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Blogger outreach (sometimes called influencer marketing) is when businesses and bloggers combine to create kick-ass promotional content. The business usually provides samples of its products in return for a review or as prizes in a giveaway — sometimes both.
Isn’t blogger outreach a complicated process that only works for hipster-friendly businesses?
You might have heard bad things about working with bloggers — whether it’s because of the rise of influencer imposters or the hotel owner who called out an influencer for asking for free accommodation and banned all bloggers. The narrative in the mainstream media is that bloggers are just entitled millennials who are impossible to work with.
The reality, of course, is much more nuanced. Yes, many bloggers are quite young — which makes sense, considering how new an industry it is — but there are many people out there in their 40s and 50s with great blogs as well.
Yes, some bloggers can be difficult. But some plumbers can be difficult, some restaurant owners can be difficult, and some TV repair people can be difficult. As with anything else, it’s about finding the right people. Chosen carefully and used well, bloggers can play an important role in your outreach campaign.
The truth is…
Blogger outreach is actually quite simple. If you have a product or service that bloggers will love, you contact bloggers and ask them to write about it and include a link back to your site. If you choose relevant bloggers with a good following, this can form a valuable part of your link building strategy.
So, have you got a physical product or a great service that bloggers would love? Of course you do. Every business does. You love your product or service — that’s why you started this business in the first place — so there’s no reason why a blogger wouldn’t love it, too.
If you think bloggers wouldn’t care about your product, think again. You’d be amazed by the variety of bloggers out there — it’s much more than just food, fashion and travel. There are financial bloggers, technology bloggers, film bloggers and many, many others. Whatever your niche, there is someone out there who loves to blog about it.
In short, blogger outreach is a content marketing strategy that can work for everyone. You just need to find the right person.
Types of blogger outreach
The type of blogger outreach you do will depend on your business, and there are a few awesome options to choose from…
1. Sponsored posts
These are posts that a blogger is paid to write and publish, with mentions and links to your brand. The amount of money needed to pay for a sponsored post depends on the popularity and influence of the blogger, as well as the type of post you request. Be sure to agree on terms beforehand, making it clear what you want from the post.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) states a blogger should always declare when they’ve received money for a post, so there will usually be a disclaimer at the end of sponsored posts stating this.
2. Product reviews
Another tactic used by businesses is to send their products out to bloggers in return for a review, whether in the form of a video, blog post, or photos on social media. Everyone loves getting free stuff, so bloggers are bound to have a smile on their face before they’ve even tried your product. If they use it and love it, you can be sure they’ll tell the world.
3. Product features
A product feature is similar to a review. However, instead of a formal review, your product will be featured in a post on a broader topic. For example, a travel blogger might write about their trip to Spain and casually mention that they were using your awesome backpack at the time.
Running a giveaway is super-effective for both blogger and brand. The idea is that you, as the brand, provide the prize and the blogger or influencer hosts the competition — that might be on YouTube, their blog, or on another social media platform. Wherever they choose to do it, you can bet people will enter, giving your brand some priceless exposure.
For fans of real-life things, running a blogger event is the way to go. Influencers are invited to attend an event that showcases your brand in exchange for blogging about it. Getting coverage from lots of bloggers at once is a killer way of giving your brand a turbo-boost.
You could even create event hashtags to get a better idea of your ROI, or just to keep a digital record of the time your content marketing campaign absolutely crushed it. Blogger events take a considerable amount of time and effort to organise, but the reward is worth it.
Watch our podcast to find out How to Earn Links, Traffic, and Sales from Influencers.
The benefits of blogger outreach
The key to effective blogger outreach is that it works for both business and blogger. Your content marketing campaign will crumble if your outreach attempts don’t include an incentive. That might take the form of a product to try and keep, or a few products to act as competition prizes. Anything that will grow a blogger’s reach and reputation will be like a shiny penny to a magpie.
The incentive for you, as an eCommerce business, is building backlinks and tapping into new audiences. Bloggers spend years cultivating a loyal readership, so one post or tweet about your product can encourage heaps of social shares, traffic and leads. Find the right bloggers, build relationships and you’ll have a relevant, ready-made audience to pitch your products to. This approach is perfect for new or small businesses that don’t have a giant online reach.
Case Study: Organic Baby Clothes
One of our clients who really benefited from blogger outreach campaigns is an organic clothing company. They make garments for little ones, which go down super well in the mummy blogging scene.
Our blogger outreach expert secured this company 29 blogger backlinks in just four months. These varied from sponsored posts to product reviews, with each one boosting the client’s online profile to new heights.
Thanks to the Ninjas working on this content marketing campaign, the client increased their visibility among their target audience: new parents. Laser-focused blogger outreach means no money or resources are wasted on irrelevant audiences, giving businesses the best bang for their buck
Is Blogger Outreach Right for My Business?
Blogger outreach can work for any business, providing you find the right bloggers to work with. Your product or service should fit in neatly with the brand of blog you’re targeting. It’s no use pitching your high-end handbag to a budget clothing blog; it’ll look out of place and readers won’t engage with it.
When you find the right blogger with the right audience for the right price, it can be a win-win-win situation for your business, the blogger and your customers.
Blogger Outreach Best Practices
There are many different approaches to blogger outreach, but there are some best practices to keep in mind when you’re getting started.
- Choose bloggers with care. Don’t partner up with anyone willing to accept a freebie or post a tweet about your company. Influencer marketing is only valuable if the bloggers you choose are relevant to your business and authoritative enough to pack some real punch. Take the time to research the blogger, the topics they write about, their writing style, the number of followers they have and how engaged their audience are.
- Write well crafted and concise messages. Popular bloggers, the ones you really want to work with, receive hundreds or even thousands of emails a day. Make sure your first email has an attention-grabbing subject line and that the content is clear and concise. Once you get the conversation started, you can hammer out the details.
- Always emphasise your USP. If you’re lucky enough to be selling a ground-breaking product or service no-one else can offer, your pitch has a good chance of success. However, it’s more likely that you will be one of many businesses providing a similar offering. Make sure to emphasise how your company, product or service is different. What is it’s Unique Selling Point (USP)? Why should the blogger get on board with you rather than a competitor?
- Build relationships that will last. Be transparent about what you can offer and what you expect of the influencer. Long-lasting blogger relationships can be an effective and affordable way to boost traffic and leads. Start building trust from day one and make sure you’re someone the blogger is keen to continue working with.
- Think outside of the box. Almost six million small businesses are operating in the UK. Many of these have an online presence and possibly an influencer marketing strategy. That’s a lot of businesses chasing a finite number of bloggers for their attention and influence. When pitching your ideas for sponsored posts or giveaways, be as creative as you can. Make your campaign stand out to the blogger and their audience.
Choose your bloggers with care and be creative with your campaign ideas and influencer marketing could reap fantastic rewards for your business. It’s a cost-effective option for startups and once solid relationships are established, these can bring in leads and traffic for years to come.
Struggling to write blogger outreach emails? Download our tried and tested outreach templates.
Looking for a team of content marketing masterminds to deliver an awesome content marketing campaign through blogger outreach? Contact Exposure Ninja today and ask about our content marketing services.