Why Marketers Should Go Rogue with Blogger Outreach

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One of the principals that I follow when it comes to marketing is to not follow any principals.

I’m a fan of embracing all aspects of marketing as one giant grey area and I stray away from strategies where people try to assign rules or draw strict black and white lines. Ugh.

When I coach clients on their blogger outreach strategies, I certainly give them tactics and advice, and tell them about strategies I’ve seen that work. I never apply any “absolutes” or have a list of “rules.”

Depending on your business or the product that you want to promote, there are all kinds of fun grey areas for you to explore. There are so many opportunities to be bold and break the rules that some stickler marketers have put in place.

Sounds a little fun and exciting doesn’t it?

I dare you….

But first, let’s take a look at some blogger outreach strategies that have strayed from the norm; that have defied traditional marketing; that have done their own thing and gone rogue.

Ford Hosts an Event for Bloggers Who Don’t Like Their Brand

Ford’s digital communication team decided to be bold and stray from the norm when they invited bloggers (who had formerly written negative things about the brand) to a blogger event.

In doing so, Scott Monty, head of strategy, believed he was presenting an opportunity for Ford to show influential voices how innovative and committed to safety they are. I dig it.

Brand Sends Bloggers Dirty Clothing

Laundry detergent brand Ariel Stain Remover got creative in marketing their detergent by sending fashion bloggers brand-name clothing that was so stained it was difficult to tell what the apparel actually looked like.

Of course, the clothes came with the detergent, so bloggers had to wash the clothes to reveal the design. This campaign was a huge success and got a ton of buzz; so much so that, for a short time, they had a line of stained clothing in stores complete with their stain remover…

Author Uses Bloggers for “Virtual” Book Tour

Steve Olsher, author of What is Your WHAT? Discover the ONE Amazing Thing You Were Born to Do wanted to promote his book without physically touring the country.

Steve hired PR agent, Brittney Borowicz, to help him spread the word of his newly published book and Brittney decided a virtual book tour full of blogger book reviews was the way to go.

Are You Ready for This?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you to go crazy and send bloggers random items.

What I’m telling you is to think outside the box and stray away from “what to do” and “what not to do” mentalities when it comes to marketing with bloggers for your brand.

It’s great to be creative and do something different. That is what gains attention. Just make sure to always keep in mind that any new plan should still be thematically relevant to your brand.

Kristen Matthews
This monthly Blogger Outreach column is contributed by Kristen Matthews. Kristen is the marketing and community manager for GroupHigh in Boulder, Colorado. A constant thirst for creativity has driven her in to this profession because it's full of writing and new ideas. Kristen is passionate about content marketing and blogging because of the collaborative aspects these trends in marketing have taken. Kristen on Google+
Kristen Matthews


Outreach marketing enthusiast. Creative Strategist. Social Media Appreciator. Lover of red wine, nature, adventures and the written word.
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  1. Jeff Rock says

    Hi Kristen, Great post! If there has ever been a time to color outside the lines, this is it. I think sometimes people are following rules below their level of awareness. Thanks for the push! -Jeff

  2. says

    I was sent a big box of Plastic Mason Jars, all sizes by Aladdin to show my eagerness for spring. Many bloggers made party scenes and tweeted. It was a big box that just ARRIVED!

  3. says

    Excellent post, Kristen. Our belief is that the ‘one big grey area’ is exactly what Google wants: To spread expert advice in our field to whoever needs access to it. The more creative we can get, the better – as long as we don’t advertise to people that don’t want it, or trick them into seeing it.

  4. says

    Kristen, good article, but I would say that, I’m a blogger. People do still trust Gartner etc, but like Tripadvisor etc people also listen to a voice of “the people”. Good call.

  5. says

    These are some inspiring examples, especially if you have a tangible product. However, if your product is an online tool / online service, getting your idea standing out it’s much harder. Even the ideas you mentioned need a good pitch, which I think is the biggest challenge and that’s why so many great companies / small businesses have a low response rate :)

  6. says

    It’s important to remember that bloggers are generally quite smart. They have keen bullshit detectors…being earnest with them is key.

  7. says

    Bloggers are just like anyone else in business. They have little time, many things to do, and need marketers and PR companies to get to the point. The best bloggers have large followings. ie. Influence, just like celebrities. You are buying their influence by giving them a free product and/or other form of payment. What do you expect in return for giving your product to a blogger? Just sending a package with not even a note, or not contacting them ahead of time to let them know you want to send something is a big no-no.
    Another quiick tip, contract a fair price for what you want to pitch, a free product may not be enough to cover the blogger’s time and expenses. Yes, writing a post/article is not free, still have doubts, talk to a journalist, writer, or media person. Now, some bloggers will post about your product for free if they love the brand. But, we all know that our bills don’t get paid with product. So, keep that in mind when pitching.

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