Blogger Outreach Strategies For More Than Digital PR

Blogger outreach strategies – they’re all about getting that digital exposure and influencer endorsement, right?  Yes and no.  Blogger outreach can strategically “fix” a variety of digital problems while building brand recognition and sales. Crafting a strategic campaign is about understanding your brand’s needs and creating a custom solution to meet your KPIs.  Your needs don’t always have to be “large scale digital PR”. Done right, Blogger Outreach can deliver so much more.  Brand Meets Blog is run by digital professionals that come from a client-side strategy background – so we’ve connected the traditional influencer model with best practice for business online.

Christmas Hamper - Blogger Outreach Strategy

All Image Credits – Grace and Co Styling

Australian Gourmet Gifts Meets Bloggers

Australian Gourmet Gifts is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of corporate and retail gift baskets.  Their products are stand out in the busy marketplace and they have solid SEO and SEM strategies in place.  So why not launch straight into a massive blogger outreach campaign ready to sell their Christmas gift baskets? They also had a few challenges we needed to overcome first:

Digital Assets.  A lack of digital assets meant that social media wasn’t driving as many clicks as it could

Audience Targeting.  While the gourmet gift baskets were ideal for corporate gifting, the retail market was broad and lacked focus

Product Packaging.  The client was debating a change in packaging and needed feedback on the existing “sleek black esky” before making decisions.

Budget Considerations.  Heading into their busiest time of year, budget was already allocated for marketing and promotion.  The goal was to ensure that the marketing budget would be best spent (lowering click prices and laser targeting the right audience) before the upcoming Christmas silly season.

Peak Season Challenges.  As Christmas approaches, the cost per click on Christmas related keywords soars.  To minimise CPC and ensure their SEO positions for Christmas related keywords, we needed to bolster social and SEO signals around the Christmas hamper page.  Note that Brand Meets Blog isn’t in the business of selling followed links.  That’s not what campaigns are about!

The Bloggers

Blogger Outreach Event

Instead of heading to the top tier traffic magnet bloggers, we sought out a selection of niche bloggers each representing a unique demographic. While top tier blogger outreach strategies are at the core of our business, we believe that working with the right bloggers can strategically solve a host of brand challenges.  We hand selected “veteran” bloggers with a long history in the game, who have attended numerous events and understand that pitching a product to their audience needs to be transparent but personal.  We chose these bloggers, not for their reach and traffic (many are niche bloggers who create content for a small but loyal audience) but for their expertise in “commercial blogging”.  This allowed us to get some “expert advice” while adhering to the client’s budget.

Suzi – Suzi represents the 25-34 year old demographic.  Part hipster, part parent – navigating the change from fabulous shoes to mortgage repayments.   This demographic was identified as the youngest end of the potential market (gift baskets aren’t the go to gift for under 25s).  Suzi not only writes her own blog for this demographic but contributes to a leading blog on champagne tastes.

Cate – The core demographic for this “mummy blog” is time poor 35-44 year old women.  Cate couldn’t be more time poor.  Cate is the mother to five and writes of the everyday life of a big family mum.  Budget and family needs play a big part in her purchase decisions and her voice is practical.  She’s an avid writer about Christmas hacks and keeping a big family happy.

Lara – While also a voice within the core demographic, Lara blogs about life’s treasure – books, arts and culture for the 35-44 year old woman.   Lara’s demographic respect an educated opinion.  Her tight knit audience is loyal and dedicated and terribly keen on a nice, high end product.

Nikki – Nikki’s lifestyle blog includes nuggets for the 40+ woman who has shipped her kids off into the real world and is now enjoying a fine glass of bubbles and a little more “me time”.  Her demographic has disposable income and a deep appreciation of fine foods.

Jan & Rowan – They’re the fastest growing Facebook audience – the Baby Boomers are finding their way out of the workforce and onto blogs.  Jan and Rowan’s lifestyle blog stands out among Baby Boomer Blogs because it’s not just about the finances or the travel, it’s about embracing a fabulous lifestyle post working life.  Their audience is growing rapidly and they treat them to stories of fashion, food, lifestyle for the retiring, not shy, Baby Boomer.


The Strategy

We brought together five bloggers, one product stylist and a whole lot of gourmet foods!  We hired Melanie of Grace and Co Product Styling to create a “wow” showcase of the tasty treats on offer.  This meant that the client had a steady stream of “food porn” to share on social media and in blog posts.  Melanie’s background in gourmet food marketing made her an excellent choice and she provided the bloggers with insights into the artisan food producers included in the hampers.

We then sought the bloggers’ feedback as “diners” as well as digital marketing professionals.  By splitting the demographics, we were able to ask which elements of the hampers would appeal most to their audiences.  Yes, it’s a small sample – but with bloggers who have been working their own strategies for 7+ years, we were able to tap their knowledge of what gets their ideal demographic excited.

The results

Besides a flurry of social media and blog posts, that boosted the client’s social following, we discovered some honest truths about the client’s product.  The packaging was universally loved by all demographics.  We gathered a plethora of beautiful digital assets to use going forward. We uncovered new potential audiences and gathered insights into improving existing audience targeting.   We were able to build the whole campaign around the client’s “Christmas” range.  After improving the SEO strategies on the site, the client saw a rise in rankings for Christmas related keywords and an improvement in Google Quality Score – to help decrease click prices. We then asked the bloggers to direct blog post traffic to the Christmas category – helping solidify the client’s new place in the SERPs.

Brand Meets Blog Vs Blogger Outreach Agencies

While all agencies deliver blogger outreach strategies as part of campaigns, they generally focus on “the numbers” rather than “the impact”.  We believe in finding the very best match for a brand and making sure that the activity meets the KPIs. This can mean a social frenzy by top tier influencers, or it can mean digging deep into a niche to uncover potential sales opportunities.  We place digital strategy at the centre of blogger outreach campaigns – so that business, agencies and bloggers get the most from every post.

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