October 5, 2011

Real Americans don’t care much about A-list blogs

http://domaingang.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/long-tail.jpgChris AbrahamI had breakfast with John Bell of Ogilvy a number of years ago. He didn’t see the value of investing limited budget, time and resources on the long tail when those treasures would better be used to woo the high-fliers, professionals, top-cows and A-listers. That’s fair enough, and surely a common question, and a question we must address close to the beginning of every sales call we make at our agency when we propose blogger outreach to a prospective client.

The value comes from penetration, permanence, perseverance and persistence. There are only a finite number of members of every organization’s email list. Mashable and TechCrunch have a sizable but vertical (narrow) audience. When we reach out and pitch to thousands of bloggers, however small or niche, if they’re within maybe one but generally a handful of loosely defined topics, we always reach well outside of the echo chamber of a conversation that tends to get contained within the walls of a tech blog or mommy blog.

By reaching out ever further, we don’t assume that anyone outside of the five major urban centers are obsessed with the top five major papers or the top five major blogs. Doing so makes the critical mistake that if you get covered by the FT, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, you’ve got the world covered. In fact, I will use a newspaper analogy to try to illustrate my point. Continue reading

September 28, 2011

How to pitch bloggers so they’ll post about you

http://mlblogsphilliesphollowers.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/lee.jpgChris AbrahamLast week I told you how not to pitch a blogger in your PR outreach, so it raises the pregnant question of what exactly should you do?

For about five years now we’ve seen an extraordinary number of clients and potential clients who have frankly been afraid of blogger outreach because of the poor practices of companies and brands that have stumbled in their attempts to engage the blogosphere. So today I wanted to walk through our process to show you how it’s done. Just how do you pitch a blogger?

First off, we see if we already know anyone. We know folks at the top tech blogs, so we give them first bite. By the time that shakes out, we’ll have a couple-few-thousand blogs to QA and sort out. While we’re seeing how the A-listers pan out, we develop a message model that is inclusive enough to not alienate any single blogger but specific enough that each blogger is completely clear as to who our client is and what we want from them (a post, a tweet, an embedded video, a review, etc). Continue reading

August 24, 2011

Build Twitter followers using the theory of everyone

Look to the Long Tail to recruit brand ambassadors

http://mariosundar.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/500x_rodolex-hlarge.jpgChris AbrahamWell, as regular readers of this blog know, I am a Cluetrainian. This means I put more trust in the value and impact of the online influencer long tail than I do in the impact of the couple of dozen top influencers that most social media consultants and digital PR teams recommend. This is the Internet, an efficient platform allowing easy access to what’s called the network effect: The value of your social network is dependent on the number of others using it.

While it may well be important to have the top 100  influencers on any particular topic following you on Twitter or Facebook, it is not essential. You can make up for it by attracting, retaining, and activating everyone else. In short, anyone who shares her time, talent, and experience online is an important online influencer and potential brand ambassador for my clients.

How do you get lots and lots of people to follow your brand? Don’t know where to start? First, make sure you share your Twitter and Facebook information everywhere your brand exists in the real world or in cyberia. You could spend months and months developing these lists and groups of followers, encouraging folks to retweet your content and so forth. Continue reading