Blogger outreach advice from @SheilaS during #blogchat

Blogger outreach advice from @SheilaS during #blogchat

It seems to be a hot topic – connecting with bloggers for online media coverage – so below are some thoughts from my recent stint co-hosting a #blogchat on blogger outreach (#blogchat is one of the first and biggest regularly-scheduled chats on Twitter) and from speaking at eTourism Summit in San Francisco.

Here is the simple framework we used to guide the #blogchat discussion: some questions to get you thinking about working with online publishers….

1)  Getting started.  Review your overall business goals – does online coverage support them? How? Review your current marketing plan – does online coverage support it? How?

What are your specific goals for blogger/online media coverage, and how will you measure whether you’re succeeding or not?

2)  Picking the best match. The huge variety in online publishing means that the best coverage for you may not even be from a blogger. It may be from someone who has a big audience on Instagram, or Twitter, or YouTube, or LinkedIn.

For a destination or hotel marketer, your “perfect blogger” is the sort who can connect with and inspire your “perfect visitor or guest.” Do you know what that individual is like? Have a “persona” in mind – a composite of your most ideal visitor, guest or customer – then research which online media might resonate best with that persona.

3)  Niche and specificity is your friend. Go for the right eyeballs, not masses of eyeballs.

Are you a birding destination? Find a birding blogger.

4)  Meet people where they are. Want to connect with bloggers? Say hello (leave a comment) on their blog. Connect on Twitter. Respond to a LinkedIn update or Facebook Page post. Do any number of things besides blasting them with emails, which is the equivalent of cold-calling.

Need ideas? —-> 4 ways to find and connect with travel bloggers besides pitching them with email.

At eTourism Summit I gave some examples of niche bloggers who might make sense for reaching niche visitors, but I emphasized that you need to take a 360 degree view of any media outlet, even if that outlet is one person.

Sure, a blogger may have lots of traffic (warning: traffic and other social media stats can be faked) but do they have an audience on other social media platforms for maximum reach of their coverage of your destination, attraction or hotel? Do they write well and take good photos? Do they seem engaged with their audiences and followers? Is there any unpleasant diva-like behavior? Trust your evaluation instincts.

For that matter, ask print writers if their magazine or newspaper articles will also be available online, and whether they have any sort of social media accounts or ways to share their work online. If not, it’s a real lost opportunity for the coverage to do much for you.

Here are my slides from eTourism Summit. There are some bonus ones at the very end on typical places to find and connect with travel bloggers….

Direct link to slides on SlideShare —> How to Identify the Bloggers Who Matter the Most from Sheila Scarborough

What did  I miss about blogger and online media coverage? Give a shout down in the comments….

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