After a shaky entrance to the cocktail party of communications professionals, bloggers are now willingly invited.
With so many journalists leaning on blogs for stories, blogger outreach is more important than ever. Here are a few ways you can reach them successfully:
The indirect pitch can be a strike
Blogs, like social media channels, give PR professionals earned media: If a blogger mentions your brand in a post, you’re gaining exposure to their community. This becomes especially powerful when a journalist is part of a blogger’s community.
Journalists use blogs to research their stories, and the cherry on our communications sundae is something we’ll call the “indirect pitch”: A blogger interests a journalist in your story, and you end up with more coverage via traditional press coverage.
The communications ecosystem is more interconnected than ever, and engagement between content sources can amplify and carry our message.
But how do we engage those key bloggers and journalists?
Good blogger outreach takes a mix of good legwork and good tools
Finding the right bloggers for your brand takes a little legwork. If you’re starting from scratch, here are some quick (if manual) blogger outreach program tips:
- Check out where competitors are featured
- Find out who competitors and their industry influencers are following on Twitter
- Research and follow hashtags that pertain to you industry or specialty on Twitter and Facebook
- Check out industry influencers across a variety of social networks, including LinkedIn, SlideShare, and Twitter
Big Data marketing is an exploration not for the faint-hearted: In a raging sea of information, it’s a lot easier to find what you’re looking for with a really good boat and a really good navigation system.
A good social listening tool will have great data and a great search engine, making the manual labor on blogger outreach (or any messaging campaign) much more minimal.
Once you have identified blogs or bloggers to target, look at the stories that they’ve written recently. Are they writing positively about the industry in a specific geography that interests you?
Being able to hyper target the blogger community, like the journalism community, gives you the best shot at interesting the right journalist. Quality, not quantity, is the key to meaningful engagement and impressions that matter.
Blogger outreach doesn’t stop at coverage
The more you engage with the community around you, the more likely bloggers are to follow you; and, as marketers, your community includes bloggers and journalists.
The social dialogue model means that we should keep listening—and participating—in the conversations that matter.
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