Social media has changed fairly significantly in the last few years. Social media usage has risen from 1.4 billion people monthly in 2012, to almost 2 billion in 2015, and far more people own smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets. People are more connected and technologically developed than ever, and social media marketing has, and is, developing right alongside them. However, one aspect of social media marketing that hasn’t changed is the importance of word of mouth. And no one spreads the word quite as efficiently as bloggers.
The secret behind bloggers, is that they usually portray themselves as casual and relatable, and the people that read their blogs assume that they are honest and reliable. This makes bloggers incredibly effective at portraying a message that people will both believe and spread to others. People trust bloggers, 81% of internet users in fact, and almost that same number of internet users read blogs regularly. Blogs also tend to attract a younger, more open-minded audience. Of course, not every writer wants to work for a business, and not all bloggers are good at blogging. For example: being uninspired, blogging too frequently, or not frequently enough, are all issues that could affect how well a blogger is received by their audience.
However, the applications of a half-decent blogger for enhancing any businesses’ social media presence are endless. This is called blogger outreach. Simply put, blogger outreach is when a blogger works with a business to create content to promote a brand or business, and it could potentially have eye opening benefits, with 31% of online shoppers reporting they have been influenced by blogs. Considering that retail sites themselves only influence 56% of shoppers, this is fairly significant. So how do you make the most of this precious resource?
First off, bloggers can be a fairly fickle bunch, and a good blogger is unlikely to help straight away. Remember that most of these writers are just average people, and so have their own lives, opinions, motivations, and so don’t want to be talked to like they’re going to be a corporate asset, and not an individual. Furthermore, make sure the blogger you want has some experience blogging about your area of business. They can be the best clothes blogger in the world, but if they don’t know anything about cars, then they’re not going to be appropriate for a car blog. You may have to shop around a little to find the right person.
What about contacting them? An important aspect to remember in this respect, is that the success behind bloggers is that people trust them, so make sure those same bloggers trust you. Be casual, but still professional, and make sure your message stands out. Professional and successful blog writers receive a huge number of emails, so make sure yours catches their eye. If you have to send multiple emails, then do, but don’t swarm them.
So now hopefully you have their attention, but what now? Well, the relationship with that blogger is still in its preliminary stages, so try and build it up a little more. Free stuff is always nice, so maybe a free sample of your product, or whatever you feel would be appropriate. You’re trying to impress this person, so don’t be too frugal. It should also be noted they are under no obligation to work with you, so don’t be annoyed if they decline to.
Hiring a good blogger could potentially be one of the most important decisions you ever make, but if you follow these tips, then should be on your way to finding a good one in no time!