Seven ways bloggers can grow your business
’Blogger engagement’ is a term that is often thrown around boardrooms and deemed a great idea, but how do you actually do it and see the results for your business?
Blogging, despite still being a relatively new arrival compared to PR and social media, is a huge business. Influential bloggers who know their stuff and have a large following can be just as powerful as journalists – sometimes even more so – when it comes to promoting brands.
There’s no doubt that journalists can effectively raise awareness of your brand to a large audience, however, bloggers are free to go one step further and rave about your product, put it through its paces and post endless photos of it in action. They can also help to communicate more about your brand – not just the product but your company values, personality and back story, too.
If you think your brand could benefit from some blogger engagement, there’s no harm in putting some feelers out and seeing what you get back. Here’s how to get started:
Think: Does your brand appeal to bloggers?
Softer topics like fashion, beauty and food are hugely popular with bloggers, so brands in these areas have a huge choice of bloggers to approach. This doesn’t mean that everyone else is out of the game, though. There are plenty of people blogging about money, student life and technology, for example, who will all be happy to work with more niche brands if you make the effort to give them stories and products that are relevant to them.
Create a blogger list
The best media agencies spend hours creating comprehensive media lists, and the same goes for bloggers. Trawl the internet for relevant blogs, monitor blogger hashtags on Twitter and keep a list of them with contact details, social handles and extra information that might come in handy later.
Get in touch – like a human
Believe it or not, people have been known to start their blogger emails with ‘Dear Blogger’ - not the most personal approach! However you choose to get in touch (most prefer email or Twitter), keep it personal. Bloggers love what they do and often share a lot of personal details with their followers – so communicate with them in the same way. Take the time to read their blog, get to know what they love writing about and enjoy having a bit of a chat with them. It’s also key to remember that these are not journalists, so the traditional press release may well not be the best way to share your information.
Do your research
If you want to run a giveaway on a fashion blog, then find a fashion blogger who you know runs giveaways. Likewise, if you want to send them a free product to trial, make sure that this is something they like to do before getting in touch. By taking the time to find the right blogger, you’re giving them the kind of content they love and in return your brand is promoted to the best possible audience.
Hold a blogger event
When we launched TSHIRT STORE’s new shop in Leeds we invited journalists and bloggers to an exclusive opening event. Held for just a couple of hours after work, we treated them to pizza and fizz and sent them all home with a goody bag including discount vouchers for local shops. It was a great opportunity for them to all catch up with each other and we got a great turn out with some fantastic launch coverage on their blogs – which then made its way onto Twitter as they shared their content. A really fun event and a great, informal way to get to know your blogger network.
Blogging goes hand-in-hand with social media, and often bloggers will know each other and interact on Twitter. Don’t forget to follow them, help them share their content and give something back once in a while.
Stay in touch
You wouldn’t ignore a client for months, so why go cold on a blogger? Even if you’re not working with them all the time, give them a quick tweet or share something that they might appreciate.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Alex Blakelock, Shackleton PR .