By Lauren Weber
Many small businesses want to get noticed more online, but aren’t sure where to begin. They want their PR and marketing dollars to go farther and are curious about ways to tap into the power of social media.
For starters, blog posts by targeted bloggers can be an integral part of any social media strategy and can help reach hundreds, if not thousands, of potential customers and influencers.
Blogger outreach is a high quality marketing effort that can benefit businesses of all sizes. National brands have simply utilized this marketing practice longer than local small businesses have.
Why is blogger outreach important?
First, bloggers are naturally social. Most bloggers are not just writing on a website to gain exposure among strangers. Many are social media enthusiasts with loyal followers, who share their views and posts often on several social networks in their community –- from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, to Pinterest and Instagram.
When a blogger amplifies a post including a mention of a business, it naturally reaches hundreds of people, with many of those consumers being influencers themselves. This amplification can positively impact results found via search engine.
Blogger outreach is also important because it’s targeted. Businesses are good at focusing in on their target market with traditional advertising; it’s no different with bloggers. Connecting your brand to the right audience of bloggers is key.
Why are bloggers influential?
Recently, Technorati released its 2013 digital report, where blogs were found to be the third most influential resource when making overall purchases, only behind retail sites and brand sites.
Trust is a major reason people connect with bloggers. Bloggers approach business reviews and information in a more conversational way than traditional media. This helps bloggers connect with their audiences – whether they cater to a niche group such as marketing experts, or a wider audience, such as moms/parents.
Bloggers speak personally and authentically. Trust drives action, and action can result in sales, visits, or clicks – depending on the goal of your outreach.
How is blogger outreach conducted?
Simply put, blogger outreach means contacting bloggers to ask if they are interested in hosting content created exclusively for them (also know as guest posting), or asking if the blogger may be interested in producing his/her own content highlighting your business, which will link back to your website or product information. This is a common practice, but can be quite time consuming.
Conducting blogger outreach in a genuine manner and providing value to the blogger and their audience is crucial. Taking the necessary time to research bloggers in the target market you are after, and actually reading the blog’s past posts can go a long way in establishing a working relationship.
What do businesses gain from blogger outreach? What costs are involved?
Besides credibility and a wider Google footprint, businesses can also gain new followers on social networks and establish a web presence of awareness about a product or service on blog sites where your target market is.
Blogger outreach is a highly effective, valuable way to market and just like other forms of advertising, costs are involved to compensate bloggers for their time and exposure in front of their audience. Blogs have a longer shelf life, which is a benefit to a marketer. Consider print advertisements: they are often dead the moment they hit the newsstand, whereas blog posts can live online forever. Businesses often decide to shift their budgets over to include blogger outreach around product launches, events and more as this is a high value investment.
What are my options?
Do it yourself. Don’t spend hours manually searching for and contacting the right bloggers – use TweetTeam.com! TweetTeam.com allows businesses to connect with the right bloggers and social media users for their projects quickly and affordably. TweetTeam.com members must first apply, are vetted and assigned based on project need.
If you are a PR/Marketing/Social Media professional or business owner or brand representative, using TweetTeam.com will free up your time and allow you to focus your energy on your key work.
Get help from us. At Hay There Social Media, we are avid blog readers and consumers. Many of us host our own blogs, so we recognize the value in taking time to know which bloggers are the best fit for our clients and can help you, too.
What are you waiting for? Make blogger outreach a part of your social strategy by contacting us today. Thanks for reading!