Bloggers are becoming increasingly influential and respected both offline and online and engaging with them can form a key part of your social media campaign. Bloggers aren't (generally) tied to organisations though and they're not there to promote your brand. Targeting bloggers requires a completely different strategy to targeting publications through a press release for example. You're dealing with an individual and it's important that you respect that and take a personalised approach.
Bloggers are an extremely powerful community online and failing to engage with them properly could significantly harm your campaign. The Fianna Fail party recently got this wrong and it has left many Irish bloggers feeling less than impressed... To help you avoid some of the common pitfalls, we've put together our top five tips for engaging with bloggers...
1. Spend time on their blog. If you spend time reading someone's blog, the types of things they're interested in and get to know their style, you'll be much more informed when you approach them. It will also help you to target bloggers effectively. By knowing what they do and don't like to write about, the chances are you'll have much more success.
2. Use their name! Contacting a blogger is personal - it's not the same as sending a generic email to an editorial department at a newspaper. It's important to take a personalised approach as a blog is someone's personal space online.
3. Know the key influencers. If you've decided that bloggers are key to your campaign, you want to identify your blogger wishlist. Spend time by in your target space online by finding out who other people are talking about, who's leaving comments, who's writing regularly. This will take time, but will reap the benefits in the long run.
4. Respect them. If you're launching a new product, engaging with bloggers can be a great way to test the market. But do this intelligently and show you actually care about their opinion. Consider sending them a new product to test, ask if they'd be willing to send suggestions.
5. Meet them in person. There is no better way to engage with someone than to have an actual conversation with them. You've recognised that bloggers are key to the success of your campaign and now you have to get a little bit original. The chances are they'll be inundated with emails about new products and services, with people requesting a link or a mention of their site. If bloggers really matter to you though, why not take the time to meet them in person? Hold a launch party and invite bloggers only. It's important that you take the time to engage with them away from their blog.