Bloggers are their own unique target audience. They are not media and they are not your typical consumer. So it is important when conducting a blogger relations campaign to follow the proper etiquette.
1. Build relationships: Blogger relations is about building long-term relationships with bloggers. Consider the best way to build and sustain these relationships. For example, take the time to read their blog or inquire about what interests them as it relates to your company.
2. Identify the benefit: When contacting bloggers ensure there is a clear benefit for the bloggers and their readers. Are you giving them an opportunity to review a new product? Are you giving them a special offer or discount for their readers? Are you sharing new/quality information? Are you offering compensation?
3. Simple is better: As with any communication, keeping it simple always produces better results. If your pitch or the review opportunity is too complicated, you run the risk of a low response rate.
4. Identify your expectations: Especially if you are providing compensation, it is important to include exactly what you are asking the blogger to do. Consider things like when do you want their post to appear, will you be providing specific images, where do you want them to link to on your website, do you want them to post on their social media sites, is there a specific hashtag they should be using, etc. This will help eliminate any confusion.
5. No guarantees: Keep in mind when working with bloggers that unless you are paying them and have a contract in place, there is no guarantee they will cover your product/service, or that they will post when you request them to. If you haven’t received a response from a blogger that agreed to review a product or service, reach out to them by email and kindly ask them about their experience.
6. Listen: Most bloggers will typically avoid a bad review or inquire with you that they had a less than favorable experience. Talk with the blogger (by phone or email) and determine what happened. Maybe he or she didn’t follow the product directions correctly. If that is not the case, listen and share the feedback with your customer service department or product engineers. The blogger might not be the only person experiencing this issue.
7. Respect: Treat each blogger with respect even if they don’t have time to participate in your campaign, had a less than favorable experience or is requiring compensation that you cannot fulfill. Just because they are not interested this time, doesn’t mean that will always be the case.
8. Thank you: Don’t forget to thank a blogger who wrote a post about your brand or product/service. Even if it was not a solicited response, it might open doors for future coverage. Also, bloggers appreciate any additional exposure you can provide by highlighting their post on your social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.).
If you take the time to learn about bloggers interests and respect their responses and posts, you will be well on your way to developing a good working relationship that can continue to pay dividends.