By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator Of PrPro And Owner Of Energy PR
The influence of bloggers is spreading. There are more and more of them and their audiences are not passive but really engaged and clearly defined. Plus by spanning the world of ‘reporter and consumer’, bloggers can be powerful brand champions for those who win their trust.
So how do they work? My agency, Energy PR, asked a selection of bloggers to tell us what ticks their boxes versus what ticks them off. Here’s a small snapshot of what they said…
1. They are all different
Knowing your bloggers individually makes a big difference. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a blog written as a hobby will be less influential (and therefore less important) than one that is full time.
2. Both parties have to put effort in to get the best out
Take the time to read the relevant blogs for your brand and business, to understand the content posted.
3. Be personal
Take the trouble to tailor your communication to each blogger and find their chosen method of contact rather than just adding comments to their posts.
4. Be relevant
Find out if they are a good fit with your brand or company and have covered similar topics before. Sending irrelevant content will be a waste of your time and theirs.
5. Avoid unrealistic expectations
When sending a product for review, bear in mind that they will have other work on and things to review so your item won’t necessarily take priority — even if it is a food item that might go off! Try negotiating in advance when would be a good time to send the item, or make it more of a priority by offering something extra for their blog such as samples for them to give away to readers.
6. More information, not less
When sending new products to bloggers, give them the same level of information you’d give to journalists: tell them how much it is, when it launches and where their readers can buy it from.
7. Results aren’t automatic
As with journalists, bloggers aren’t obliged to feature you in their posts unless the content is paid for.
8. Follow up
An important part of building the relationships with bloggers is following up with them. If you sent them product, make sure you know if they received it, what they thought and whether they had any questions. Equally if they attended an event for you, find out if they enjoyed themselves or have any feedback. This way any negatives can be dealt with before posts go up.
9. Respect workload
Bloggers can get somewhere between 2 and 10 approaches a week from brands and PR agencies. It’s worth knowing where your activity sits on their priority list as chances are it won’t be in the same place as yours. Also remember the purpose of the blog is to interest the reader. Many bloggers limit their brand activity as they don’t want to irritate followers by overly promoting a brand.
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