How to Get Bloggers to Love (and Write About) Your Company
A little research and a personal touch can get bloggers buzzing about your business
Bloggers can be invaluable marketing partners. If your company’s products or services appeal to these influencers, they can help spread the word about your offerings to substantial audiences, boosting your company’s SEO rankings and providing you with precious endorsements.
While blogger support is extremely valuable, it is also increasingly difficult to secure. Bloggers have a keen nose for when they are being sold to.
More companies than ever are pitching bloggers. To gain bloggers’ interest, you need the right approach to make your business stand out in their overstuffed inbox.
Get To Know Them
Don’t just send out your message to dozens, or even hundreds, of outlets. Instead, do your research:
- Ask your customers what blogs they read
- Search online to see what sites are covering products and services similar to yours
- Read up on which publications have the strongest followings or industry respect
If you are a local business, find out what outlets are writing about companies in your region. Blog directories can be valuable resources for learning about new outlets, or about existing ones similar to those you may already be targeting. Best of the Web and Eaton Web Directory are good sources for learning about new blogs.
Once you find a handful of blogs that seem like a good fit for your prospective customers, learn more about them before you do a direct pitch. Get a sense of the specific bloggers and their audience’s main interests. Connect with them on Twitter, LinkedIn Groups or Google+ communities—and join their conversations.
“There’s no motive beyond participating in the discussion and learning from others,” says Michelle Stinson Ross, digital marketing strategist for marketing firm Authority Labs. “Those who contribute really interesting points to the discussions on social media are the ones I start checking out to see what else they have to say, and where they might say it. By the time I reach out to someone one-on-one, they already know and trust me from the chats.”
When you write a pitch, strike a personal note. Cite a specific post that you enjoyed, or comment on what you especially like about their blog. Although the lines between blogs and traditional media have blurred, bloggers continue to fight for credibility and are likely to respond well to a show of respect for their work, particularly newer outlets.
Also, be sure the pitch is tailored to the type of stories the blog publishes. If it is primarily reviews, make sure you provide the product details the writer would need. If images are an important part of the site, be sure you offer up some high-resolution photos.
“Understand what they’re trying to achieve with their site and suggest options around this,” adds Jodie Cook, managing director of marketing and social media consultancy JC Social Media Limited. “They will know their readers very well—listen to the insights they can give.”
Catch Their Attention
When reaching out to bloggers, keep your focus on how you can be helpful to them. More so than traditional publications, bloggers are often in need of content. Offer to guest-blog or provide some kind of industry insight that would interest their audience. For example, if you own an insurance brokerage, offer to write a post on five factors influencing health care policy premiums. The site Blog Marketing Academy offers a helpful checklist to follow when guest-blogging. Not only would this position you as an industry thought leader, but it will lead the blogger to see you as an asset, rather than a drain on his or her time and energy.
Stay In Touch
Don’t stop communicating with a blogger when you get the publicity or product review you’ve been seeking (or even if you don’t). Keep the lines of communication open through social media, as well as with occasional news updates or check-ins. Should the writer be in need of a story idea or a source, you will come to mind. Build the relationship and you will have the bloggers coming to you in search of content and news.
Topics: SMALL BUSINESS
This Time Warner Cable Business Class article includes references to websites created and maintained and services provided by third party entities not affiliated in any way with Time Warner Cable Inc. Time Warner Cable provides this information solely for our Business Class customers’ convenience. Time Warner Cable does not control or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of information contained on any third party website nor does it endorse the views expressed or products/services offered by the third parties. All users accessing any website referenced in this newsletter will be subject to the policies of the owners/sponsors of the third party website. Time Warner Cable assumes no responsibility of any kind for damages that might result from use of the third party services or websites.