Advertising
Advertising

How to Get a Blogger to Promote Your Product

How to Get a Blogger to Promote Your Product

You have a product or service to promote. You’ve heard great things about “conversational marketing”, “viral marketing”, and the like. On the surface, it seems easy: identify a few big bloggers, schmooze with them a little, and wait for the flood of sales as your chosen bloggers start talking up your product.

It’s a good idea. So good that thousands marketrs and PR folks have been deluging bloggers from the Technorati Top 100 on down with press releases, insulting emails, even bullying tactics to get them to promote their products. So good that Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani posted a list of PR spammers and blocked emails from their domains. So good that the best way to get bad PR from bloggers these days is to try to get good PR from them.

Advertising

What went wrong?

One reason this wonderful idea isn’t working the way it was expected to is that while bloggers have something pretty valuable to offer marketers, marketers so far have had little to offer in return. Likewise, while it costs marketers little to reach out to bloggers, it can potentially cost bloggers quite a bit in terms of lost integrity and lost audiences. Offering a blogger your product for free seems nice, but a blogger can quickly lose their readers’ goodwill if they’re perceived as a shill for some company.

Advertising

Another reason marketers have had a hard time connecting with bloggers has to do with control. Bloggers are, as a rule, a pretty independent bunch. They often feel used when marketers approach them, out of the blue, and ask them to promote their product or service. And bloggers don’t like being used. Most popular bloggers are strong writers and good marketers; they could easily be working in the media, in advertising, or indeed in public relations or marketing if they wanted to (or were able to) sacrifice their independence.

Advertising

But all is not lost…

Reaching out to bloggers is still a good idea, though. Good bloggers have a special kind of rapport with their audiences, and are pretty adept at getting near the top of search engine result pages. Which means that a few kind words about your product on the right kind of blog can have a lot of life — piquing the interest of their regulars and turning up again and again in search results.

The trick is to treat bloggers with respect, both for them as people and for their relationship with their audience. Which means rather than the drive-by pitching that has characterized most efforts to reach bloggers so far, you need to think in terms of building long-term relationships with bloggers.

A few pointers

  • Do your research. Instead of spamming hundreds or thousands of blogs with pitches for your product, identify a handful of bloggers whose audiences will find the most value in your product. Show respect by learning something about the blogger — we make it very easy!
  • Take them seriously. Bloggers fight an uphill battle for legitimacy. You can show a great deal of respect by recognizing both the hard work and the talent that goes into creating a successful blog.
  • Explain yourself. Show that you’ve done your homework by explaining clearly what your product has to offer a blogger’s audience and how you think you can work together.
  • No strings. If you’d like a blogger to have a look at your product, make it absolutely clear that you don’t expect a positive review. Show your respect for the blogger by allowing him or her to make up their own mind about a product and to explain their opinion to their readers in their own way. Asking a blogger to lie for you is the quickest way to a) lose their interest, or worse, b) pan your product mercilessly.
  • Offer gifts, not bribes. This follows from “no strings”, but often marketers want to send t-shirts, pens, or other schwag to bloggers they work with. Nothing wrong with that, but again, make sure you’re not offering goods in return for positive reviews. Offer a gift as a thank you for a blogger’s time and consideration.
  • Do the groundwork. Treat a blog just like any media outlet — provide the blogger with everything she or he needs to properly evaluate your product or service.
  • Follow through. Keep in contact after a blogger has written about your product. Send them a thank you note, a testimonial, figures showing any impact their work might have had on your sales. Link to them from your site. Remember that a lot of blogs are businesses, and a lot of bloggers do related work as their day jobs — knowing their writing helped you increase sales 43% can help them sell ad space, gain new clients for their freelance business, or benefit them in other ways.
  • Ask for private feedback, too. A lot of bloggers will write a selective review of your product geared towards their readerships, while holding a separate personal view of the product. SHow your respect for them as an individual by asking if there’s anything they’d like to say that they chose not to include in their review.
  • Take your lumps graciously. Don’t attack bloggers who pan your product or service; if you’ve done your research and selected appropriate bloggers to pitch to, they’re disinterest in your product is probably a very important piece of information for you! Thank them for their time and move on — don’t, under any condition, “go after” them!

Remember, with rare exceptions, bloggers don’t make a lot of money blogging, and so their audience and their standing in the blogging community are their main rewards. Approaching them with respect for their position and their needs will gain you a lot of respect in return, and you may well find that the blogs you maintain relationships with have become a central part of your marketing strategy — and a set of important relationships in and of themselves.

Advertising

More by this author

How to Become an Expert (And Spot out One Nearby) The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works) Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed Back to Basics: Your Calendar Learn Something New Every Day

Trending in Communication

1 Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again 2 Practical Advice for Overcoming Problems in INFP Relationships 3 How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life 4 7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience 5 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

Advertising

It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

Advertising

3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

Advertising

Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

Advertising

6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

Read Next