Engaging bloggers have become vital for any of the brand/marketing campaign. But you need to make sure that your product/service is the best so you can feel free to engage the most credible bloggers in the industry. Let them give you an honest opinion so you can either learn and improve from it or get most business out of it. Because if you want to arm twist a blogger to write all good about your product/service, then you are not looking for a blogger but you are looking for a content writer.
A blogger is all about honest opinion who people rely upon because they know that a blogger is from their peer group and will think of their benefit first. And if a blogger is in it for brands first then his followers, then he is not going to be seen in this industry for long. As Richard Branson says, “If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business”.
Having said all this,
It is important to know all the parts and the functions of the gun before you aim and fire. Thus, here are 5 ways of engaging bloggers to get the maximum benefits for your business.
Experiential: As the name suggests, bloggers experience the product/service to share their expertise on it. This happens in two ways. Some bloggers who are in constant look out for new product/service that are launched, review them voluntarily. While, there are other bloggers who ask for a brand to pay(monetarily) to feature their brand on their blog. However, it is hard to differentiate which blog is which, you will only know when you will start following that blogger for a bit longer duration to understand his writing and reviewing style.
This is the most widely used method of engaging bloggers. Businesses like restaurants, hotels and beauty products are the ones who use it often. Apart from that, if there are any product launches, samples are dispatched to interested bloggers to write their recommendations and opinions about it. These sort of activities are also both paid and non-paid depending upon the blogger and the relationship shared by the brand with him.
Blogger meets and events: With the launch of your product and service, you try to make the launch as grand as possible in the budgets that is there. You invite all the important people to attend your event and all the famous media houses and journalists. But in that launch, do you think of inviting bloggers too? If you don’t then you should. They can give you an extra boost, that word of mouth which media houses doesn’t get you. They rely on high reach while bloggers rely on the chain of conversations that they can create and sometime make a conversation go viral too.
Thus, know who would be the bloggers that will best go best along with your product and your brand message(or hire an expert to do so for you), invite them to your event and give them their independence to use their influence across their various platforms.
Bloggers meets are a very interesting concept. In such meet ups, you don’t get to see the presence of media house or news reporters etc. All you see is a house full of bloggers. Such events can also get you the same coverage and reach and that too with a little bit of personal touch. You can make these events very candid, conversing and full of networking. Weave your product in their agenda and enjoy their company. Give them the experience when they are at it and let your publicity sail through them. IndiBlogger is a very renowned name for an expertise guidance and to organize such setups.
Online press release: This is the first marketing tool that is put to use whenever you want to make an announcement about anything pertaining to your business. You release your message on various wire sites and expect big publications to pick it up from there to maximize your reach. However, that is not the only place to deliver your message.
Some of the top bloggers have reach in millions. You can contact them to publish your press release. Provide them with your content and they will tag the post as press release. This sort of an activity is economical as compared to other forms of blogger engagements. Reason being less involvement of blogger’s efforts. The only thing that is put to use in such engagement type is his platform’s targeted reach.
Guest posting: This is a very simple tactic of using someone’s expertise for an exchange of credit on the website it is authored. For an example, you are running a website for your business and has a blog section in it. You have a full time content writer who is publishing content as per your requirements every day.
Someday, while surfing on the internet, you come across a very interesting article pertaining to your business. You like the writing style of that person and the flow of information in the post. That is when you think of having him on board even for a single article if he/she agrees. You reach out to him and invite him to guest post on your blog.
But then, why would someone want to just acknowledge your request ?
For a couple of reasons, like you will be featured on someone’s website and thus more popularity, for SEO benefits you will get a back link and thus more viewers and recognition for your content. Also, to improve your networking in your industry. Sometimes, when all this is not enough, a guest article contributor is compensated with money.
This type of an engagement is used by any type of business, blog or online content publication company.
Story telling: A very interesting form of blogger engagement. This is about using the real power of bloggers. In the current era of digital marketing, when your any form display advertisements are the most ignored forms of marketing. When someone knows that it is an advertisement, that mind barrier starts activating and does not let any part of that ad get in to your head.
Then, how will you advertise your product to have at least a little mind space of your potential users?
There comes story telling by bloggers. But this is not as simple as it sounds. You need to make the bloggers aware about your brand and why you exist. What is your purpose of you being in this business and what solution are you really bringing on the planet. When you brief a blogger about these things, that is when he becomes ready to write a story about your brand which will leave an impression in the mind of readers. At the same time, a blogger needs to make sure that the readers also take home something interesting and talk worthy with them. Usually in this form of marketing, a topic is given to the bloggers to write about in which they weave the brand in their story. It is good to compensate a blogger well for this engagement.
So, now while you are preparing your marketing agenda for the next quarter, make sure to allocate optimum budgets for your digital marketing. And in that, enough budget for blogger engagements. Well, that is not enough. You also need to check out common problems faced while working with bloggers.
There is a reason why they say ‘content is the king’.
Here is a quick info-graphic for different ways of working with bloggers