Blogger outreach can be a highly useful tool for brands, whether it’s for exposure, link building purposes to improve SEO or to gain relatable content which can be used for marketing purposes on social media channels or the brand website. Having worked both on the side of contacting bloggers for product reviews and being contacted myself for collaborations on my own blog, I know what works well so that both parties are happy. Here are a few tips on what to do before, during and after conducting blogger outreach for a company.
Before Contacting Bloggers:
- Make sure you’ve researched the blogger and that your products actually fit in with the bloggers style, otherwise it’s unlikely they will do the post or even if they do, they probably won’t do the best job of it. For example if you’re a sports nutrition brand it’s unlikely that sending one of your products to a blogger who specialises solely in fashion is going to bring you the best quality content that you can use or more importantly – sales from their readers.
- Find out the bloggers name (either from their side profile on their blog, about me section, or even by looking at the end of their posts i.e for their signature) to begin the email with rather than using “Dear Blogger” or “Hi there” etc. As a blogger myself this isn’t because I personally mind that the person contacting me is using the same email to contact many other bloggers (it’s expected) but it’s more that it’s easy to miss an email or dismiss it as spam and not look into it further if you don’t see your name at the top (just think about when you’re quickly skimming through your phone inbox – it’s easily done!).
How To Approach Bloggers:
- Start off by sending a friendly email explaining exactly who your brand is, and what type of collaboration you’d like to put forward. Emails saying “we’d like to collaborate with you if you’re interested please get in touch” are very vague and both parties can end up wasting their time if it turns out not to be an appropriate collaboration. Also, if the blogger isn’t receiving anything to actually review (for example maybe you want them to do a wishlist type post featuring an image of your product) then make it clear in the first email whether there is or isn’t a budget for the project. Some bloggers are happy to build relationships with brands without receiving payment via money or products, but some are not – so to avoid wasting anyones time be honest and upfront straight away. I’ve personally found that bloggers are much more likely to work with brands for free if you are upfront about the budget (or lack of) from the start, rather than going back and forth between emails until they find out and end up feeling disappointed (and thus decide not to bother!).
- Be clear and upfront on exactly what you need/expect from the blogger – giving timescales after sending the item is not a good idea. If you have a deadline of say 2 weeks to get the post out then this should be mentioned before the product is sent for a review. Bloggers plan their content in advance and work around schedules (not to mention have full time jobs and other hobbies on the side too) so if you need the content by a certain date it needs to be agreed beforehand not after. Whilst most bloggers will try and get product reviews done within a few weeks (and usually not longer than a month) it might happen that they have a lot of events coming up/other products in the queue to review – so you could be waiting longer for the post than what you promised your client.
After The Blogger Has Done The Post:
- Consider keeping the blogger updated with insider knowledge of the brand such as new product launches and upcoming events, in order to continue building the relationship. Don’t become spammy though – one email a month will do.
- Make sure you feature images and links from the bloggers post on the brands social media channels. If a blogger goes to the effort of creating a piece of content around a brand’s product and gets exposure for that brand they expect to be fairly given exposure back – even if just with a simple retweet. Not providing exposure back not only means the brand misses out on a valuable piece of content that their customers would most likely enjoy/get inspiration from, but it also creates a bad relationship with the blogger who is unlikely to want to work with the brand in future.