Blogger Outreach

blogger_outreach_2.jpgblogger_outreach.jpg

Overview


Blogger outreach is a relatively new concept in the field of public relations and advertising. The rise of the internet and social media platforms allows a shift from traditional media to interactive media. The blog sphere enables interactive dialogue between bloggers and consumers. Blogger outreach has become an integrated part of many company's marketing efforts because it opens the door for conversation between a brand, bloggers and consumers. Blogger outreach is a strategy marketers use when attempting to reach a specific target market. This strategy involves researching popular blogs and contacting the blogger in regards to posting information about specific company products and promotions on their blog. In return for a bloggers product mention or product recommendation marketers offer bloggers incentives like coupons or gifts to urge them to post. Gifts do not always need to be in the form of material compensation they can be knowledge, intellectual property, insider access, or blogger exclusives. Gifts can also be informational, can solve a community problem, or can address customer service issue. Regardless of the type of gift it always must hold some value or benefit to the blogger. A successful blogger outreach campaign will produce many positive rewards in the form of increased exposure, positive recognition and higher sales.

how-to-blog-blackboard-classroom_id785240_size485.jpg

Reasons for Using Outreach


Marketers are seeing a shift from traditional media to interactive or engaging forms of media. With all the advertising clutter these days advertisers need to come up with more innovative and creative strategies to reach these marketing-weary consumers. They do this by generating buzz worthy content, content that users will want to post and blog about. Blogger outreach is an inexpensive way to get your brand out there right in front of your target market. With the decline of the newspaper, blogs have become the new medium that many consumers are turning to when they want to learn about news, opinions and products. Bloggers share their thoughts and opinions with their readers, and readers listen and interact with it by posting comments and suggestions. When readers pay attention and interact with the content brands win by getting more traffic to their websites as well as an increase in sales. By contacting bloggers who care about your product and allowing them to post coupons or incentives on their blog for their readers who share the same lifestyles and interests is sure to yeild a great return rate. Blogger outreach results can also be easily measured to track the success of your campaign. By issuing a coupon for the blogger to post that readers can print and take into the store is a reliable and effective way to measure the reach. Another reason for using blogger outreach is because blogs can work in conjunction with all the other efforts like your press releases and social media to turbo boost your cycle.

external image person_computer.jpg

Limitations


One of the main drawbacks is a blogger outreach campaign alone isn't enough to produce lasting effects, it is most effective when coupled with other advertising tactics. Another concern companies have when reaching out to bloggers is are they a credible and reliable source. Some bloggers are journalists and some others act like journalists these are the type of blogs you want to contact because they will adhere to tight ethical standards on gifts. Other bloggers lack any standards at all and will take money to post anything these types of blogs you need to stay away because you no one believes them and they lack credibility.

Costs


Blogger outreach is much more cost effective marketing tool than traditional media. It can cost anywhere from nothing to thousands of dollars depending on what the company decides to pay the blogger. Companies can offer coupons, free trials or special offers so it is difficult to put a specific price tag on what it will cost. However what we do know is that blogger outreach is much more inexpensive then airing a traditional television spot or radio commercial.

Reach and Frequency


The reach and frequency of blogger outreach is dependent upon the amount and types of blogs you contact. Blogs can have anywhere from 100 readers a month to 200,000 readers per month so the reach depends upon which blog you choose. If a company maintains a good long term relationship with a blogger then they can contact them in the future to post again; this would benefit the company because it would improve frequency.

Scheduling and media process


When executed correctly blogger outreach can become an important part of the media mix, however to do this takes careful research and planning. The first step is to research influential bloggers that are relevant to your product and your target market. Once the right blogs have been identified the company should read the blog posts to get a feel for the subject matter. It is important to get to know the blogger before sending your campaign pitch to them so generating a relationship by reading and commenting on their posts before hand is key. The next step would be to make your pitch to the blogger as personal as you can, address them by name and explain why their blog caught your eye. Explain the benefits the blogger would receive in return for promoting your product. Also describe the value of the offer and why their audience would be interested. When communicating with bloggers be upfront about your position and who you are, building trust is important in any relationship especially if you plan on using their blog again in the future. Another important component of trust is to always be available for them in case they have any questions or concerns and to then answer and address these concerns in a timely manner. Once you have contacted bloggers it is wise to keep a record or spread sheet of bloggers action whether they responded, posted content or reacted negatively this is important for all future outreach efforts. The final step is to make sure to thank any bloggers who did post content by either sending them a card or shooting them an email just to let them know you appreciate what they did.

