Being a blogger and online marketing professional, I have witnessed the problems which both sides face and the existing “collaboration-barriers” which have appeared over the years.
Let me sing you the song of the long tail and the blogger outreach paradox.
On The Blogger’s Side
As I mentioned, I am a blogger myself (lovable-marketing.com and several others) and I have experienced the annoying pitches of SEOs and digital PR professionals in which I could just tell that it was a copy / paste of a pre-defined text, mostly because my Name wasn’t anywhere in it or because it’s so stereotypical and generalizable in its structure, that it can’t be serious.
As a blogger, I interpret not taking 3 minutes to quickly read the “about” section and checking for a name as a lack of respect, so the email goes straight into the trash.
Let’s be honest, bloggers have a big ego getting the very same email than a bunch of other bloggers is just insulting, right? But why do advertisers do it?
On The Advertiser’s Side
Being in charge of the international expansion of rankseller international, I am in charge of a team whose job is to get in touch with bloggers on a regular basis. I know how painfully time-consuming two aspects are: the search for bloggers and reaching out to them in an effective way.
Have you ever heard of the long tail? If so: it also applies to blogging! It’s not difficult to find the most influential bloggers. Where it gets difficult is when you want to get in touch with long tail bloggers i.e. those who aren’t that “mainstream-famous” and don’t drive enormous traffic: niche blogs. They are very difficult to find and there are just so many of them!
Moreover, the response rate is so low, that many advertisers much rather go with the template, hoping that 1 out of 10 answers rather than to customize 10 emails and getting 5 answers.
This is why the bloggers in the Long Tail get these annoying copy-paste pitches.
The Potential Is There But Not Taken Advantage Of!
A recent survey in France among 150 influential bloggers found that 2/3 of them are not satisfied with the way they are approached by brands, even though 9 out of of these bloggers said they were interested in working with brands. We also did a survey in Germany, this time with a larger panel.
Over 2,300 bloggers participated and the very same percentage said they were interested in collaborations. However “only” 67% said they receive these pitches (which are often not replied to).
These two studies show that there is a huge potential in the collaboration between brands and publishers which remains to be taken advantage of.
Why Marketplaces Could Be The Answer
Our company, rankseller international, was founded by two entrepreneurs who recognized this potential.
One of them used to be an online marketer looking to collaborate with publishers and the other one was in charge of establishing partnerships and monetizing online magazines.
Both worked on a marketplace-based platform allowing both publishers and advertisers to connect more quickly and more efficiently, optimizing the conditions and processes in the best possible way to satisfy both.
Why does it work? Today, one and a half years after the launch in Germany, the company is the market leader in Germany and went international (which adds even more value for international advertisers). This was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign during which 200 micro investors trusted the concept.
The biggest problem in blogger outreach is the vicious circle which emerged: advertisers don’t have enough time (and money) to establish an extensive list of blogs and customize each pitch and bloggers don’t feel respected by these standardized emails, often sent from anonymous addresses or sent from people which can’t be found in person when googled.
The marketplace represents a central platform allowing both to connect more effectively: the bloggers can trust the outreach is serious and their payment is guaranteed and the advertisers gain up to several days of work through pitches sent to bloggers, who apply for it!
The Revenge Of The Blogosphere…
The current trends in SEO (Penguin update), Public Relations, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Native Advertising have boosted the blogosphere’s popularity.
A couple of years ago, many announced its decline because of micro blogging through social media, but it appears that they have much more boosted the influence and reach of bloggers than it harmed them. And Blog Marketing was born.
Thank you Jerry for getting the opportunity to talk about the problem most professionals face in the blogger outreach process and for getting the opportunity to introduce our marketplace in this guest post!