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L aunch Your Product With 3rd Party Bloggers: Part 2

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Nick Cotton Mar 17, 2015

CRS-4” by SpaceX Photos, used under CC BY 2.0 / text added.

It’s time for “Part 2 of Launch Your Product With 3rd Party bloggers.” If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, let’s do a quick summary:
Establish your calendar – Before you contact anyone, know your deadlines.

Research what your customers read – Build a clear idea of who your ideal customers are and what they read.

Spend it if you got it – If time is money, then this is the moment to spend it on sponsored posts.

Play small ball – Enticing free coverage is a tantalizing prospect, but only pursue this avenue if you have the time to burn.

Keep track of everything – Some bloggers will flake out. To hold individuals accountable you need records.

Now, armed with the wisdom from Part 1, you are ready to take on Part 2. In this installment, we’ll examine what it takes to develop a relationship with bloggers who matter. And don’t kid yourself – this is a relationship. The article they write will ultimately be as much a reflection of what it’s like to work with you, as it is about working with the product. Good relationships translate into good press.
Deliver everything they need the first time
At the beginning of the process, the blogger will give you a list of information they need to do the post. Bloggers can’t blog without information about your product. It’s your job to give it to them. On time. And don’t send half the package while you finish color-correcting the beauty shots. To avoid confusion, send one package with everything they’ve requested.
Follow up on the post (and the social media outreach)
Sending off the media package feels like a victory worthy of celebration. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back, but you’re not done yet. The first step in this process was establishing your calendar. Now we put that calendar to work and fight to stay on schedule.
Successful bloggers are consistent bloggers, but they’re also expensive. Unless you’re paying top dollar for publicity, prepare yourself to babysit this process every step of the way. Even after the piece is posted, make sure they follow through on all the agreed upon promotion. Did they tweet it out to their followers? Did they pin the infographic to their Pinterest account? Did they put effort into the outreach? You can, and should, hold them accountable.
Retweet/Share/Re-post on channels you control
You have your own social media channels at your disposal. Channels that are bursting at the seams with people who are eager for news of your next endeavor. Use both your business and personal accounts to spread news of the most recent coverage.
Not only is this good for you, but for your relationship with the blogger who wrote the piece. If an article about your product earned them new followers, they are all the more likely to be receptive the next time you come calling. All business is about relationships. Which is why we absolutely must…
Say “thank you”
You don’t have to send a fruit basket. You don’t have to take them out to coffee. But make sure you express appreciation. Saying “thank you” is the unsung talent of master marketers. It doesn’t matter if it was a sponsored post and you paid them to say all those nice things about you. Be polite. And who knows, if everything went smoothly, if you impressed them with your professionalism, if you made the process easy and fun, then you have also laid the groundwork for future PR opportunities.
Remember the results
Who delivered their audience? Who turned out to be blogging to a ghost town? This wont be the last product you launch. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a documented account of all the bloggers that were great to work with? Imagine all the time you could save if you had a list of the bloggers who made a mess of the experience. Start that list now. Keep in touch with the winners and lose the number of anyone who wasted your time.

Bloggers are often ignored in a marketing push because they can be so unpredictable, but they can also be the lynchpin to a viral campaign. Keep your cool when things get rough and remember that it’s all about relationships. After all, this wont be the last product you need publicity for.

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