Influencer marketing seems to be a hot topic for many business owners today as major companies all over the world are engaging with recognizable stars to help them promote their products and services.
However, as a blogger who has been promoting brands for years, including Verizon Wireless, Jennie-O Turkey, Walmart, Mitsubishi, L’Oreal, Walmart and others, there are a few influencer marketing outreach tips that I am sharing that can be helpful to businesses looking to engage with bloggers.
1. Identify the Right Bloggers
With all the bloggers out there, you need to prioritize. Start your blogger outreach effort by engaging with marketing agency such as Sway Group, Everywhere, Hello Society, TapInfluence or simply do a Google Blog search. Once you have selected a few bloggers, check to see if the blogger you’re targeting is active on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.
Remember, bigger may not always be better, an influential blogger with a huge following may not be interested in covering a small business so don’t overlook smaller bloggers who may cover niche topics relevant to your small business, too.
2. Narrow Your List to No More Than 20 Bloggers
To stay focused, create a list of up to 20 bloggers to target. You might start with smaller, more niche-focused bloggers, or micro-bloggers. When you are ready to move on to the bigger bloggers you can use previous campaigns or success stories from a niche blogger as an endorsement.
Track all communications with your targeted bloggers in an Excel, Google Docs, or other spreadsheet, recording when you contacted them, if you received a reply, and so on.
3. Read their Blogs
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when reaching out to bloggers is not reading their blogs! Take time to read at least a few months worth of each target blogger’s posts, to get a sense of their likes and dislikes and tone.
4. Engage the Blogger in a Conversation
The best way to initiate a dialog and get on the radar with a blogger is to add thoughtful, useful comments their posts. Most bloggers read and respond to the comments others leave for them. Don’t leave self-serving comments or only talk about how great your product or service is.
Once you’ve got the blogger’s attention, it’s time to reach out more directly.
Consider emailing the blogger helpful information, story ideas, statistics, news in your industry anything that’s not an overt sales pitch.
For best results, make sure the email subject heading is specific and intriguing and not addressed “Dear Blogger”.
5. Maintain the Relationship
Once you’ve established a good relationship with a blogger, keep the dialog going. You can reach out with story ideas and anything else the blogger might find useful. Continue reading your target bloggers’ posts, so you can stay up to date on changes in their interests and topics.
Consider inviting local bloggers to a special event your company hosts. This could help you develop a relationship with the blogger and potentially give him or her something to write about.
A successful blogger outreach is just like any type of business networking, be genuine and authentic. Know your messaging and differentiation, and most importantly, think about how you can help the blogger, rather than staying focused on what they can do for you.
In addition, learn as much as you can about the bloggers you target. By reading their bios and tweets, you might find some common ground that can serve as an ice breaker.