In recent years, the term influencer marketing has generated a lot of buzz.
From small businesses to Fortune 100 companies, independent freelancers to CMOs, everyone seems very much interested in influencer marketing. In fact, if we go by the latest influencer marketing statistics, the channel is turning more attractive than other digital channels and paid campaigns.
Check a few below:
- Influencer marketing delivers 11 times higher ROI than traditional marketing and advertisements. (TapInfluence, 2017)
- 73% of modern marketers say that they have dedicated themselves to influencer marketing. (Forrester, 2015)
- In a recent survey by Twitter & Annalect, 49% of people agreed that they rely on influencers’ recommendations when making business decisions.
- 40% of survey respondents made a purchase online after seeing it being used by influencers on social media. (Twitter & Annalect, 2016)
- Businesses are generating a strong return: (an average amount) $6.50 for every $1 they invested in influencer marketing (Convince & Convert)
- Content marketing is 62 percent low-cost compared to traditional marketing and generates 3X more leads than traditional channels. (Demand Metric, 2014)
If you want to read more statistics, I recommend you download the influencer marketing statistics report (2017) by TapInfluence.
Who is an Influencer?
It is generally believed that anyone with thousands of fans on social media or blogs is an influencer as they can offer your brand great exposure. However, this is not the complete – or say, the perfect definition of an influencer.
The simplest definition could be derived from a quote by Jay Baer:
“True influence drives action, not just awareness.”
While there’s no disagreement that someone with hundreds of thousands of fans can expose your brand to thousands of followers. If they are not the right fit for your niche or industry, they’ll be unable to motivate any action or drive leads to your business.
An ideal influencer is somebody, who is (essentially) from your own industry and has a complete understanding of the buyer journey & customer behavior. They know how to influence a particular segment and hence, can motivate actions in your favor.
One key segment of the influencers belongs to the blogging community – people who are experts in their domain and enjoy subject-expert status. People trust their opinion, and brands aspire to cash that “trust” to their advantage.
What Is Blogger Outreach?
To be precise, blogger outreach is defined as a process where brands/marketers reach out to bloggers or a blogger outreach service provider, in order to build a business relationship. This can lead to a whole lot of things – content marketing, guest posting, linking to your site, brand mention, product endorsement, favorable reviews, and others.
This relationship can be built on monetary exchanges, product/service exchanges, and a range of other models working out there. You should study which model suits your niche and may be beneficial for your business.
Why Invest in Blogger Outreach?
The simplest answer is – that people trust those bloggers and make purchase decisions based on their recommendations. A study found that 81 percent of consumers in the United States trust the information provided by bloggers.
In addition, niche-specific bloggers are subject matter experts, and they have built up a loyal audience who pays attention to their notes and trusts their opinion on business decisions. They can influence their opinion about your brand and products/services.
There is another reason to build a bloggers network – they are social experts. While a social media celebrity might not have blogging skills, good bloggers do have excellent social media skills and can offer a wider influence across various platforms.
As a result, you can easily build brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, sell more products, receive inbound inquiries, enhance search visibility, and raise your social media following.
The last but not the least reason to hire influencers is the higher probability of good results. According to a study by MDG Advertising, 70 percent of internet users prefer to learn about a product through content rather than adverts. And excellent content by influencers can increase people’s intent to purchase by as much as 53 percent.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
Getting Started With Blogger Outreach
Now, when you have decided to dive into the blogger outreach – remember something that I learned after spending quite a lot of time and effort. Outreach is much more than merely sending emails to random bloggers and asking them to write something about you or review your products/services.
We must realize that bloggers (or broadly digital marketers) are quite busy people, and they might tend to ignore your message. Therefore, you’ll have to do something remarkable and creative, in order to get noticed.
In the following, we are laying down a 5 steps process to help you get noticed, convince the blogger about your proposal, and make an impact on your business.
Step 1: Do Your Homework
Doing your homework means diving into available data, and making a refined list of potential bloggers to reach out to. This is a very critical step as it will decide the level of success you may enjoy – therefore, invest a good amount of time into this. Here we are listing down some vital tools that may lead you to the right network.
- Google Search – The first tool is obviously the search engine. Make sure to customize the search with the right keywords, timeframe, and result types.
- Industry Publications – Every industry has some leading publications, blogs, and news outlets. Dig into your one, and see who is doing what, and for whom.
- Social Media – You can use popular social media sites to list down the people who have a higher fan following and can be of any help.
- AllTop – It contains a curated list of blogs in a range of industries. You can pick up the best ones from your niche.
- OSE – Open Site Explorer by Moz can provide you with essential information about the site – like domain authority, page authority, etc.
Step 2: Know the Blogger
Now when you have a list of websites and bloggers – the next step is to research the writer and know exactly what their core area of expertise is.
Suppose, you’re a Software Development Company, don’t just reach out to general bloggers, find those with a focus on technology, development, design, and related areas.
You can map their profiles in Excel Sheet by adding their name, email address, area of expertise, blog’s DA, etc. See if you could find some automated tools to customize your search and profile building.
Step 3: Build Connection
As noted above, bloggers receive hundreds of emails a day – therefore, it may take some time to get back to you. You must adopt a creative approach to get visible and build connections.
You can build connections with influencers using the following methods.
- Direct connection: Write down an email with an excellent pitch. Bloggers are smart, they know why you’re reaching them. Therefore, keep your web copy creative, but simply stupid. Another way is to reach and interact with them via social media and blog comments – but avoid spam as it can be dangerous.
- Reach via Marketplaces: You can have a network of influencers from influencers’ marketplaces. You can hire a wide range of influencers on these portals.
- Hire PR / Blogger Outreach Agency: PR agencies are dedicated organizations with a network of bloggers and influencers. You can outsource blogger outreach and content marketing to them – and they can get you posted on your desired blogs.
Step 4: Build Trust through Passion
Influencer marketing is all about developing strong and trustworthy relationships. Whether you already enjoy a good relationship with a person or with an agency that could help you reach an influencer on your behalf, or you’ve to develop, trust has to be developed. You may develop this by following them on Twitter, reading their blog, doing informal chats on Skype, or maybe taking this to a more personal level (dining & parties).
Finally, influencer marketing is and will continue to be a reliable source of business and revenue in the near future. If you are a business or a professional marketer, think of utilizing the power of a strong network and influence.