How do you know which blogs to target and which blogs to send product to? Following are eight ways to evaluate a blog’s reach and influence among your target audiences.
1. Traffic. Some bloggers tell you right on their home page or about page exactly how many daily, weekly and monthly visitors they receive. If not, or to verify those figures, use a free tool like compete.com or quantcast.com to get a traffic estimate. Also, review a blogger’s social media extensions (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) to determine how many more people he or she is reaching when they link posts to social media sites.
Just as important as visitors is the number of other sites linking back to the blog. The more external links a blog has the more credible a blog is. Visit technorati.com and enter the blog’s URL to find its authority, or number of links directing back to the blog.
2. Page Rank. Use the free page rank checker tool at http://www.prchecker.info/ to determine where Google ranks the blog on a scale from 1-10. Blogs that fall into the 3-7 range are ranked pretty well. Most blogs will not achieve a ranking of 8-10, which is reserved for sites like nytimes.coma and google.com.
3. Engagement. Review recent posts to determine if readers are commenting often, and if the blogger is taking the time to respond back. The value of blog coverage is it has the potential to spark a conversation. A blog that actively engages readers has more potential to make an impact and influence industry trends and opinions, and its readers are more invested.
4. Frequency. The more often a blogger posts, the more often readers are coming back and the more potential your story has to be seen. It is also very common for new bloggers to lose interest and stop posting all together, but leave their blogs up. Do not target blogs that have not had a new post in more than a month.
5. Depth. Truly influential bloggers don’t just regurgitate facts and news releases; they offer insight and commentary on the story or issue at hand. Target bloggers who take the time to write an original post; your story will have a much deeper and longer lasting impact.
6. Visibility. Do a quick search to determine how involved a blogger is within your industry. Have they penned guest columns or op-eds for influential media, given keynotes or sat on panels at industry trade shows/conference, led or participated in social media events and advocacy? Active bloggers who participate regularly in industry events are perceived as experts and can bring credibility to your brand.
7. Ethics. Without exception, bloggers should be in clear compliance with recently updated FTC rules and regulations. (Read our blog post for a more detailed explanation of guidelines that affect bloggers.) Do not waste time or energy on blogs that do not clearly disclose product review/advertising relationships; otherwise you may face legal consequences for a blogger’s unethical behavior.
8. Competitive/Big Brand Presence. Has the blog covered your competitor? What about well-known national brands? These companies are targeting this blog for a reason; they see value in securing coverage there.
Need help developing a strategic blogger relations campaign to achieve greater visibility for your product or service? Contact me at kayleigh (at) sweeneypr (dot) com. or 440.333.0001 ext. 105 to get started.
This week Trendwatching.com released their September trends “Transparency Triumph: Reviewing is the new advertising”. I don’t agree that reviewing is the new advertising because traditional advertising messages are controlled by the brand; however, I do agree that consumer product reviews are very powerful and will continue to be prevalent as technology advances.
We have seen this first hand at the agency with blogger reviews. A DIY and mommy blogger review campaign for an outdoor wood protector helped increase Internet sales by 16%. A diabetes blogger review campaign for a new blood glucose meter drove 65% new visitors to a online diabetes supply retailer who stayed on the site for an average of 5 minutes. And for better or worse, online product reviews are imprinted on the web for consumers to continue to find and influence their decisions.
Certainly not all consumer reviews are positive. However, the possibility of negative reviews shouldn’t hinder brands from encouraging consumer product reviews from bloggers or reviews on their own web sites. Negative reviews can provide insight into possible product enhancements and give brands an understanding of how their products are perceived in the marketplace. Also, if consumers don’t have an online outlet to share their product experience, you better believe they are telling all their friends, family and co-workers.
Swiffer has been aggressively targeting mommy bloggers, including a Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge at the BlogHer conference this past summer.
Most recently, P&G launched an updated Swiffer WetJet and is targeting mommy bloggers to participate in mission Operation: Enduring Clean. The mommy bloggers received a very elaborate attaché case that provided the information and tools to complete their “mission”.
While this may look to be a very exciting campaign and get the mommy bloggers all jazzed up to complete their mission, it seems some mommy bloggers were more eager to write about the delivery, than the actual product itself.
Was it necessary for Swiffer to spend this type of marketing dollars to get mommy bloggers to participate? No. Would they have achieved the same or better results with out all the gimmicks? More than likely.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea. But based on my experience working with mommy bloggers, this campaign was a bit over the top and some of the key messages were lost because the product wasn’t the hero.