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My presentation is described thus, “A step-by-step walk through of a campaign that Sally Falkow and I did for Mizuno Running. See what we did to engage and activate hundreds of bloggers, from the top 100 running bloggers down the every single blogger who self-identified with being a Runner.” Mizuno USA hired me to join their AOR, McKinney, to help them leverage the power of online influencers and social media to help introduce an online runner’s community they were launching called the Mezamashii Project. The Japanese word “mezamashii” means “brilliant” and Mizuno wanted to let runners know what it was like to have a brilliant run. Since Mizununo might not be top-of-mind when American runners think of buying shoes, the job that I was given was to make sure the Mezamashii Project was launched in a big way. Long Tail Blogger Outreach My portion of the campaign was online influencer marketing, including reaching out to 100 A-list runners, a task I shared with fellow outreach marketing rock star, Sally Falkow of Meritus Media, as well as “everyone else,” which I call long tail blogger outreach. What this Cluetrainian idea means is that the combined influence and impact of having hundreds of bloggers and online influencers speak on behalf of Mizuno is more important that having a handful of A-list “celebrity” bloggers on board. Mizuno was smart: they not only engaged an agency like McKinney, reached out to the top celebrity and A-list bloggers, but also were willing to reach out to and engage any and all bloggers who in any way self-described themselves as runners. What is a runner? Well, according to Runner’s World magazine, a runner is anyone who straps on a pair of shoes and ambles down the block. Every Blog is Sacred This includes both Ultramarathoners, crazy folks who run upwards of 3,100 miles, to someone like me, a 44-year old college rower who is now trying to reduce from 285 lbs by hitting the road, to someone who has never ever gotten off of the couch but now is attempting to go from Couch to 5k by using Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run method of training to run. I wanted them all! Funny thing was: most of the running celebrities were already sponsored by Nike, New Balance, Saucony, and Brooks. It Takes a Village We used a combination of good old Google search and a team of researchers I work with to collect the hundred top-runners as well as the thousands of regular bloggers who blogged about any number of topics: 5ks, 10ks, CrossFit, weight loss, running, jogging, half-marathons, marathons, triathlons, sprinting, personal training, going to the gym, and loads of other running- and training-related pastimes. While Sally and I reached out to those hundred top bloggers by hand, reaching them via email as well as through their social channels, including email forms and even via private message on Daily Mile, it was a different thing entirely across the long tail.
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Thanks for joining! How to Engage Bloggers Down the Long Tail Hashtag: #ltbo Twitter: @chrisabraham Google+: google.com/+ChrisAbraham Facebook: facebook.com/chrisabraham LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chrisabraham @chrisabraham #ltbo
Your Speaker: Chris Abraham Principal Consultant Avid Blogger/Contributor: @chrisabraham #ltbo 2
My Personal Digital PR Philosophy Find people where they live (and meet them there even if it’s a forum or message board) Explore the long tail (there are millions of people blogging, sharing, and posting online – and PR tends to pile on the same 100 “influentials”) “We want you to take 50 million of us as seriously as you take one reporter from The Wall Street Journal” (#83 of the 95 Theses from The Cluetrain Manifesto) Spoil everyone (like you would Guy Kawasaki) Be grateful (nobody is required to help you) @chrisabraham #ltbo 3
Why You Should Reach Past the A-List Blogger outreach tends to focus on only identifying and engaging top-25 influential bloggers Out of those 25, maybe 3 will cover your story over the course of a campaign We collect every blogger who has ever had a thematic interest in our customers We collect them all – all of them – into a "universe" – a list We reach out to each and every one of them – no fewer than 2,000 but often 5,000 – via email But then that’s where the work starts @chrisabraham #ltbo 4
Why You Should Reach Past the A-List The initial blast is akin to speed-dating Most good pitches don’t require a personal relationship Success depends on five things: Freshness & quality of the list collected Generosity of the “gift” being offered in the pitch The ability of the email to reach the inbox The charm & responsiveness of the responders Following up twice after the initial email outreach @chrisabraham #ltbo 5
On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog @chrisabraham #ltbo 6
Campaign Questions Goal: what is it you need to do? Monitor: what are you looking to find? Discover: where are people talking? Learn: who are these talking people? Collect: what groups do you need? Engage: how best to connect? Outreach: how best to pitch? Analyze: how did you do? @chrisabraham #ltbo 7
Goals: What Do You Want to Accomplish? Build brand awareness? Increase community engagement? Prospect new brand ambassadors? Drive sales, traffic, membership? Drive conversation volume? Improve organic search? Get a feel for your neighborhood? Launch a new product, service, investment? @chrisabraham #ltbo 8
Monitor: Listen/Look Before You Leap Google Search is the best tool to get a feel When it comes down to it, Google does an amazing job of giving you a 30,000-foot view of the blogosphere Spend some time understanding the space It’s not always obvious how people engage with you, your brand, your space, or your industry. Allow your community to lead your exploration; do not be willful: people don’t always use your language Include message boards, forums, etc., in your recon Try out all the tools: it’s a buyer’s market SDL SM2, Radian6, Sysomos, Sprout Social, Lithium @chrisabraham #ltbo 9
Internet Rule #34: If It Exists There Is Porn of It 10@chrisabraham #ltbo
Discover: Finding People Where They Live Social media is much bigger than Facebook There are a multitude of social networks, self-run message boards, threads deep in reddit, and ad-hoc discussions everywhere online (Dailymile.com, etc.) If it exists, there is blog of it (Rule 34 variant) There are more than a billion active blogs worldwide Always start with Google Influencer discovery GroupHigh – grouphigh.com Little Bird – getlittlebird.com InkyBee – inkybee.com eCairn – ecairn.com 11@chrisabraham #ltbo
