Undoubtedly, blogger outreach is a key part of your content marketing strategy — and potentially a very frustrating exercise. Bloggers are often some of the most important influencers in your industry, and strong relationships can help extend the reach of your content and improve your visibility among your audience.
Yet if you are like many marketers, you’ve probably had trouble finding success with your blogger outreach. Even when you do your homework to identify the right influencers for your business, craft the perfect pitch, and offer something of value, the response isn’t positive — if you even get one at all.
So what’s the issue? Why are all of your outreach efforts resulting in radio silence? If you don’t have relationships with the bloggers you want to work with, that could be a big part of the problem.
Successful bloggers work hard to build their audience. They value their followers’ time and are not going to share just anything from any random person who reaches out. They need to know that they can trust you, that what you have to offer is valuable, and that you’re someone that their audience will connect with.
To build that trust, you need a relationship. You might have existing relationships with bloggers who are in your personal network or that you’ve worked with on other projects, but if you’re reaching out to someone new, creating a relationship before you ask for something is going to get much better results than just making the ask out of the blue. That’s where social media comes in. There is no better tool for creating strong relationships and getting to know the people you want to work with.
Making contact with bloggers via social media before emailing them about your content can vastly improve your results. Not only can liking and following influencers online give you more insight into their interests and the types of content they are looking for, but it also gives you the opportunity to engage with them and build a relationship. If nothing else, if you have a pattern of engagement with someone, they will recognize your name when you send a message, and be more likely to open it.
Once you’ve identified the influencers you hope to work with, it’s time to work on establishing relationships. With a few savvy social media moves, you can do that, and extend your reach at the same time.
- Share influencer content. Tweeting and sharing content from others with your own commentary on it helps establish your voice and perspective. Retweeting, liking, and replying to tweets, for example, can get you noticed while giving your own followers some valuable content.
- Reach out on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is designed to be a networking site, so use it. Ask to connect with bloggers; send a message with your request introducing yourself and sharing why you are interested in connecting. Once you are connected, share and like their posts, engage in conversations, and show that you’re a valuable connection.
- Do some hashtag research. Pay close attention to the hashtags that influencers use on Instagram, Twitter, and other sites, and use those same tags on your content. Your content will then show up in searches along with the influencers’, and you start building community with the influencer.
- Have conversations. Respond to comments on your content, and if someone comments or likes your content, return the favor. When someone follows you, thank them with a direct message or a public acknowledgement.
- Join groups. Research groups that bloggers belong to and join them. Engage in conversations and share your knowledge and insight to build trust and rapport.
- Participate in Twitter chats. If an influencer is hosting a Twitter chat, join in and add your comments.
- Be consistent. Once you have another blogger’s attention, consistently engage and add new content. Not only do you keep your name in front of them, but you also show that you are serious about building a long-term relationship and not just trying to get something out of the influencer.
Building relationships can take time, and even when you build solid relationships, it’s not a guarantee that your outreach will be successful. However, if you put the effort into creating mutually beneficial, real relationships, you’re more likely to see results from your outreach efforts and content marketing.