Blogger Outreach 101: How To Effectively Work With Bloggers
Chuckle all you want at the title of this post, but we both know it's true. I've come to realise that companies actually need to work on their techniques when it comes to blogger outreach these days. I feel that as the blogging industry continues to evolve, so should the approach by PRs big or small and direct companies.
Over the years, I've had a few issues with dis-organised/rude companies, however, instead of calling the out, I thought I'd do a post to educate them and who-ever else comes across this instead.
More recently I've witnessed a few miss-haps being discussed in the bloggersphere & rightly so. These situations should not be overshadowed, so yes let's discuss these matters because blogging is not just about hauls and fairy lights, let's be real. Essentially, I'm here to shed some light on what brands should/shouldn't be doing, in the hope that this will hopefully help some new, niche and well-established companies with their blogger outreach strategies.
Actually Read The Blog In Question
How many times have we as bloggers read an email stating our blog names? I mean I guess mines is a bit confusing because Zeena is an actual name (just not my real name), but referring to someone as 'pixie123' is just ridiculous isn't it? Just goes to show that you as a company have not bothered to read the person's blog or what they're about.
Once you land on a blog page and are done reading the posts, I'd suggest heading over to the 'about page' where this will give you an insight as to why the blogger has actually started their blog, where in the world their from and will often include their real name/contact details. EASY PEASY!
Get In Touch
If you like what you've seen from the blogger, the next step is to get in touch. When sending emails to bloggers to collaborate with your company, remember to always be polite. You are emailing them for a favour so don't approach the situation like you're doing them justice! Instead have a good template in place to include;
* The bloggers real name
* Which company you're emailing from
* Why you love their blog/social accounts
* What you have to offer/why you'd love to collaborate
* Anything else you may want to include
Don't send each blogger the exact same email unless you have some sort of specific campaign running. Use a standard template, but make it personal to each person for maximum results!
Don't be rude...
This is for everyone but mainly smaller companies. I have to say in my experience over the years. the smaller companies are often the rudest. From a professional standpoint I'm often shocked by some of the things I have witnessed in the past due to the lack of experience and professionalism.
When bloggers reach out to you who are perhaps not on the calibre you want, do not hit them with; "Sorry we only work with girls with 100k followers". In my opinion this reply is just blunt and let's me know you do not know the first thing about marketing. Instead form a template for those bloggers you feel are not suited to your brand and again tailor it each time you send it to a blogger explaining why you can't collaborate together. If the blogger has great content but doesn't have good engagement rates etc, explain that once they have worked on improving these stats, you would perhaps consider working with them in the future.
This makes YOU as a company seem more professional, you'll become more likeable and you may even gain a new customer through this approach.
Do Your Products Fit Their Blog/Target Market?
Having spoken to a number of bloggers, we've all had emails from companies who do not fit our blogs at all. Do your research by looking at things they've posted over the last few months.
Lifestyle bloggers generally post about a wide-scale of topics so are more willing to accept campaigns from a variety of industries. Don't waste time by contacting any and every one, again research those bloggers and contact the ones you feel you can create valued relationships with.
If You Have A Budget... Use It!
I love this point. Yes I understand times are hard and paying for promotions is not always possible, however if you have a budget... Use it!
Think about it this way, in your professional day job no one asks you to come to work for free so why should bloggers have to do the work for free? Again, as mentioned above I know as a smaller business it is often hard to compensate bloggers in this way, however if you're a bigger company or PR with a budget you should definitely be considering this.
From my experience, it's clear that with a budget and clear direction, bloggers are able to put out content done to the best of their ability, done in a timely manner!
Put agreements into place...
Now we've all seen posts on bloggers not complying with rules and companies not making payments as agreed. To avoid any of this, put things into written agreements whether these be in a separate document or an email. This should highlight;
* The parties involved in the project
* Details of the project
* & anything else you deem necessary
Maintain Those Relationships...
I'm sure I've mentioned this point somewhere in my most recent post here on working with brands as a blogger, from a company this is highly important too. If you've worked with a blogger/influencer who has provided real value to your brand then make sure you stay in touch. Send them products from new launches, let them know about upcoming planned events, and praise them when they've written amazing posts or even share them, it'll go a long way honestly.
From both standpoints (being a blogger and freelancer), I always try to maintain relationships with those I've worked with in the past, even if it's just an email to say hey!
So these are some quick tips on working effectively with bloggers. I hope they help any of reading this and if they do... Please leave a comment below or get in touch with me.
If You'd Like My Services...
I'm sort of a whizz when it comes to blogger outreach, so if you need a hand with any of the following;
Please get in touch; firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we could work together.
Thanks for reading x
, by Zeena Xena