Blogger outreach or sponsored posting is known as the most effective SEO technique to drive traffic to your site and improve rankings. Some marketers try to go it alone however many find value in using a specialized blogger outreach firm. There are a number of ‘renowned’ digital marketing agencies which literally bring hundreds of value-adding key skills to the table.
However, most of them are at a loss when it comes to reaching out to influencers or other bloggers on behalf of their clients to build relationships.
An SEO agency may be great at keyword research, on-page optimization, conversion optimization, technical aspects, site architecture analysis, content analysis, and competitor analysis.
In addition, they may be completely lacking in blogging outreach expertise.
To create a successful blogger outreach campaign you require so much more than just sending out emails in order to solicit a backlink or promotional article.
It is important that you don’t just sign up to any blogger outreach program, but research and find one that is true to your expectations, passions, and goals. You need to find specialists to whom blogger outreach comes naturally.
This is only possible when a team is dedicated solely to networking and building relationships with high-traffic bloggers and influencers from multiple niches.
Here are some things you should look out for when researching a blogger outreach agency.
SEO Agencies Past Positive Experiences
Case studies are integral to choosing the right agency which will know what you need and how to go about accomplishing it.
Past experience speaks volumes about how an outreach agency will handle complications in the campaign and show results.
It is vitally important to understand what you should expect from a campaign with blogger outreach companies. The best or an ideal scenario is when the agency has already worked with other businesses in your industry or category.
Even if they haven’t, they could still be the agency for you, if they have splendid experience in other industries. You will require detailed information after thorough research and investigation.
It is important that you conduct at least a cursory background check with a simple online search to check if there are any bad reviews.
You can discern true professionals from run-of-the-mill-agencies by asking for a proposal that explains how they would run the influencer campaign if you were to choose them. Make sure you get a detailed outlook of all plans before signing the contract.
Sponsored Post Agencies with Upfront Pricing
Blogger outreach may be difficult for you because of lack of connections and time, but it should come easy to an agency. After all, it is their daily bread and butter.
Hence, when you ask for an itemized report of all the steps they intend to take for getting you those articles, reviews, or backlinks, then the firm should not hesitate or stall your question.
Be very wary if a potential influencer marketing agency is reluctant to enumerate the work they intend to carry out.
Poor digital marketing agencies have a tendency to hide the truth about what they are doing for the cash you are paying them.
A good agency will be completely transparent with you and not be scared or hesitant in listing down the steps they intend to take as part of their blogger outreach strategy.
Now, you need to understand that every marketing agency will have trade secrets. They may not share names with you, but you should expect complete disclosure regarding:
- the number of back links they can get you
- whether any will be contextual
- are the links do-follow
- domain authority of the website
- number of guest posts or reviews (with word count)
- content quality and whether written by native US writers
Look for complete transparency and pick a blogger outreach agency which keeps you in the loop. This can be through weekly reports or calls.
The only reason a company outsources a part of their work is to make it easier to deal with other operations. You may end up chasing the money if you pick the wrong outreach agency.
Agency Access to Exclusive Blog Networks
This is one of the most important factors you should consider while hiring a blogger outreach company. Influencers are the people you want talking about your brand, products or services.
These people are considered an authority in their respective fields and it is important to hire an agency that has fostered relationships with influencers in your industry.
For instance, if your product is protein bars aimed at fitness buffs, then you don’t want an outreach company that only has ‘generalists’ in their network.
You don’t want to pay for general reviews or guest posts on just any food blogging site.
You want your protein bars to be seen and identified by target audience (gym-goers in this case). You would want to outsource your work to a company that has good relations with top fitness blogs, healthy eating blogs, and fitness food experts.
It is best to go for an outreach agency that hand-selects their influencers rather than just bidding to the whole lot. Hand-picking the influencers give your brand an edge and make it exclusive at the same time.
You can also be comfortable in the knowledge that all influencers are thoroughly vetted to provide maximum results.
Ask potential influencer agencies about how they communicate with their bloggers. Do they send thank you notes and gifts to their influencers?
A marketing agency which goes the extra mile is bound to have influencers who will be ready to go the extra mile in writing about their clients.
Sometimes, it only takes one detailed and insightful review to increase brand presence and climb the search engine rankings.
How Automated Is Their Outreach Process
Involvement should be on your terms and not the agency’s. If you are a brand that likes to be hands on, then the agency should be willing to cater to you. They should be ready to keep you in the loop about their strategies and course of actions.
However, at the same time if you want to put everything on the agency’s shoulders and just sit back and reap the SERP rewards, then the agency should be up to the task. They should be responsible, accessible, and accountable for the money you paid.
You shouldn’t have to be chasing a company you hired a month down the line. This is another area where transparency comes into play.
The company you choose should be as transparent as possible, so that the campaign runs exactly as you expect.
Look for clues that will help you understand that an agency is the right pick. They should be asking you questions (whether you want to be involved or not) about your high level goals, the kind of target audience you have in mind, whether you have run blogger outreach campaigns in the past, and results from those campaigns.
This information is vital to a blogger outreach company to put together a plan. If the agency you are interviewing fails to ask these pertinent questions, then you may well be wasting your time with them.
What Price Should You Pay For A Sponsored Post
Influencer agencies, typically, offer a campaign-based pricing model that takes into account all the costs of running a campaign.
This includes labor costs, influencer compensation, and any extra digital spend to promote the campaign.
There are many outreach companies who will provide you with a fixed quote, while others may have a fluctuating price model depending upon the number of influencers, their audience, and predicted engagement, and reach.
Neither of these price models are the wrong choice. The decision solely depends upon your budget and expectations. You may have to pay a little extra if you are looking for a premium service that allows businesses deeper demographic insight into the customers interacting with influencer content.
It is best to ask for a base, standard pricing that matches your budget. From there you can either negotiate or look at alternate options.
How To Track Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing
As a business owner, you may already understand the importance of measuring campaign performance.
The results from outreach campaigns should explain your return on investment, and guide your decisions in future campaigns.
Social media was valued above engagement just a few years ago. However, now the opposite is true. Campaign results can now get even more granular when assigning values to social media engagement with the advancement of social analytics tools.
Look for a blogger outreach agency that calculates engagement, and measures reach, after every campaign is over. At the same time inquire as to how the agency calculates or measures their results.
You need to make sure that you are not paying those extra dollars for PBNs or Black Hat Links. Look for genuine blogger outreach companies that have real sites in their influencer network.
Your brand is at major risk where search engines are concerned if you get a link that is automated by a bot or placed on a PBN network.
You should also aim for content that is written by native English speaker. This way you can confidently publish the content or links in your website and social media channels. There is nothing more hurtful to a business than poorly written content.
Lastly, make sure there are other high quality outbound links within the article which helps give your backlink more credibility.
A good blogger outreach service that provides content will deliver high quality articles that link out to at least 2-3 relevant sources. Contextual links surrounded by relevant content gives you brownie points with Google AI.