We’ve all heard about successful blogger outreach campaigns, but what is it that makes some brands totally and utterly fail? Whether this is your first time outreaching to bloggers or you’re a seasoned pro, below are eight tips for avoiding disaster.
1.) Don’t invite just anyone – Selecting the right bloggers for outreach is critical. But it’s not all about reach. Take into consideration writing styles, content focus areas, engagement levels and reader demographics. You want bloggers who are at a minimum open to receiving communication from your brand, or even better, bloggers who are already loyal. At the end of the day, the more open and loyal they are, the more vocal and favorable they will be.
2.) Don’t pretend to read the blog if you don’t actually read it – You have to do your homework. Whether it’s your agency or your internal teams, we recommend following each blog for at least two weeks to understand their likes, dislikes and reader expectations. This information will not only help you select your bloggers, but it will improve your pitch and deepen your relationships with the bloggers in the future.
3.) Don’t ignore problems – If something goes wrong with your product or service, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, if we are doing our jobs right as PR professionals, the bloggers will — in most cases — call you first before ever writing a negative review. Use this time to prove the value of your customer service and turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one.
4.) Don’t demand a review – If you want a guaranteed positive placement, buy ad space. It works every time. Always remember it’s the bloggers’ job to provide their readers with unbiased, authentic reviews. It’s our job to provide the bloggers with information and experiences to help inform their opinion
5.) Don’t dump your crap on them – Bloggers are inundated with useless swag. In fact, most of what brands send to bloggers either gets thrown away or recycled. Bloggers are looking for experiences, not gifts. So choose your content and samples carefully. Ensure everything you send has a unique purpose. Providing bloggers with information and experiences that they can’t get anywhere else will ensure your brand is seen as a resource, not a nuisance.
6.) Don’t end the relationship – Blogger relations isn’t a one night stand. It’s an investment that pays out over time. The more you put into the relationship, the more you will get out of it. Once you have a network of influencers who champion your brand, never let them go.
7.) Don’t forget their fans – The more readers bloggers attract, the more influence they gain. The more influence they gain, the more opportunities they get exposed to. Offer something unique and compelling for the blogger to share with his/her readers. It makes the brand look good and it makes the blogger look like a hero in front of the people who matter most.
8.) Don’t forget to measure – One of the biggest mistakes you can make is forgetting to set metrics from the beginning. What business challenges do you need to solve for? How you answer the question will dictate your blogger strategy. One of the great benefits of blogger outreach is that you can measure almost anything, whether it’s standard metrics like impressions, click throughs, newsletter subscribers or Fans to revenue-generating metrics like coupon redemptions or sales.
There are many benefits to incorporating bloggers into your public relations or marketing plans. If you follow these tips for avoiding a #fail, you are sure to have a #success on your hands.
What ways have you seen brands #fail at blogger outreach? What would you add to this list?