You probably have a good sense for which trade and consumer publications are most influential in your industry and among consumers. But with blogs, it’s not so cut and dry.
How do you know which blogs to target and which blogs to send product to? Following are eight ways to evaluate a blog’s reach and influence among your target audiences.
1. Traffic. Some bloggers tell you right on their home page or about page exactly how many daily, weekly and monthly visitors they receive. If not, or to verify those figures, use a free tool like compete.com or quantcast.com to get a traffic estimate. Also, review a blogger’s social media extensions (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) to determine how many more people he or she is reaching when they link posts to social media sites.
Just as important as visitors is the number of other sites linking back to the blog. The more external links a blog has the more credible a blog is. Visit technorati.com and enter the blog’s URL to find its authority, or number of links directing back to the blog.
2. Page Rank. Use the free page rank checker tool at http://www.prchecker.info/ to determine where Google ranks the blog on a scale from 1-10. Blogs that fall into the 3-7 range are ranked pretty well. Most blogs will not achieve a ranking of 8-10, which is reserved for sites like nytimes.coma and google.com.
3. Engagement. Review recent posts to determine if readers are commenting often, and if the blogger is taking the time to respond back. The value of blog coverage is it has the potential to spark a conversation. A blog that actively engages readers has more potential to make an impact and influence industry trends and opinions, and its readers are more invested.
4. Frequency. The more often a blogger posts, the more often readers are coming back and the more potential your story has to be seen. It is also very common for new bloggers to lose interest and stop posting all together, but leave their blogs up. Do not target blogs that have not had a new post in more than a month.
5. Depth. Truly influential bloggers don’t just regurgitate facts and news releases; they offer insight and commentary on the story or issue at hand. Target bloggers who take the time to write an original post; your story will have a much deeper and longer lasting impact.
6. Visibility. Do a quick search to determine how involved a blogger is within your industry. Have they penned guest columns or op-eds for influential media, given keynotes or sat on panels at industry trade shows/conference, led or participated in social media events and advocacy? Active bloggers who participate regularly in industry events are perceived as experts and can bring credibility to your brand.
7. Ethics. Without exception, bloggers should be in clear compliance with recently updated FTC rules and regulations. (Read our blog post for a more detailed explanation of guidelines that affect bloggers.) Do not waste time or energy on blogs that do not clearly disclose product review/advertising relationships; otherwise you may face legal consequences for a blogger’s unethical behavior.
8. Competitive/Big Brand Presence. Has the blog covered your competitor? What about well-known national brands? These companies are targeting this blog for a reason; they see value in securing coverage there.
Need help developing a strategic blogger relations campaign to achieve greater visibility for your product or service? Contact me at kayleigh (at) sweeneypr (dot) com. or 440.333.0001 ext. 105 to get started.