There was a time when retailers had to rely on big platforms and channels for their marketing efforts. To promote products, they had to purchase ads on radio and televisions stations or in magazines and newspapers.
But that’s not the case today.
Thanks to the power of digital publishing and social media, retailers no longer need to rely solely on big-scale advertisers. Bloggers can review products and bring some serious traffic flow to your site.
Here is everything you need to know about using bloggers as advertisers by getting them to review products on their blogs.
Strategically look for bloggers who review products
Getting your products featured on a blog starts with blogger outreach — strategic blogger outreach. Don’t make the mistake of reaching out to every blogger you see. Instead, target bloggers who will be most likely to feature your products.
Look for bloggers who:
- Review products. There is no point in reaching out to bloggers if they don’t write reviews in the first place.
- Write best-of lists. Bloggers who regularly create lists of products will be even more likely to review your item.
- Have ties to your industry. You aren’t restricted to bloggers in your specific niche. You can reach out to bloggers in other industries, but only if you have a way to show why your product is relevant to their trade.
Target the right type of blogs
Don’t want to waste time reaching out to the wrong bloggers or the wrong blogs. You want your products to appear on sites that will get you the most exposure, so look for high-authority sites that can connect you with a larger audience.
Look for sites that have:
A large readership. Target blogs that regularly publish content, have a lot of comments and social shares, and boast a large email list (blogs with large email lists often note this somewhere on their site, usually near their opt-in).
A strong social following. Consider the blog and blogger’s social following. If they have a lot of followers and review products, your goods will likely make it in front of their social audience.
High domain authority. Moz offers a free monitoring tool that tells you the domain authority of a website, which represents a page’s ability to rank on search engine results. Use this tool to see if a blog ranks high in search engines and has the potential to reach a larger audience.
Make your outreach efforts personal and concise
Once you find the right bloggers and blogs, start your outreach efforts. Contact bloggers to see if they’re interested or willing to review products to promote your business.
When reaching out to bloggers:
- Don’t use an email template that you copy and paste for each blogger. Instead, make your correspondence personal.
- Say something specific about the blogger’s website. Comment on something they recently published to make the email feel personalized.
- Don’t bombard bloggers with too many details in your first email. Make the introduction and then once the blogger agrees to write the post, provide the detailed information they need.
- Follow up, but don’t be pushy. Bloggers get a lot of requests to cover products. So if you don’t hear from them, follow up once. They might have missed your email. But after that, let it go. They’re probably not interested and won’t be swayed by incessant follow-up emails.
Provide supporting information when you send your product
Make it easy for bloggers to write about your product by sending information to help them create their posts.
Provide bloggers with:
- Press releases. Provide information about your product, mission and brand.
- Product specs. Share specific details about your product (type of material, sizes, dimensions, etc.).
- Sample descriptions. Help the blogger see how you present your product’s benefits and features.
- Appropriately sized, professional photos. Offer high-quality images to accompany the blog post, but don’t bog down the site with huge files.
- Links to your digital platforms. Draw traffic back to all of your web properties.
Offer freebies, but don’t make bribes
Sending samples or free products to bloggers will increase your odds of receiving coverage. When the blogger sees your product in person, they can accurately review products and take their own photos. Many bloggers only write reviews of products they have seen in person.
You can and should send free samples to bloggers. But make sure it never comes off as a bribe. Your goal should be providing a resource for their story — not providing a product in exchange for an article.
Set your expectations and know the legal rules
There are legal FTC rules when it comes to endorsing or writing about products on blogs and social media, especially if there is an exchange between the retailer and the blogger. So, be sure to know what to expect from the blogger.
- If there is an exchange of high-value goods or money between you and the blogger, their post will likely feature a note tagging it as a sponsored post. Bloggers must disclose if they received high-value products or payment in exchange for writing a post.
- If there is an exchange of low-value goods between you and the blogger, their post will likely feature a note that says the blogger received goods in exchange for the story. Bloggers keep their readers’ trust by sharing these details.
- The review might not always be positive. When you ask bloggers to feature your product, you will likely not get to dictate the editorial content of the post. Bloggers also keep their readers’ trust by sharing their true views of the products they cover.
Find yourself a blogger
Getting bloggers to introduce your products to their readers is a powerful way to increase brand awareness, build your online authority, and boost sales. But don’t jump into this approach without a plan.
Use these tips to strategically set up a blogger-outreach plan that gets your products in front of the right audiences and the right places while using smart, legal and ethical practices. And if you want more tips for effective email outreach, check out this post.
Also published on Medium.