Today I’m in Nashville, TN at the Blissdom conference. This is a gathering of women (and a handful of men) who are an incredibly influential force on the web. They are bloggers. They blog about their families, crafts and home projects, saving money, and more. And when these folks write, people listen, and take their advice.
Brands have learned that tapping into this well-connected network can be very, very good for sales. That’s one of the reasons so many big brands are here at this conference, providing freebies and conference sponsorships.
There is certainly an art to working with bloggers. You can’t just give them your product, walk away, and expect them to write about it. But when you take the time to read blogs of people who might be influencers of your target market, comment on those blogs, and get to know them, you may find some strategic partnerships that benefit your brand.
If you’re a direct sales company, I highly recommend you spend some time searching for blogs that may be good fits for your company and become familiar with them. You also need to add policies for your salesforce regarding who is allowed to reach out to bloggers. After all, you don’t want bloggers, especially the biggest bloggers, to become overwhelmed with too many pitches from your salesforce.
And if you’re a direct seller, ask your company what the policy is about reaching out to bloggers. Smaller bloggers might be a perfect opportunity for your to market your individual business.
Before beginning any blogger outreach, however, read this article from the Kikolani blog first: http://kikolani.com/successful-blogger-outreach-what-to-do-and-what-to-avoid.html It has some excellent tips on how to approach this properly.
Working with bloggers can bring real benefits to your business. But don’t expect a one-size-fits-all approach, and don’t think you can just drop your products on a blogger and walk away. Just like all things social, relationships make a big difference, and can help you have a successful experience in promoting your product and opportunity online.
Have you worked with bloggers? What has been your experience? What questions do you have about this? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.