Bloggers must have the coolest jobs ever. Receiving Jimmy Choo bags and Manolo Blahnik shoes to review, attending product launches and sitting front row during fashion weeks next to the A-listers. Yes, we are pretty jealous!
It only makes sense that over the last few years, blogging has become hugely popular, with the most widely viewed sites receiving hits in the millions. And it’s not hard to see just how influential these bloggers have become.
Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report proved that consumers are reading blogs and listening to what the blogger has to say about the product before making any purchasing decisions. In fact, research showed that blogs are now the third most influential digital resource – coming in just behind retail and brand sites.
As PR practitioners working in this fast-paced industry, blogger relations should be a part of our every day workload. Building up long-term relationships with bloggers are just as important as your relationships with those editors and journalists. But getting your client featured will at times require a lot of work and it can take time to convince the blogger why he/she should feature your client. That’s why we decided to share with you some of our handy tips for successful blogger relations:
Finding the right bloggers.
Understanding who your online influencers are is essential when working with bloggers. Just like knowing the press inside out and the names of the editors like the back of your hand, you have to treasure your relationships with the bloggers and understand their value. And with so many blogs around it’s important that you spend time researching the ones that fit with your client or brand. Other important factors to consider when reaching out to bloggers are readership, their influence within a particular market, whether they have been featured in bigger publications and how often they update their blog. From this research you can start building up a media list of the bloggers that are most likely to feature your client and the ones that you want your client to be associated with.
Building up the relationship.
Remember that bloggers are real people, with feelings and they mostly run their blogs in their spare time. This is why gradually creating relationships over time is beneficial. Read through their posts, get to know more about the writer behind the blog and make sure that you tailor your email pitch to suit them specifically. Think about what you and your client can offer them. In other words, what are their likes/dislikes and would he/she wear that in particular sweater for example.
Also think about that bloggers usually schedule their posts ahead of time and write them in advantage. That being said, start pitching the bloggers your client’s Spring/Summer collection already in February.
A common mistake many PR professionals make is to just send out a mass email to all bloggers in their database with a press release of the new product attached. Believe us when we say that the bloggers will not appreciate spam emails and the chance is big that your ‘copy-and-pasted’ email will appear in their trash or even spam. Instead, follow them on twitter, like their facebook page and start a friendly conversation via your social media accounts before approaching them with your email pitch.
A good idea is to invite the bloggers to a product launch or treat them for champagne and canapés while chatting away about your client’s products. By creating a personal ‘offline’ connection, you are showing them that you are happy to invest your time in getting to know them and they are more likely to reciprocate.
Getting your client featured.
There are a number of different routes PR’s can suggest to gain client coverage. Remember that content is key! Providing photo collages, samples to review or Q&A info are all options that can lead to getting your client featured. It’s all about working with the bloggers to provide something of value to them and their readers.
Building up a long-term relationship.
Much like checking in on that editor from time to time just to say hello, it is important to continue your relationship with the blogger after the feature gone live. Establishing and maintaining these relationships are for the long haul! By all means, tweet them to say that you loved their latest post, ask them how they enjoyed the product you sent out, re-tweet their tweets and posts or why not meet up for coffee to have a catch up and discuss any further opportunities.
Here are a few of our go-to sites when looking to get in touch with top-bloggers:
Handpicked Media works with influential bloggers and some big-named brands to create partnerships.
Glam Media and the newly launched Bloggabase are two other popular sites where you can find top-bloggers and info about them and their blogs.