Table of Content
- Understanding The Differences and Similarities and When to Use Each
- What is Influencer Marketing
- What is Achieved through Influencer Marketing
- Can You Do Influencer Marketing If You’re Offering A Service?
- Successful Influencer Marketing Stories
- Steps Towards Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy
- What is Blogger Outreach
- The Benefit to Local Businesses: Blogger Outreach and Influencer Marketing
- Deciding on the Best Tactic for Your Business
- Cost Comparison: Influencer Marketing VS Blogger Outreach
- To Outsource or not to Outsource?
- Choosing The Right Agency
- What You’re Getting From Choosing The Right Partner
Understanding The Differences and Similarities and When to Use Each
We can all agree that content marketing is definitely a way to go. You want your business to excel in the online arena, but how do you reach a wider audience and hit exactly the right one at the same time? The dilemma that we are faced with now is a complex one: what is the best tactic to deploy?
Influence marketing & blogger outreach have recently become two of the most effective and affordable marketing tactics to market your brand and improve your SEO rankings, if done correctly.
While both rely on the premise of tapping into someone else’s audience and following, they are essentially different. We’ll explore how the two tactics can actually go hand in hand and by doing any of them correctly, often you can reap the benefits of both.
While executing any of the two tactics in-house is an option, we will delve into how outsourcing your blogger outreach and influencer marketing to a great agency that has scaled and standardised this process like Wisevu, can often bring the best of both worlds to the table in the shortest timeframe.
Let’s jump right in!
What is Influencer Marketing
To define influencer marketing properly, we must first explain who an influencer is. One might be tempted to say influencers are celebrities. Yet, that wouldn’t be quite true.
Influencers are people who have attracted a certain following in a certain niche and who have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others, based on their ‘social status’.
They have established a relationship – a sense of mutual trust with their followers. Followers generally believe the influencer’s opinions are genuine and are willing to take their recommendations. They are considered experts in their niche – be it travel, photography, food, fashion, beauty, gadgets – there is rarely a niche without an influencer.
Influencer marketing is then a collaboration between a brand and an online influencer here to help market a specific product or service.
It can take on the form of a product mention or a product feature, a dedicated product review video, a brand trip. The content shared comes in many forms and features. It will largely depend on the influencer and brand at hand, but some of the most popular are:
- Sponsored social media content
- Sponsored blog posts
- Sponsored videos
- Brand ambassador programs
Beware, influencer marketing is not bribing someone to say something positive about your product. Most influencers have worked very hard on attaining their following and establishing their reputation. Most of them will not jeopardize it for any brand deal.
What is Achieved through Influencer Marketing
The primary goal of influencer marketing is boosting brand awareness.
With it, a brand can significantly expand its reach. Social media users will also start to learn more about the brand itself and the solutions it offers.
It is also an incredibly effective way to reach out to an audience. The said audience is already there, following the social media channels of a certain influencer. What you are doing with influencer marketing is tapping into that ready-made audience. Merely alerting them to a product or service they are already interested in, but may not have been aware of yet.
Since influencer marketing is perceived to be less pushy than traditional marketing, it will build stronger relationships with your brand and inspire deeper connections. You will no longer be the brand who pops up every now and then in their feed. You will be a brand that’s recommended by a social media user. In the similar manner as when someone refers to a friend. These kinds of social recommendations are the best in the industry.
Influencer marketing also builds trust. A certain level of trust has already been established by the influencer and their audience. Now, by working with this influencer on a campaign, you are building on that pre-established trust, and transferring some of it to your brand as well.
This is an excellent way to build strong partnerships for the future. By working with an influencer who is well aligned with your own brand ethos and brand message, you are able to forge a relationship that can last for years and be mutually beneficial – as your brand grows, so does the influencer, and as their following expands, so does your brand.
Influencer marketing is a great addition to your pre-existent content strategy, as it provides an outlet for the content you have already created. On the other hand, if you lack content, sharing what the influencer has created around your joint campaign can nicely fill in any content gaps in your schedule.Additionally, influencer marketing is a neat way of boosting your SEO efforts. You can leverage your influencer marketing campaign to acquire more backlinks, thus widening your reach even further, and improving your website’s domain authority.
Can You Do Influencer Marketing If You’re Offering A Service?
Right off the get go you’re probably thinking – sounds great, but influencer marketing is only for businesses offering products, right?
Sure, that comes as a logical conclusion. However, more and more service-based businesses are jumping in on the influencer marketing train. No wonder, when you take into consideration the average ROI on influencer marketing campaigns is 65%!
