The Secrets of Standing Out in a Crowded Marketplace

The Internet is saturated with content all jockeying for a position where the most eyeballs will see it. It’s hard to stand out from the crowd. That’s why you want to reach an influential blogger. One positive blog that goes out to thousands of followers could really boost your business’s sales, add to your credibility, and give you the coveted backlinks that Google takes into account for search rankings. The fact is, bloggers can do so much for your online presence. But for some reason, they can be tough to reach, no matter how you’ve contacted them. Why? And what can you do about it?

Here are some guidelines to follow when you reach out to bloggers:

Know WHOM you’re targeting.

To be celebrated on Twitter is great no matter who is singing your praises. However, an account that has under 500 followers won’t be as effective. There are also bloggers who have an agenda that you may not know. They might be selling something, and if your product represents competition, you won’t hear a peep back from that blogger. Keep these things in mind, and do your research.

Research!

Did we mention you need to research whom you’re contacting? Some people cast a very wide net, or, as it has been called, the “spray-and-pray” approach. This isn’t wise. Did you know that top-rated bloggers get hundreds of pitches and press releases every day? Many of these pitches don’t even know what the blogger blogs about! Someone who blogs about technology may receive a press release about discounts on swimwear. Obviously, they haven’t done their homework, and it leaves a bad impression on the blogger. Of course irrelevant topics won’t appear on that blog.

Don’t pitch like an amateur.

Ineffective pitching may be really easy to do, but don’t do it! Make sure you know that the blog is relevant to your industry. Don’t pretend you’ve read a blog that you haven’t. And please don’t follow-up with aggressive, harassing emails if you haven’t heard back in only a few days. This is unprofessional. Another bane of a blogger’s existence is receiving emails with huge attachments. You can be sure that many people will delete these emails because of the risk of viruses. Especially if they don’t know you, they might be suspicious of attachments. Everyone has different policies regarding how they accept emails, but this is not the way to go.

Take your time.

Reaching a blogger and getting your desired result doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a relationship with the blogger. This seems like a counterintuitive approach in an instant gratification culture. People don’t want to wait. They want instant results. But pitching to a blogger isn’t like the old days of mailing out press releases to media contacts. You need to spend more time building your contact database and keeping up with who moves to another organization. Think of the “walking into a party” analogy. If you go to a party where you hope to network with people, you wouldn’t dream of annoying them by bursting in and shouting to all of them about how great you are. You would approach someone, find out if she shares your interests (industry), then begin a conversation that lays the groundwork for future contacts. You might also consider providing her with something useful. The same is true with pitching bloggers. Provide them with information that may be useful to their blog. Give them something helpful, and they’ll be more likely to sing your praises later.

The bottom line: do your homework. Know what topics a blogger covers, take the time to read what she writes so you know how your content may be covered, and take the time to build a relationship.

Influencer marketing is a different animal than the old days of direct mail. So you have to approach it differently. Have patience, and the results will be worth it.

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