Discover: Finding People Where They Live 12@chrisabraham #ltbo
Learn: Do They Want to Be Engaged? And How? Blogs (including online journalists, curators, aggregators, group blogs, and bloggers) Can you find their name and email address? If contacting them is hard, maybe they don’t want to be Look for a “how to engage/pitch” message Follow their directions to a T (or don’t engage them at all) Forums (including bookmark & link aggregators) Engage forum owners directly, don’t jump in there! Social Networks (including FB, Twitter, etc.) Engage before befriending before pitching 13@chrisabraham #ltbo
Collect: Demo-, Geo-, Psycho-Graphic Lists The A-list (the crème de la crème of influence) Generally professional bloggers and journalists, including the blogs and profiles of mainstream media platforms, celebrities, high Klout scores, high-traffic blogs, authors, actors, scientists, pundits, newsmakers, and people with mad followers Will blog for free, but only if they’re compelled to (exclusive content, big news, financial releases, new investment, etc.) Never, ever, include A-list bloggers in a bulk email pitch – hand-written only Prepare your kid-gloves and your checkbook – find ways to woo them personally (over lavish meals, inviting them to HQ, or meeting them down at one of the many conferences they attend) Become a persistent “bestie” – either as someone who is a communicator pitching them good, consistent, and valuable content or, even better, a personal friend who doesn’t just collect them as a method of access or a sign of prestige 14@chrisabraham #ltbo
Collect: Demo-, Geo-, Psycho-Graphic Lists B-D-List (the mid-section of the long tail often asks for money) While not all B-D-list bloggers lead with an advertising rate sheet, many do Most PR campaigns aren’t budgeted for advertising spend so I don’t pay for posts Ideally, earned-media is the goal of PR campaigns, so it’s up to you Many of the B-D-list bloggers can get you what you need for less than a strong ad buy While disclosures are essential everywhere, they’re doubly so for “advertorial” content I tend to put any blogger who asks for money into a DNC* list Midrange bloggers are easier to access, harder to garner earn media mentions from, but a worthy investment of time and attention toward a long-term relationship People help out their friends, so becoming close may curry favor for earned media pitches I generally include B-D-list bloggers in general long-tail bulk email outreach *Do not contact list 15@chrisabraham #ltbo
Collect: Demo-, Geo-, Psycho-Graphic Lists E-Z-List (the long-tail of the blogosphere, including ~1 Billion bloggers) While a billion active blogs are well out-of-scope, please remember: No matter how obscure your product or service, there’s probably a blog about it The original Rule #34 is: “If it exists, there is porn of it;” same for the blogosphere Collect email addresses, blog name, and maybe location only for E-Z-list While I might be willing to chase down the contact info of A-D-list bloggers via forms or hunting them down via LinkedIn or Facebook Messenger, Dailymile mail, or Twitter DMs, I only engage long-tail bloggers if they share their email address gladly If bloggers don’t make it easy to contact them, they may not want to be contacted; and, if you contact someone who doesn’t want to be, there will be serious blowback Send everyone in your list a bulk email pitch but be ready to engage in person Don’t worry, most people aren’t fanboys – a cold-pitch is fine if your “gift” is generous 16@chrisabraham #ltbo
Collect: Demo-, Geo-, Psycho-Graphic Lists 17@chrisabraham #ltbo
Engage: Pitch It Slow and Right Over the Plate Tell, don’t sell Lead with the news, not the used car Pitching is speed dating You don’t need to overwrite Allow people to be intrigued Less is more Attention span is limited Pre-masticate message into easy-to-understand pabulum Don’t include attachments or inline content Don’t BS, brown nose, lie, or flatter "Please don’t say you read and love my blog, then pitch me on something that I never cover here" -- Mack Collier 18@chrisabraham #ltbo
Outreach: The Catch Is the More Important Part www.mizunorunningnews.com The informational microsite Internally, I call it an SMNR Social Media News Release The kitchen sink theory Don’t limit the SMNR to just the pitch Bloggers are libertarian contrarians Give a lot to look through – give them options Steal me, steal me! Optimize content to be copied-and-pasted Pre-embed embed codes Pre-link and optimize for SEO, etc. @chrisabraham #ltbo 19
Outreach: The Magic Happens in the Inbox 20@chrisabraham #ltbo
Outreach: Yet Another Mail Merge 21@chrisabraham #ltbo
Analyze: It All Comes Down to the Bottom Line Track using site analytics tools Google Analytics tracking code in the SMNR Server-side analytics tools: AWstats, Webalizer Track both SMNR & target site Track using media mention tools I presently use SDL SM2 (Alterian SM2) Primary, secondary, tertiary, etc., mentions Lots of free and fee-based tools Google Analytics is becoming more SM-savvy Track using specialized landing pages Using affiliate tricks-of-the-trade 22@chrisabraham #ltbo
Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 133 earned media blog posts, 1,350 Tweets, 40 other @chrisabraham #ltbo 23
Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 24@chrisabraham #ltbo
Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 25@chrisabraham #ltbo
Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 26@chrisabraham #ltbo
Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 27@chrisabraham #ltbo
Final Words “Hugs not horns” – Chris Abraham “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” – Philo of Alexandria (or Plato or Ian MacLaren or John Watson) @chrisabraham #ltbo 28
Contact Me Any Time Email: email@example.com Mobile: +1 202-352-5051 Twitter: @chrisabraham Google+: google.com/+ChrisAbraham Facebook: facebook.com/chrisabraham LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chrisabraham TSMM: thesocialmediamonthly.com/author/cabraham GroupHigh: grouphigh.com/author/chris-abraham Socialmedia.biz: socialmedia.biz/author/chrisabraham Biznology.com: biznology.com/author/chrisabraham Huffington Post: huffingtonpost.com/chris-abraham @chrisabraham #ltbo 29