Engaging with bloggers is a key part of any retail content marketing campaign now. Whether it’s reviewing products, sharing content or just talking about your brand, bloggers are one of the best ways to increase awareness of your retail proposition while generating a quality backlink profile for your site.
However, engaging with bloggers is not as easy as it might seem. Top bloggers will be contacted by brands all the time and any good blogger will not be saying yes to every generic copy and paste email that comes their way. So how do you stand out from the crowd and build a worthwhile relationship with the retail blogging community? We’ve put together some top tips for strong blogger engagement.
This might sound like a given but it’s amazing how many brands blindly approach bloggers without reading their content. Some may even view it as a waste of time. They’re a mummy blogger, right? So they’re going to love my online shop filled with kids’ clothes, aren’t they? Not if they predominantly write about toys or learning and development. Spending a bit of time reading a blog (not just the most recent couple of posts) allows you to see if that blogger will be interested in your pitch and it will give you material for your initial email. Which leads my on to my next tip…
If you send a copy and paste email beginning ‘Dear Blogger’ out to a bunch of people and don’t even mention the name of their site, you needn’t expect a response. The first rule is to find out and use the blogger’s name. This isn’t hard, it’ll be somewhere on their ‘About’ pages or on their social media. Then use your research into their blog. Tell them about a post or posts you particularly enjoyed and segue this into why you think they’d be a good fit to talk about the brand. This approach takes a little more time but quality outreach is more likely to generate a quality response.
Be clear in what you’re proposing. If you have a piece of content ready to place with them, explain what it is and ask them if they’d like to see it. If you have a product for them to review, make sure this is clear. If you have an invite for an event, make sure you give them all of the relevant info. If however, you are reaching out more generally to see if collaboration is possible, say this too. Offer some ideas on how you think you might collaborate and let them know their ideas are welcome too. At the end of the day, it’s their blog and they know what works well with their readers.
When a blogger gets back to you, respond to them as promptly as you can so they know that they’re important to you and your campaign. Even if they’re late getting back to you and the opportunity has already gone, let them know that unfortunately you won’t be able to collaborate on this occasion, but that you’d love to stay in touch and work together in the future. If you’ve promised a blogger assets (copy, images, video etc.) then get it to them when you say you will. If there are any delays, get in touch to let them know. They plan their workload just like you do so don’t make them feel that their time is unimportant.
Your particular collaboration with a blogger might have finished, but it’s a good idea to keep the relationship going. Social media can be great for this as you can like posts on Facebook, retweet links and comment on Instagram posts – benefitting the blogger while staying on their radar. There’s a good chance they’ll even reciprocate. This means that the next time you want to work with them, there’s an existing relationship there and it can open doors to other bloggers in their network for you.
If you want help and advice on creating and maintaining blogger relationships, contact our expert outreach team at Hit Search on 0800 011 9226.