52% of blog readers say that a blog post factored into the critical moment in which they decided to buy.
70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands.
46% of consumers indicate that they trust traditional media less then they did 5 years ago.
54% of mom bloggers report being contacted by a brand to write about or review a product.
Stillnot convinced? Not to worry. Your competitors are already one step ahead of you.
Tip One: Identify Relevant TargetsNobody likes a misplaced and generic pitch that has no relevance to their blog/community. Take the time to research relevant bloggers who are most likely to be interested in your product/service before youinitiatecontact. And remember that not all blogs are created equal. Do your homework to ensure maximum engagement on behalf of your brand.Suggested Tools: Technorati, AllTop, Klout, MuckRack, Google Blog Search, Quantcast, Various Blogrolls, HARO, Reporter Connection
Tip Two: Forget the word “pitch”.A successful blogger outreach strategy is anchored by individualized, ongoing and authentic relationship building.All good relationships require work, time & reciprocity. Invest in others and they will invest in you.Pitches PartnershipsAVOID: Mass emails, embargoes, demands & last minuterequests.
Tip Three: Ask Yourself, Am I Providing Value?Seek to provide value to a blogger in exchange for sharing yourproduct with her community. . Take a hard look at your proposal to determine “am I offering something of value or it it all about ‘the ask’?”. Value can mean many things i.e. exceptional and/or exclusive content, a unique experience or a sponsored post.
Tip Four: Get CreativeThe beauty of blogger relations is that there is no blueprint.With so many unique communities the possibilities for how you connect and engage are truly limitless.Try and gobeyond the ‘pay for post’ model and develop sustainable relationships aimed at nurturing a loyal network of “passionistas”for your brand. .
Tip Five: Clearly Communicate Your Goals The challenge with blogger relations is that there is no blueprint. Make sure you outline your expectations and attach success metrics to your partnerships and campaigns. A “successful campaign” means nothing if you can’t measure it.
TipSix: Know the Law! The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any material consideration they receive in exchange for a post/mention/endorsement. This includes both cash and in-kind compensation. Brands are responsible too! Ensure all of your partner bloggers represent their relationship with truth and transparency. The law also applies to any other channels where your partner blogger/influencer has agreed to extol the virtues of your product. In the context of Twitter these endorsements are most commonly followed by #ad.
Tip Seven: Keep Your Word It should go without saying but if you’ve promised an incentive or any other consideration, follow through on it. As a rule, treat bloggers with the same care and respect as you would the editor-in-chief at your most coveted publication.
TipEight: Participate! Become an authentic contributor to the greater conversation through comments, blog posts, mentions,re-tweets, Twitter chats, etc.. There are limitless opportunities to connect, share and engage with communities who may already have a vested interest in your brand.
TipNine: Embrace the (free) Tools of the Trade Pitchengine (SMPR’s) Bit.ly Google/ Social Mention Alerts Tweetreach Listorious / WeFollow Quora HARO / Find A Reporter Seeded Buzz
TipTen: Take it off (line, that is) No matter how connected social media makes us feel, it won’t ever replace face-to-face engagement. Find as many opportunities as possible to meet the people behind your connections. You’ll find these in-person interactions will only enhance your existing, on-line relationships.
Got questions? Holla at me! Laura Ciocia Senior Digital Strategist I Everywhere® firstname.lastname@example.org @msciocia / @beeverywhere www.beeverywhere.tv