Recently, I read an article on Marketing Vox that really surprised me, in a good way. According to TubeMogul, 80% of referred traffic to online videos comes directly from blogs. As a digital publicist who often services online videos to bloggers, this thrilled me, and also reminded me of the importance of blogger relations. When it comes to digital publicity, the ever-evolving digital world isn’t quite the same as the traditional print/broadcast world, but public relations remains public relations. The same main rules apply: know your audience and educate yourself on the media or bloggers that you are reaching out to.
The blogosphere is a seemingly never-ending space with many niche blogs, so here are a few quick “best practice” recommendations for blogger relations:
Research, Research, Research
· This may seem obvious, but make sure you read the blog. Actually read it. Read the blog entries, read the comments, read the bio page and even check out the blogroll. This will give you a full sense of the blogger’s “beat”, personality, likes and dislikes and ultimately help you make the decision if this is the right blog to target.
· Participate in the blogger’s community. This is a great ice-breaker for that first pitch. It shows you have invested time with their blog.
· Why should this particular blogger care about your pitch? If you can’t answer this yourself, they probably won’t care. If you can answer this, include that information in your pitch.
· Look at the previous blog entries and the categories of the archived items. Does your message fit in with what the blogger has written about in the past?
Remember That Blogger ≠ Traditional Journalist
· Even if your message seems newsworthy to you, a blogger may not find it to be newsworthy. Make sure your message fits in with the “beat” of the blog.
· Bloggers do not have editors or a staff (usually), so they write about what interests them, not just about current news.
· Gone are the days when you are often in the same town as someone you are working with, so connect with bloggers in anyway possible. Utilize social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to take your working relationship to a more personal level.
· Bloggers are real people who are very busy, and often have full time jobs in addition to their blog. By sending a simple follow up note, you are getting your message in front of the blogger one more time. Following up once is enough to show you care about their opinion.
· Public relations, especially digital publicity, is about more than just pitching. It evolves to a sort of customer service where you need to go back into the space to respond to people talking about your message.
Finally, assets like video and photo really help to grab the attention of a blogger. If you do your research and get your video into the hands of a receptive, passionate blogger who wants to share your message, you’ll likely become a force behind that 80% statistic as well.