At DAC (formerly known as Ambergreen), we carry out blogger outreach for a number of clients. Digitally conversing with bloggers about products, events and content is a little like networking at a party. Invariably, you will know a little about those you are talking to, after all they regularly post about their lives online, but you will never have met them and it’s now up to you to strike up a conversation and try to build some meaningful relationships. Just like at that party, there is an unspoken etiquette that applies to the way in which communications are carried out during blogger outreach and, just like at that party, there are particular kinds of people you really don’t want to be …
The desperate, ‘let’s be BFFs forever’ suck-up
This guy is pretty pathetic. He spends the majority of his time running about after you and trying to take part in every conversation you are involved in. You say you like football, he likes football too. You express an interest in cooking, lo and behold, so does he. If you said that you really enjoyed eating mouldy tomatoes, they would probably turn out to be his snack of choice too …. Whilst this is quite flattering to begin with, it soon becomes annoying and insincere. When proposing outreach collaborations with bloggers, it is important to remember the purpose of the activity and the brand you represent. If the blog doesn’t fit your brand or the blogger is not interested in the proposal you have put forward, move on. This isn’t a good match for this campaign and there is no point trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Be polite, maintain the relationship and maybe next time, you can work together, but on this occasion, just take a step back.
The oversharing, ‘let me tell you my lifestory’ chatterbox
This guy is as close a human comes to resembling a meerkat. His ears literally prick up and his entire body lengthens as soon as he hears a conversation to which he feels he can contribute. He rushes over to said conversation and, as soon as is physically possible, he fills any momentary pause for breath with information that he knows: Stories from his life, opinions that he has, anything to be the one talking. This is annoying. This is pretty rude and this will disperse the conversing group within minutes. When making contact with bloggers, don’t overshare. Don’t bombard them with useless information about your brand, your ethos, your sales results or your coffee break structure. They really couldn’t care less. It is important that you let bloggers know the key information about the opportunity you are emailing them about and that’s it. They will already have a whole bunch of people to chat to. Make sure your communications are concise, to the point and, above all, relevant to the blogger.
The disinterested, ‘only wants one thing’ sleeze
Everyone’s met this guy. He sidles over to you with a creepy smile on his face. ‘Sup’ he says, giving you a quick glance up and down. Immediately, he begins to tell you, regardless of whether or not you are in any way interested, all about his high paid job, his gym membership and his terrible addictive love of fast cars. After an unbroken ten minute schpiel to this effect, he pauses for breath to ask if you want to go somewhere ‘a little quieter’ … This guy is an idiot. No one likes this guy and there’s absolutely no way we’re going anywhere with him, let alone, somewhere ‘a little quieter’. When choosing bloggers for an outreach campaign, it is important to show an interest in them. Don’t just pick a list of URLs downloaded from a database or copied straight from google. Don’t judge the blog by the cover photo. Do your research. Find out what kind of things the blogger writes about. Do they use images or is it mostly prose? Do they have a particular area of interest? Hey, do they even work with brands!? A lot of bloggers will make it explicitly clear that this is not on their agenda, so why waste everyone’s time by chatting them up!?
The irritating, ‘I’m better than you’ wise-guy
This guy thinks he is the sh*t. Every comment he makes is tinged with a sarcastic put down or a ‘friendly’ offer of help. ‘, ‘what do you do? … oh right, why that?’, ‘Do you want to upgrade that car? I can put you in touch with some people?’, ‘you look tired …’. This person is a snob. He genuinely believes that he is better than you and your purpose on earth is, therefore, purely to make him look better and to give him someone to ‘help’. A common mistake made by brands when speaking to bloggers is that they assume that the blogger should be eternally grateful for whatever is being offered. This patronising approach is pretty short-sighted. Most blogs are curated for a purpose and their owners will have a clear idea as to what content suits them and what doesn’t. Make sure you research your bloggers properly and understand what a mutually beneficial partnership looks like between the two of you. To look no further than the end of your own brand’s nose is to miss out on some of the most valuable opportunities out there.
The boring, ‘I have literally zero chat’ conversation drainer
This is the guy who sits down next to you and, despite the fact that you are involved in a lively and interesting conversation with the group of folks you are already talking to, decides to turn you aside and ask you how your report for work is going; whether you had noticed that it was raining; or something equally as thrilling. This guy has zero chat and no one really wants to be left entertaining him. It is important to think outside the box and to be creative when you decide on how you are planning to engage bloggers in an outreach campaign. A bland, overly formal email that spouts generic information about a campaign that has been done time and time again and produces very little incentive for the blogger to get excited is never going to go down well. Be friendly; approach bloggers as you would in person and make sure your proposition is different and of interest to them. After all, a good campaign makes a good story and a good story makes great blog content. Blogger outreach is a fantastic way to increase awareness of a brand, spread the word about new products or services and generate links to your site. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is an easy exercise or a quick win solution. You will need a carefully structured strategy and well executed communications in order to build substantial relationships that work for your brand. Our content team are well versed in community management and blogger outreach. Call now to discuss your brand’s next campaign.