It seems everywhere you turn these days, people are bombarded with celebrity advertising. On TV, you often see an influential actor or athlete promoting a product to improve brand awareness and increase sales.
Pepsi Co. has done a remarkable job at using influential entertainers to help them promote their brand as “cool” and hip to target a new generation of Pepsi drinkers.
This is no different online.
Online businesses are looking towards bloggers more now than ever before to help them increase their brand awareness in social media.
If you don’t already know, having a blog is a valuable tool for your content marketing strategy. If you want traffic, social media shares and ultimately, customers to sell to – a blog can do just that.
Enlisting influential bloggers can help expose your content to a larger audience, thereby increasing your brand’s exposure. While I’m sure having the endorsement of actors and celebrities will provide your brand global recognition, this isn’t always feasible, appropriate or even attainable.
Blogger Outreach Campaign: Digital Word of Mouth
Online businesses can benefit greatly from a digital word of mouth approach to their marketing campaign. Social media influencers in your vertical are great allies to have because, unlike traditional marketing strategies, influential bloggers are often more personable, relatable and trustworthy to your target demographic.
And what’s more notable is consumers are looking towards blogs for resources when deciding to purchase a product or service.
So, let’s break this down. Why should part of your marketing efforts rely on a blogger outreach campaign?
- Online shoppers trust bloggers’ product and service research. What do most consumers do before buying a product or service? Many do their research online. Up to 31% of shoppers are influenced by bloggers when making an online purchase.
- Blog posts serve as a catalyst for online purchase decisions. Up to 70% of consumers online read blog posts, not ads, to learn about companies. Moreover, 65% are heavily influenced by brand mentions in blog posts.
So, what does this mean for online businesses? It means your audience trusts what influential bloggers say about products, and the information from blog posts, to decide whether or not to purchase a product or service.
By recruting influencers in your industry in an effort to have them promote or mention your brand, your efforts will result in more social media attention and traffic, leading to more sales.
Designing a Blogger Outreach Campaign for Your Brand
Before embarking on a blogger outreach campaign, it’s critical to consider the following:
- It’s a long process. Campaigning for influential bloggers takes a lot of time, work and practice with many failures along the way.
- When setting up a blogger outreach campaign, plan it out. At Twtrland, we offer an organizational method using our lists. Based on the category you set, every blogger you uncover can effortlessly be added to your list and organized in an uncomplicated layout to view.
- Set goals. Stay true to your marketing goals of why you need bloggers. Is it to increase sales, increase brand recognition, attract prospects or drive more traffic to your site?
- Develop a relationship with influential bloggers. It’s essential to treat bloggers as people and approach them as such. Your success depends on how you approach bloggers. Sending spammy emails and broadcasting your blogger outreach campaign isn’t going to attract many, if any, bloggers.
How Do You Identify Relevant Influential Bloggers?
Once you’ve decided on an influential blogging marketing campaign, it’s imperative to identify relevant bloggers to help you. While it’s tempting to contact highly popular influencers in social media that have the most influence with their audience, this doesn’t always work out. Certainly, a travel blogger will not be interested in makeup products, so approaching them is wasted effort.
Here are three ways to find the right bloggers to help your brand.
- Google search. You can quickly do a Google search. This proves beneficial for small niche industries such as ecotourism. Simply type in “niche + blog” to acquire a list of top bloggers in your vertical. But this doesn’t always yield the correct information you need – and it can be time consuming.
- Social media platforms. Using specific hashtags on Twitter or searching directly on Facebook or LinkedIn can provide a list of top influential blogs. But, it requires plenty of legwork on your part and you may not find relevant influencers, especially if they fail to have the keywords you’re searching for in their bios.
- Twtrland. We offer a straightforward way to identify influential bloggers in your industry by accessing your Network. This tool keeps tabs of all your followers who mention your brand, any mentions of your brand and any conversations about your brand. Businesses can quickly access this crucial information when identifying the right blogger, thus helping them with their marketing strategy.
