Bloggers can gain an impressive, loyal following on the social Web through excellent content, communication, and trust built through fellowship and familiarity. Their value to brands is in their influence over consumer purchasing, often in a very specific niche. A nod of approval from the right blogger can seriously increase sales, and having one as a brand advocate is invaluable. Successful Canadian bloggers are that much more valuable, because they’re rare and often come with an engaged Canadian following.
Bloggers can have a significant impact on the success or failure of your products and brand in this country and beyond. The benefits of appearing on a blog include actual or perceived endorsement, traffic directly from the blog post, and social media mentions. Working with bloggers is a remarkably cost-effective way to reach your target market bullseye. Some big brands are even bringing their advocate bloggers into their TV commercials because their opinion is so trusted and valued by consumers.
Managing several blogs (both Canadian and international) has placed me on both the marketing and publishing side of blogging. I receive inquiries from companies every day and I have established relationships with other blogs for marketing purposes. Building relationships comes easily to me but that doesn’t appear to be the case with most people in sales and marketing. They may have a difficult time relating to bloggers on the proper level, instead addressing them as they would mainstream media, retailers or even customers.
Finding Niche Bloggers
Finding suitable bloggers in your niche can be tedious and time-consuming, but the right outreach tool will make the task much easier. Ninja Outreach is our favourite outreach tool for a number of reasons. It offers the most options to help you find bloggers, content influencers and social media influencers. None of the other top tools offer social media outreach and that alone makes this one of the most valuable.
Ninja Outreach also boasts location search filters, outreach templates, prospecting browser plugin, outreach scheduling, auto follow up, and basic reporting data. They have a number of affordable options to suit any company size and you can try it free to ensure it’s the best option for you.
We have a growing list of Popular Canadian Blogs for Blogger Outreach and Guest Posts to help you find bloggers in this country.
Reaching out to Canadian Bloggers
Approaching bloggers isn’t difficult, it’s just different. The most effective approach is to offer them something of value.
Product Testing & Reviews
If you’re launching a new product or if you would like to have a product reviewed by a blogger, ask them. Don’t tell them you’re sending a product sample like you would with a retailer, ask if you may send them some products to be reviewed on their blog.
Keep in mind that testing and writing reviews is time consuming and most bloggers aren’t willing to put all of that effort into reviewing your $4.99 product for the freebie. Offer extra products or company swag (promotional products) for bloggers to use for a contest or simply as a thank you for their effort. There may also be an administrative fee involved.
Be prepared for negative product points to be included in the review, because most bloggers value their readers’ trust above all else. You’re not buying a good review, you’re asking for an honest review.
Bloggers quite often hold small contests that can be widely promoted over the period of a week or more. Offer your product as a prize (at least a $25 value) or double it up and have the blogger review your product at the same time. Company swag, such as branded clothing or products, are popular prizes as well.
I have found that small prize donations rarely offer much benefit to the sponsor or the blog, so I recommend a prize value of at least $100 with a negotiated longer contest run. Consumers will be more interested and the contest will be promoted for a longer period, which results in a higher ROI (Return on Investment).
Guest Posts on Blogs
First and foremost, remember that a guest post is not a press release or an opportunity to promote your products. It’s also not a job for your average marketer. Even a Masters in Marketing does not mean a marketer can write effectively for blogs and social media, because both require talent as much as knowledge. Have a proven online writer research and compose useful content for blogs and offer each article to one blog exclusively.
It is critical that you and your writer check the blog for guest post guidelines and follow them to the letter if you want them to accept your blog post. Bot-generated or ‘spun’ articles written by people who do little more than copy content from other websites, are usually ignored. Ideally, the writer will have their own expertise to share.
The majority of bloggers allow a link in the author bio and that’s where the value for you is. If you want to feature a link within the article itself, you may have to pay a nominal fee. Purchasing “do follow” links will actually have a negative effect on your search ranking these days, so we suggest you not go there.
If advertising information isn’t published on the website, write to the blogger and explain what you’d like to do and ask for rates. Some bloggers have very creative options for advertisers. For example, a few will write a guest post for you and include the link for a fee. This is one of the most valuable methods because it appears as any other post on the blog, as opposed to being a designated guest or sponsored post.
Traditional press releases usually don’t fly with bloggers, unless it’s truly something that their readers will be interested in. When sending a press release to a blogger, tell them briefly why you think their readers will appreciate the information.
Invitations to be interviewed are usually extended by the blogger, but it can’t hurt to mention that you’re available and what your specialties are.
Blog monetization through sponsored links and banner advertising isn’t practiced by all bloggers. Look for advertising information on the blog or send a polite email detailing your requirements. Bloggers can get creative with advertising so don’t be afraid to discuss other ideas with them. For example, some bloggers are paid to appear in their videos or at events wearing a branded shirt.
Your initial correspondence should be professional, direct, polite and appreciative of the blogger’s time. It’s your job to work with the blogger and accommodate his or her style, scheduling and goals.
Once you’ve been mentioned on a blog, promote it with pride via social media or on your corporate blog. A note of thanks to the blogger is also the kind of gesture that promotes good will and keeps the door open.
I’ve enjoyed each and every interaction with bloggers that I’ve had as a marketer. As a result, I’ve built countless relationships with quality bloggers across a wide variety of niche topics. They’re reasonable, intelligent, and a pleasant group overall. Using these tips as a guide will help your brand score similar, mutually-beneficial arrangements with many influential niche bloggers, resulting in valuable, inexpensive marketing and PR.
Have you promoted your products on niche blogs before? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.