One of the biggest trends in the world of marketing is Content Marketing. Wikipedia gives this definition of Content Marketing; “Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc”
What if may not be in the position to start your own content marketing program? How do you get involved to find new customers? One of the easiest is to find bloggers in your industry and start working with them. They will create content that will link back to your site. It’s a win-win for you and the bloggers. Speaking from working both sides of blogging world. Bloggers always appreciate someone reaching out to give them a a post idea.
How do you get started working with bloggers? I have a few steps to follow:
- Search for bloggers in your industry – If you don’t know any bloggers simply google your industry and blog. There will be plenty of search results that show up some relevant and others not so much. Take your time and start going through the results. See which blogs are updated on a regular basis. Those should be the ones that have a passion for your industry.
- Start Reading and Observing – Once you have found the blogs you like just start reading them on a regular basis and observing the community. Are they active on social media? Do they have people who comment? Do they seem to be an “expert” on the topic they cover? Do they have contact information on their site? After a while you should get a good idea who the blogger is and if you want to work with them.
- Large or Small Bloggers – If you work in a big industry there maybe a plethora of blogs. While if you’re in a niche market there maybe a small number. If you are in large industry you may not get in a bigger blog. Concentrate on a smaller blog with a great following. As you get published other blogs will take notice and take interest in your company. To get results you don’t have to always work with the biggest blog on the net for your industry. You just need to reach the right people.
- Reach out to the Blogger – Contact the blogger and introduce yourself and your business. Talk about their blog and what post you thought were really great. Let them know you are reading and like what they are doing. Don’t be too pushy at first let things flow in a conversation. Some bloggers may not get back to you either. Don’t take it personally, some of them do this part time and may miss the email. I always say try two times to contact a blogger. It’s ok to mention you would love to work with the blogger but don’t come on with a hard sell.
- Find out the Bloggers Needs – In your conversation find out what the blogger needs for their blog. Remember this is a relationship and now all about your company. If you have contacts that will benefit the blogger share them when you can. They will be more apt to work with you if you help them. They will remember it and reward you for it. Remember it should be give and take. If you are doing all the giving and the blogger isn’t giving you anything in return that’s not fair. Most bloggers will return the favor.
- Update them About your business – After you have established a relationship. Reach out and let them know what is going on with your business and events you have planned. If it’s before the event let them know all the details so they can promote it. If its after the event send them a recap with pictures. The easier you make it for a blogger the better the chance they will feature you. Hopefully after a while they will start doing the same with you.
- Keep your promises – Once your start working with a blogger make sure you keep your promises. If you promise something or an exclusive deliver what you say when you say. If you do not or give it to another blog the relationship could irreparably harmed. If something should happen to delay something you promised, just reach out and let them know the new time frame. Most bloggers understand things happen and timelines change. As long as you have a good communication flow most bloggers will help you out. If you don’t follow through with a promise the blogger could hold a grudge. Which could be bad for your business to have bad press out there.
- Contact them on a Regular Basis – Contact them even When you don’t have anything to promote. This may sound counterintuitive but it will further the relationship. Things to contact bloggers about; A recent post you liked, just seeing how the blog is doing, trends in the industry, and other information they may know.
Working with bloggers is an ongoing business relationship. Think of it as working with a supplier or customer. Your blogging program will grow as you get a good reputation in the industry. Many bloggers talk to each other and help each other out. This will increase your chance of getting your company out there.
Remember if you work with bloggers follow these steps and take the most time trying to find a blogger that is a good fit with your company. Keep the relationship going and have great communication on an on going basis. Follow these rules and you should minimize problems. If you have any questions reach out to me and I will gladly answer them!