Louisa Claire, founder of Brand meets Blogs, outlines why you can’t just throw something at bloggers and expect them to write about it.
You’ve no doubt heard the word that bloggers are a great way to get people talking about your brand and influence customer behaviour; maybe you have even tried it.
As someone who ran a personal blog for over seven years and now runs a blogger outreach agency there are some consistent themes that strike me as needing some air time.
Though Australian businesses increasingly talk about ‘playing in the space’ my feeling is that the current approach is largely unrefined and businesses are missing out on the huge potential that blogger outreach offers because they don’t adopt a thorough strategy for engaging with these new influencers.
The dominant approach that I see is to just try to get in front of bloggers hoping that by doing so they will go away and create word of mouth coverage for them. We see this in the inundation of press releases, items in the mail and one off exposure at events. This is not an approach that works for social and my experience tells me that adopting what you are used to doing for product placement campaigns in traditional media just won’t cut it in the blogosphere.
Though the basics of blogger outreach are not dissimilar to the basics of pitching to a journalist there are two significant differences.
Firstly, most bloggers are not looking for content from a third party.
What I see happening a lot in blogger outreach is a brand either hosting an event or sending some information and a product to a blogger then almost stepping back and saying “Go!” More often than not the blogger does go…back on with their life.
This isn’t because they are difficult or hard to work with but rather it’s because the brand has only come half way in engaging with them. Bloggers are experts at creating compelling, interactive content that their readers love. Sending them a product or putting them in a room with you isn’t a marketing strategy, it’s just lazy.
Secondly, social media is SOCIAL.
Social media is meant to be fun! If you aren’t able to cut through the noise and create trust with the blogger then they won’t bite – no matter how interesting or relevant your content is.
Blogging is dynamic, so it follows that bloggers are dynamic and fun people who are interested in doing fun things! Why not incorporate this into your approach? Come up with activities that capitalise on the dynamics of social media. Bring programs to life that bloggers can’t help but create content around!
So few brands are truly playing in social, the potential for growth is huge.
Bloggers know their community and how to reach them and they know that you want to reach them too – with so few brands getting it right, showing them that you ‘get social’ will go a long way to achieving your goals. If you want to deliver great results then you need to truly start ‘playing in the space’ instead of just talking about it.
Are you playing or pretending?
Louisa Claire, founder of Blog meets Brand.