7 Reasons Blogger Outreach Is NOT Right For You
This is a guest post – Dave Schneider is the co-founder of NinjaOutreach an all in one Prospecting and Outreach tool which was created to streamline the process of connecting with influencers. He can also be found @ninjaoutreach and his business blog SelfMadeBusinessman.
I run a software company dedicated to blogger outreach, and believe it or not – sometimes I advise people against using it.
Yes, that’s right – blogger outreach is NOT right for everyone, as is the case for all marketing channels.
So what are the distinctions between which business are a good fit for blogger outreach and which are not?
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to see whether or not you should be trying blogger outreach.
And if the answer is yes, here’s everything you need to know about blogger outreach.
1. Your Audience Is Not Found Online
I had a conversation with a client once who wanted to do blogger outreach. She was a marketer, and her clients were dentists.
I asked her, “do dentists read blogs?”
She said, “Well, I don’t know, but blogger outreach is what I want to do”.
People make this mistake all the time. They look into doing blogger outreach without knowing whether or not their audience is even found online.
If your target market does not do their reading or shopping (or buy whatever it is you’re selling) online, then there is little to no reason to focus on building an online presence.
And hence no reason to work with bloggers.
So how do you know if your audience shops online?
Well, if you have current customers – why don’t you ask them how they found you. Of course, that is going to be a function of your current marketing channels, so it is somewhat deterministic in nature.
That said, if no one is finding you online, then investing into that channel is probably a poor idea.
If you don’t have customers, for example, a new business you’re trying to get off the ground, come up with some potential buyer keywords, and research the volume of these using a tool like Adwords Keyword Planner. If you’re finding less than 1k searches per month, you’re going to be very hard pressed to convert that into leads.
For example, my marketing friend above was looking for dental laboratories:
I wouldn’t say this keyword is amazingly rich – it sort of sits on the fence. You, as a marketer, have to judge for yourself.
2. You Have A Very Specific Target Market
Targeting hasn’t really matured in the blogger outreach space.
If you’re looking for:
- In their 40’s
- From Mississippi
- Who like books
You’re going to have a hard time find a blogger, let alone hundreds of bloggers, who can really provide you with a targeted audience.
Certainly, there is basic tracking and demographic information about blogs, but it’s pretty generic, and I wouldn’t put much stock in it. Few bloggers really heavily specify. After all, everyone’s trying to amass the largest audience they can.
For example, here’s the alexa demographic information for my business blog, SelfMadeBusinessman.
Doesn’t really tell you much, does it?
Instead, you should probably look into paid advertising, because the targeting there is extremely focused.
By contrast, look at what I can do via Facebook:
3. There Aren’t Enough Bloggers In Your Niche
Although a lot of niches are moving online, certainly, many still haven’t made the leap.
And again, even if there are companies online, that doesn’t mean there are bloggers writing about those niches.
Take kitchen storage.
Can you do shopping online for kitchen storage? Yes.
Can you find reviews for kitchen storage solutions online on sites like Yelp? Yes.
Are there a plethora of bloggers writing about kitchen storage solutions? No.
For example, when we ran a search in NinjaOutreach for kitchen storage, we found only 76 results:
By comparison, a search for marketing would yield over 5k.
It’s possible you can expand the niche to include things like home improvement or DIY, but in general, if there aren’t enough bloggers covering the niche – you’re barking up the wrong tree.
As a rule of thumb, you really should have at least 1k bloggers to target to make it worth your while. Otherwise there is absolutely no room to scale.
4. You Need To Make Sales Yesterday
Blogger outreach is long ball.
Playing long ball is great, because you’re likely in business for the long run.
But if you don’t make sales today, you might not be, despite how much you’d like to be.
Therefore, you have to balance your desires for a long term marketing strategy with the need for sales today.
If you need to make sales immediately, you need to hit the pavement with some very direct outreach and networking.
At Ninja Outreach, we have a direct email campaign going simultaneously while we do content marketing and blogger outreach because we can’t wait 3 months to get revenue.
5. You’re Not A Content Writer
Wait, but isn’t this what I’m asking the bloggers to do?
Well, sometimes yes, and sometimes no.
If you’re looking for a product review, then yes, the blogger is doing the writing.
But if you’re doing a guest post – that’s on you.
Or if you’re trying to combine your own content writing with promotion through blogger outreach, that’s on you as well.
In my experience, about half of the blogger outreach we do involves us writing, so if you are not a content writer, it can be a handicap.
In fact, at NinjaOutreach I’ve written over 70 guest posts in 7 months (plus a post on our blog, once a week).
The number of product reviews we’ve had go live? Around 20.
And trust me, writing content is not easy.
6. You Have A High Lifetime Customer Value
If you’re customers are worth a lot, chances are, there are better/more effective channels to acquire them.
As a rule of thumb, the more a customer is worth, the longer the sales cycles are, and the less likely they are to make a purchase online.
Customers with a high value (say for example, an entire company as a customer, in which you’re negotiating a 6 figure contract), is unlikely to head over to your website and sign up for a free trial.
That wouldn’t even make sense.
Instead, those types of deals are closed through networking and relationships.
Consider this graph from For Entrepreneurs where he discusses cost of customer acquisition and sales complexity:
If you’re wondering how people can afford anything past inside sales – it’s because their customers are worth a lot.
Those companies are rarely doing blogger outreach.
7. There Are Better Channels Out There
There are dozens of marketing channels out there, and they can all possibly bring in some sort of ROI.
Can blogger outreach be a win for you? Yes.
Can something else be a bigger win for you? Yes.
Do you have unlimited time and marketing budget? No.
Therefore, you have to maximize your resources, which means testing other marketing channels and seeing if they will provide better results.
Here’s an extensive list of marketing channels according to Hubspot – have you investigated these?
As online marketers we love to stay on the blue side, but the truth is, the red side has its merits from time to time.
OK, so now what?
I’m not trying to shatter anyone’s world here – I simply want to play devil’s advocate with blogger outreach as an effective channel for all businesses.
We’ve had a lot of success with blogger outreach, and so have many other influencers, but then again, we’re a digital software product targeting online marketers.
It’s a slam dunk.
If blogger outreach maybe isn’t the right channel for you, there are many other things that could work, such as:
- Referrals – Focusing on word of mouth referrals from my current customer base.
- Networking – Going to networking events and marketing my services.
- Paid Advertising – This gives you the capability to truly target buyer keywords for what you’re offering. If you have a relatively high customer value it allows you to spend a hefty amount on paid acquisition.
- Cold calling/emailing – this is where some knowledge of online lead generation would come in handy. It’s very direct, but effective.
- “Basic” content marketing – just to the extent that you write some articles which would address the basic questions that people have about your business.
It’s up to you to test out different channels, track the results, and go after the ones where you think you’ll have the most success.
It’s not easy, but it’s the way to do it.
Dave Schneider was the cofounder of NinjaOutreach an all in one Prospecting and Outreach tool which was created to streamline the process of connecting with influencers. He can also be found at his business blog SelfMadeBusinessman.
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