Getting high-profile bloggers to write about your product or service is a great way to boost your company’s credibility and SEO rankings. And, although you may think you need to hire a pricey PR firm to attract bloggers’ attention, you don’t. Here are three tips for creating an effective outreach campaign on your own.
1. Use Alltop, Technorati, and other online directories to find blogs within your niche. Let’s say you’re pitching a product aimed at mothers. Check Technorati for blogs tagged with “parenting” or “kids,” or take a look at the Moms section on the RSS-feed aggregator Alltop. It can also be helpful to search for related terms, such as “mom blogger,” on Google to see what comes up. You can then check each site’s popularity by entering the URL on Alexa.com (lower numbers equal higher ranking), and use this free page-rank checker to find out how highly the site ranks on Google.
2. Create customized pitches. Once you’ve come up with a healthy list of bloggers to pitch, don’t make the mistake of spamming everyone with the same message. Tailor your approach to each blogger, based on specific site content and, when they exist, individual PR policies. (For instance, Christina Gleason at Cutest Kid Ever describes her family members, what type of products they like, and how she prefers to be contacted.) If you can tell that a blogger is unlikely to use your product or service, don’t waste her time.
If your offering is likely to appeal to a particular blogger, think about how best to pitch it: Should you offer a freebie to try and review? Is the blogger more likely to bite if you throw in a second freebie that she can use in a giveaway? Should you offer to pay for a review? Read the website owner’s disclosure and submission policy and the blogger’s past reviews to find out the system typically operates. Check out this SocialTimes.com article for some additional advice on how to approach bloggers.
3. Track and measure your results. If a blogger agrees to accept your product or service, set a Google Alert for the product name to find out when the post goes live. Many bloggers show metrics such as Twitter and Facebook shares directly on their sites, so you’ll be able to see how much interest your review receives. You can also check your own web analytics for “referring sites” to find out how many people come to your company’s website from that particular blog.
MarketingSherpa notes some additional metrics worth tracking. Record the stats for each blog — ones that provide many social media links and referrals could be worth contacting again in your next outreach campaign.