Over the last two+ years, we’ve had the privilege of running more than 500 blogger campaigns for SheBlogs.org and HealthyBlogging.net. We’ve seen successful campaigns, and we’ve seen successful campaigns that blew away even our expectations, with hundreds of reviews, write-ups and social media posts.
What made the difference between these campaigns and others? Here are five tips to help boost your response rates when pitching the blogosphere:
- Be Personal. A well-written, technically-correct press release is great for traditional newswires, but offering a personal touch that tells the story about used lawn tractors for sale is what will get a response from our bloggers. If your product is a time-saver for busy moms, spell it out. If your service keeps budget-conscious fashionistas find the season’s hottest products at the best prices, give examples.
With more than 3,500 female bloggers in our community, finding a perfect match for your product or service is easy – and making your pitches and releases personal lets our bloggers know you’re interested in them.
- Be Relevant. We’ve worked with dozens of companies that have come to us with products or services that they’d like to promote, without necessarily having a news hook. It doesn’t take a feature or news announcement to be relevant for the blogosphere. Feature pitches, contests, or news event tie-ins are perfect ways to prove to our bloggers that your product is worth writing about, and that now’s the time to do it.
- Be Specific. Be specific about the types of bloggers you’re interested in working with – whether you’re looking for those in a certain geographic area, within a certain age group, or with certain coverage areas, our bloggers appreciate specific requests, and many will help spread the word to their own network of contacts if they know that there are specific criteria you’re looking for. If you have product samples available for bloggers who meet specific criteria, spell them out in the pitch.
- Be Prompt. The more cooperative you are with the bloggers, the more buzz goes around about your promotion. Bloggers do talk, both on our SheBlogs.org site and in our internal social network, about the responses they’re getting from PR pros.
Those who respond quickly, send samples or images promptly, and who cooperate have regular buzz going around, which drives more coverage and interest. PR pros who don’t respond to queries or take a long time to send images, samples, or answers to questions drive negative buzz from the community, which can be a buzz kill.
Comments such as “Just got my used Craftsman riding mower and its great!” encourage more bloggers to reach out, whereas comments like, “Emailed three weeks ago and haven’t heard back,” turn bloggers off. Even if you can’t accommodate all requests, a simple, “Thanks for your interest, maybe next time,” goes a long way.
- Incentivize. No no no – we don’t mean pay per post. However, just like with a traditional reporter, bloggers need a reason to write. If you have a product, expect to distribute a sample if you’re seeking reviews. Bloggers, unlike large media outlets, don’t have the budget to go out and buy every product they review – which is why many bloggers start out writing about the products they use every day, so offering a discount code for a blogger to buy your product isn’t going to receive the same level of response as offering actual samples.
Can’t give out unlimited samples? Contests are a great way to drive buzz and coverage while managing a limited number of product giveaways or a small prize package. One company saw 75+ blog posts within a 72 hour window based on a $40 prize package! Offering a discount code for bloggers to share with their readers is another great way to draw posts.