Six Steps to Get You Started
Many times, we’ve been asked by our clients, “How do I get bloggers to write about my brand?” The answer isn’t always simple – especially if this is a new strategy for your brand or business. But, working with influencers is a great way to spread awareness about your brand and ultimately grow loyalty.
Bloggers have loyal followers who trust their opinion. This is why, when working with bloggers, growing a strong and healthy relationship is key. But, where do you start? Here are a few steps to take in kicking off your blogger relations program.
#1 Have a strategy and clear goals in place.
First determine what you’re trying to accomplish with your blogger relations program. Is it tied to a campaign or a product launch? Will it be a year-long program or short-term? What is the goal – to increase website traffic or social media following; to encourage e-book downloads or newsletter subscriptions? Knowing these in advance will help you select the perfect group of bloggers to work with to reach your goals.
#2 Choose the right bloggers to write about your brand.
Bloggers want you to be their fan as much as you want them to be your brand’s. As such, make sure you do your research before reaching out. Find blogs that generate the type of content you’d be looking for – such as recipe development or quality product reviews with strong calls to action. Here are some additional things to consider in your research:
- Do they work with other brands?
- Do they have children or interests that tie to your brand?
- Do their values align with your brands? What is the sole purpose of their blog?
- Do they do giveaways? If so, how many people on average enter to win?
- How many unique visitors per month do they have?
- How often do they post? What is the quality of each post?
- How many followers do they have on social media?
- Where do they live? (Tip: Don’t pitch a blogger that lives in a location where your products or services are not available.)
Knowing the blogger inside and out – like you would a best friend – will help you start your relationship off strong.
#3 Be a human.
When you reach out for the first time – and every time after that, personalize your email. This is where your research will come in handy. Reference previous posts on their blog or interests they have that tie to your brand. The more you tailor your communications with them, the more they’ll respect what you’re asking them to do.
#4 Make a good first impression.
Your first time working with a blogger will set the tone for the remainder of your relationship. Don’t take advantage of their time and their blog’s purpose. Remember that many bloggers have made writing their sole source of income, so be prepared that they may ask for compensation for a post. This has become common over the past few years, and often times can help ensure that you get as much out of the post as you want and vise versa.
#5 Be clear about your goals and expectations.
Bloggers cannot read your mind. Is there a specific call to action you’d like them to include in your post, such as asking their readers to follow your brand on Pinterest? Is your outreach tied to a campaign that lives on a microsite you’d like them to visit or is there a new product available or an event in their city? Once you have the blogger interested in working with you, make sure you ask them to include these items in their post.
#6 Don’t disappear and reappear only when you need something.
Most importantly, working with bloggers is all about relationships (that’s why we call it blogger relations). Once they make your post live, read it, thank them for their work, and then ask if they’d be interested in working with you again (if they’ve provided a quality post). Share their post on your social channels, tagging their blog’s handles.
And finally, don’t just contact them when you need something from them – ask them what they’re working on or how their holidays were, staying in touch between projects. Remember that when a blogger writes about your brand, they’ve become an ambassador for your products or services – and just like you would a customer, your relationship should always be an open, two-way street.