I had a meeting with a client about a week ago and it was refreshing to see a seasoned marketing professional (who’s been in the business for at least 25 years) discuss the importance and relevance of social media. He came to our offices, just after attending a social media boot camp and said, “Okay, now I’m all ears. Tell me what I need to do before I start a blogging campaign and what will we actually accomplish?” These are two very important questions that will determine the success of any blogging initiative.
I always tell my clients they need a plan of action for anything they do in marketing and PR. Social media is no different. And, if they don’t get the “buy in” from upper management, then it makes it that much more difficult to try to communicate through social media tools (where dialog flows and brands can’t control the conversations).
Although most companies consider two paths to engagement, I’m going to focus on blogger relations with influencers (my next post will be on corporate blogging). Many companies set up a blogger relations program with the objective to secure editorial endorsements from their influencers.
There are many things to consider before diving into a blogger relations program. You should:
- Develop your strategy
- Establish clear objectives
- Inventory your opportunities,
- Define a realistic timeline
- Create metrics for success.
- Identify of your influencers
- Search for the bloggers who cover your industry and discuss relevant topics
- Evaluate the authority and popularity of the blogger
- Develop your targeted blogger list
- Listen and monitor
- Observe topics of interest
- Track these topics regularly
- Set up a monitoring program
- Comment on your influencers blog regularly
- Be transparent
- Provide meaningful information
- Avoid any form of self promotion
- Engage with your influencers
- Illustrate an understanding of your influencer’s needs
- Customize communications to meet those needs
- Have meaningful conversations that lead to trust
If you follow the steps to blogger relations and engage transparently you will find yourself immersed in meaningful conversations with the people who need to know about you and your products and services. A good blogger relations program will allow you to gain the trust of your influencers and build strong relationships.