Blogger Outreach has grown large since it first became known to experts. As exisiting blogs have reached a critical mass, many other existing channels — like MySpace.com — have decreased in size or even vanished from the digital landscape. With such a size of blogs existing, now more than ever before you should focus on authenticity and added value of your blog contents.
Authentic bloggers use their blogs and related Social Channels as a voice to reach “their tribe”, sharing experiences and information or sometimes simply boosting their egos. We suggest bloggers to stay authentic and intense, as washed out content is usually boring and hard to recall.
From web’s day one, links to other websites were the currency of the internet. This still counts today, if you add Social Media channels. What has changed in today’s www is the environment that covers links as social influence.
Back in the days (only 9-10 ago!), link changing inquiries and programs were big. You still have those emails or “Your article is missing our link / content as important source of information” kind of schemes.
As Blogging & Social Media Grew
The actual reason for a decreasing number of linkchanging inquiries was the magnificient growth of Blogging & Social Media. The link exchanging programs dropped overnight and would never really come back anywhere close to it’s original size. At the same time, Social Media Marketing & full-time blogging was born. Today, you won’t find many corporate websites without it’s own blog.
The entire exchange program idea went on for a bit, as the Social Media accounts and blogs linked to each other again and again. This phenomena was called Blog networks. But Social Media platforms and Search Engines figured that one out as well within a couple of years.
So is there any related tactic today, which is still working? We think there is…
Blogger Outreach Campaigns
When a business is looking for a boost of their products and services, a Blogger Outreach Campaign can be the digital vehicle of their choice. Usally these campaign target to gain a critical mass of influental followers by giving them access to their services or sending out their products for free. As Google Policy didn’t accept any payments shared between the two parties, free products and shared services were the currency of choice.
Depending on the product or service, this could make a lot of sence for both sides. The company gains popularity, while the bloggers get a product worth $X and establishing a connection to a potential future customer. Even if bloggers should share their authentic opinion about those products or services, they mostly speak very positively about it. At least neutrally according to our experience.
Blogger Outreach Best Practices
So far we only discussed freebies as way to pay influencers. But with time, this grew in difficulty by a variety of reasons. Some bloggers found it super cool in the beginning, but with time realized that the products are not really interesting to them any more. After one got the 4th digital wristband this month, he simply won’t answer anymore. As blogging for a living grew sharply, many bloggers also had to cover their living cost, which is simply difficult by paying with used gadgets or exchanging free services.
All the techniques that were spoken about, like targeting the right influencers for a certain product, being passionate about the companies’ products or services, studying the blogger and explain things from his perspective, simply got super difficult with time. A few of them might still be effective, but the cost of time got signicantly higher, as blogger interest and reply rates dropped.
Our experience with Blogger Outreach Campaigns is clear: they’re difficult to conduct nowadays. And if you read the Google Policy in detail, you will find that they are simply not conform as well.
What we learned is to save time and money, and pay the influencers for a published post. In Blog Marketing, there is also something called “bulk discount”, as frequent customers often pay much less to bloggers than one-timers. Blogger Outreach platforms like Brand-Mention.com also know the prices, so that customers can not take a risk of overpaying.
It might not be as personal and direct as in the old days – we agree – but it’s absolutely efficient and worth the effort. This said, we conclude that the best practice for reaching out to bloggers for product awareness, is to respect their opinions and guidelines, and paying them the amount their blogposts are worth in a market ruled by supply and demand (like any other market). We always strive to keep up the respect for bloggers, comply with their guidelines, while making sure the advertisers pay the lowest possible prices for their Blogger Outreach Campaign.