The blogging community is incredibly influential in helping consumers to make purchasing decisions. That’s because bloggers are considered to be trustworthy sources, often with large social media followings and loyal readers. What’s more, exposure on a widely read blog has the potential to send large volumes of traffic to your site.
However, many brands think they do not have the budget to capture this community which simply isn’t true. Whilst reaching a new audience does come with costs attached, blogger outreach, unlike advertising, will ensure that your products or services are seen by the relevant people, making this strategy cost-effective and highly targeted.
So if you haven’t got a large budget, there are some simple ways that you can appeal to bloggers and help them to become advocates of your brand.
Being both a link builder and a blogger I see both sides of blogger outreach and I’ve come up with some top tips for blogger outreach on a shoestring budget.
1. Find your niche bloggers
Before you start firing out blogger outreach emails to every blogger, start your search by finding bloggers who actually write about your product or service. If you don’t have a large budget, at least targeting bloggers who have a genuine interest in what you offer, will help to engage their interest. You do not want to waste your time, or the bloggers’ time, if there isn’t a contextual fit – especially when your budget is tight!
Collating the details of your blogger target list into an excel spreadsheet is a simple and cost-effective way of building up your contacts.
2. Don’t expect something for nothing
Many bloggers invest a lot of time in their blogs to build up authority and readership with many now blogging full-time so they expect at least some form of compensation. Therefore, reaching out and expecting bloggers to share your latest content without anything in return isn’t a great start. You’re potentially harming your chances of developing a valuable relationship with bloggers and influencers.
You may not have a huge budget to offer your target list of bloggers but one way to get them talking about your product is to offer to send them a product to review. We’ve worked with several clients where we have been able to offer a blogger a fun product or an engaging project with a view to them writing about the brand.
One strategy which worked particularly well in the run up to Christmas was sending bloggers a product to review for their Christmas gift guides and using products for giveaway competitions for their readers.
For example, blogger, Susie, at Old Fashioned Susie ran a giveaway of vintage Kellogg’s bath milk courtesy of Qwerkity, who specialise in gifts for men.
Considering that the product is at the lower end of the cost spectrum, the competition has yielded over 2000 entries, 240 Twitter shares and 22 comments!
The product appealed to the blogger because she is a lover of all things retro and vintage, so again, finding your niche with relevant bloggers is key to getting the exposure you want for the right price.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask bloggers about their budget
From my experience I’ve found it works best to ask bloggers what their usual budget is for products reviews, competitions and features. Not only does this show that you’re understanding how much work they put into their blogs, but you’ll also get an idea of how much bloggers charge for posts. You might get responses that are simply out of your budget, but others may be only slightly higher than you were looking for and might be able to be negotiated. Asking for a blogger’s budget will also give you an idea of what they are looking for and, depending on your budget; you might be able to contact these bloggers again for another campaign.
4. Give their audience something interesting – think outside the box
If you don’t have a large budget for your client, but want to get some good links and exposure, you’ll need to offer your target bloggers something interesting. No blogger is going to want to publish content that’s boring – it will affect their page views and will not engage their audience.
As budget is a concern, you’ll need to think outside the box to get them to participate, particularly if you don’t have the compensation rates they might be looking for. Consider product giveaways, vouchers, competitions and even event sponsorship.
For example, Simoney badges recently created blogger branded name badges for attendee’s to a national blogger event. The bespoke badges are a smaller item, but when paired with the blogger’s logo and name they become personal items, which bloggers can feel proud of.
Here’s an example of a badge created for Jenna Richards, blogger at tinyfootsteps.co.uk:
5. Personalise your emails and grow a relationship
Some blogs receive hundreds of emails on a daily basis, so you want your email to stand out from others and not look like a generic blanket email which has been sent to everyone. This is especially important if you’re a smaller brand and you’re pitching your campaign against some of the power-house brands who have the budget to match.
As I mentioned earlier you want to introduce yourself and be friendly, but you also want to show that you’ve done your research and read their blog. Have they recently mentioned a product you love? Or maybe they’ve mentioned on their blog somewhere that you’ve also visited recently? Mention it! Growing a relationship with bloggers is key to successful outreach. Keep in touch with bloggers who you’ve previously worked with and who enjoy working with you, they are more likely to understand your budget situation and will be willing to work with you on this.
Bloggers are key to building greater brand awareness and, if done well, blogger outreach can be hugely successful. By following these tips you’ll be able to achieve a successful link building strategy with blogger outreach, regardless of your budget.
If you’re struggling with link building or blogger outreach get in contact with the Receptional team!