There is no question that social media has evolved quite a bit since it first became mainstream. With social media reaching critical mass, quite a bit of what was done in the past – such as sending the same, exact message to everyone in your audience – is now considered to be a less effective method. Now, more than ever before, your social media marketing strategy needs to focus on building new relationships.
While there are some marketers who have pursued marketing efforts on social media as an ego boost (for example, the total number of followers or friends a brand has), a traffic boost (which does not always lead to conversions, and other reasons, it is recommended that marketers use social media marketing as a way to build authority and potentially increase a sites search engine rankings.
The idea that social influence affects the website links has not changed. Links are considered to be the “currency” of the web. The only real thing that has altered the landscape that is around this is social influence.
Prior to 2010 you would receive emails that requested a link exchange with a website that was somewhat “similar” to yours. Theses emails have continued in some areas for marketing agencies that were slower to adopt the latest trends in regard to link building. They did this with the assumption that this effort was still effective.
The Rise of Social Media and Blogging
As social media began to take the world over, there were many things that changed. Link exchanges (of the past) were no longer relevant and the agencies that used to send out mass link exchange emails with no targeted audience in mind became what is referred to as “social media experts” today.
Some people shifted their focus to buy followers and fans and the creation of “underground” groups where people would beg and barter for others to vote or tweet their content to gain more visibility with the ultimate goal of potentially getting a link. As time passed, however, this also became quite unpractical. This is because networks discovered that the same people would scratch each other’s backs and, well, search engines are not exactly stupid.
While social media marketing is not completely dead, the fact is social influence has to be diversified if you are going to see any success.
This means that you can’t have the same three people retweeting your content and getting the same 10 or 20 people to Like your posts over and over again.
The good news is, with the blogger outreach advice and information you find here, you will be able to find success and rather quickly.
Enter the era of blogger outreach campaigns. The concept behind this is that a company that is looking for exposure for a service or product they offer leverages influences who have a significant following. They ask them to write about what they offer in exchange to receive free access to a service or product. In some cases, money would have to be paid as well. It really will depend on the relationship that the company has with the blogger they are targeting.
Now you may wonder, how does this type of influencer marketing work and make sense?
First of all, there are not very many influencers or bloggers out there who are going to tear apart your service or product when they get it for free. While most disclaimers state that the blogger received the item for free, this still does not deter an honest review, which will provide more “juice” to the item you are trying to get attention for.
Best Practices for a Blogger Outreach Campaign
You have to take some time to figure out what the influencers, or bloggers, you are trying to reach would like and what will grab their attention. Some tips that will help you along the way – to really grab a person’s attention and get them interested in what you are offering are found here.
1. Study the blogger. While you can continually ask a blogger to test what you have to offer, if you don’t take the time to get to know them, the types of items they cover and other factors, you are going to be wasting your time. For example, if you are going to be marketing a health food product, you don’t need to just reach out to food bloggers, but also focus on cooking healthy bloggers, home cooking and healthy food bloggers.
2. Simplify your message. You need to have messaging that is as succinct as it possibly can be. You should not write your emails in depth and complicated. Today, everyone is busy. This means that if you are not getting to the point by the second or third sentence, you will lose the reader.
3. Be passionate. You need to show passion about the item that you are pitching. If you love it, so will the blogger (usually).
4. Be creative. It is essential to be creative. If you have some type of breakthrough product, that is awesome, but why should the blogger care? Unless there is some type of unique selling proposition, the majority of people will not even bother. Be sure to explain how the brand is different and use creative and useful content.
5. Build trust. It is all about trust when it comes to building a relationship. Either you have a current relationship or you have to work hard to build it. Take some time to wine and dine them by following them on Twitter, leaving comments and interacting with what they do.
It is important to remember that you can easily kill a relationship just as quickly as you get it started if you are wasting people’s time and don’t use the tips here.
Now you may wonder how you will benefit from a blogger outreach campaign. After all, what exactly will giving something away free do for you? How will a positive review influence your brand or impact your search engine rankings? Some of the benefits offered by investing in a blogger outreach campaign can be found here.
Build Your Brand
If you are a new small business, or even an established one, you may find that it is often difficult to get people interested in and talking about what you have to offer. However, if you are able to get your brand featured on a blog that is considered influential or that has quite a few readers in your specific target market, you will have the (potential) of hundreds or more people seeing what you offer – each and every day. The more people who are exposed to your brand, the more likely they will talk about it, which will eventually lead to social shares and links. This is a vital part of successful SEO and one of the main benefits offered by blogger outreach.
Acquire High Quality Links
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit offered by blogger outreach. However, you can’t ignore it because it is also the most significant benefit. The more influential that the blogs are that feature your brand and that link back to your website, the better results you will see. Google absolutely loves links that are high quality and relevant.
Develop Stronger Relationships and Connections with Your Bloggers/Influencers
There is no question that building relationships with influential people in the world is essential and to building relationships with your bloggers works much the same way. Once you have created your list of potential bloggers, take some time to nurture the relationship. This means re-tweeting what they tweet, commenting and sharing what they put on Facebook, etc. If you are able to maintain good relationships with bloggers, it will benefit you in the long run and provide you with a resource you are able to utilize when necessary to give a boost to your SEO efforts.
Get More Fresh Content
There is no question that high quality content is the backbone of a great SEO effort. However, creating this quality content on a regular basis can be quite difficult. This is especially true since SEO requires frequency and volume. This is another reason that a blogger outreach effort can be beneficial. You can let the bloggers create some of your content for you. All you have to do is promote it on the right channels to gain SEO juice.
Advocacy from Influencers
This is not a benefit that is often talked about when it comes to blogger outreach. However, if you think about it, it really does make sense. What happens if someone that you value and trust introduces you to something new? Chances are, you want to learn more about it, too. The more bloggers you can convince to talk about what you offer, the more people who will eventually visit your website. This is really a no-brainer.
As you can see, blogger outreach offers a number of benefits. Try your own campaign to see how it can help you.