bloggers with formal and polite messages to see if they’re willing to work together with you.

Lastly, remember to work with several bloggers and give them the resources and assets they need to create content about your company. Simply giving them your website isn’t enough; make sure you tell them about your brand, give them some background information, and provide high-resolution screenshots, product photos and technical specifications if you want them to produce content which is meaningful. Try to have a plan on what you want them to produce as well. If you provide them with a lot of statistics, then you might be better off creating an infographic. However, if you prefer written content such as a review or opinion piece, then you won’t need to give them much information about your brand.

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