It’s no secret—and may even be cliche at this point—but tens of thousands of blog posts get published per day. And, in the wake of this content deluge, how do you get people to notice your carefully crafted new blog posts? How can you begin to do blogger outreach and get results?
They say publish quality content. But I’ve seen more than a few quality articles languishing in obscure places, so I don’t think simply publishing quality content is enough.
According to Buffer, it’s less about content creation and more about content promotion.
Then again, I’ve seen my fair share of haphazard promotion campaigns where people post their stuff all over the place.
On the other hand, I’ve also seen some fairly generic content that went up the charts because of a great promotional campaign. (I won’t mention those directly to avoid offending people, but I’m sure you’ll have your own examples come to mind.)
So despite some poor content promotion attempts, a part of me can’t help but agree with Buffer. Content promotion is important. And you should spend more than double the time to promote than it took you to create your post.
But when you do, do it more mindfully than the misguided souls pushing their stuff indiscriminately.
On Social Proof and Blogger Outreach
It’s hard to rely on clumsy promotion tactics. These days, people don’t simply take any promotion at face value. They want something more—and that something is social proof. And when it comes to getting social proof, nothing beats a good influencer endorsement.
For example, our business got tons of traffic and hundreds of signups when one Moz community influencer gave us a simple mention.
In a nutshell, blogger outreach is when you reach out to form a mutually beneficial relationship with an influential blogger in your niche.
To get that endorsement/social proof.
So how do you do blogger outreach?
Here’s a compressed step by step:
- Prospect for influencers in relevant niches or “shoulder niches”
- Research your influencer prospects’ interests
- After researching, offer the influential blogger something that, according to your research, could be something relevant and good enough to benefit the influencer so he/she will respond and help you out too.
How Five Companies Did Blogger Outreach Right
Want more inspiration on how to do that?
Here are case studies of companies who did blogger outreach right.
The babies and moms market is a lucrative niche and Mustela, a high-end skin care brand targeted for mothers and infants, is yet another company to enter the fray. How to get attention in such a highly active, competitive industry? Enter, influential mommy bloggers.
As you can imagine, there are quite a number of mommy bloggers out there, but Mustela did not reach out to any random mommy blogger. Their team conducted extensive research on all the prospects and handpicked only those that fit the tone and demographics of the premium brand.
And so Mustela went along this highly selective blogger outreach campaign and, in one month, gained over 1k Instagram followers. This may not seem like much for one month but remember—they have a much higher-end and therefore, a smaller target demographic.
One of their top blogger prospects was an influential mom blogger who not only has a massive social media following, but also guests on TV shows and magazine interviews.
This led to even more exposure for the brand and just goes to show how a well-researched blogger outreach campaign can help a new brand compete in a such a competitive and price-conscious space like mother-and-baby goods.
Mustela Blogger Outreach Case Study Takeaway
Now, how did Mustela get such an influential blogger—one who receives a huge amount of proposals from other companies—to notice them?
According to Mustela, “a persistent approach and the quality of the Mustela product proved successful.” They identified that their blogger prospects would naturally want to try out products for moms and babies. So they got these bloggers’ attention by offering a product exchange.
In the case of their top prospect, this worked wonders because she loved their product.
Still, no amount of marketing can turn a bad product into something influencers will rave about. So a product exchange approach will only work if you can attest to the quality of what you’re offering.
How can you convince customers to take a chance on your pricey product if you don’t have a showroom for them to try it out first?
This was the challenge that online luxury mattress manufacturer and direct-to-consumer retailer Leesa placed on the desk of their marketers.
Fortunately, the company’s marketers knew exactly who their target market was— “savvy, online shoppers,” Millenials who would prefer the more convenient way of online shopping and direct-to-doorstep delivery over a trip to some showroom.
Still, it would take more than that to convince a veteran online shopper to invest a hundred dollars on a mattress they’ve only seen online.
So, they launched a blogger outreach campaign based on what they found to appeal to this demographic: online reviews, personal testimonials, and unboxing videos.
Because theirs was a luxury brand, they targeted influential bloggers not only in the DIY, but also in the more particular interior design and style spaces. They would then send their product to their favored bloggers in exchange for an unbiased review.
Their campaign resulted in more than 100k clicks to their website and over 400 product sales.
Leesa Blogger Outreach Case Study Takeaway
They used unbiased online reviews to add more credibility to their product, knowing that online shoppers will need more convincing information before they buy.
The team did not simply ask their blogger prospects to do an online review barrage. They evaluated which of their blogger partners’ content performed the best, and, once identified, would use more the same content type as they widened their network of bloggers.
When researching the influencers they wanted to work with, Leesa was more concerned about engagement over base number of followers. According to Leesa’s marketing director, a follower with 40k engaged followers is as good as another influencer with 200k cold followers.
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to get (and maintain) people’s interest.
Swiffer and Mr. Clean did this right when they launched a blogger outreach campaign specifically for home improvement enthusiasts and new movers.
Moving into a new space usually involves a lot of cleaning—making sure your space maintains that fresh, new house feeling also involves a lot of cleaning. So, Swiffer and Mr. Clean asked their marketing partners at the time to create what they called the “Clean Slate” campaign.
So the team identified their target prospects and sent their outreach.
The goal? To share stories and demonstrations including actionable steps, of how homeowners and new movers use Swiffer and Mr. Clean products to turn their “space” into a real “home.”
This approach resonated with home improvement enthusiasts so much that the marketing team closed their three-week campaign with over 4.5k social shares and 50 million impressions.
Swiffer & Mr. Clean Case Study Takeaway
Clever storytelling can be an insidious but effective way to sneak your brand in to your target audience’s minds. If you can hit home with an emotional connection, you’re more likely to get that prospect to identify with and purchase your brand.
Using influencers to demonstrate how to use a product in a valid, real-life scenario, especially in real-time, is a proven formula for getting customers’ attention. Gamers and DIY-ers have been successful with this approach, and Swiffer and Mr. Clean did well in replicating it to get more audience engagement.
Wrapping it up
As you’ve probably seen from the case study examples I gave, blogger outreach is an essential part of a well-planned promotion campaign. But like any other strategy, abusing it can cause more harm than good.
For example, doing cold pitches without even establishing any previous point of contact with your target influencer is one sure way to get off on the wrong foot. Ahref’s Tim Suolo has received his fair share of blogger outreach pitches, and shares some of what he thinks are the worst outreach in his blog post.
Cold pitches may work for other bloggers who are just starting out, but as you ramp up your promotion and try to get in touch with more influential prospects, you’ll have to make your blogger outreach more sophisticated than a quick, one-and-one template email.
But in most cases, as I’ve mentioned, research your prospects carefully, and see if you have anything worthwhile to benefit them before reaching out.
Remember, if anyone you didn’t know reached out to you asking for a favor without offering you anything in return, would you respond favorably?
Unless you’re looking for a charity case, then I don’t think so.
So there you have it!
Did I miss anything?
Let me know in the comments below.