Publicity – A.K.A getting others (media, bloggers, social media influencers) to share your stuff for free – has been around for donkey’s years.
As a brand selling direct-to-consumers or an eCommerce store, there are three solid reasons why you want to get bloggers or influencers to share your content. (That could be sharing your blogs, information about your products, or your promotions.)
1. It helps to build brand awareness with your ideal customers.
(It’s fairly obvious that if people don’t know your brand exists it’ll be much harder to get customers buying from you)
2. You’ll gain credibility by aligning your brand with a blogger or influencer.
(Potential customers are more likely to be receptive to recommendations from a person they respect and trust)
3. You’ll get more traffic to your website.
(Not just any traffic – quality traffic. You want people who are likely to be your ideal customers. So you don’t want just any old blogger or influencer to share your stuff…)
Bonus reason 4. You’ll get picked up by wholesale stockists.
For many new brands, it can be really hard to break into the wholesale market. Retailers often don’t take phone calls or answer emails, and trade shows are expensive. But, when retailers see a new brand or product go OFF on social media, they’ll approach you in a giffy!
Read my 4 steps to getting bloggers or influencers to share your stuff
Step #1: Identify bloggers & influencers
As I alluded to above, you don’t want just anyone sharing your content. You want to identify media, bloggers and influencers whose audience is similar to your own ideal customers.
So your first step is to generate a list of bloggers or influencers in your niche whose audience you’d love to get in front of. (Grab my free Influencer Outreach List Template if you’d like.)
Your list can include individuals who write their own blog or have a following on social media channels like Facebook or Instagram.
(Note: I am not talking about ‘brand reps’ which is a term that has grown to mean Instagrammers who represent your brand by creating and sharing content about your brand to their followers on Instagram. I’ll talk about that another day…)
Your list can also include more commercial-style blogs that run a bit more like a digital magazine, such as Mamamia for instance.
Start by listing these bloggers and influencers in a simple spreadsheet. Include the blog URL, blogger or influencer’s name, their social media handles and, if possible, their contact details (email is ideal).
Step #2: Organise your list into tiers
Not all bloggers and influencers are equal: some will have more followers, some will have more engagement. And it’s hard to know which will send the most quality traffic to your website.
Sometimes a blogger or influencer with a smaller but more engaged following will produce more sales for you than a bigger blog with a bigger following. You want to review metrics such as how many followers they have and how many comments they have on their social media posts or blog. You also want to consider how closely aligned their audience is with your ideal customer.
Ultimately, the bigger the blog with the best match in terms of your product category or industry niche, the better.
So the next step is to try and group your list into tiers: tier 1 is the ‘biggest and best’, tier 2 is mid-level and tier 3 would be the smaller blogs or influencers who have fewer followers.
Add these details to your spreadsheet and then organise in order of tiers. This will help you to focus your efforts in the right places so you get the biggest bang for your buck. (Or best return on effort!)
Step #3: Build relationships
In the next step I’ll share how to actually reach out to bloggers and influencers to ask them to share YOUR content.
But before you do that, you want to start warming up your hit-list first.
Specifically, start building a relationship with your Tier 1 list. It’ll take longer to get these bloggers and influencers to share your stuff compared to the Tier 2 and 3 list.
When it comes to the Tier 2 and 3 bloggers or influencers on your list, you may get a positive response by reaching out to them straight away.
Generally I find that the smaller or newer bloggers will be quicker to share your content than the bigger or more established players.
So how do you develop a relationship with the top-tier blogs in your industry niche?
- Share their content on social media (make sure to mention their handle so they see your share);
- Engage with them on social media, commenting on their posts or answering questions posted by their followers;
- Share your thoughts and insights by commenting on their blog. Be specific in your comments, not something generic like ‘this is great!’;
- Send a complimentary email; OR
- Invite them to a VIP event just for a select group of bloggers.
A friend of mine used this last tactic beautifully in her business. She invited 10 bloggers to a gorgeous high tea event where they were pampered with champagne, a gift bag, and she told them her story. A couple of those bloggers went on to become regular advocates of her brand, sharing her content and promoting her products.
Step #4: Get in touch
Lots of women I know are scared of this bit. It attracts a similar fear-factor to cold calling. But I promise, this step is much easier once you’ve made the effort to warm up your audience and build relationships with the bloggers and influencers on your list.
Remember, the goal here is to get these influencers to share your content. This usually happens in the form of a re-tweet or shared post on Facebook or Instagram, but can sometimes also be shared via email to their list.
Ideally you will make contact via the blogger’s email address uncovered in step 1, but if that’s not available use their contact form instead.
Use a subject line something like, ‘I think you’d enjoy this article’
Followed by a simple email, personalised with their name:
As someone who is passionate about [Topic], I thought you’d be interested in a new post I just published on [Topic]:
Share the URL
Hope you enjoy it!
Keep the good stuff rolling at [Their Blog Name] 🙂
You’re not asking for anything specific, so keep the email short and sweet.
If you’ve actually mentioned this blogger or influencer in your blog, you would vary this email by mentioning this fact. (Some people are more likely to share your stuff if there’s something in it for them, such as a link or greater visibility.)
If you get a share, SAY THANK YOU! There’s nothing more annoying than an ungrateful so-and-so, so remember your manners!
Secondly, if you get a mention on their blog or social media pages, include their name or logo plus a link back to their blog or social media page on your own website. I like to see an ‘As seen in’ page on direct-to-consumer brand and eCommerce websites.
Grab my free Influencer Outreach List Template
Let me save you the effort of creating your own. Download my free template and get cracking with reaching out to bloggers and influencers today!