Has your brand been invited into the Blogosphere yet? Or do you have to ask what the Blogosphere is? If you fall into the latter camp, then its time to learn the importance of Blogger Relations and how it relates to your brand.
Blogger Relations is becoming a standard strategy used by marketers to establish relationships with popular bloggers, who will in turn relay the brand story to their audience. If a marketer is able to successfully make a connection with said blogger, then the results can prove incredibly valuable.
Bloggers are not hired journalists. They volunteer to express their opinion, and earn respect and credibility over time as they build an audience who values their perspective. This creates an entire online ecosystem of opinions being shared and appreciated by readers who want to hear what their favourite blogger has to say – versus absorbing a message that’s been pushed onto them through a more traditional media channel.
A company that successfully taps into this world, and persuades a specific blogger to jump aboard their brand’s bandwagon, is no accident. Marketers and bloggers worldwide are weighing in on the best practices of such a tactic.
Many marketers will attempt to make a connection with a blogger, having barely read any of their posts. Some marketers will try and make contact based on the title of a blog alone. Make no mistake, bloggers are being approached by marketers every day, and if they get one whiff that you haven’t done your research on what they write about, your effort is pointless.
“Stop thinking about PR in terms of pitches and audience. The pitch is dead. The audience is dead. It’s all about trust and respect.”
Be Part of the Community
The world of social media has paved the way for an infinite number of online communities to surface, where people with similar interests join in conversation and share stories, opinions, interests, etc. A truly new-age marketer will appreciate these communities and become part of them to better understand their audience, and in turn deliver a better message. But take off the marketer hat. Show an honest investment in what’s being said, without any hidden agendas.
“You’ll find that more often than not you’ll change your story based on the insight garnered from simply observing. It’s the difference between speaking in messages and speaking with relevance and, most importantly, honesty.”
One tactic for getting a blogger’s attention is to comment on their posts. And to do so every couple of weeks. Show interest in what they’re saying, and do NOT make the comment about your product. Bloggers are known to check out who their repeat commenters are, so showing genuine interest in their posts could be your first stepping stone to building that coveted relationship.
“Comment before reaching out with meaningful content—participation is marketing.”
Although honesty is paramount in an effective Blogger Relations strategy, it doesn’t hurt to go for the gold – also known as The Magic Middle.
“The Magic Middle is defined 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.”
The ultimate goal is to establish relationships with those key voices in the Magic Middle, as they directly host valuable insight and discussion among your audience, in an authentic and thriving peer-to-peer environment.
To learn more on Blogger Relations, try these: