Top tips for effective blogger engagement
With the decreasing circulations of print media and the ever-increasing need for a brand to have a strong online and social media presence, it’s never been more important to see bloggers as an essential part of any PR campaign.
The key to this is building good relationships with bloggers in the sectors relevant for your brand’s product or service. Despite seeming simple, there are a number of instances where top bloggers have used Twitter to call out PROs for easily avoidable errors, and this can quickly lead to a bad reputation with other influential bloggers.
Here are Souter PR’s top tips for successfully engaging with bloggers.
Do your research
You need to carefully consider which bloggers you are going to target. Mass, impersonal emails ("dear blogger") sent to a number of bloggers is unlikely to achieve any results; it’s better to focus on a small group that have a key influence in the relevant sector and with the target audience, and spend time building the relationships.
Make sure to actually read their blog, and not just the most recent post, to get an idea of what they like writing about and whether their blog fits with your brand.
Remember that bloggers are not journalists
Most bloggers don’t blog for a living and don’t make an income from it, but can be very influential in their sectors. Your goal is to secure coverage for your product or service, but their primary concern is creating interesting content for their readers. A press release emailed out to a blogger database isn’t the right approach – it needs to be relevant for their individual blog.
Be clear about what you want and what you can offer
Honesty is the key to an effective PRO-blogger relationship. Outline what you are offering them, whether it’s an event invitation, new product for review, or exclusive content. Then be clear about what you would like in return – e.g. a shout out for the brand, a link through to a website, or a positive review, and whether there’s a set timeframe. This will avoid any confusion later on and gives a clear idea of how you can work together.
Don’t forget social media
Many of the top bloggers also have large followings on Twitter, so have a look at their page before contacting them in addition to reading their blog. Start following them and engage with them as much as possible.
Show your appreciation
If a blogger posts about your brand, make sure to let them know you’ve read it. Help them out by linking to the post on your social media channels, and giving their blog a shout out. Continued engagement with a blogger even after you’ve secured coverage, and maintaining the partnership, will hopefully benefit you both again in the future.
Track results of your blogger outreach
It’s important to track the results of blog coverage achieved just as you would for print, especially as readership and unique page views will often be higher.
If you’ve secured coverage on a blog that is specifically aimed at your target market, then this is potentially going to lead to more brand awareness / sales than if the coverage was in a high-circulation print publication that had a more general readership. Make sure to check whether there are comments under the blog post too – these could give valuable feedback or insights for your brand.