The Hero’s Journey: 4 Stages of Better Blogger Outreach
What do Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen, and Harry Potter all have in common (besides being generally awesome at staying alive)? Like many of pop culture’s greatest heroes, they followed the same path to greatness, a path mythologist Joseph Campbell called “The Hero’s Journey.”
The Hero’s Journey is the definitive path to greatness, but it doesn’t stop with Jedi and pubescent wizards. Yes, it applies to digital marketers, too!
By mastering the four stages of better blogger outreach, you too can achieve greatness and lead the most successful blogger outreach campaign of all time.*
*(Or at least one that’ll get you killer results and also impress your boss.)
Stage 1: The Call to Adventure
All heroes start small: Luke Skywalker was an angsty kid on Tatooine; Katniss Everdeen was an angsty kid in District 12; and Harry Potter was an angsty kid in a cupboard under the stairs. What’s the common theme here? No, not teen angst – although, to be fair, they all have pretty decent excuses.
They all had an external call to adventure. So, what’s yours? Launching a new product? Increasing your company’s reputation? Driving sales? You need some blogger outreach.
- Increase brand awareness. Posts from even a few bloggers can reach thousands of leads and potential ambassadors, especially when social media is involved.
- Boost your SEO. Depending on the type of link, inbound links are a great way to raise your website’s authority and bump up your search rankings.
Stage 2: Crossing the Threshold
So cross that threshold and reach out to those bloggers! E-mail is a friendly yet professional way to do this.
Just make sure you don’t fail to impress by sending a generic “Dear Sir/Madam” speech about how great your product is. Bloggers receive these all the time, and you’ll get nowhere on your Hero’s Journey if you’re acting like a background character.
In order to intrigue your potential bloggers, be sure to:
- Address them by name
- State specific reasons why their blog is a good fit for your products
- Acknowledge that they’d be doing you a service but also that it will benefit them (offering a free product in exchange for a review can go a long way)
Once you’ve crossed the threshold and e-mailed your bloggers, you’re well on your way to outreach greatness! But you’ve still got a major hurdle to go before completing a truly successful blogger outreach campaign.
Before seeing any results, you must first survive The Abyss.
Stage 3: The Abyss
The Abyss represents all of the drawbacks and challenges heroes face on their journeys. After all, do you think Katniss Everdeen survived the Hunger Games by collecting wildflowers and chasing butterflies? No! She had to face challenges along the way, and it will be no different for you.
In every blogger outreach campaign, there will come a point when a few bloggers just aren’t delivering on their promises. You sent them free products, but there are no posts, links, or social media shout-outs.
There are several ways to chase results while still remaining professional and friendly.
- Get quality content in a timely manner by offering an initial incentive.
In your initial email, let your bloggers know that you’ll award the writer of the best blog with a special prize. There are several benefits to this:
- More bloggers will agree to review your product in the first place.
- Posts will generally be of a higher quality as they compete to win the prize.
- More bloggers will publish their posts in a timely manner, especially if you place a deadline for entry.
- Send a short-and-sweet reminder e-mail.
Bloggers are busy people too – busier the more professional they are. A reminder can motivate any slow-boats to get their blogs posted. They may have even posted their blog but forgot to send you the link.
- Learn from the experience.
You may still have those one or two bloggers who simply don’t deliver on their commitments. If that’s the case, you must simply cut your losses and learn from the experience. Make a note for your records, using your judgement whether or not to try again with these bloggers next time.
If you follow these blogger outreach tips, you’ll present yourself to bloggers as both professional and personal. And once you’ve done that, you’re out of The Abyss and ready to reap your reward.
Stage 4: Reaping the Rewards
Your work is complete. Bloggers were thanked, managers were debriefed, and you were the hero of a successful blogger outreach campaign. But why was it so successful? Let’s take a look at what made your campaign so much stronger than Boring Bob’s from across the office.
- You connected with your bloggers on a personal level, valuing their unique tastes and appreciating that they had a lot going on outside of writing about your product.
- You incentivised publishing timely, well-written posts by offering a special reward to the writer of the best blog.
- You chased all straggling or “forgetful” bloggers, prompting them to fulfil their commitments while still treating them with kindness and respect – and thereby retaining them as future collaborators.
But what does this mean for the hero in you?
By the end of their journeys, Luke had mastered the Force, Katniss had won the Hunger Games, and Harry finally got to chill out without having to worry about being zapped by a half-dead wizard with a grudge.
So what have you earned by successfully completing your journey? It’s more than you might think.
For one, you have tangible stats to demonstrate the merit of your efforts. Not only that, but you’ve also achieved something you might not have considered up until now: bloggers will actually look forward to working with you next time.
The more popular a blogger is, the more often their inbox will be swamped with product review requests. But when they see your name – the name of a rep who treated them with respect, who appreciated their unique style and talents, and who acknowledged their busy workload – they will happily bump your request to the top of their to-do list.
After all, you’ve proven yourself: you’re an Outreach Hero!
Here at Ambergreen, we’ve been doing blogger outreach for years. Constantly adding new members to our strong base of loyal bloggers, we’ll provide the services and industry expertise you need in order to make your business stronger than ever before.
If you’re ready to get the most out of your blogger outreach, get in touch and start your own journey now.