How are small businesses tapping into their consumers?

The biggest challenge before any small business is to promote its product or service quickly and in a cost-effective way. Advertising is a costly proposition for these businesses. One way to solve this business problem is to use blogger outreach programs that leverage the influence of a blogger-influencer in his subject area.

The biggest challenge before any small business is to promote its product or service quickly and in a cost-effective way. Advertising is a costly proposition for these businesses. One way to solve this business problem is to use blogger outreach programs that leverage the influence of a blogger-influencer in his subject area.

A blogger-influencer is one who commands more influence in a particular community than an average person. This influence is commanded through blogs. A blog is essentially a web journal or diary that contains information which is updated regularly. A blog may or may not be a part of a website.

How does a blog impact small business?

Blogger outreach programs such as those of Click Intelligence leverage the collective influence of bloggers belonging to a certain niche. According to a study, 86% of all influencers are bloggers themselves. Another study says that for people in the 16-54 age group, blogs form the most important sources of information.

Even a blogger with a small community can benefit small business owners. It is believed that the smaller the blogger, the greater their influence will be. Nielsen says that many bloggers are women. It says that 1 in 3 bloggers is a mother. Not just that, 52% of all bloggers are parents.

Blogging and businesses

One of the brands that understood the power of blogs very early is Gillette. This lifestyle brand was a major advertiser in newspapers and did not understand what blogging was all about. A few years ago, Gillette experimented with its advertising and began promoting itself through one of the lifestyle blogs.

This approach helped the brand broaden its customer base and also to micro-target its new buyers. Small businesses too, can use blogging programs for inbound marketing. A study shows that 55% of business owners who use these programs see a spurt in their sales. The same study shows that blogging helps attain 3x more leads.

Blogger partnerships

There are two kinds of blogger partnerships, In the Earned model, clients get free coverage in blog posts without paying sponsorship fees, and other money to bloggers. In the Paid model, clients do pay sponsorship fees to bloggers in lieu of brand mentions, product reviews or links. Please note that links do not guarantee higher rankings of the site.

Neither of the two models is perfect. It is for the brand to choose the right model. Many bloggers prefer writing product reviews in exchange for free products. In this case, the client should insist that the review accurately describe the brand and be unbiased. Most bloggers prefer being paid for their promotional efforts.

How to approach bloggers for outreach?

Clients should select those bloggers who write on topics that mirror their businesses. If you run a travel company, reach out to bloggers who write on cruises, safaris, and other travel-related topics. Next, send them a clear and concise message detailing your company and the offer. Explain the USP of your business.

The subject line of your email should be short but catchy; please remember that blogger-influencers receive hundreds of emails daily. Be transparent in your offer, and never go back on your promise once the contract has been fulfilled. Follow up on your first contract with more projects and build relationships over time.

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