Part One: How to find bloggers & Online Media
If you have a product-based business or brand, getting a blogger or online influencer to feature your product is one of the best ways to get low cost promotion online.
Public relations agencies rely on online media relationships almost as much as their traditional media relationships. Social media, newsletters and contest giveaways provide the ROI and SEO to prove that increasing your online presence on blogs automatically upgrades your brand online. As part of your marketing communication plan, you can choose to use an outside agency or in-house PR team. There are positive and negatives to each option.
In a perfect world and with the right budget and manpower, you can have an in-house team working on local media, bloggers and spokespeople or brand ambassador pitching. to compliment this, a PR agency can handle the major media- more traditional for TV spots, print media and product placement.
If you choose to bring PR in-house, researching online influencers is the first step. use the old cloud brand brainstorm.Write your brand and circle it in the middle of a page. Next, draw stems and list all the top categories your brand is related to.
- What type of blogger would you want to promote you?
- What type of blogger would be interested in your product?
Start by keeping the net wide; use the basic categories such as: Food, Health, Sport, Fashion, and Music etc. Now, let’s move to using your categories to find relevant online influencers.
Depending on your product, you can really find a huge number of like-minded bloggers on various social sites.
How do I Find Bloggers?
Searching is easy, but time consuming. Start with an excel sheet. Name the tabs per pitch. (If you are starting your pitch from scratch, then name your initial search ‘Master List’ and categorize each blogger in their respective areas researched above.)
Twitter search is one of the better ways to find influencers. Why?
- Basic- if they are on Twitter, they are socially aware.
- Users that are active on Twitter, are usually active on their blogs.
- The larger their followers, the easier it is to weed out who you want/don’t want to work with.
Searching on Twitter used to be easier. There was a section when you landed on another Twitter profile that would say, ‘Similar to Profile’, but now it just says ‘Who to Follow’. ‘Similar to Profile’: This tells you people that are similar to the profile you are on. This was great for finding more bloggers similar to the one you found. You could keep right-clicking and opening up profiles as you find them. ‘Who to Follow’: Is just a list of people you should follow, based you your own profile. Nothing to do with the profile you are on.
What are you left with now? Searching using hashtags! (You can also use basic words, but that could get crazy. So stick to hashtags. )
Start making a list of ‘Related Hashtags’. To make it easier, you can call it: ‘brand relevant keywords’. You’d use them for SEO, Google search marketing or tagging for articles or blog posts on your own website. Keep these handy for your whole team- pull them from your mission statement. These keywords are your brand in a bubble, they are the various descriptions of what your brand is about.
Once you’ve added a hashtag into the Twitter Search, a few filter options will appear on the left hand side:
Tweets> Anyone that has used that hashtag in a recent tweet. Depending on the tweet- open their profiles, follow them if they are relevant and open their website url to see if who they are.
People> Any people who regularly use that hashtag- relates to their profile. Use this for your main search. Open their profiles, follow them if they are relevant and open their website url to see if who they are.
- Top Photos>Photos with that hashtag
- Top Videos> Videos with that hashtag
Things to keep in mind when researching on Twitter:
- Use a range for followers. Stick to a minimum you think is acceptable for you.
- Sometimes they can have a ton of followers and a non-relevant site, so look further than the #’s.
- The above, but vice-versa.
Google Blog Search
Researching usually starts on Google. Start off with using Google blog search to see if anyone has ever blogger about your product before.
- Bring up the Google search bar- click on the filter of Blogs.
- Google will then search within any relevant blogs to your brand/product.
- Start your research of anyone talking about you here
Note: Google alerts are key for any yammering about your brand online. Make sure you have a good group of alerts emailed to you ‘when they happen’ so you know what’s being said about you online.
Part 2: How to Search Within Blogs and Sending the first blog pitch.
Written by: Cristina Pagnucco, Social Media Specialist, Longevity Graphics
Questions about this article? Email me [email protected]