Blog Outreach also known as Blogger Outreach can be a very effective method of increasing visibility for your products and services. By “reaching out” to influential bloggers willing to review or recommend your products you can reach audiences they have already built.
The fast path to reaching the largest audiences is to
engage groups of influential bloggers for your blogger outreach.
The image below shows the PeerIndex ratings of the top ten bloggers with whom we collaborate.
TYPES OF BLOG OUTREACH PROGRAMS:
- PRODUCT IN EXCHANGE FOR REVIEW: Businesses provide products to select bloggers who agree to write a review. Bloggers are required by the FTC to disclose that they were given the product. The blogger is generally expected to write an honest review that may not be 100% positive. Honest reviews – even when they are not completely positive – are more convincing and compelling and of benefit to businesses. Be sure to choose bloggers who are highly ethical and focus on the positive. If you sell many products it can be beneficial to allow the blogger to select from a range of product choices.
- COMPENSATED REVIEWS: A business can offer to pay bloggers for their time. There is no set cost and the value depends on the influence of the blogger, how effectively they promote their content on social media, and how well their blog applies search engine optimization strategies so that their posts get ranked in the search engines. Common rates run from as little as $30 per post to $750 or more on a major blog.
- AFFILIATE PROGRAMS: Formal affiliate programs provide a method of tracking sales that originate on the blogger’s site and pay a percentage of actual sales.
- INFORMAL COMMISSIONS: A business could offer to pay commissions based on analytics data or information volunteered by new customers. Commissions would not necessarily need to be in the form of currency; they could be discounts towards your products or services or free items.
- FAN COVERAGE: Many bloggers focus on recommending what they truly believe in. If they are fans of your product or services they may write about you because they want their readers, friends and family to benefit from what you have to offer. One way to get more blogging fans is to offer them products – which brings us back to #1 above.
BLOG OUTREACH COSTS
The cost of blog outreach can vary from the time invested to identify influential bloggers who can reach your target audience to the cost of products to a set price per post or commission per sale. Costs are totally negotiable.
Agencies or bloggers engaged to provide blog outreach services (identifying and arranging blog posts on your behalf) often receive a percentage of whatever per post fee is charged, typically up to 50% but sometimes more.
HOW TO IDENTIFY INFLUENTIAL BLOGGERS
The best way is to work with someone who already has established relationships with key bloggers who have been recognized for their influence. Businesses can also learn to use new solutions that enable them to identify influential bloggers themselves.
If you choose to identify bloggers yourself, the specific tools listed below are among those frequently used to determine which bloggers have influence online and more specifically, what topics they have influence in.
Engaging someone who has many followers is not useful to you if those followers are not interested in what you have to offer or the person’s influence does not extend to your niche. For example, if they are influential for fashion but you sell auto parts or gardening supplies you are unlikely to see the results you would get if you engaged someone whose audience is interested in what you sell.
TOOLS for MEASURING SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE:
- Klout and Klout list of Influential Social MediaBloggers
- Cornell University / Yahoo! Research Twittersphere Study of Elite Twitter Users
MEASURING BLOG REACH:
Additional tools to measure blog traffic, reach and influence beyond those mentioned immediately above.
- Compete [NOTE: April 2011 Compete traffic for every site checked dropped substantially. It is unknown at the time this was written whether they changed what they are measuring or some source of data was incomplete or most likely Google changed their algorithms and took a major amount of traffic away from blogs.]
AVOID THESE BLOG OUTREACH MISTAKES:
- Selecting bloggers who have few readers or little reach across social media.
- Bloggers who have few or no collaborators who support their content and online activities.
- Choosing blogs that do not reach your target audience.
If you are interested in having bloggers write about your business, products or services contact Gail at GrowMap to discuss a blog outreach program tailored to your needs. You can find out more about Gail’s background on the GrowMap LinkedIn Profile and see some of her most influential collaborators in the list in this post for Small Business Advice.