This is the third in a series of posts that will walk through the mindset, resources and strategy needed to launch and maintain a thriving blog ambassador program for your natural product line or brand. Read parts one and two here.
Once you outline the strategy for your natural products blogger outreach program and research a realistic budget, the next step is to identify the right bloggers. With millions of blogs to choose from and more than 1.7 million blog posts shared every day, the idea of pinpointing bloggers can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, you are not the first to embark on this journey! There are tools and best practices to help you accurately identify and qualify bloggers for your brand, which we will cover in detail below.
Qualify: 6 ways to ensure a blogger is the best fit for your brand
A key part of identifying the ideal bloggers that align with your target audiences is to determine if their reach and content is the right fit for your product or brand. Consider the following parameters and determine exact numbers to evaluate potential bloggers before you begin outreach.
Unique visitors per month: How many people visit the blog each month? Determine what your minimum number of visitors will be and stick to it, as this will help you evaluate how influential the blogger is. To determine this number, consult your agency or research brands similar to yours to see which bloggers they engage with and their average following. More importantly, you’ll want to evaluate domain authority...
Domain authority: This metric will help you evaluate how influential a blogger is and how much search engine optimization influence the blogger has, to help your own website rank higher in search results when content is featured. Explore the free tool MozBar to learn more about evaluating domain authority. Simply put, the higher the domain authority, the more influential the blogger.
Social media following: Evaluate the blogger’s social media following on channels where you plan to engage, and determine a minimum number of followers you will use to evaluate all bloggers. Be sure to review Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Type of content on blog: Does the blog feature products or host giveaways? If so, does it contain honest, creative and thoughtful reviews? Is the overall flow of the blog complimentary and visually appealing? Is there any content that would discredit or poorly reflect your brand if you engaged said blogger? Choose wisely.
Quality of photography: Look at the type of photos the blogger includes in his or her posts. How does the lighting look? Do the products look appealing or appetizing?
Average audience engagement: How engaged is the blogger’s following on social media, and do they often leave comments on blog posts? If running a giveaway, how many entries are obtained on average?
Once you've evaluated the above six categories, use them as your scorecard to qualify bloggers before beginning outreach.
Research: Tools to find bloggers tailored to your target audience
The big idea is to find bloggers who write about topics that would pair nicely with your product or brand. Ideally, you want to match a blogger's target audience as closely to your product or brand's target audience as possible. Two tools ideal for this task are Traackr and InkyBee.
Traackr allows you to identify potential influencers (both bloggers and social media influencers) by what they are talking about on social media. This is great because you can look for topics like "organic" and see what bloggers in certain regions or certain verticals are talking about. Then, you can identify which bloggers meet your blog ambassador program parameters (see above), and you've targeted a potential blogger for your program. This tool has a lot of functionality and can assist you if you need multi-lingual search or want to target bloggers by location.
InkyBee is a tool designed to specifically identify bloggers by searching for keywords. You can identify bloggers through its “Auto Discovery” function to help save time, and you can pinpoint potential bloggers within the followers and/or friends of any Twitter profile. This tool was originally designed to assist agencies, so it has some great monitoring, segmenting and list-building functions as well.
Blogger identification: Go it alone or enlist help?
In addition to the above mentioned tools, there are an abundance of other tools and resources online to aid in identifying blog influencers. If you are looking for a blogger outreach program you can implement rapidly, consider partnering with an agency that already has blogger relationships in your niche that align with your target audiences and has access to more comprehensive tools like Cision.
If you are just starting out and want to discover bloggers organically, plan on investing significantly more time in the process through search engines, social media research and finding bloggers who are covering brands that are similar to yours.
Now that you have your scorecard in hand and have identified potential bloggers for your program, it's time to begin outreach to see if those bloggers are interested in being a part of your ambassador program. In our next post, we will explore how to begin outreach and cultivate relationships with bloggers for a thriving natural product blogger outreach program.