Marketing through Bloggers Mantra

bloggingBeing a Social Media Strategist, I have had the good experiences working with people for their brands through publicity, word of mouth, footfalls, feedback, customer insights and more. Several organizations and I have been working on the model of “Attracting Bloggers” for quick and easy way of reaching the masses. Post that, we also witnessed definite ROI in terms of a new store, product launch, and restaurant openings. Social Media is about sharing contents with your community or followers and making it share-worthy and attracting bloggers is a relatively fairer option for the organizations that are trying to leverage Social Media at a quick level.

Attracting bloggers and making them talk about your brand, captures the real essence of Social Media. Apart from your own contents about your own brand, people tend to trust what the mob follows. Bloggers, by their own virtue of influence, make this easily possible. A smart way is to attract key influencers in your space and have them talk about you.

5 reasons why you should attract bloggers to your business:

1. Bloggers stay connected: They are usually active on Social Media space, honestly main reason to obtain more traffic to their blog.
2. Blogger rank better: Blogger’s ranking of the blog will be better than the one you have recently created for organization or the one you are planning to create.
3. Endorsement matters: A blogger on the web is not just the link sharer but also a thought leader in his space. When blogger covers your story, their thought leadership status endorses your brand. Of course, people respect their thoughts!
4. Frugally yours: Word of mouth is powerful, inexpensive and of course better than conventional marketing expenses.
5. The Social way: Your brand is spoken viz their blog which is discussed in facebook, twitter etc. Helps you leverage the potential of Social Media.

What are various steps involved in attracting bloggers?

Step 1 – Objective: The first and most important step is to define your objective of the campaign. Your objective could be anything: create awareness, increase visibility on Google, get a review done about your products or services, get influencers speak about you, bloggers to create buzz on social networking sites etc.

After many attempts of attracting bloggers, we have found that appointing a Social Media manager or a Social media agency dedicated to this campaign will bring in a world of difference.

Step 2 – Define Bloggers:

To attract bloggers, you should be clear on the type of bloggers and the quality they can offer.

There are three types of bloggers.

? Niche bloggers – Specific topic writers, it can be about food, city, marketing, finance etc. They are preferred partners to market your specific products/brands, since people follow them for their thought-leadership.

? Personal bloggers – Poetic and storytelling ones, who share their life, life-styles their philosophies. Not greatly appreciated for marketing, unless their blogs are very famous.

? Corporate bloggers – usually involved in describing products and services, sharing the humane side of the corporate, processes involved etc. They are not in our area of interest.

You may also want to check the quality of the person writing, their reach, their influence level on the web, popularity on social media.

Step 3 – Defining the quality of the blogs:

In the web world, a relatively older blog is known to be more popular than a new blog both in terms of credibility and visibility. A marketer should consider the following components while deciding the quality of the blogs:

a. Relevancy of the blog to your business.
b. Page rank of blogs and their visibility
c. Regularity and Credibility of updates
d. The social media connect of the blogs
e. Viral reach of their earlier blog posts (number of retweets, facebook share, facebook likes and recommends, add this status etc)
f. Quality of the content, the flow of language and the presentation of the blog posts.
g. Quantity: No. of subscribers to the RSS Feed or Feed burner.

Step 4 – Promotion For Promotion (P4P):

Once your objective, quality of blog and bloggers is fixed, marketers will have to promote about their bloggers meet, if I can call that “Promotion for Promotion (P4P)”. The announcement about this could be via Facebook advertisements, existing blogger communities, online PR, integrating with traditional advertisements, regular and targeted tweeting, targeting influencers on social media to spread the word, Facebook, LinkedIn events etc. The promotions portraying bloggers meet should ensure a call for bloggers registration for a free entry to your event or a special entry to your launch/restaurant etc. Going through the blogger communities would also be a suitable option for the brand to consider for the right target and the quick reply. Once the expected registrations are confirmed, ensure you scrutinize bloggers on the basis of the objective and quality of the blog set.

Step 5 – Experiential Treatment:

This is the most crucial part of your entire strategy. Every second of this treatment will be reflected in the words they are going to utter through their blogs. Bloggers need to be treated with a wonderful experience. For example: if the bloggers are invited at a restaurant to write review on the food you serve, they need to be given the best of the hospitality, finest of the dishes and should be well treated personally. The CEO must dine along with bloggers, sharing stories about the launch and various processes involved. Chef may visit to know if there are any customized requirements by the participants. To extend the warmth of the meet, bringing the CEO’s family members just for a gag with bloggers will also be a great way to make the bloggers feel at ease and convenient, if you think that will better the process.

Similarly, if the bloggers are invited to cover a store launch or product launch and if they are huge in number then there should be enough space given for them to network with each other. Hosting fun moments, contests and opinions on the industry can make them converse about you and make their experience memorable. In such cases the products or services are launched at the end of the show so as to make bloggers feel the event is not promotional.

In the whole P4P scene,Social Media connect becomes very essential. Bloggers can ask to live tweet the event, live photograph the moments, and later share their opinions on the blog. Thus this will help create charm amongst those bloggers who planned to come but couldn’t turn up and also amongst the registered ones who didn’t get selected and of course gives food for discussion for people who are attending the P4P party.

Lastly, a freebie always carries a charm of the event along with the participants. Why not sponsoring an umbrella with brand + blogger’s identity or a T-Shirt with the same?

Step 6 – Post bloggers meet:

Following up, asking them how their experiences were and thanking them for being there, will prove to be a great gesture. This is an essential!

When the whole campaign is over you just need to wait for the magic to happen

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