You may have read an awful lot about blogger outreach campaigns – how to build one, tools to find bloggers, etc. A blogger outreach campaign can indeed be an effective complement to your existing marketing efforts. It can help you identify new customer segments, build relationships, and reach new prospective customers. But if you’re just focused on bloggers, you may be missing a some crucial pieces to the outreach puzzle.
As we like to say here at Tuvel, our outreach campaigns go “beyond the blogger.” The research we do before launching an outreach campaign digs deep to find marketing channels that reach potential customers where they hang out online. Think about your customers and where they might be searching for information on your product, company or event. Sure, they’ll be reading blogs; but they may also be looking in other places:
Forums: Forums are certainly not dead yet! They were social media before Twitter and Facebook came along, and there are still many active online forums going strong. If your company is in the technology industry, for example, you should definitely take the time to identify the non-corporate support forums out there where thousands of your customers are discussing your products.
E-mail Discussion Lists: Yes, these are still going strong too. In fact, I’m a member of a very active and useful e-mail list, DC Web Women. These can be great for campaigns focused on specific topics, such as advocacy campaigns. By reaching out to list moderators to educate them about your cause and provide them with useful content, you can build valuable relationships that lead to fruitful discussions.
User Groups: Again, if you’re in the tech industry, it would behoove you to identify the top user groups for your products or related products and look for ways to build mutually-beneficial relationships. Many user groups offer discounts and free product trials to their members that have been provided by corporate sponsors. You may also be interested in presenting at meetings of local user groups to introduce your company and products to them.
Newsletters: Almost every industry has professional associations, societies and communities – many of which communicate with members with regular e-newsletters. Look for opportunities to provide information to those groups that can be included in their next newsletter, but make sure you understand what kind of content they would want to include first. If possible, find an archived copy on their website. Then, approach the editor with content they would be interested in.
In the next post, I’ll be giving you some tools and tips for finding and reaching out to contacts within these marketing channels.