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Last year Ashley did a podcast with influencer marketing expert, Ron Sela, in which he described influencer marketing as a hot trend.
One year later, and the trend has only gotten hotter. And for good reason. It can help you expand the reach of your content, get more social shares and links as well. So what’s not to like?
If you’re not executing influencer marketing (or blogger outreach, as some might say), this post is going to provide you with the necessary tools and information to do so from start to finish.
Asking what is blogger outreach, is a little like asking, what is paid advertising – it’s a marketing channel.
However, instead of the primary channel being a platform like Google Adwords, it’s bloggers themselves.
The basic principle is to work with bloggers and to leverage their audience to promote your business.
Why would someone want to do this?
Bloggers have highly engaged and large audiences, who are beginning to trust their recommendations over other marketing alternatives.
A Technorati report from 2013 found that blogs are now the third most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%).
So who is blogger outreach for?
Well, the people with the most to gain are:
But the reality is that blogger outreach is appropriate for anyone who wants to promote their content, product, or service, and believes that their audience shops online.
Could that be you?
Alright, you get the “why”, but what about the “how”.
That is – how do you find bloggers who want to work with you?
Let’s consider the manual way, first.
It looks a bit like the following:
While this may sound like a tedious process (and it is), you might have noticed two wonderful things:
That’s right – blogger outreach is the perfect marketing channel for anyone on a budget, with no audience to leverage.
That’s what makes it special, unlike paid advertising or email marketing, which require money and an audience upfront.
But it also takes a lot of work, which is why we have tools.
In the podcast with Ron, he mentioned a bunch of tools you can use. I’ve used many of them myself, and in principle they are similar – they’re essentially databases of bloggers. They mainly vary on the metrics they show, how much they cost, and some unique features.
So for example, I’ll show you how this looks in Ninja Outreach, which, full disclosure, is my own blogger outreach software.
First, you start with a keyword and run a search:
Next, if you want, you can filter the results by the different metrics.
Lastly, you add bloggers to lists, which you can export and use for outreach.
Naturally, this process is a lot quicker and more accurate, and is good for anyone who values their time.
The last piece of the puzzle is how to work with bloggers to propel your business forward.
While there are an innumerable number of ways to partner with an influential individual, I’m going to highlight four common ones that we’ve been using ourselves to double our traffic in the last few months:
Surely, you’ve heard of guest posting?
I bet you’ve heard of Buffer, too?
Leo Widrich, Co-Founder of Buffer, wrote over 150 guest posts, which lead to over 100k sign ups!
Similarly, Groove, who just started heavily content marketing last year, Reached More Than 1 Million People By Guest Blogging.
In short, it’s a proven system that works, and fits in very nicely with blogger outreach.
It’s not altogether difficult to find quality blogs that accept well-written content in any niche. For example, at Ninja Outreach we have written over 25 guest posts in the last two months, by leveraging our software.
If you have a product that needs to be reviewed, a blogger might be the perfect person to do so.
This works exceptionally well if you would rather leave the writing to the professionals. Additionally, it is more likely to lead to sales because the focus is on your product as opposed to a general guest posting topic.
Although some bloggers might charge for the service, others are happy enough to review it in exchange for free access and perhaps an affiliate program.
Earlier this year Ashley wrote about the power of viral giveaways using the KingSumo plugin.
I’ve done this myself before, such as when I ran a $15k giveaway on my blog.
That giveaway allowed me to collect over 500 email addresses in a two week period, and I promoted it strictly through blogger outreach.
The great thing is, you can do it too by following these simple steps.
Step 1: Pick a killer prize that your audience covets. For example, if you are in the internet marketing niche, Aweber. You can’t contact the company and ask if they are willing to provide a free license, or simply pay for it yourself.
Step 2: Use all possible promotional strategies to reach the maximum number of people possible. Here are a few examples:
Step 3: Leverage a viral plugin like >KingSumo, which incentivizes people to share the giveaway in exchange for greater chances of winning.
Last but not least is to simply recruit affiliates, if you have a program that is.
This works well because it incentivizes the blogger to not just mention you once, but to include you in all future write ups on your topic, as well as potentially mentioning you in their email series, on their resources page, or on their sidebar.
At Ninja Outreach, we have a 50% monthly recurring commission for our affiliate program, and we leverage this to work with bloggers on the tactics mentioned above. We’ve recruited dozens of affiliates simply by reaching out.
If you’re struggling to get the word out about your blog, product, or service, and don’t carry around a huge budget like the big agencies, definitely consider blogger outreach.
Try it the manual way first to get a hang for the process, but know that there are tools available to help you along your way.
Am I missing anything else?