There is no good social media strategy that doesn’t at least consider some form of blogger outreach and engagement. That’s because bloggers and their communities act as an extremely powerful force with their influence and opinions. But some B2B companies seem to feel left out of the blogger engagement, considering it a strategy that can only be successful for B2C purposes. As you might have guessed from the title of this post: That is not true.
There is no reason that you can’t use blogger outreach and engagement as a part of an effective social media strategy, even as a B2B company. B2B sales, after all, is largely about networking and what better way to network that to get your message in front of a massive blog-reading audience organically?
Think of it this way: even though your ultimate goal is to generate leads and make a sale to other businesses, in order to do that you need to find the people that work for those businesses. And those people are everywhere, including blogs.
The first step to a successful B2B blogger engagement program is to figure out what kind of blogs your most valuable clients are reading. Most likely, they read niche blogs that keep them up to date with the goings on of their particular industry. There are also some general types of blogs that a wide variety of people, not just your clients, read, but it’s better to keep your focus narrow when you’re developing your strategy. Use one of the many available blogger outreach tools to find the blogs that exist in that particular area. Compile a list of relevant blogs and you will be on your way to gaining the attention of important online voices.
Before you begin your campaign in earnest, you should sit down and consider what you want to gain from a blogger engagement program. Are you only focused on generating direct sales? If so, blogger outreach may not be the best venue. But if you want to develop a relationship with a thought leader in your industry and potentially earn an endorsement to their audience, blogger engagement can quite effective.
Remember that no matter what kind of company you are, utilizing blogger engagement means creating a relationship. This means that your first contact with the blogger shouldn’t be your pitch. Instead, spend time getting to know the issues that they care about and blog about. Add comments to their blog posts. Retweet them. Get to know them and let them know you.
Once you’ve made an effort to initiate a relationship, you can send the blogger a direct message, whether that’s on Twitter or via email. Don’t pitch them or ask for a product review, just let them know who you are and see where things go. You’ll quickly be able to gauge whether the blogger is open to furthering the relationship with a sponsored post, a product giveaway, or other promotional event.
Finding a popular blogger that can be an evalgelist for your brand can be powerful for a B2B company. Not only can they recommend your product or services directly to their audience, they can link people to your site – people who are decision makers, people who are leads.