5 tips on engaging bloggers

Blogs are a highly trusted source of information for many consumers. Communications and PR experts Pelican gives you five top tips to help maximise their potential for your communications campaign.

Digital public relations specialists have a bit of a love / hate relationship with bloggers. Some days it seems there is an army of people out there trying to blag free product. But when an influential blogger raves about something, we’re over the moon.

For some, blogs seem like an old-school late 90s phenomenon, almost like a hybrid between traditional print media and more modern online tools.

Yet in this age of social media and sharing, people still trust blogs. And brands know it: in a recent (admittedly American) Technorati survey, 65% of brands said that they actively seek to engage with bloggers.

In a league table of most trusted online content, blogs place fifth behind news sites, Facebook, retail sites and YouTube. And they were way ahead of Twitter, brands’ own sites, Google+ and even forums and online mags.

Crucially this trusted content is also shared a lot. Blogs place only behind Facebook and YouTube for sharing.

And, when it comes to making a purchasing decision, blogs are vital placing only behind retail sites and brands’ own sites as the online places most likely to influence a decision.

So, how do you go about building a relationship with them? Follow our top five tips to start on the road to success, get in touch if you feel you need more help.

How to engage: top five tips

Focus: There are 156 million blogs, but there won’t be many that are relevant and influential for your audience. So work out which bloggers you can build a mutually successful relationship with and focus on them. Quality is better than quantity here: a good relationship with five bloggers is way better than a scatter-gun approach with 50.

Get to know them: Good bloggers know what they are talking about, are influential and have been around for a while (and aren’t going anywhere).

Be nice: These guys know what they are talking about, and appreciate an efficient, friendly and no-nonsense approach. They also appreciate being asked for an opinion, and will often have thoughts which can help improve your communications

Provide the right materials: The main tool used is text, but they use photos. And when they upload they will share on Facebook and Twitter. A surprisingly low proportion (15%) post video content.

Don’t expect everything for free: It takes time and effort for a blogger to write about your product, service or organisation. So sometimes, they may ask for a contribution or for help with sponsorship, advertising or even competition prizes. Taking part can make a real difference for the blogger, and shows your appreciation and commitment.

If you have any questions about developing your relationships with bloggers, or with any other part of your communications toolkit, get in touch through the website or call Sarah on 01457 820807.

Pelican Communications are specialists in the environmentfood and drinkoutdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people developmentContact us for marketing and communications expertise.