A couple of months ago Vocus hosted a really interesting event.
They took the videos that were created during their conference (where I spoke along with the likes of Valeria Maltoni, Adam Singer, David Meerman Scott, and Ann Handley) and they created an online event where they replayed the videos and had the speakers on-hand for Q&A afterwards.
There wasn’t enough time to get through all of the questions people had so I asked the Vocus team if I could answer some of them on Spin Sucks in the coming weeks and their answer was a resounding yes.
Going through the list of questions, there were a lot around finding the right bloggers to pitch for your product or service. So that’s what we’ll cover today.
Finding the Right Bloggers
There are multiple tools you can use to find the right bloggers to pitch:
- Vocus (paid)
- Cision (paid)
- Burrelles (paid)
- BlogDash (paid)
- Technorati (free)
- Google Blogsearch (free)
- Klout (free)
- Peer Index (free)
- Traackr (paid)
These, however, are just tools and only as good as the people who are using them. They are the first step in developing your list of bloggers to reach.
For instance, I think we can all agree that Klout doesn’t really define influence, but it does give you a good starting point for your list development.
This is the path I would follow to begin to build my list: Using a tool such as Vocus (or Cision or Burrelles), I would export a list around a certain topic. Then I would add to that list by searching the same topic on Technorati. From there I would add an authority score next to each blog name (Technorati gives you that). Then I would look up each blogger on Klout and put that score next to their name. Then I would sort, based on score, and would move to the engagement phase.
Taking five bloggers at a time, I would begin to read their blogs. I would read for at least a week. I would comment. I would begin to build the relationship.
They would be added to my Google Reader and I would engage with them as often as possible.
I’m not going to pretend this isn’t hard work or time intense. It is. But it works. Really, really well.
Think about it from your own perspective. If you blog, wouldn’t you much rather be pitched by someone who knows you, has commented on the blog, and knows what types of things you may or may not cover? Plus, it’s A LOT harder to say no to a friend than it is to delete an email from a stranger.
Then it’s time to begin your blogger outreach. The hard part is you’re going to have to create a different angle for each blogger.
A really good example of this is one Danny Brown highlighted about a year ago.
Alexandra Kirsch was working with an author and she needed top bloggers to do a book review for him.
She developed her list, she engaged, and then she began her blogger outreach. But what she did not do is send the same pitch to every blogger.
Instead, she sent a chapter of the book to each blogger (Danny received chapter seven) and she explained why she thought he was the right blogger to read, and review, that one particular chapter.
But she didn’t stop there. She also gave him the table of contents to review, in case he was more interested in a different chapter.
Danny and several other bloggers wrote their reviews and Alexandra got what she needed for her client.
The book, by-the-way, is microMARKETING and she did exactly what Greg Verdino suggests in his book: She provided one small thing to many bloggers, coordinated the reviews to be released, and it was made to look like the new book was all over the place. She got big results by thinking and acting small.
Is it a lot of work? Yes. A ton. But it’s not any different than media relations. It’s about relationships. And relationships are with human beings…and that takes time.