Blogger outreach and building trust with your customers – Interview with Hugh Anderson

talking to a friend

Today’s interview is with Hugh Anderson of Forth Metrics, a software company that is creating new, simple marketing analytics tools. Their first tool, Inkybee, aims to help small businesses and PR agencies to get more out of their blogger outreach by helping discovering blogs, manage the outreach process and measure the results.

This interview follows on the back of last week’s interview: Being Likeable, leadership, customer and employee engagement – Interview with Dave Kerpen and is number fifty-four in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things and helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.

I’ve written about the work that Hugh is doing before in Word of mouth marketing and how to get bloggers talking about your business.

Here’s the highlights from the interview I did with Hugh:

  • There are a lot of tools out there that monitoring chatter or buzz on the web but little that measures real and tangible results that come out of that. That is what Forth Metrics new tool: Inkybee is aiming to do in a simple and affordable way.
  • However, in developing the tool they found an additional hurdle that PR professionals and small businesses were facing and that was where they should be targeting on the web and, in particular, the blogosphere to help build advocacy and word of mouth.
  • Therefore, they built a front end to Inkybee that helps PR professionals and small businesses discover bloggers based on relevance and influence.
  • So, Inkybee, which has now just launched in public beta, aims to do two things: 1. help businesses identify which bloggers they should be talking to; and 2. How they can measure the impact of any campaigns they undertake with those bloggers in a very simple and easy to understand way.
  • Given the rising influence of digital media, it is almost guaranteed that someone somewhere (a blogger) is talking, not necessarily about your brand, but definitely about the market you are interested in.
  • Blogs are becoming the hub of authority in social media, word of mouth and influence based marketing.
  • Google’s algorithm updates increases the influence of blogs and blogging.
  • In the first instance their tool could be seen as a business development tool to help businesses build their reach to new customers.
  • Blogger relations is not a one off exercise. it is a relationship building exercise that takes time and patience where the ultimate aim is to build ambassadors, advocates for your brand and communities around those.
  • This becomes ever more important in the world that we live in as we seem to be suffering from a break down in trust between consumers/customers and business and many other organisations.
  • This is supported by the fact that most people when they go and buy something that has material value looks for third-party word of mouth recommendations and endorsements.
  • This offers a great opportunity for smaller businesses as it can, with a bit of effort, allow them to compete with bigger businesses where big businesses will often muscle through relying on the size of their advertising budgets.
  • This is all about earned media, where you have to build relationships with people/bloggers with influence rather than just buying attention.
  • To start an outreach or a blogger relations programme, here’s Hugh top tips: 1. First, go and read their ebook (The Best Practice Guide for Effective Blogger Outreach); 2. Set your objectives; 3. Do your research; and 4. Be patient and work at it consistently.
  • When reaching out to bloggers, do the research and make sure that your outreach efforts are relevant, educate, interest or amuse them if you want to be successful.
  • Many businesses don’t do this as they fear the rejection.
  • Bloggers are human so treat them as such. Do this and you will stand out. In fact, if you want to stand out and make it really personal, send them something and then call them up.
  • This is all about building meaningful relationships, advocacy and trust with people that can influence your customers and market place.

About Hugh (adapted from his Forth Metrics bio)

Hugh Anderson

Hugh Anderson is a Scottish entrepreneur. He co-founded Forth Metrics Limited to create new, simple marketing analytics tools. The first tool, Inkybee, helps anyone doing blogger outreach by discovering blogs, managing the outreach process and measuring the results. It is currently in public beta.

Prior to Forth Metrics, Hugh was, and still is, a qualified chartered accountant with 20 years of experience in a variety of senior commercial and strategic roles in both small and large businesses. His most recent experience is as Finance Director for Searchbolt Limited, a technology company with new expertise in the field of internet search.

To start figuring out how you can start getting bloggers to talk about your business or brand and advocating on your behalf, download a copy of the report here: The Best Practice Guide for Effective Blogger Outreach and check out the public beta version of their new tool, Inkybee, too.

You can connect with Hugh on Twitter @hughforth and LinkedIn here and follow Forth Metrics on Twitter @ForthMetrics.

Photo Credit: angela7dreams via Compfight cc

Comments

  1. I enjoyed the free e-book

    Some obvious but overlooked points, like know your audience.

    I have been approached by three people wanting to promote plumbing supplies on my blog because of this article:

    http://www.squawkpoint.com/2012/10/work-around/

    A little common sense goes a long way.

    James

    • Hi James,
      That’s quite frightening that you are being contacted about plumbing. Shows how much research and to what depth is being done by some when it comes to blogger outreach.

      Adrian

    • That’s crazy, James! I wonder if that’s a pitfall of any tool – that it requires that human interaction and common sense. (Though I say that with a bit of caution and awareness that it’s not so common!)

      Thanks, Adrian, for bringing us this interview. I look forward to reading the e-book and checking out Inkybee.

      Annette :-)

  2. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this in my search for something concerning this. Neva

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