...if you're not paying attention and being memorable! For the past two years, I've seen countless amounts of posts about the appropriate way to pitch bloggers. Many of these posts are the same, but occasionally, it's nice to have a reminder that short cuts won't work. Today, Matt Dickman posts about the topic from his perspective. In his post, Matt revisits tactics that should be common knowledge for many people by now, but sadly, it isn't.
I spend a great deal of time investigating the best approach for establishing relationships with Bloggers. As a Marketer, my goal is to help introduce my clients to Influential bloggers not solely for the purpose of covering news and products, but to help start what I believe will be, and should be, a lucrative relationship. As you can imagine, there are often many challenges. Whether it's time, identifying the appropriate individuals to participate, or standing out from the crowd of PR people who are throwing releases over the fence, there is always a need for something new and fresh.
I'm a big believer that PR Agencies and Professionals should definitely be adopting blogger outreach activities. It's important to keep Influential bloggers informed and provide them with opportunities to engage with the brand. However, Social Media open opportunities to build relationships beyond the traditional press pitch, release and pre-brief. Essentially, the PR agency is only capable of taking the conversation so far.
So what do I mean by that?
Sending press pitches and releases to bloggers is a wise idea. Especially if you've adopted the Social Media Press Release idea. Pretty pictures can always grab attention, but it's no more personal than the traditional pitch. Sure, it makes it easier for the blogger to access all of the content they need to post about your news, but does it encourage a conversation? Most of us should know by now that conversation creates relationships. If I deliver a monologue to an audience of one while holding up a few photos and logos am I likely to establish a long lasting connection?
As a former PR guy, I always viewed pitch writing as a creative opportunity. A way to flex a bit from the standard press release. However, it was still just text...and maybe it's just me, but I don't connect well with text. Every once in awhile someone will send me a pitch about their new product or service and I'll read the email a few times and visit the site to check it out, but when I close my email, it's lost and gone forever. Before you know it, it's old news.
When thinking about blogger outreach, it may be better to think small. Instead of creating a list of 200 bloggers to reach out to, try focusing on the key 15-20. If you're target list is too big, how can you customize each pitch and participate in the conversation? If you're only contact a handful of people, isn't it possible to come up with a rich experience that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Absolutely! By leveraging marketers and creative resources, you have the power to make a statement and be memorable. Why confine yourself to the small box that is text? Too often, we as marketers spend too much time thinking about the bigger conversation. How do we reach the masses using social media? How do we leverage Influencers to deliver our message to potential customers?
We should be more micro in our thinking. How do we have the conversation with the one person who is conversing with many?
We're all still in a time of evolution and experimentation, so where we'll be two years from now is still anyone's guess. The one thing we do know, is how do we measure success? How do we justify the budget spend to create materials solely for 15-20 people? Why should I spend $10k for creative to deliver the message to such a small audience when I can spend the same amount and pitch 200 bloggers?
I think it would be wise for all of us to start thinking about the real value. Reaching out to 200 bloggers is risky. If you're approach is too standard, you could be the next person featured on Jaffe Juice for your poor pitch strategy. Additionally, what is your success rate for coverage? 10% maybe 20% depending on the quality of your news. Essentially, the majority of your spend produced zero results. Sure, you've only spent $50 per Influencer contacted, but the resulting coverage cost $1,000/$500 per hit.
Now, if you reach out to 15-20 key Influencers with a rich experience that starts the conversation, you're odds for success may be much higher. Based on your approach, Influencers may be willing to cover your news as well as the unique way you approached them. Assume that of the 20 Influencers included in the campaign, half of them covered your news via a post on their blog, the numbers look like this: $500 per Influencer contacted and a coverage cost of $1,000 per hit.
Hmmmm? Interesting. And this doesn't even take into account the conversation that would occur with the influencer (which is much easier to manage on the small scale) and the distribution of more rich materials instead of a press release. Same costs, same coverage, better results.
Something to think about. Feel free to send me a message with any ideas or thoughts...after all, we are all still learning and evolving!