Last week, I wrote a post titled “How easy / hard are you making it for bloggers to talk about you?
My argument was simple: When launching a digital campaign, some brands fail to include a component that encourages people to share their content.
In my original post, I shared a few thoughts on the practical steps brands can take to make it easier for people to mention them online. But I also want to ask some industry peers for their opinions.
So, I asked them this question:
“What is the one thing brands should/could do to make it easier for bloggers to talk about them online?”
Here's what they said.
Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing Agency:
"The opportunity is to dig into what hooks or triggers motivate a particular group or segment of bloggers and then package useful content in compelling and interesting ways that PR can use to engage them.
“Get on the blogger's radar by appealing to their ego—but in a relevant way. Then create content that is special; that is unique, relevant and timely. Bloggers love to be first. They love to share. Once you've created compelling and useful content, make it easy for bloggers to share on the social networks where they spend their time."
“Beyond generic social sharing widgets, it might mean the ability to tweet an individual data point, image or video. Easy + useful + relevant = win.
“Don't stop with an infographic, monster list of industry statistics or entertaining video. Keep producing interesting content, and you'll not only get on the radar of influential bloggers, you'll stay there. Brands just need to empathize with bloggers' needs and then package brand content in an interesting and useful way.
“That's how you make it compelling for bloggers to talk about brands online.”
Danny Whatmough, account director at tech PR firm EML Wildfire:
“It's simple, but easier said than done: Make social objects that bloggers will want to talk about, share and engage with.”
Paul Sutton, social communications, digital marketing and PR strategy consultant at Bottle PR:
“More access to information, whether that [means] using a digital news room service, [providing] clear direction to social media profiles or even signposting highly relevant information on a company website.
“Just make it easy to find stuff!”
Gemma Went, marketing and social media consultant:
“Better SEO [search engine optimization] across all un-copyrighted, good quality content (imagery, video, whatever), so we can find exactly what we're looking for when we search for it. This of course means improved naming and tagging of any imagery/video across all sites that may be using (press room, Flickr, YouTube, etc.).”
Max Tatton-Brown, account manager at EML Wildfire:
“Same thing as always—get to know them and build the relationship. Different bloggers will be in it for different things, understand what makes them tick and what kind of opportunities they will be interested in.
“At the same time, they will want to get to know the actual company more than [public relations]—have a good think about why you're standing in the way and where/how you can remove yourself from the equation."
Neville Hobson, communicator, blogger and podcaster:
"Present a person who represents the brand. Not the brand itself, a team of people, or an unidentified person: Make it clear that a real person speaks."
Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO of Pure Performance Communications:
“Brands have to make it easier for bloggers to access updated and more compelling content through their newsrooms, as well as have their experts available to field questions and engage through social media channels. In many cases, bloggers, like journalists, will request information through PR professionals; however, they also want direct access to experts where they congregate in their communities.”
Mark Schaefer, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions:
“Develop personal, helpful connections BEFORE they need something.”
Emily Leary, communications consultant and blogger:
"Online pressrooms are great. As a mummy blogger, I'd like to be able to sign up, set my interests and preferences, and then get an alert when new content is live and then be able to jump in and pick up all the text, images, contacts I need in one place.
“That said, a good relationship with PR pros is really important. I tend to be far more likely to respond to pitches from a brand I haven't worked with before when the pitch is from a PR pro I trust (and who shows they've read my blog).”
The key recommendations I gleaned from these responses were:
• Provide access to content in a stress-free manner.
• Facilitate access to experts who can impart real knowledge and insight.
• Develop the right relationships and create mutually beneficial outcomes.
• Remember that Google is often the first port of call when blogger start their research, so all elements of SEO are crucial.
• Be timely, be useful and be relevant.
A good dose of common sense doesn't hurt either.
A version of this story first appeared on the author’s blog.