Bloggers Add More Value Than You Know

2000 Bloggers collage by Elaine Vigneault

A lot of people talk about blogger outreach but what does it mean and how does it add value? Here’s an overview of what it involves, what you should expect and some tips on how to get the best results.

At its simplest level blogger outreach is the integration of blogger relationships into a Social CRM strategy. By building long-term relationships with relevant and interested bloggers it’s possible to open up a whole new means of broadcasting your message to niche audiences who are actively interested and engaged. In addition, word-of-mouth recommendations from bloggers can be very influential, especially if they have a faithful readership that trust and follow their opinions.

However, it’s worth noting that blogger outreach is one of the hardest aspects of Social CRM to get right as a poorly thought-out strategy can easily backfire and possibly even damage your brand or reputation online. Bloggers can be savage and merciless in exposing ill-informed or overly tactical approaches, and this is why (most but not all) PR agencies often get it wrong.

If you plan to work with bloggers as part of your strategy it’s essential to remember to treat them as individuals and not just another marketing channel. For some time now bloggers have been increasingly treated by some marketers as just another outlet for press releases - yet this technique is the social media equivalent of being cold-called by a double glazing salesman.

Bloggers do not want to feel that they are being used or sold-to. Bloggers are motivated by personal relations and taking part in or initiating on-going conversations. As a result bloggers will almost always only respond to truly personal approaches and will ignore anything that seems like a blanket press release or marketing message. While some bloggers are now very professional, with huge audiences, it’s still important to treat them with respect and remember that unlike traditional media they do not need you or your content to survive.

In exchange, bloggers are often happy to use exclusive content or information that is relevant to them and their readership, once you have begun to build up a direct relationship. Products to review, invitations to events and competition prizes can also be effective – depending on how relevant these activities are to your sector – as successful blogs often rely on a steady stream of constant updates. Expect blogs to be honest however, and don’t expect to guarantee good reviews or favourable coverage if you’re not confident in your product. Bloggers will tell you what they think, not necessarily what you want to hear.

If you can make the process work for you though and you keep your blog contacts happy, you can not only hope to achieve wider online coverage for your product (many blog audiences now surpass traditional  magazine readerships) but also access to another measurable online marketing channel, and the chance to engage with possible future brand advocates.

Here are our five top tips to consider when drawing up your own strategy:

  1. Aim to build long-term stable relationships and not short-term contacts
  2. Know your audience and keep it relevant. Use appropriate forms of communication.
  3. Be honest - bloggers will expose bullshit
  4. Ask bloggers what they want or need from you
  5. Look after your message online - keep it coherent and consistent

Photo (cc) Elaine Vigneault.



Disappointing that you say very little about what unknown values bloggers add, as suggested by the title, and spend most of your time telling the reader how to treat a blogger which is a little to self gratifying for my liking.

Thanks for your feedback Tom.

Thanks for your feedback Tom. Apologies if you feel mislead by the title. I'll put together a follow up blog post to address the point you mention (and took from my title). I also did not want this to sound self-gratifying. Thanks again for your comment.