Where does blogger outreach fit in to your overall marketing strategy?
If you answered “When I can find the time,” or worse yet “It doesn’t.” It’s time you take a second look at this highly effective, yet relatively in-expensive inbound marketing tactic.
We all know most consumers are banner blind. They have been trained to ignore most online advertisements like the plague. Yet if a blog features the same product or service, readers will see it as valuable information.
Frankly, the mere mention of your brand from an A list blogger can generate hundreds of leads. Imagine what a flat out endorsement will do?
Maybe you have been meaning to implement a blogger outreach program but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe you realize the value that a blogger outreach strategy offers but really don’t know where to start. Either way, the following guidelines will help you as you begin your inbound marketing efforts:
1. Reach out to relevant bloggers
A blogger endorsement is only valuable if their audience is relevant to your brand. So do yourself a favor, don’t pitch to off topic bloggers. You’ll be wasting your time… And theirs.
Then, find out as much as you can about those bloggers and their work before emailing them your pitch. Read through their blog, scour their “About Me” page, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and subscribe to their RSS feed.
The better you know these prospective bloggers the easier it will be to tailor your pitch specifically to them in the next step.
2. Tailor your pitch to make it compelling
This is where your hard work in the previous step pays off. The more research you did, the more targeted your prospective blogger list will be. The more targeted your list, the more likely you are to interest prospective bloggers with your pitch.
Start with a great subject line, your first (and often only) impression. Craft it! You want something that is clear and concise (no longer than six or seven words) that incites curiosity or offers something of value to that prospective blogger. Personalize it!
The same goes for the body of the pitch. Always begin with the prospective bloggers first name, and remember, the most important information should be visible above the fold when the email opens.
That includes your identity, your brand and the first paragraph of your pitch.
Engage immediately with a strong first paragraph. If you’re including an incentive or relevant assets that will help the blogger write something about your product or brand now is the time to do it.
Above all respect your prospective bloggers time. When crafting your pitch, assume that the blogger is scanning for quick information to get the gist. Headings and bullets will go a long way towards making that easier.
3. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
Blogger outreach is a never ending process. It’s likely that multiple touches, via multiple channels will be necessary to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with your prospective bloggers. Even if you receive a reply to your first pitch and immediately develop a relationship, you’re going to need to maintain that relationship. That means work.
Follow up with them via email. Check in on them every now and again. Respond to them on Twitter and Facebook. Heck… You can even pick up the phone and talk with them when you can. Connect with them!
The more you do, the better your chances of creating a relationship.
Following these simple guidelines I have been able to develop some valuable, long lasting relationships over the years. How about you? How do grow your inbound marketing net? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Leave a comment below and discuss via Twitter and Facebook.
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