Bloggers and their word of mouth recommendations are invaluable. When the blogger is a good fit, that is.
A poorly fitting blogger that a marketer stuffs in to a campaign looks like this: Patrick is representing a vegan food line and he reaches out to all food bloggers. Regardless of whether or not they write about vegan food and doesn’t take the time to eliminate food bloggers who have an affinity for writing about meat dishes. So, Patrick pitches a blogger who has an affinity for writing about steaks and tries to get coverage for his client’s new vegan food line.
Two things may happen when Patrick reaches out to some poorly fitting bloggers.
- He is wasting his time and the bloggers time with the pitch.
- A blogger may take Patrick up on his offer even though the vegan product is a bad fit and it’s a waste of Patrick’s budget.
Neither scenarios are ideal right?
Bloggers who have curated an audience made up of your target consumers are what you’re after and it’s just a matter of taking the time to find them and knowing what they look like in the first place.
The following stats and contextual clues will help you narrow down bloggers so you only reach out to ones that will push your brand forward.
Context, Context, Context
Maybe you have a product that it is made in a peanut free facility and is geared toward kids with nut allergies.
So, ideally you want to not only find mom blogs but mom bloggers who have a kid with nut allergies and actively write about nut allergy tips and recommend products.
Obviously the easiest way to do this is to read through the blog and you’ll know pretty quickly whether or not they’re a good fit. But this way is very time consuming.
You can start by checking out their about me or about us page. Read how they describe themselves, the nut allergy “nugget” may very well be in their blog description.
Also go through and read the tags on their posts. What are they tagging the majority of their posts?
These are not only clues to tell you whether or not the blogger is a good fit but also keys to remember when pitching this blogger and reference in the pitch to prove to them you’ve done your homework and explain why the two of you are a good fit to work together.
Keep in mind that the most important thing is context. Even if a blogger has a small audience, but they are a perfect contextual fit, they are still beneficial to your brand.
Ideally your campaign encompasses blogs that are really influential as well as “mid-level” so that your campaign is balanced and you’re reaching a ton of members of your target audience.
But it’s good to know just how far a blog’s reach is. Especially if you’re offering payment or product for a post. This way you can gauge what a fair reciprocal relationship is.
When determining a blogger’s reach look for the top three:
- Traffic stats from a site like compete.com
- Social media followers
Often a blog may rank high in only one or two of these categories and that’s okay! Make sure you set goals before you research so you know how to sort your bloggers (A list, B list, etc.) when you find them.
Bloggers Who Want to Work With Brands
There are many bloggers out there who simply blog out of passion and don’t want to be influenced in their recommendations by brands and have a policy that they just don’t work with brands.
The goal in finding bloggers by context and reach is to also not reach out to bloggers who don’t want to be reached out to.
The easiest way to see if a blogger works with brands is to check out their about me and contact pages. Bloggers that don’t to be pitched will often state that.
Another way to find out is to look at past posts and see if any are marked “sponsored post” or “product review.” Legally bloggers have to disclose when a brand compensates them, even if it’s just through free product, and this will appear in the posts.
Sounds Like a Lot of Work
To do all this research is a lot of work. But it’s crucial.
If blogger outreach is something that your brand is going to be doing a moderate amount of to a lot, you probably want to research blogger outreach tools and find one that fits best with your brand. There are a handful of good ones out there!
How do you qualify your bloggers before reaching out? Would love to talk strategy in the comments below!