There has been a lot of buzz regarding the importance of blogger outreach. But getting your foot through the door with legitimate bloggers is not a task for the faint of heart; it should not be automated, and it takes time, resources, and persistence. Is blogger outreach worth the effort? You bet it is.
Why does blogger outreach matter?
As is the case with all forms of content marketing, it can be difficult to get buy-in from colleagues. Blogger outreach, like webinars, white papers, blogging, and other content strategies, is time intensive–results do not happen overnight. After all, bloggers are humans too, and developing genuine relationships takes time.
Yet, making the time to build these relationships within the blogosphere is well worth the effort. Ignoring the ever-increasing role that bloggers play in marketing, is turning your back on the opportunity to build social proof for your product or service. Our job as marketers is to persuade our target audiences that our products are the best. Yet, how can we convince anyone we rock when we are the only ones saying so? Saying you rock isn’t cool; bloggers saying you rock, to an extremely engaged and qualified niche, is.
A crash course in the Principle of Social Proof
What is the first thing you do when evaluating a product or service? Perhaps you ask a friend if they have tried it? Or perhaps you search for testimonials and reviews? When I was asked by my manager to research Search Engine Optimization conferences I could attend as part of my professional development, the first thing I did was head over to the SEOMoz Community and search “SEO Conferences.” This community of extremely helpful “marketing geeks” was the most trustworthy place I could turn to. The recommendations on this forum felt authentic because they were organic and real conversations from objective individuals.
My need to seek out third-party validation before selecting an SEO conference is the tenant of social proof at play. Social proof, one of the six principles of persuasion as identified by Robert B. Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, “suggests that we tend to look to others to decide what to do, especially when we are uncertain about the correct behavior.” When in doubt, paying attention to what other people are saying and doing can have a powerful influence on us, especially if we perceive them to have a lot in common with us.
Having bloggers who are respected and influential within your industry endorse your company provides social proof that your product is the real deal. In fact, getting just one blogger to link back to your corporate site can provide SEO value for years to come. If you would like to get started with your blogger outreach strategy, I would recommend checking out 8 Tips for Blogger Outreach by the crew @Distilled. In time, you should be well on your way to building a network of bloggers who will be able to spread the good word about your products and services.