One of the creative ways in which you can promote your business and products is by partnering with influential bloggers. These are people with a huge daily readership, and who have built a good reputation for great storytelling and authority in the specific niche they cover in their blog. Consequently, if you can get them to promote your products, the authority and level of trust they enjoy from their followers will reflect on your product and business in general.
However…the big issue is determining a blogger to promote your product. Remember that they worked hard to build their reputation and they may lose it in a few moments if they promote indiscriminately various products, some of which are not even related to the scope of their blog. And we all know what happens to damaged reputation: you never get it fully back, no matter how hard you try.
For this reason, it is extremely important to plan very carefully the way in which you will approach these influential bloggers and the arguments you will use in attempting to persuade them to establish a partnership with you. Here are a few useful tips to help you plan:
1. Seek Bloggers within Your Industry
Just like you would not pay for an ad in a car magazine for your shoe store, you should not try to enlist a blogger whose blog has no connection with your industry to promote your product. The first step before even drafting your letter of introduction is to make a clear selection of bloggers who approach topics within the scope of your business.
Use online services such as BuzzSumo, Technocrati, Klout or Tomoson to identify influencers in your specific niche.
2. Engage with Them on the Social Media
Big brands are very smart about keeping a close relationship with their main influencers. For instance, the official Twitter page of Starbucks follows over 100,000 bloggers and influencers who promote their brand. Before you ask them to do you a favour, start by engaging with these bloggers, sharing their content, commenting on their posts. In this way, once you send the letter asking them to promote your products, it won’t come out of nowhere, but from someone who already has an idea what the blogger is all about.
3. Be Polite and Friendly
You are talking with a person, so use their name when addressing them. Do not style your letter as a PR or press release. Instead, imagine you’ve invited the blogger out for a coffee and you are speaking to them directly, telling them what your business is about and how you think their readers would benefit from the promotion of your products. Remember that it is not only about you and your business – the blogger needs to get something out of this collaboration. This takes us to the next point…
4. Do Not Attempt to Bribe Bloggers
Offering to pay for the promotion of your products, when the blogger has not set up a Work with Me or Hire Me badge on their site looks like bribe. Telling them that once they finish testing the product they can keep it is also a bribe. Saying that you will bring X followers on their blog if they write nice things about your product is the worst kind of bribe.
Instead, be open and honest about the whole thing: ask bloggers to test your products and give their honest opinion about them. Offer them gifts, but not conditioned by anything – and to remove the impression that they may be conditioned, only offer these gifts on special occasions (Christmas, Easter, the blogger’s birthday, etc.).
5. Provide Content for Bloggers to Work On
Make sure that you can offer bloggers who accept to work with you sufficient materials to learn more about your products and business model. Prepare media kits containing high quality photos and video demonstrations of your products, keep your company website and blog up to date, and remember to share back on your social media whatever the blogger publishes in relation to your company.
Thus, by following these common sense steps, you will be able to build a solid and long-term relationship with prominent bloggers, who will help you spread more awareness about your business and products.