Blogger outreach is a major part of many agencies’ social media offerings, and finding and managing relationships with bloggers is often a time-consuming, Sisyphean task that usually gets foisted upon junior team members who then spend dozens of hours on random Google searches and lame email pitches.
Let’s fix that.
First, understand the 4 ways bloggers differ from reporters. This will help you think of the right type of bloggers for your outreach, and help your agency craft better pitches.
Second, I very much recommend agencies get a GroupHigh software license to help find bloggers and manage relationships with them. For combined online/offline programs, or programs where you want to combine outreach with press release distribution and measurement, there may be other solutions that are more appropriate (Cision, for instance). But for straight online-only blogger outreach, I love GroupHigh.
GroupHigh Makes Blogger Outreach Easier
GroupHigh maintains an incredibly extensive database of blogs and bloggers that includes social media data that has taken on increasing importance in modern outreach programs. For example, GroupHigh can show you not only what topics a blog writes about, but also how many Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook followers that blogger has. So, if you’re trying to reach bloggers that are also disproportionately influential on Instagram, GroupHigh enables you to find them quickly and effectively. Note, however, that it doesn’t work the other way around (at least not yet). You can’t find Instagram influencers, and then determine who among them has a blog. You find bloggers in GroupHigh, and then can layer other social data on top.
There are three ways to use this blogger outreach software:
1. Sift, Sort, and Score Your Own Blogger List
Many agencies who have been working a blogger outreach program for a while have their own list(s) that have been developed; somewhat haphazardly in some cases, but developed nevertheless. Using GroupHigh, you can upload these lists and compare and contrast blogs by Twitter followers, MOZrank (a measure of search optimization), Pinterest followers, geography, whether they accept guest posts (a very nice feature), and more than two dozen other data points.
For instance, here’s just part of the blogger profile on David Armano’s Logic + Emotion blog, which shows his 55,000+ Twitter followers, Pinterest followers, and other details. Note that David has an Instagram account, and a G+ account, but they don’t show up in GroupHigh because they aren’t linked from his blog. Same with David’s Facebook, which is a personal account, not tied to Logic + Emotion.
One of the other very handy features of importing your own blogger outreach lists into the software is that GroupHigh will automatically find the contact person or contact form for each blog, and add them to your account. A real time saver.
2. Improve Your Blogger Outreach Program With Better Search
Recently, GroupHigh added a new filtered search mechanism that has made drilling down in the blogger database even easier and more fruitful. If you were running a blogger outreach program that needed to find bloggers in California, who write about restaurants, have at least 500 Twitter followers, and have posted at least once in the past 30 days, you can run that query in about 30 seconds. I just did, and found 1,854 matches. That’s too many to deal with initially, so I added a filter for an SEO rank of 5 or better, and an active Pinterest presence, and brought the list size down to a manageable 173 blogs.
I can then sort the list by any data point, and manually investigate their suitability. This is highly recommended because you’ll occasionally find a blog that meets the filtering criteria, but just isn’t quite right for what you’re trying to pitch. This process is easy because GroupHigh provides direct links to all the blog’s most recent posts, and to all of their findable and attributable social networks.
You can also export any lists you create as .csv files.
3. Run Your Blogger Outreach Program With Integrated Contact Management
Once you’ve added blogs to your list, you can access the multi-function contact center, which shows you email address (or URL of contact form), updated social media stats and other metrics, and allows you to assign the blog to someone on your team and/or add an activity (like a note saying you sent a pitch). For example, here’s the contact console for my blog in GroupHigh, which shows our contact us page, our about page, my email address, recent posts and more.
This is very handy for keeping track of which bloggers you’ve approached, and when, instead of trying to manage it in Excel…or worse.
The user interface for GroupHigh isn’t as easy-to-use as I’d like to see it, but CEO Andy Theimer tells me they just brought about a new designer that will be cleaning it up soon. Also, like any database of this type, there are occasional data inaccuracies. But, I’ve personally used this tool a lot, and have found it to be remarkably consistent.
The point of GroupHigh – and any blogger outreach software, really – is not to make human effort unnecessary, but rather to greatly reduce the time needed to research, organize, and manage your blogger outreach program. By this standard, GroupHigh delivers big time.
Pricing for GroupHigh starts at $9,000 per year for full access, but Andy Theimer tells me there may be special discounts available for Convince & Convert readers who request demos before the end of the year. There’s a landing page for that right here. Check it out.
(what’s this thing? I disclose my relationship using cmp.ly)