A Better Approach to Blogger Relationship Campaigns

image from www.flickr.com Have you ever worked on the blogger outreach component of a social media plan? If so, what’s the first question you get asked?

For me it is usually, where do we find the Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). Brands that want to engage bloggers in social media platforms to help carry the message always want the same bloggers — the one with the most readers, the largest following and the biggest blogger brand in the vertical.

But what if that is the wrong way for your brand to go about things? Let’s face it. If everyone wants the big bloggers to blog about their brand, then you have to either have something really amazing or work really hard to break through the in-box clutter to reach said blogger. Even if you’ve done your homework and you know you have a product, service, or a story that is perfect for that mega-blogger, it’s still really difficult at best. But what if that isn’t the most effective approach for your social media campaign?

Recently I read Dayna Steele’s Rock to the Top. Lots of good little stories and tips in the book but the one that really stuck with me…the one I wrote down on the pad next to my bed was this. For rock bands to get radio play, they need to focus not just on the biggest radio stations but more importantly, they need to focus on who will play their music. Think about that for a minute. It’s a different way to frame the challenge. It’s not about reaching the folks who reach the most consumers. It’s about reaching the folks that are most likely to like and play your music regardless of size of their audience. Now I’m paraphrasing Dayna here so if I got it wrong, blame me not her.

So, take a look at that blogger outreach program you’re developing and ask yourself — are you focusing on size or are you truly looking for who is going to play your music?

If you’re looking for the folks most likely to play your music, how would you go about finding them? More importantly, how would you go about approaching them? Would you do it the same way you do for the big wigs or maybe try another approach? 

I’m thinking you’d have to commit a lot more resources to finding those smaller folks. Yes, you’re going to have to go deeper in the Google pages to find those lesser known bloggers who have smaller but possibly more devoted readers. On the flip side though, I think you’ll find you don’t have to work as hard to break through the in-box clutter.

Smaller bloggers aren’t getting media kits and product samples or even brand outreach on a constant basis. They likely want it but they just aren’t there yet in terms of size of following. So if you read their blog and find that they are a good match for your brand, product or service, then a simple email stating you’ve read their stuff and think based on blog post a, b and c that they’d love your brand/product/service and you’d like to send it along for them to check out might just do the trick.

So while you’ll invest more time, effort and money into the research side of the equation, you might just save enough on the outreach side to make it all balance out.

Best of all, because you’re truly focusing on grassroots instead of just the more traditional big bang theory of blogger relations you might just find you’ll get traction faster and with far more authentic blogger support. Support that will bleed over to other channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. And it is funny how some of the big wig bloggers pay attention to lesser known bloggers in their vertical and often pick up ideas from those blogs.

So what say you? In blogger relations does size matter or should you focus more on who’s gonna play your tune?

photo by xJasonRogersx

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Tom is 25+ year veteran of the sales & marketing industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and showing companies how to Sell Greatly, and turn conversations into customers. He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. Tom guides clients through the digital sales & marketing maze and helps companies teach their sales force how to Painlessly Prospect their way to more sales. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.


  1. Suhail hameed says

    Thanx Tom,

    it is nice article and helped me to set out my blogger outreach program.
    i am starting with this task and hope to get positive results.

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