Concluding Your Blogger Outreach Campaign
We are now over a month into the series and by now you should have gotten a few responses from your targeted bloggers. Although that is definitely worth celebrating, we are not done yet. There are still several things that should be done to properly assess the effectiveness of your campaign and to ensure that you keep the new relationships with the bloggers going.
First off, if the blogger has already published the article then it is important to stay engaged with the post. Respond to any appropriate comments, track the post's performance, and engage with it on all channels that it was promoted. Not only does this ensure that the post gets the maximum amount of reach, but it shows the readers and the bloggers that you truly care about it's success—something that shouldn't be too far from the truth considering the amount of work that you have put in thus far. This also allows you to have some control over the conversation and gives you a chance to further promote yourself.
After the dust has settled, you must do something very important. You must follow up with the blogger and thank them. Though this may go without saying for many of you, it is a vital part of blogger outreach that some do forget. It doesn't matter if they angrily rejected your post or happily accepted it, you should thank them either way—especially if its the latter. Of course if they did accept it, it would also be beneficial to lay down the groundwork for a continued relationship so that the next time you have something that would be perfect on their blog, they are only an email (or phone call or tweet) away. And depending on how well you develop the relationship, there is the potential to create a brand ambassador, one that will be excited to share any news about your awesome brand at the drop of a hat.
Assessing Your Campaign's Success
Now that the post has been published, you have engaged with it throughout the peak of it's digital life, and you have properly followed up with the blogger, it is time to see how successful your campaign was. Though this is completely dependent on the goals that you set in the beginning of your campaign, there are some key metrics that are worth identifying for every post and the campaign as a whole that can act as a benchmark for all future campaigns.
For this, I would suggest beginning another spreadsheet that you will use to track the success metrics of this and all future blogger outreach campaigns.
For the campaign as a whole:
- The percentage of bloggers that responded to your pitch.
- The percentage of bloggers that actually published something for you.
- The amount of bloggers that you didn't pitch to that reacted to the story.
- The total potential reach.
- The amount of links that you received to your site
- Other relevant qualitative factors like whether or not the bloggers you thought were most likely to publish your pitch actually did.
For the individual blog posts:
- The amount of comments the post received and the general sentiment.
- The amount of shares that the post received on all utilized social channels.
- The amount of traffic you received due to the post.
- Other on-site engagement metrics of the referred traffic.
These are just a few of the basic things that you can track to judge the effectiveness of your campaign. Also, don't forget to factor in the amount of traffic or social shares that the individual blogs normally get individual blog posts. You don't want to write off a particular blog because they didn't do as well as one that gets ten times the traffic.
You also want to be sure to analyze all your data and see if you can identify trends. Did a pitch fail miserably with some types of bloggers where it passed with flying colors for others? See if you can figure out why. Did your story resonate particularly well within a certain niche where there was practically no engagement in another? Find out the reason for it. If you are really perplexed, try asking the blogger why they rejected it, chances are they will happy to provide you with some constructive criticism. As with most things, it takes practice and with time hopefully you can understand what works well with certain bloggers, niches and audiences—ultimately allowing you to deliver the most value to each type of blogger.
And that is it! You are officially done your blogger outreach campaign (or at least you have all of the information to begin a successful one). As a final note, it is important to remember that the success of your campaign depends a lot on how much value you can provide to the blogger and their audience because in the end, that's really what the blogger cares about. If you can tell a good story that is creative, original and valuable to the target audience, then what blogger wouldn't accept that kind of pitch? Also, if you decided to begin an outreach campaign because of this series, I would love to hear about how it turned out and if any of the advice provided worked particularly well. And as always, if you have any additional advice, tips, or criticisms concerning this particular post I would love to hear about it in the comments.