Content Marketing June 26th, 2015
A growing aspect of online public relations is blogger outreach. Blogger outreach involves contacting and developing relationships with bloggers, also sometimes referred to as digital influencers, in order to promote your brand through their own voice. They act as a connection between you and your customers.
Online public relations is especially critical for success in e-commerce marketing and developing relationships with bloggers is a powerful way to find and engage with potential new customers.
Many consumers conduct research before making an online purchase. Bloggers are a trusted source for their readers. In fact, according to HubSpot, blogs are the fifth most trusted source for online information.
Bloggers are often active on social media. There’s no doubt that social media marketing can drive traffic to your e-commerce website. Imagine a blogger with thousands of followers tweeting about your brand. That’s thousands of potential new customers.
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Bloggers can become brand advocates. The key is to develop mutually beneficial relationships with bloggers that are relevant to your niche. If you are a brand they enjoy working with, they’ll likely promote you without even being asked. Isn’t that every brand’s dream? Let’s take a look at three brands that are doing really well with their blogger outreach.
Many fashion brands are conducting blogger outreach campaigns, although almost any e-commerce brand can benefit from working with bloggers. One brand that uses blogger outreach as part of its online public relations strategy is Warby Parker. Warby Parker is largely an e-commerce business that sells glasses.
The brand is a great model for successful blogger outreach. The marketing/public relations department often contacts bloggers prior to launching a new collection, asking them to write a blog post to be published on the launch day. However, they are sure to give bloggers creative freedom in addition to guidelines.
Another example of blogger-generated content comes from their home try-on program, which is also available to customers. Warby Parker sends five pairs of frames to keep for five days. Bloggers will share photos with their glasses on social media and ask followers for feedback.
Warby Parker knows how to get bloggers to become brand advocates through their outreach efforts. They find new brand advocates who can reach new audiences that Warby Parker might not have been able to find on their own.
Daniel Wellington sells men’s and women’s watches, as well as interchangeable watch straps. Similar to Warby Parker, they use Instagram to show their watches through their #dwpickoftheday. Followers submit photos of their watches and Daniel Wellington shares their favorite ones.
Daniel Wellington often teams up with bloggers for giveaways. In most cases, a blogger will feature their watch in a post and then invites followers to enter a giveaway to win their own watch. These giveaways typically involve following Daniel Wellington and the blogger on their social channels. The more you follow, the higher your chances are of winning.
Giveaways are a great way to increase social media presence and overall brand awareness for your e-commerce business. People love to enter giveaways, and even if they don’t win, you’ve reached more potential customers who may love your brand enough to pay for your product.
Old Navy has reinvented its brand, thanks to many successful style bloggers. These influencers are not only wearing the brand on the blog, but also to work, lunch with girlfriends, and other aspects of their life. They genuinely love to wear the brand.
A key part of Old Navy’s success in the blogging community is that it partners with bloggers on a continuous basis. Rather than requesting one-time posts, the brand develops relationships with bloggers. These women are happy to wear Old Navy and can even be seen mixing pieces in with high-end items from luxurious brands.
The biggest takeaway from Old Navy is that in many cases, it is better to work with a few bloggers who are reliable and have a strong following. You’ll be able to collaborate with them over and over, and they will always be eager when an email from your company’s PR team shows up in their inbox.
The key, as evidenced with these brands, is to find a group of quality bloggers that you’ll enjoy collaborating with. If you’re a start-up brand, then working with top-level bloggers might be out of your reach. Find a few mid-level bloggers who might be less selective about the brands they work with because they are just starting out.
If you’re a larger or well-known brand, you may have more luck reaching out to bloggers with a large following. However, don’t limit yourself to bloggers who only have a certain number of followers.
When you reach out to bloggers that you want to work with, make sure you have done your research. Know what they write about. Simple things like using their name (not their blog’s name) when reaching out to them can make a world of a difference.
Also, make sure to include a link to your website to make it easy for bloggers to research and learn about your company.
Finally, be open to suggestions from bloggers you are working with. For example, if you want them to feature a handbag from your latest collection, let them develop a story around it. Perhaps they want to show their readers how to take the handbag from day to night.
Allowing bloggers to have creative freedom ensures that they’re not just featuring your brand’s handbag; they’re actually showing their readers how to use it. They are creating a story around the product. If you allow bloggers to put their own spin on the story, then you’ll have several unique voices talking about your product.
Blogger outreach can be time-consuming, but the payoff can’t be ignored. If you haven’t already, consider incorporating blogger outreach into your e-commerce marketing strategy. You’ll soon realize how valuable these digital influencers can be to your brand’s success.