Back at the end of March this year I published a post called: If you want to reach more customers then get your blogger outreach programme in shape.
On the back of that post, I was contacted by Hugh Anderson of Forth Metrics via Twitter about a new tool, Inkybee, that they were developing. What the tool aims to do is help you research the blogs and bloggers you want to target as part of a blogger outreach marketing campaign. It then can help measure and report on the results of your outreach efforts.
Following on from that initial contact, Hugh and the team have written a couple of free ebooks to help educate professionals, marketers and entrepreneurs about blogger outreach. The first: 8 Reasons Why Blogger Relations are Essential to Your PR Strategy lays the foundations of the why blogger relations or blogger outreach should be part of any marketing campaign. The second and most recent (launched today, in fact) is called The Best Practice Guide for Effective Blogger Outreach is a ‘how-to’ guide about blogger relations or blogger outreach.
Here’s some highlights from the report that stood out for me:
“An important step to consider is to understand which blogs are likely to have the most impact on your target audience. The largest, A-list, market-leading blogs have the biggest reach, but are they the ones that will best resonate with your audience? And are they likely to feature you anyway? Brian Solis describes this well in his book “The Art and Science of Blogger Relations” as the need to find the voices in the “Magic Middle” of the attention curve. He defines this as “the bloggers who have from 20 to 1,000 other people linking to them. It is this group that enables PR people to reach The Long Tail, and its effects on the bottom line are measurable”.”
“Remember that bloggers are not journalists. And they don’t just publish press releases. They write stories with angles, views, and opinions, so a bland, mass-targeted press release is simply not going to cut it. You cannot tell a blogger what their own opinions are, but you can help them by making the story interesting and informative in a way that will resonate with their audience. Bloggers want to publish a story, not a sales pitch!”
“It is also critical that the principles of inbound marketing are applied. In simple terms, this means that direct selling is a no-no – the art is in engaging an audience with great storytelling to get them interested in what you are saying, not forcing a sales pitch down their throats. Bloggers will run a mile from this.”
“Once the content has been published and the evaluation has been done, it is important to keep in touch with the blogger. You’ve worked hard up to this point to develop a relationship with this blogger and that shouldn’t be thrown away once a campaign is over.”
“One of the key outcomes of Blogger Outreach is the creation of brand ambassadors: if you can continue to develop the relationship and offer content after the campaign, they’ll continue to reinforce your messages and influence their readership.”
I was happy to be asked to evaluate their tool (it really good) and to help out with reviewing a draft copy of the report and providing a comment. But, the thing that I like is how the guide has turned out as it is a turned into a hugely useful step by step guide to reaching out and engaging bloggers as part of a marketing effort.
One final note on the application of the guide. I don’t think it’s use is limited to just PR agencies or marketers providing services to larger companies and brands. I think it can also be a useful tool for smaller business, organisations, entrepreneurs, local marketing efforts and those without bigger budgets. So much so that I believe that blogger outreach should be an integral part of any word of mouth marketing strategy that aims to get people talking about your business. And, that’s a good thing, right?
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. If you have any questions then leave a comment or you can connect with Hugh on Twitter @hughforth.
Note: I write these posts because I am passionate about great service and helping companies get more value and growth out of the customer relationships they already have. If you’d like to find out more about how I do that then get in touch here. Alternatively, sign up for my monthly newsletter here.
Thanks to PinkMoose for the image.