Twtrland Offers An Easy Approach to Finding Influential Bloggers
Using social media analytical tools to kick-start your blogger outreach campaign comes in handy when you want to target multiple influencers in your industry.
Twtrland makes it easy for you to not only identify important bloggers, but to quickly find them based on set criteria you provide.
Using our Influencer Search Engine, you can input a niche skill and location to find the right influencer in your industry. For example, if you own a food product business and want a prolific food blogger to mention or write about your product, Twtrland can help you access those bloggers. In the Influencer Search Engine, type in “food” and a location, and you will receive a rich list of influential bloggers in your niche.
You can narrow your list down by only selecting “power users” or “casual” influencers you want to approach. If your marketing campaign requires gender identification or age specification, Twtrland has those features available as well.
With the information in hand, you can now work towards opening up a line of communication with your list of bloggers. The following are some easy ways to initiate communication with an influencer in your market:
- Start following them on social media
- Begin to share their content across your social media platforms
- Provide quality comments on their blog posts
- Engage with them on social media. If they tweet out a question, answer it, or if they want feedback, provide it.
The Best Ways to Approach Bloggers in Your Industry
Before asking a blogger for anything (a product review, mentions, etc…), remember that it’s a game of reciprocity: If you do something nice for a person, most likely they will return the favour.
Beginning a line of communication with the methods laid out in the previous section is a step in the right direction; your brand will be on the radar of your influencers.
This process can take some time, so it’s always a recommended idea to approach multiple bloggers of different popularity standing. You may be able to connect better and faster with an influencer that has a small following, but great loyalty with their audience. Don’t discount bloggers that may not have a popular social media presence.
While influencers are constantly inundated with pitches, queries and general comments, your efforts need to stand out.
The best way to reach out to an influencer, then, is by asking them via email – but have a plan to stand out. Use these guidelines to help you set yourself apart from your competition:
- Make your email as transparent as possible. Mention your intent for this relationship. This helps influential bloggers understand the true purpose of your communication.
- If a blogger has agreed to a product review, do your research first. Read their blog posts and see how your product can benefit their readers. You may find that their blog doesn’t coincide with your brand messaging. So, save everyone some time and read blogs from the influencers you want to approach.
- Maintain your relationship with your influencers by continuing communication and giving them social attention. If they are open to it, it might make sense to do a joint venture with an influencer. This can result in increased sales and traffic growth.
You’ve Got The Influencer, Now It’s Time to Grow Your Business
Your efforts have paid off. Your blogger outreach campaign is a success. You managed to connect with some key influencers in your market, developed a solid relationship and enlisted them to promote your product, services or content.
What’s the following step in this mutually beneficial relationship?
It’s time to reciprocate and promote your influencer’s content as well as any content relating to your brand. As you expect influencers to do the same, your combined efforts will reach a larger audience and will put your brand on the map.
Be certain of peak times on social media to maximize your content reach in an effort to reach as many viewers as possible.
For Facebook, the optimal time to promote your content is between 1-4 pm.
On the other hand, Google+ sees the highest social engagement early in the morning between 9-10 am.
Twitter sees engagement throughout the day, but peak time is around noon, or lunchtime.
Using bloggers as a marketing strategy to elevate your brand is easily accessible and highly influential. Don’t complicate the process by seeking out influencers on your own.
Twtrland provides a wealth of data and can help businesses access key players by uncovering the top influencers in your market. Our research tool can also narrow down your choices to specific location, gender, age or skill – making it simple to tailor your marketing efforts for maximum benefit.
When you’re able to identify, locate and approach the right bloggers through your blogger outreach campaign, the potential for growth is endless.
Enlisting influencers, then, is a powerful marketing strategy for any business that shouldn’t go overlooked.
Wondering how to find influencers for your blogger outreach campaign and increase your ROI? Check out Twtrland 14-day free trial of social intelligence that helps you stay ahead.