Five Reasons Your Blogger Outreach Program Is a Fail

Blogger Outreach is one of the biggest parts of my marketing business. Call it influencer outreach or paid media. In fact, blogger outreach can significantly elevate your game and your message on line and in real life too. An authentic ambassador for your brand tells a story well and is sought out for their opinion. They are impactful and trustworthy and they have an audience.
This collage is a sample of a few of the clients I have worked with in the past year. I have been blogging here and writing on line for almost 5 years now. Thrifty Mommas Tips has grown exponentially and my experience has grown with it. This year alone I have managed many blogger outreach programs for my clients.
Other services I offer – writing, editing, business blogging for beginners training, full digital marketing and social media marketing. As a community manager, I also maintain many client assets and run several private Facebook patient groups through my business Thrifty Mom Media.
Maybe it’s the flurry of pitches I have received lately. Maybe it’s all the strange and unprofessional exchanges I have witnessed on both sides of the social media relationship, especially just since Blissdom Canada. Whatever the root of this public service marketing message, I’ve reached my tipping point, or perhaps my boiling point and I need to get this out.
Bloggers aren’t perfect, but many are professional writers, marketers and influencers. They are unique individuals with a unique asset in a digital marketing world. At a conference last year one speaker smartly summed blogging up like this: “Right now you are the prettiest girl in high school and everyone wants a turn to dance. Blogging is a valuable marketing tool. Don’t undervalue it.”
I spoke to this here in my post about why bloggers get paid for their service. Many of my blogger outreach campaigns have been an incredible tool driving on line buzz fast. Done well, blogger outreach is an art. Done poorly, without thought, it is a waste of money. Which camp will your campaign fall in? Any agency should know their strengths and contract out if they cannot do influencer outreach properly.

1. Google is not a strategy:

You googled blogger, or health blogger, or Canadian blogger, and you are compiling a list of the people who popped up. You might as well pick up the phone and start dialing random numbers. Not effective and definitely not a blogger outreach strategy. Are they working right now? Are they professional? Have they stopped writing original content or lost their voice entirely? You must know this before you contract them.

2. Relationships:

You bought a list of bloggers in Canada, or the US, or Timbuktu. I never ever get my bloggers from lists. Instead, my contacts come from my conversations and relationships and my network of writers and bloggers. I know from having dinner with many at the four to five conferences I go to each year that blogger X can write effectively and with conviction about lice treatment. Blogger Y has taken on too many clients this year and let me down on one contract. Without a doubt, Kerrie will deliver on time every time and personalize the message. Maddy is caring for her mother in her home and represents the sandwich generation demographic perfect for the campaign coming up in 2014. Sally is abrasive in person, but she has the audience we are courting and she’s worth the effort.
Smart marketers also know which one posted a NOT SO Family friendly diatribe about guns or sex or alcohol. Do not be unprofessional. Months ago one built her own infographic for a campaign and I have her on speed dial.

3. Knowledge, Research, Reading:

You don’t read blogs. Huge mistake. Bloggers are really unique. Each blog has an author, who is a person with a style and area of expertise. The best blogger outreach programs are run by people who actually read blogs and are familiar with them inside and out. They know the name of the author and where his or her strengths lie.
Each blogger has rates and in fact each blogger also has been sent 100 books this week. How is yours different? But you have another gift basket of branded T-shirts, water bottles and serving trays? How will your brand elevate stand out? Which book will be the one that gets reviewed? Good blogger outreach coordinators like reading, and even – here’s a shocking concept – like and value what influencers bring to the table.

4. How do you Define Influencer?

Your boss gave you a job to find on line influencers in the area of fitness and post pregnancy weight loss. You post a google doc form and say apply to be an influencer with well known fitness brand. The measure of influence is an intriguing concept that is not two dimensional. An influencer is not always the person with 25,000 twitter followers. Dig deeper.
I often tell my clients to come to a conference or two with me, or send me in on your behalf. Influence begins on the blog and on line and a true influencer with lasting potential is also someone who has a whole other life extending into speaking, connecting, networking, volunteering. You need to find the person with the X factor that everyone loves and wants to be. Influence is a big concept. Think big picture.

 5. You are using the wrong metrics.

You think you identified your on line influencers in the field of dairy products. Maybe you even went to a conference and connected genuinely with some bloggers you want to hire, so you compile a spreadsheet. Blog name, Twitter followers, Facebook followers, maybe you added Klout or Kred, and blog origin geographically. Perfect start, right? Wrong. Tip of the iceberg.
Metrics are always changing and you need to be informed and stay on top of trends. Find areas with engagement and community. An “influencer” with 50,000 twitter followers is not much use to me if I read her blog and discover nobody is actually there. There is no engagement, very few comments and no personality.

Blogger Outreach Starts With Relationships

Blogger outreach is a relationship. I have been on both sides of this equation and it is a back and forth working relationship. My best blogging experience was working for a client who contracted me to write about something for Walgreens. Can you guess who was running that outreach? A blogger, a PR person who doesn’t actually believe fully in blogging yet, or a social media intern?

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.