Blogger Outreach: Thinking Beyond The Blog

effective blogger outreachIf you’re a brand or agency engaged in the business of working with parent and mom bloggers (or influencers, brand advocates–whatever you’re calling them these days) for best results you should really think beyond the blog. What? Courting bloggers and not turning a laser focus on their blogs, their traffic, their subscribers, the other places they hang out online and the like? Those are as critical a component of success when it comes to social outreach, yet in our experience, these are areas often overlooked by agencies and brands when it comes to outreach campaigns.

The Digital Lives of American Moms

Let’s back up for just a minute and talk about the power of mom and parent bloggers. According to The Digital Lives of American Moms, Nielsen 2012, one in three bloggers are moms and some 27.9 million American moms visited Facebook in the month of March, 2012 (which was a whopping 72% of moms who went online from home computers in the United States). 5.4 million of them used Twitter during that same time period and some 165 million are blogging using either WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger. That’s a whole lot of purchasing power–and connecting with those influential moms is an objective for brands and agencies alike. Some additional interesting facts about these moms are below:

digital lives of american moms

Image via Nielsen

So let’s talk about reaching these powerful potential brand advocates and influencers. Successful outreach programs are about so much more than just the blog of the potential influencer. When choosing bloggers for any outreach program, it’s important to remember that much of their social engagement exists on other platforms. We all know this—or at least we should know it–but are you using this information when developing your outreach programs? Are you considering the platform diversity of your influencers and developing an integrated marketing approach to your campaigns? If not, it’s probably time to start.

And Our Mom Blogger/Influencer Survey Says

Let’s dive in a little. We work with bloggers and influencers a lot. So we ask them often about things that matter to them, about their habits and preferences and where they hang out online. Results of our recent survey demonstrate that over one third of the women surveyed spend more than 40 hours per week online with over three-quarters spending more than 20 hours per week online.

time per week spent online

How much of that time is working on her blog? Surprisingly, more than half of the respondents report spending fewer than 10 hours each week blogging.

weekly time spent blogging

So how are these women spending the rest of their time online?

time spent on social networks

When breaking down their time online, bloggers reported that 32% of their time is spent on Facebook and 22% on Twitter. Over 17% spend their time on other people’s blogs and participating, engaging, guest posting and sharing. Another 8% of their time is spent on Pinterest. Why should you care? Because the bloggers and influencers you’re targeting for your outreach efforts–and as potential customers–are so much more than bloggers–they are social. Period. In fact, they sometimes get the social space infinitely more than the brands and agencies that seek to engage them. And they definitely spend way more time online, knee deep in the influencer trenches, than many of their brand and agency counterparts.

Are they driving traffic to their blogs from other platforms? Yes. The chart below confirms it. Thinking about where these women are getting their blog traffic, we see the same general pattern with 31% of traffic coming from Facebook, 12% coming from Twitter, 7% from Pinterest, and 13% from other people’s blogs. Bloggers and brand influencers are networked, community minded and participating in a myriad of different ways on a myriad of different channels. Daily.

blog traffic sources

Additionally, there’s valuable engagement that stays native on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook – engagement that you won’t see on their blogs, but engagement that also has true value for marketers.

As might be expected, bloggers with sites seeing 2,500-9,999 visits per month are the most diverse in their social media usage and those with 10,000 or more visits a month are next. And there’s a good chance that these are the bloggers who represent the sweet spot, or what we like to call the “magic middle” of potential brand advocates and influencers with whom your brand would like to work.

diversity score

How Does Your Campaign Play Across Different Platforms?

More and more, we’re seeing (and often working with) smart brands who develop and launch campaigns that are designed to integrate with other marketing efforts and work across platforms. So part of your strategy should definitely involve asking how your proposed campaign plays across different platforms. Have you provided strategic guidance and direction, content and visuals and tools that will allow your brand influencers to be successful? Have you set up sharing for your brand and brand partners across those platforms? And equally as critical, are you working, on a regular basis, to create a legitimate presence across those platforms and not just hopping over there ten minutes before your campaign launches?

Campaign management can be a daunting task, but if you’re not developing and coordinating your outreach efforts to the folks who are playing in those channels, you’ll ultimately only realize a fraction of the success you might otherwise experience for your brand campaigns.

Blogger outreach is outdated nomenclature. We’re talking about social outreach to influencers and potential advocates who can, given the right direction and the right tools, do what it is all marketers and brands want—and that’s to drive awareness and, more importantly, leads and sales. It’s critical that you take into account the diverse nature of online behavior and traffic patterns when you’re planning outreach for selection of people to work with and in developing tools and strategies that will equip them to promote effectively and help you reach your goals. And if you need help, you know where to find us.

Wendy Scherer is not only a dear friend and frequent collaborator, I most often refer to her as my smartest friend. I do so love her big brain. For the past several years, we’ve collaborated on strategic research and marketing and have partnered on independent studies such as this and on high level engagements in a wide variety of categories including technology, nonprofit, pharma and food. 

Wendy is the managing partner of The Social Studies Group, a social media research firm and sister company to Scherer Cybrarian, which she founded in 1995. She knew from her years as a partner with Bozell Worldwide that there was a great need for knowledge synthesis and business research that was more than a mere information dump. Scherer has been working with distinguished clients for many years now uncovering insights and strategies using social media monitoring, analysis, and netnography reporting. Follow Wendy on Twitter @wendyscherer.

About the survey:

The short survey, fielded in 2012, had nearly 300 respondents of whom over 90% are women with children. Over 98% are based in the U.S.

The information included in this post originally appeared on MediaPost

Image: sashafatcat via Compfight cc

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