Is “influencer marketing” all it’s cracked up to be, or is it just the latest marketing buzzword?
If you’ve tried your hand at blogger outreach with minimal success, you might think it’s just not worth the effort.
With the popularity of influencer marketing, it takes more than sending a generic email to get the attention of influencers. Successful bloggers are busy people who are often inundated with emails asking favors, so it’s no wonder that generic form letters tend to get ignored.
It is possible for you to get a positive response to your outreach emails with the right strategy, but it will take a bit more effort than just cold emailing form letters.
Here’s how you can start seeing real results from your blogger outreach efforts.
Step 1: Target the right influencers
Reaching out to just any influential blogger won’t do. You need an influencer whose audience overlaps with yours. Just like with any other marketing strategy, you won’t get the results you want if you’re not targeting the right audience.
If you start your outreach efforts with a little planning, you’ll be more likely to get real results for your efforts. Start by outlining in detail who your target audience is, and think about what types of blogs will appeal to that demographic.
Before starting your search for specific bloggers, it will help to make a general list of criteria for the bloggers you’ll include in your outreach efforts. For example, you might decide you’re looking for:
- Bloggers in the same industry or niche
- Blogs with an audience that matches your target demographics
- Blogs with a certain number of subscribers or social media followers.
- Bloggers who have endorsed brands in the past
Once you have your list of criteria, you can start seeking out bloggers that match it. You can try searching on:
- Google. Play around with searches for “[niche] blog” or “[related product] review,”
- Twitter, Facebook, or your other social media network of choice.
- An outreach tool like Ninja Outreach, BuzzStream, Inkybee or Klear.
Tracking your results
You can keep track of your list with a simple spreadsheet, but using a tool specifically created for blogger outreach can help you to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign.
If you’re working as part of a team it’s especially important to keep track and ensure there is no cross over. That’s where the collaboration features of Google Drive and the team collaboration features in BuzzStream become invaluable.
Step 2: Get on their radar
Now that you’ve compiled your list, you could start sending emails. But for a more effective campaign, it’s better to get on their radar first.
Many successful bloggers are inundated with emails and requests for their time, attention, and advice every day, which means that many of those requests go unanswered.
Think about the emails in your own inbox. You’re much more likely to open and respond to an email when you recognize the sender, right?
That’s why it’s important to get on a blogger’s radar first.
The most common ways that you can get on a blogger’s radar include commenting on their blog, or interacting with them on social media. But it’s easy to get lost among the crowd. If their blog posts regularly get lots of comments, you need to consistently write excellent comments in order to stand out.
The key here is to take a look at where they’re not getting much engagement. You might be able to get their attention by mentioning them on Google+, or by commenting on a Facebook page update. Try taking a look around at their social media accounts, and try to find one that’s not as crowded.
When leaving comments or mentioning the blogger, remember to be genuine, thoughtful, and useful. (If you just comment “Great post” on everything they write, they likely won’t have a very high opinion of you.)
If you’re stuck for how to engage, try:
- Bringing up another example of a point they made – or a counterexample
- Politely disagreeing and explaining your own point of view
- Asking for clarification
- Using them, their blog, or a specific post as an example in your own writing
- Quoting an insightful tweet of theirs in a blog post
- Asking to use an original image of theirs on your blog, with credit
Do you have ideas for other ways to get on an influencer’s radar? Be sure to share your effective tactics in the comments.
Step 3: The ask
Now that you’re on their radar, you’re ready to start sending emails!
First, delete your templates
The first step in crafting a successful outreach email is to get rid of your email templates.
Generic fill-in-the-blank template emails are very easy to recognize, especially for those influential bloggers who’ve been around for a while and received a lot of them. Besides, bloggers often compare notes with other bloggers in their communities, and they’ll know when you send out the same form letter to their colleagues. Form letters can make you look bad, and often do more harm than good.
If you want to develop a real, mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationship with influential bloggers, you need to respect them by taking the time to personalize your outreach emails. A creative, thoughtful, unique email will give you the best odds of getting a response.
Yes, it does take more time to write an original email, but the results are worth it. If you don’t have the time to write the emails, you don’t have the time for an effective outreach campaign.
Have a specific objective
When you begin to craft your email, make sure to have a specific objective in mind that will help you accomplish your overall goals for your outreach campaign.
For example, if your is to build your own blog audience, your objective for an outreach email might be to have the blogger link to a recent blog post of yours in their own blog or social media. If your goal is to build brand awareness for your new startup, you might ask them to write a review of your service.
In his post about How To Achieve Incredible Results With Blogger Outreach over at Blogging Wizard, Adam Connell suggests you can also use blogger outreach to:
- Pitch a guest post, or invite the blogger to guest post on your blog
- Ask them for a quote, or to participate in an interview
- Offer some data, an infographic, or other resources they can blog about
Check out the full post on Blogging Wizard for more suggestions.
Are your blogger outreach efforts successful?
A successful blogger outreach campaign does take time and effort, but it’s a powerful strategy that can get huge results. Are you struggling with seeing real returns from your blogger outreach efforts? Share your experiences in the comments below.