The influence of blogs has taken the world by surprise. For decades we looked to the media and authority figures for information, now we prefer to trust “someone just like me.” And the ease of publishing content online made it possible for anyone with a passion for a topic to start a blog. Some of these bloggers have built a large, loyal and engaged audience and they’ve become the ‘go-to’ source for information and opinion on that subject. A blogger outreach program should be part of every brand’s marketing and PR strategy.
WOMEN AND BLOGS
A study conduced by BlogHer – the site with the largest collection of women bloggers – showed that women trust blogs more than any other social platform.
“Blogs emerged out of a disillusionment with the magazine model. Blogs are where you go for a personal connection, reviews and recommendations, while magazines are for general news, trends and inspiration. ” Michelle Villette. Michelle used to be the beauty editor at Elle Canada and now blogs at BeautyEditor.ca. Her blog gets more than a million visitors a month. 40% of her traffic is from the US.
Women control more than 80% of the household budget. As a market, women are a bigger opportunity than India and China combined (Harvard Business Review.) Almost four million American moms (14% of all American moms) consider themselves bloggers. Those mom bloggers mention brands 73 times per week.
WHY WE TRUST BLOGGERS
66% of moms say word-of-mouth is their most trusted source of information and 81% of U.S. consumers trust information and advice from bloggers! The reason? They identify and connect with bloggers. They see them as real people who are experiencing the same things they are going through.
They value blog content because it’s not produced by a brand. Bloggers write about the things they love or are passionate about. They write from the heart. 61% of U.S. consumers will make purchases based on recommendations from a blog.
A SUCCESSFUL BLOGGER OUTREACH PROGRAM
Blogging has matured and bloggers are no longer as easy to reach and work with as they were ten years ago. Not every blog in your field will be right for your brand or your campaign. You have to find the bloggers who will work with you, love your content, your product or service and be open to a long-term relationship. Identifying these bloggers takes skill and experience. It’s based on much more than how many followers they have or what their influence score is.
The success of your blogger outreach program will depend on
- who you reach out to
- how you approach them
- what you offer them
It’s not always about money, but you have to offer them something interesting, exclusive and valuable to their audience.
THE A-LIST AND THE LONG TAIL
Just as in any other activity, bloggers can be categorized in levels. Some are A-list celebrities with a huge audience. Others are in the middle range and then there is what is called the ‘long tail’. This is the majority of bloggers. They have a small audience and most of them are easier to reach and work with.
Brands are discovering that a blogger with a smaller audience that is loyal and engaged can give a higher ROI than working with a celebrity blogger. Reaching out to more micro-influencers often results in more traffic and higher conversion rates. The trick is to find the right ones in the mass of the long-tail and provide them with content that resonates with their audience.