With $6.5 return on every $1 invested, influencer marketing just has to keep on getting creative.
We are saying this from experience…
We’ve had a wellness and spa service business ask us if we offered a service of contacting local New York influencers and getting them to promote their various medical spa services and to offer the influencers’ audience a special promotion at the spa.
In fact Wisevu specializes in helping services based businesses succeed online. And based on their needs we devised the most effective and cost efficient strategy – which was a mix of influencer marketing and blogger outreach.
Successful Influencer Marketing Stories
Service doing it successfully
Sun Peaks – a ski and bike resort in British Columbia wanted to bring awareness to their top winter locations, seasonal festivals and natural beauty that surrounds them. To this end they devised a strategy focused on adventure-seeking influencers in the Pacific Northwest – one of them being Canada’s number one nature photographer, Callum Snape.
The result: Stunning and beautiful images, daily Instagram stories, posts and Facebook videos that drove 200,000+ organic traffic to their site and articles, creating a massive interest for their service.
It’s not all about social media
You can also try guest posting!
Founder of Video Fruit, Bryan Harris, wrote a guest post for an established site OkDork. Just a few days later, he wrote a similar post for his own website. He then compared the two posts and the results were mind boggling.
He usually experienced around 285 visitors on his website daily. The very same day his guest blog was published, the number rose to 1086! The day his own blog post got published it was 686. 73% of those new visits were from new users.
Not only did his visits grew, but in those two days, 215 users subscribed to his website, bringing him a conversion rate of 12%!
If you wish to know more on how you can use the skill of guest blogging (blogger outreach), we’ll get right on it, after we cover…
Steps Towards Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy
Now that you have decided you want to give influencer marketing a go, the time has come to set up your influencer marketing strategy. This is usually the part where an agency steps in and takes over the process for you. Let’s run it down here:
- Finding The Right Influencer
Goes without saying, you want to work with someone who already shares your own passion for your product or service. If an influencer doesn’t believe in your product, this will show in the way they talk about it, and their audience will know they are not being sincere.
When choosing influencers to work with, they can ideally be qualified based on your target audience and have experience of working with similar brands. Finding an influencer that matches your brand in terms of topics and content may be a better solution than concentrating on numbers of followers.
- Reaching Out To Shortlisted Influencers
While starting a conversation on social media can be a great way to break the ice, making sure it is transferred to a more official communication channel is a must. Sticking to professionalism, clearly spelling out and agreeing on all the minute details of the campaign before it even begins will make things easier down the road.
- Start Creating The Content
If you have agreed to let the influencer be in charge of content creation, make sure you review it before they actually post it. As your campaign grows so does the need to scale content production.
Expanding projects like these can often leave you covered with content creation work. Creating attractive content is definitely a good thing, but how can you be sure it’s the content that will convert? There’s many more factors you need to be mindful of, such as SEO and CRO optimization. This is where Wisevu can help. The final step will involve tracking and measuring the success of your campaign.
What is Blogger Outreach
Now that you know more about influencer marketing, let’s discuss blogger outreach.
Blogger outreach is an SEO tactic that serves for acquiring more backlinks as well as brand mentions in popular blogs and online magazines. It is the process of finding and reaching out to bloggers and asking to get a guest post published on their website.
It is a great way to boost brand awareness, improve your online reputation, and build backlinks for your brand. It is a staple of every well-rounded SEO strategy, and one of the most difficult components of SEO.
Thee key to a successful blogger outreach campaign is research and consistency – but we’ll get into that in a moment. First, let’s see why you should reach for this tactic in the first place.
In 2019, there were over 600 million blogs online, and that number will keep steadily rising year after year. At the same time, more than half of content marketers say that blog content is their top inbound strategy, and 6 out of 10 shoppers claim blogs are a valuable resource to them in the early stages of the buying process.
In other words: blogs are popular, they exert influence over shoppers, and they are used by a lot of marketers to drive traffic and sales. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?
What is Achieved with Blogger Outreach
The first and most obvious benefit is that you shall be gaining more backlinks for your website. Backlinks are one of the most important, if not the most important ranking signals that search engines use. The more quality backlinks you have, the more trusted and valued you will be, and your rankings will reflect this.
The best way to build quality backlinks is through blogger outreach. These links come from real, reputable and relevant websites that have already established themselves as trusted sources. Links acquired through other means tend to provide less value – you could build dozens of community links, all of which would be overshadowed by one quality link gained by strategic blogger outreach.
Blogger outreach is also a highly budget-friendly tactic. But there is a caveat we need to mention here.
