Working with bloggers has the potential to revolutionise your brand online. Yes, I'm acutely aware of how tremendous a statement that is, but I must tell you that well executed Blogger Outreach really can have a quantifiable, positive impact on your business. If you haven't already read my Blogger Outreach for Brands post, then I suggest you do so before you read any further this one.
As with most things in life, if done well it has all the potential to fly, if done poorly it can seriously harm your business. You have the power to dictate the outcome of your campaign; the devil truly is in the detail, a little thought and consideration before launching a Blogger Outreach campaign will ensure positivity all around.
I could wax lyrical and produce a War & Peace length article about how best to work with bloggers, however for now I will share my top 5 Don'ts;
Don't Expect Something For Nothing
I have put this one first for a very important reason, expecting bloggers to create content for free is without doubt one of the most insulting things happening in the blogging world at the moment. If you are a brand/PR and are planning on contacting bloggers and offering them some AMAZING chance to POTENTIALLY win a competition if they blog about a product or service they have neither received nor experienced, you 100% need to go back to the drawing board because you have entirely missed the point of Blogger Outreach.
If you are a product based brand; fashion, beauty, gadgets, etc you should at the very minimum be offering the bloggers at least one product. As a blogger myself I am left reeling by the number of brands who contact me asking for me to write about their brand, without having seen or tried the products.
In addition, consider the time that goes into creating a blog post;
- Brand research
- Photo taking
- Photo Editing
- Content writing
- Sharing across social
I would suggest that the average product review post takes 2-4 hours, as such you must appreciate that is therefore time bloggers spend away from other activities and should be acknowledged. Now if the products to review are substantial not all bloggers will ask to also be paid, however you if you really want to work with well known bloggers it is worth putting budget to one side for this.
Finally, if you don't have budget to pay people/gift products, then you should not be running a Blogger Outreach campaign. It really is that simple.
Don't Be Lazy
The more time, thought and detail you put into your Blogger Outreach campaign the more you will get back in return. If all you want to do is send out a press release, I can guarantee you will get less that 10% pick up on your story with bloggers.
Think about what you want from the campaign, how do you want your brand/product to be showcased. If you are going to want to use the images that the bloggers create then make it as easy for them as possible and provide them with more than just a product, here's an example;
Day In The Life Of Post for a handbag company - these are incredibly popular, especially with successful lifestyle bloggers, one of the reasons readers love them so much is it gives an insight into the behind the scenes lives of the bloggers they love. They are hefty posts and will take the blogger a considerable amount of time to create so rather than just send them the handbag you wish to feature send them a pack to make their day more enjoyable;
- A new diary, to help them stay organised (personalised is always a nice touch)
- A snazzy pen
- Vouchers - for Starbucks to keep them going, or Pret a Manger so they can get lunch or maybe for Uber cars in London to help them get around.
Yes these things add to the cost for the campaign, but it shows you value the blogger, that you are willing to go that extra mile to help them create the best post possible. It also separates you from the hoards of other brands that contact them.
In addition when you contact the bloggers give them everything they need in one email, appreciate the volume of emails they deal with, make their life a little easier.
Provide them with brand information, links that you wish to be included, social channels and images along with anything else that you think they might need. Believe me, they will appreciate it!
Don't Blanket Email
It saddens me that I have to include this one, but I can tell you that more than 60% of the emails I receive are blanket emails, without a name, or any personalisation. I have to tell you, I delete them immediately.
Take the time to write an individual email to each blogger, the basic content can be the same, but check you have spelt their name right, include the name of their blog and tell them a genuine creative reason you wish to work with them. As I mentioned above the devil is in the detail and these details will not go unnoticed.
Don't Bull Sh*t Them
This is a big one, if you don't regularly read their blog don't tell them you do. If you don't watch their videos on YouTube don't tell them you do. It serves no purpose, other than to make you appear insincere and as the first contact with a brand that can do serious damage.
If the reason you want to work with them is because they have great social reach and beautiful photos then tell them that. Yes bloggers, like everyone else, like to have their ego stroked, but they don't like to be patronised or lied to.
Keep it honest!
Don't Forget Manners
As with most things in life, manners get you everywhere and Blogger Outreach is no different.
If the bloggers have taken the time to work with you, to create posts that will support and boost your campaign the least thing you should be doing is emailing them to thank them when it goes live.
Further, I cannot recommend highly enough the importance of sharing the blog posts, it is a public way of thanking the bloggers, it is also a fantastic way to attract more customers to your brand, with more than 60% of online consumers admitting to making a purchase based on a bloggers review.
So there you have it, it is not by any means an exhaustive list, but personally as a blogger and professionally as an Outreach specialist, I think without a doubt, they are the key don'ts.
I know this can all seem very intimidating, and if that is the case and you feel you need some support, or wish to hire me to run a campaign for you, I offer Blogger Outreach Management & Consultancy.
You can also email me firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me!