Audience Qualities


Blog readers encompass all different target markets. No matter what the product is or who you are trying to target there is a blog for it, there are blogs for everything sports, cars, children, food, wildlife, shopping, pets, technology etc. The readers of these blogs avidly care about what the blogger has to say so advertising your message on these blogs matches desired information with attentive readers.


Blogger Outreach video on the iPhone

Responsiveness


Readers follow particular blogs because they trust that blogger to be a reliable source of news and opinion. When a blogger writes about a product or brand their readers pay close attention and their feelings on that product or brand directly reflect how they feel about the blog itself; so those feelings of trust and reliability get transferred to the product or brands image. If a blogger recommends a brand the reader will more than likely visit the company site so the responsiveness is almost immediate.

Who's doing it?


Many companies are making the switch to social media as a new way to reach their audiences. As part of their mothers day campaign 1-800-Flowers has found all different "mommy bloggers" to participate. The company is sending these mommy bloggers a bouquet of flowers and a discount code for them to share with their readers. The desired result is these 24 mommy bloggers that they have contacted will spread the word about 1-800-Flowers and ignite a viral movement The blogger outreach is also supported by a Twitter account (www.twitter.com/1800flowers), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/1800flowers), micro site (www.spotamom.com) and sweepstakes for people to submit their own nominations for mothers that deserve the spotlight (www.spotlightamom.com). HP also reached out to many popular technology bloggers to promote the unveiling of the new HP Mini-Note PC.

mommy-blogger.jpg

Sources



"10 Tips for a Sucessful Blogger Outreach Campaign." Web log post. The Caffenated Blog. 9 Feb. 2009. Web. 22 Mar. 2010. <http://thecaffeinatedblog.typepad.com/the_caffeinated_blog/2009/02/10-tips-for-a-successful-blogger-outreach-campaign.html>

Bernoff, Josh. "When and How to Pay a Blogger - Advertising Age - DigitalNext." Advertising Age - Ad & Marketing Industry News. Crain Communications, 26 May 2009. Web. 8 Apr. 2010. <http://adage.com/digitalnext/post?article_id=136852>.

Cappo, Joe. The Future of Advertising: New Media, New Clients, New Consumers in the Post-television Age. Chicago, Ill.: McGraw-Hill, 2003. Print.
http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/digital/e3i2d8b9c94fb2ffdbd223a8cd8849971f1

"How to Successfully Engage Bloggers in a Blogger Outreach | Memes.org: Mind Viruses." Memes.org: Mind Viruses | Culture, Science, Politics, & Religion through a Memetic Lens. 3 June 2008. Web. 5 Apr. 2010. <http://memes.org/how-successfully-engage-bloggers-blogger-outreach>.

Linsley, Ming. "Blogger Outreach & Social Media." E-mail interview. 3 Feb. 2010.

"Marketing's Big Bang Theory." Advertising Newspaper | Marketing News | Advertising Industry | Ad News | Advertising Trends. The Nielsen Company. Web. 4 Mar. 2010. <http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/esearch/e3ib65f3d86442bd4f081a6c15c36ed0737>.

Weblog post. Lava Row. Hillary Brown, 8 May 2009. Web. 9 Apr. 2010. <http://www.lavarow.com/2009/05/08/5-benefits-of-blogger-outreach/>.

Weblog post. Maket like a Chick. Coree Silvera, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 8 Apr. 2010. <http://www.marketlikeachick.com/branding-with-blogger-outreach/>.