While guest posts (i.e. be featured for free) cost only the time and resources spent on outreach and content production, some bloggers might be looking to publish only sponsored posts (in which case you need to pay a fee to get published). You don’t need to go down the sponsored post route if you don’t want to, and can stick to guest posts alone – and achieve amazing results.
Just like with influencer marketing you can work with just the kinds of websites you need and want. This will lead to a natural increase in your organic targeted traffic – since you are spreading the word among bloggers there’s an added income of readers coming in from the links you get.
Blogger outreach is also a natural way of building your online reputation and garnering more brand awareness – the more people are talking about you, the more traction you can expect to get.
While traditional influencer marketing doesn’t bring the SEO value that comes with blogger outreach…
With blogger outreach, you can also expect to see your social metrics improving. As the bloggers you work with share your posts on their own social media channels and tag you as the author, you can expect to see more shares and likes.With regards to this, with blogger outreach you can reap the benefits of both tactics.
When Blogger Outreach Becomes Influencer Marketing
Bloggers who are technically not considered influencers also have social media channels. If the contributed content is done right, there is potential to work with these bloggers/influencers in more than one way – especially after a strong relationship is established.
A great blogger outreach strategy will come with more than a single benefit, and will often cross into what’s essentially influencer marketing.
We’re experiencing the same “collaterals” all the time…
Keeping our focus on achieving great blogger outreach results, we’re inevitably getting both the benefits from the influencer marketing world. By featuring our clients with quality content on popular blogs, local blogs and “bigger websites” alike we’re often getting the same content published on various influencer social media channels, thus killing two birds with one stone!
Steps Towards a Blogger Outreach Strategy
Let’s again quickly run through the basic steps of a successful blogger outreach strategy:
- Defining Target Audience
Every decent marketing tactic begins by defining your target audience. Just like with influencer marketing, blogs you’re reaching out to ideally reflect your customers and their interests.
- Keyword Research
Performing a proper keyword research will greatly influence the success of the campaign. Keywords from your target market, industry as well as keywords you already rank for will allow for a tactical approach. You’re not only getting links and the traffic, but also improving your SEO metrics and keyword rankings. Not to mention, having much easier time finding the right bloggers!
Based on target audience and keyword research, the next step is to identify the bloggers you want to work with. What you are doing is looking for people:
- Whose blogs are visited and read by your target audience
- Who are interested in your products or services themselves
- Who have written about topics similar to the ones you are trying to rank for
- Who have not written about your topics, but would probably love to feature them
- Who have a decent number of visitors per month
- The Blogger Outreach Process Can Begin
Blogger outreach is like nature’s way of building links. Links built through blogger outreach are the highest quality links one can build. It’s only fitting they should be built with a natural and humane approach.
We highly recommend avoiding templates in outreach and coming off as pushy or needy. Just like with influencer marketing it’s all about building and nurturing relationships.
The Benefit to Local Businesses: Blogger Outreach and Influencer Marketing
You may be associating influencer marketing with large brands and household names. However, local brands can benefit just as much from both influencer marketing, and blogger outreach.
The two strategies can in fact blend into one, and a brand partnering with a local influencer and blogger can reap the same benefits as a large brand working with a larger influencer.
Building brand awareness, establishing trust, increasing follower numbers, reaching new audiences, improving engagement, increasing authenticity – all of this applies to smaller influencer marketing (and blogger outreach) campaigns.
Even though these bloggers or social media influencers may have less followers, they will certainly provide more value than a larger influencer from a different location.
The same principle applies to any and all local businesses – if there is an area you serve and a local audience you want to attract, your best bet is to work with local bloggers and influencers.
Deciding on the Best Tactic for Your Business
Before you decide on which tactic to go for – influencer marketing or blogger outreach – you need to define the goals you are looking to achieve.
- Analyze your current situation – where are you in terms of customers, customer retention rates, lead generation, brand awareness, rankings, and so on.
- Determine where you want to be – and which segment of your online marketing is lacking the most (or which you want to improve on first).
Lay out an overarching online business growth plan first – taking into account everything you know about your business, competitors and target audience.
Cost Comparison: Influencer Marketing VS Blogger Outreach
The two tactics follow pretty much the same principles. So, what is that sets them apart? Pricing is definitely one thing that comes to mind. Much of the decision between the two tactics will go into the budget you have available.
When it comes to influencer marketing, Klear has done a brilliant survey on influencer fees.
- an Instagram post from a micro influencer (someone who has between 5 and 30 thousand followers) will cost around $170
- The same post from a power influencer (between 30 and 500 thousand followers) will cost as much as $500.
