I recently published the results of a survey in which I reached out to 4,000 bloggers and gathered their perspective on their role in influencer marketing.
This information has been very valuable for all influencer marketing professionals because it’s not very often that you get outreach advice from the people you want to team up with for your brand.
Having the luxury of being part of GroupHigh I was able to pull a list of bloggers in every common vertical from food to parenting to tech. I also required the bloggers on my list to have a decent social reach and traffic data and to have been around for at least a year. Therefore, I was confident in the quality of the bloggers who weighed in.
The questions I asked pertained to how they currently work with brands and networks and how they want to partner for marketing relationships. I can narrow down the findings into three takeaways if time is not on your side today!
1. Bloggers are getting pitched A TON and by a variety of professionals
When it comes to blogger outreach, a brand has the choice to execute it themselves, team up with an agency or go through a blogger network who owns the relationships.
When you look at who bloggers are being approached by, it’s almost equal with agencies pitching bloggers a little more than brands and networks.
The key takeaway here is that bloggers are getting bombarded with emails and it’s going to get harder and harder for pitches or “partnership opportunities” to stand out.
Not only that, but if your pitch does pass through their filters, is it appealing to the blogger? One of the things that marketers often overlook in blogger outreach is the “give.” What are you giving them for their valuable word of mouth coverage for your brand?
Actionable tip: follow these creative tips on keeping your blogger outreach emails short, sweet and to the poins. You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
2. Bloggers prefer to work directly with brands
While bloggers are being pitched by agencies more than brands—bloggers prefer to work directly with brands.
In fact, 68% of bloggers prefer to work directly with a brand instead of an agency or network. You guys, this is huge. Like I mentioned before, every brand reaches that crucial decision making point where they decide to take blogger outreach in-house or to pay a network or agency.
I think by applying logic to this, an agency relationship works when it’s on an ongoing basis. When the “one and done” model isn’t used. If you’re a brand and don’t feel like you can take blogger outreach on, don’t worry just make sure the agency or network you work with adopts the “ongoing relationships” approach to influencer marketing.
Actionable tip: If you’re a brand ready to take your blogger outreach in house, this ebook “The Dangers of Not Owning Marketing Relationships” gives you every step you need to know.
3. Quantifying influence is tricky
Vetting bloggers and reporting on blogger outreach results are both arguably the most tricky and tedious part of the process.
So I wanted to see what metrics marketers and bloggers are looking at.
It seems our marketing peers overwhelmingly ask bloggers for their social data in the initial relationship building and agreement phase. This is how a blogger’s value tends to be quantified.
Of course, numbers should never be the only qualifier and a messaging and values fit should always be vetted before reaching out.
The thing that surprised me the most with this finding is how much SEO is slipping down the ranks of important qualifiers in blogger outreach. Hopefully this means marketers are applying blogger outreach for brand awareness, creative partnerships and word of mouth marketing instead of just SEO.
Actionable tip: I always recommend to use numbers as a list an initial filter when building lists of target bloggers but to always make the final decision based on the quality and fit of the content.
What do you think about whether or not brands should own their blogger outreach? Are you working from the agency side or the brand side. What has your experience been in reaching out to influencing bloggers? Are your first emails grabbing the attention of the blogger?