Who Can Speak to Your Audience for You? Bloggers.

25% of US Internet users read blogs, according to Forrester. That’s a lot of people! They are out there consuming, trusting and reacting to content created by others that they find valuable.

Brands are getting more involved with social media every day, and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up with what your brand is going to say that you forget what others can say for you. That’s where bloggers come in because there are opportunities to match your brand’s message with a blogger who has influence over your consumers.

Bloggers offer unbiased, third-party endorsements for brands, products and services to their readers, and their opinions matter to your customers, which means they should matter to you as well. Bringing bloggers into the fold by introducing them to your brand through blogger outreach can be an effective tactic for generating trial and positive referrals.

The Right Brand With the Right Bloggers

Depending upon the brand and the customers, different blogs will be chosen for outreach. Aligning the brand/product with the right audience and the right blogger is necessary for leveraging blogs for business. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a blogger who doesn’t care about what you have to say, and efforts are wasted.

Bloggers are smart and powerful. When interacting with a blogger, brands need to understand his or her individual ground rules and content. Whether they state this or not, honesty is necessary and disclosure of who you are is a must.

Bloggers offer unbiased opinions, and no matter what they write, you should want to know about it. Be sure to have a plan in place for listening. You don’t want a blogger to be dissatisfied with your product and write a post. React as you would with an unhappy customer: ask what the problem is, apologize and do your best to fix it. You could turn a brand detractor into one of your biggest advocates—how cool is that?!

Use Compelling Outreach to Incite Interest.

Once you’ve identified the bloggers, contact them with compelling outreach, custom to each person. Some bloggers receive massive amounts of e-mails everyday, so it needs to be clear why they should be interested in what you have to say. Be respectful and willing to offer them the resources they need.

Keep the Dialogue Open

With blogger outreach complete the real opportunity begins. Identify the bloggers who have the most potential to be your brand advocates. Those who love your brand can be leveraged for future efforts, so don’t stop interacting with them once they’ve written a post.

It Pays Off.

Whether your brand is completely engaged in social media by listening, conversing and spreading content or not quite sure how to get involved in the conversation, blogger outreach is an effective tactic. When done well, it can provide positive organic search results, third-party endorsements and influential brand advocates that can be leveraged in the future.