Last week I sat on a panel focusing on how to build successful blogger relationships, called “Getting in with the Mom Crowd,” hosted by the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC). Joining me on the panel were local bloggers Beth Engleman of Mommy on a Shoestring, Kim Moldofsky of Hormone-colored Days and Cindy Richards of TravelingMom.com.
Below are some tips gathered from my experience, as well as the insights of Beth, Kim and Cindy, on how to get “in” with mom bloggers:
- Do your homework. Finding the best blogger partner takes time. To get the right balance between relevance and influence, start by asking for recommendations from your current partners. Next, try and align your brand’s affiliations with those of the blogger. For products launching at Walmart, we always look for bloggers who are part of the Walmart 11. Then, look for those with the widest reach. In addition to rankings from tools such as Alexa, Technorati, Klout and Google, look at which bloggers have been quoted in your local or national news, to find a partner that will help you spread the word.
- Tailor your pitch, just as you would for traditional media. So much of bloggers’ personal interests, hobbies and backgrounds are available online. Leverage the information to build a specific story idea for their tone and their audience.
- Drop the one-night-stand mentality. You want your brand to stay top-of-mind for bloggers, so keep them top-of-mind. After a blog story hits, use social media channels to promote the placement and the blogger. Maintain the relationship by inviting bloggers to visit clients at trade shows and local events, sharing media opportunities and keeping them in the loop on client news.
- Keep it engaging – and compliant. Engage a blog’s audience with interactive content: a product test, sweepstakes, Twitter party or exclusive insight from your experts. Just remember in the case of product testing or a sweepstakes, you’ll need to work within FTC guidelines to put the proper disclaimers and rules in place. To learn more, check out this Social Media Examiner post.
I hope this advice helps you build a robust and successful program in 2012. And if you have any additional tips to add, we’d love to hear them!