- Stories are a bit more affordable, whereas videos are much more expensive. If you want to work with someone who has more than 500 thousand followers – you are looking at thousands of dollars per post.
As you can see the rates go higher as influencers rank rises. The same goes for the type of content. Nevertheless, if you’re running a local business, influencer marketing can still be done at a reasonable cost.
If you decide to do blogger outreach yourself, this often costs nothing but time and effort. However, scaling your blogger outreach efforts comes with the price of hiring an experienced team. Not to mention equipping them with necessary software and resources.
Outsourcing marketing services to an agency is the next best thing. Even then, you are looking at much more affordable prices. Agencies will often work with fixed budgets, so you won’t have to worry about over-spending.
Which begs for the next question…
To Outsource or not to Outsource?
In order for your blogger outreach or influencer marketing campaign to yield the best results, your best option is to outsource it to a reliable agency that has the experience and the resources to execute such a campaign successfully.
Here are some points in favor of outsourcing:
Not enough expertise to do it in-house
Blogger outreach and influencer marketing come down to making a lot of small decisions: is this blogger likely to want to work with us, what is the best way to contact them, which topic should we suggest and how do we insert a link into that post, and so on.
Agencies will have amassed this knowledge and skill over the years, so you don’t have to spend your time and energy on acquiring them, if you choose to outsource.
Not enough resources to scale in-house
Blogger outreach requires the investment of very specific resources, and all of the moving parts of an outreach campaign (blogger research, blogger outreach, topic research, content writing) all of which require specific skills. And often expensive tools. While you are dealing with 10-15 emails a day, it won’t take up too much of your time, but both blogger outreach and influencer marketing need to be scaled in order to provide the best effects, and you will need to keep sending more and more emails, writing more and more articles. Not to mention hiring new people as the campaign grows, whereas an agency already has all the human resources you need.
No access to tools
Agencies also already have access to all the tools you would need to execute a blogger outreach or an influencer marketing campaign – you would need to pay for each of these tools and use them for your lonesome campaign, which can quickly end up costing you a pretty penny.
Choosing The Right Agency
What can come at a cost is definitely choosing the wrong one – this doesn’t only set you back budget wise, but takes valuable time you cannot get back.
In marketing, everything that’s done through content definitely has to be considered a long-term strategy. Both with blogger outreach and influencer marketing it’s all about doing things consistently over time and watching the results accumulating. The reason we’re saying this is that it should exactly be your approach when choosing an agency.
What You’re Getting From Choosing The Right Partner
Irrelevant of the tactic you chose, the very best agency will often blur the line and bring the best of both influencer marketing and blogger outreach to the table. As being, first and foremost, an SEO agency, Wisevu focuses on establishing relationships with bloggers/website owners/webmasters with the goal of improving search engine rankings by building high quality relevant backlinks.
Establishing strong relationships is a keyword here, as…
What often comes as a product of creating such relationships is getting the content shared on bloggers social media channels – you’re not only getting the benefits from the SEO side of things, but the added value of influencer marketing as well.
In a sense, you’re not looking for an agency, but a long-term relationship and partner that can go above the basic service offered.
The recent COVID-19 outbreak may have influenced the shutdown of many “bad” agencies. However, it’s always good to be alert, and we’re proposing looking at the following attributes:
Proof of quality and experience
A good kind of agency will likely have a portfolio to show. Showcasing proof of work is definitely a good sign when it comes to experience. You’d also want to check out the content the agency is creating in-house, as it is also an indicator of quality you can expect.
Transparency on working budget and communication
A good agency is a good and timely communicator. This is something you can see immediately at the beginning of ‘the talks’. Placing value on transparent communication is something you must expect out of agency of your choice. The same goes for budgeting – avoid agencies that have hidden fees and aren’t keen on laying out their workflow and costs.
Anyone who does it cheap, does it bad
Unless you’re hiring Toby, the next door neighbor…
Sorry to all Tobys out there, but the simple truth is that you cannot expect quality from someone building links for pennies. Of course, pricing can be a determining factor, but we suggest running away from any agency that is coming from the very low pricing range and offers links for 100 CAD a pop.
Quality content done in your name and on a targeted place of quality mustn’t be called cheap.
If we’re talking blogger outreach, the very blog post creation can cost anywhere between $50 and $300, not to mention all of the time spent on research, finding the right sites and the communication. And the work doesn’t stop there – link building is in constant motion. One has to keep an eye on the links built, making sure they don’t disappear from the vast map of the internet arena.
That wraps it up folks!
Irrelevant of the tactic you choose to employ and the agency you pick, we wish you a fruitful campaign.