Consumers are not an extension of your brand. They are an integral part of your brand. A brand uses multiple channels to create awareness, develop leads, and convert them to consumers. Working with influential bloggers who act as your brand advocates and guest posting on their blogs is called a blogger outreach strategy.
A blogger outreach strategy has three objectives, creating brand awareness, link building, and delivering a focused PR campaign. Let’s start by looking at the basic framework of a successful blogger outreach strategy.
1. Project setup
Plan out your campaign in granular detail before reaching out. Start by making a list of your objectives and goals so that you can measure your progress and steer your campaign to keep it on track.
Driving traffic to your website and converting the leads is a high-level objective of your blogger outreach strategy. Start by checking your website for ease of use and engaging and relevant content.
Define your goals
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your blogger outreach program. Goals and objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound help keep your program on track.
Accurate goal-setting will keep your team focused on the objectives they are trying to achieve.
Develop your buyer persona
Who are your customers? What are their demographics and psychographic profiles? A buyer persona is a rough sketch of your ideal customer including, their likes and dislikes and their purchase triggers. Let’s look at a buyer persona that a fashion brand would create.
A buyer persona allows you to generate qualified leads that are easier to convert and retain as customers. The personas enable you to tailor your content, product, or service to their needs. A strong buyer persona stems from a combination of market research and insights from your existing customer data.
You can learn more about creating buyer personas. Your buyer personas will come in handy in your search for relevant influencers down the line. You want the blogger to have a subscriber profile that matches your persona.
Get the right tools
A Google search is an ok starting point when searching for relevant sites for your blogging outreach campaign. However, over time this becomes an arduous task. Do yourself a favor and start with the right outreach tools.
You want tools that will help you:
- Manage your email campaigns from template design to automated responses.
- Identify relevant keywords using appropriate SEO tools.
- Use an email finder to collect relevant contact information. The most popular email finder is Hunter, but there are lots of alternatives to Hunter.
I recommend investing in an email outreach tool, an SEO tool, and an email finder. If you’re running the campaign on a limited budget and you can’t afford everything, invest in an email finder and a professional SEO research tool.
Once you complete your setup stage, it’s time to move on to the inspection stage. The inspection stage is where you identify and filter websites to post your blogs and bloggers who will act as your brand ambassadors.
Finding websites and bloggers
Remember the buyer persona you created? Start building your target list of websites and bloggers who cater to a similar profile.
Start your search by genre, narrow it down by niche and then apply the final filter of reach. Outreach tools like BuzzSumo and Traackr can help you in your search.
The blogger audience is always niche-specific. They come to the blogger for a particular topic. The outreach tools allow you to focus on bloggers who serve the same niche while filtering out those who don’t provide a snug contextual fit.
Some additional filtering criteria would include subscriber base volume, domain authority of blog or publication, Alexa ranking, and social following. You want to work with blogs and publications that give maximum traction to your content.
With your target list under your belt, you now need to get details on the contact person and their email details. Bloggers have their contact details on the blog, so that’s the easy bit. The decision-maker at publications is the editor.
Look at the contact details on the website for the editor’s name. You can then use an email finder to gather their contact details.
Identify content keyword gaps
A keyword content gap is a deviation between what users are searching for (with their search engine queries) and what they receive (in search results). It denotes a situation where content on a specific topic (keyword) can be made better and more relevant to search queries.
Use your SEO tools to generate a list of keywords for a specific niche. Next, conduct an online search for content that is available under that keyword. If the content density is thin, you have a key around which you can craft and pitch your content.
3. Personalization and outreach
A well-crafted and personalized outreach email is your best hope to get a positive response. Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Your email should highlight that you have researched the blog, the selection of topics, and the readership.
- Keep it short and sweet. Devote a maximum of 2-3 sentences to explain why you are reaching out, what you need, and what you’re willing to offer.
- Include a brief outline of the proposed blog and highlight the keyword gap.
I recommend using a grammar checker when creating your outreach template. There are plenty of great grammar checkers. This guide discusses how to secure a discount with Grammarly if you want to use the tool’s premium version.
An effective outreach campaign should generate plenty of positive responses from your target list.
Track your results
Keep track of your outreach efforts and the results of each guest blog post. This will help you analyze if your campaign is effective or if it needs tweaking. Track metrics like which blog posts are driving traffic, conversions, and social shares.
Blogger outreach is one of the cornerstones of an effective online marketing strategy. A focused, consistent, and well-planned outreach campaign will amplify your online visibility.
Your blogger outreach strategy will increase backlinks to your website and raise your domain and page ratings. It will also help you form connections with a wide variety of thoughtful, talented people in your field.
With a focused blogger outreach strategy, you’ll ensure that you’re getting your message to the audiences that matter.