Blogger outreach is a powerful way to expand your business and brand reach. It’s not wise to only rely on your social media followers to share your compelling content. So, to increase the reach for your blogs and social media, you will need to develop a blogger outreach strategy.
Mark Schaefer, author and marketing guru, explains that only a mere two percent of your followers will share your content. This is a statistic businesses, SEO specialists, and marketers can’t ignore.
Blogger outreach can make a big impact in terms of your marketing strategy. Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, noted that 81 percent of those online trust what they read in blogs. When it comes to purchases, 61 percent of people made purchases based on what a blogger recommends.
They read blogs by individuals who are similar to them and they see themselves in that blogger or aspire to be like that blogger.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to improve your social visibility and audience engagement with these five outreach tactics.
5 Outreach tactics for boosting reach
1. Make your top followers brand ambassadors
Focusing on audience growth is important, but don’t forget about the top followers you already have. According to Mark Schaefer, these followers are the two percent that already share your content. If these followers are sharing your content, they must have a following of their own you can tap into.
John Boitnott, digital media consultant and contributor to Entrepreneur, says, Loyal customers who regularly tell others about your brand can do some of your marketing work for you.
Their following may not be as powerful as the blogger outreach influencers you are planning to target. However, they are easily accessible brand ambassadors who already like your business and brand.
To leverage your "Alpha Audience", engage with them, build rapport, and enhance your relationship with them in a more meaningful way. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Create an Alpha Audience list on your social media tool: This audience consists of your most engaged followers who share your content and have a large and engaged audience themselves. By specifically following them on a private list (say, a Twitter list), you can focus on retweeting and favoriting content they share. This generates connectivity between them and helps to put you on their radar.
- Monitor their blogs on Feedly: Create an influencers category on Feedly and monitor their blogs. Routinely check the content they are sharing and comment as often as you can! Become a part of their blogging community and they will notice you for it!
- Offer them brand ambassador sponsorships: Incentivize your top followers by offering them sponsorships when you have them available. From sending free products and offering steep discounts to paying them to promote your products or services. They should be your go-to list of people that you connect with first.
2. Find the most relevant influencers
Using blogger outreach to find influencers is not as challenging as you may think. The best place to begin your search is Google. Look for first page bloggers with high domain authority websites.
In order to maximize your results within Google search, you may want to become savvy with Google search operators. You can also employ Klout or Buzzsumo to begin developing your influencer list beyond Google.
Other blogger outreach resources are Twitter and LinkedIn. You can easily search relevant hashtags and research the social media following of your potential influencers as well.
Your target influencer should have an audience of thousands at a minimum, preferably tens of thousands or more, says Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers.
Here is a step-by-step plan to find your influencers:
- Set up Commun.it: This is a great tool that will help you identify your influencers. It will be useful even if you just set up the free trial or pay for one month. You can use this amazing tool to find your influencers and then add them on a private list on Sendible, as mentioned above.
- Set up alerts on BuzzSumo: If you set up alerts on BuzzSumo for your brand’s top keywords, you’ll start getting a large volume of articles emailed to you daily. From there, you can monitor the content being shared to identify writers that are talking about similar and/or relevant topics.
- Use Google search operators to create a list: The advantage of using Google is that your influencers are pre-qualified. If they are ranking well in Google, we know they are authoritative. Once you identify them, follow them on your list as well as Feedly.
Your blogger outreach list can be a simple spreadsheet with some essential information. Their blog and/or site, Twitter handle, Facebook account, LinkedIn ID, social authority, domain authority, and email are all great list headers.
3. Have a plan for approaching bloggers
Once you have your list of your brand ambassadors and influencers, it’s time to reach out. You want to connect via a subtle touch point, starting your blogger outreach off on the right foot.
You are essentially pitching to influencers, so keeping it short and concise is best practice. You want to carefully craft a pitch letter that compels your potential influencers to give you an audience.
Gregory Ciotti, marketer and founder of Sparring Mind, explains in Business Insider that, When deciding whether to read or delete an email, our brains go through this common evaluation process. Who is emailing me (and is this Spam)? What do they want? How long will this take?
Here are a few helpful tips for creating your pitch:
- Keep it short. This is especially important when reaching out to industry leaders. They may not have the time to read a novel, let alone your long-winded blogger outreach pitch.
- Get personal. Personalizing your pitch will get the relationship off to a positive start. You can craft a template, but you certainly want it to have a unique element for that specific influencer.
- Be the professional you are. You want to convey a professional and authoritative confidence that will make your pitch compelling.
- Stay transparent. Coming off as a salesman will get your email deleted. You want to be transparent about what you want and what you can serve up in return. After all, building a relationship is your goal.
4. Create content that attracts bloggers and influencers
Attracting influencers is not one pitch letter away. You will need to audition relevant topics that your potential influencers audience will enjoy, according to Marketergizmo.
Influencers will not risk the trust they cultivated with their followers if your content doesn’t align with theirs. It is simply a waste of valuable blogger outreach efforts to pitch to an influencer who has nothing in common with your business and brand.
Influencer marketing campaigns with a mismatched personality and/or audience, then, will result in just one thing - a wasted marketing budget, says Jonathan Long of Entrepreneur.
Social media influencers you are reaching out to should match your brand’s strategy, audience and personality.
It’s invaluable to ask yourself a few key questions, such as: Will their audience get any helpful information? Will this solve a problem? What’s in it for the influencer? How can everyone benefit from the relationship, including followers?
5. Develop long-term relationships
Once you have piqued interest from influencers, continue to build the relationships.
Like any business deal, you want to develop a long-term relationship, provided it remains profitable. Here are a few ways that you can evolve your relationships:
- Continue following them and sharing their content
- Comment on their blogs and social profiles
- Use paid amplification for THEIR content - why not spend a few dollars to amplify their content on your Facebook page?
- Or be a bit more old school and get on the phone or better still, arrange to meet for a coffee if it’s convenient.
Journalists, influencers, and bloggers need visibility too, and they will appreciate you if they notice you become their brand ambassador as well. Consider investing more time and resources in a proper influencer marketing strategy if this goes well at the start.
Think of the influencer as a new acquaintance and give your relationship time to develop to something genuine and long-term, Shane Barker of Business.com suggests.
After your initial influencer outreach, make a regular and continued effort to water the relationship so that it eventually blooms to something that’s mutually beneficial.
Keeping a schedule may prove invaluable, especially if you have targeted many influencers in your blogger outreach strategy.
Summing it up
Your blogger outreach strategy is simply a numbers game. The more quality influencers you target and pitch, the more responses you’ll get. One thing is certain; blogger outreach is a powerful way to move your business and brand in the direction you want.
No matter the age, authentic content created by trusted influencers will bring more awareness to your brand or company, explains Forbes contributor Stephanie McCratic, the founder and CEO of Acorn: The Influence Company.
More awareness means more people directed to your website, so make sure you have a clear call-to-action when they get there.