Free Awesome Blogger Outreach Tools You’re Probably Not Using

June 12, 2015 · Filed Under Branding, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media · 9 Comments 

Creating a blogger outreach program is as natural a part of brand marketing on the web these days as any other. An extension to social campaigning, it is a thorough and honest way to tap into a blogger’s trusted reader base, while fostering a connection and relationship with a valuable content creator.

Pitching to a blogger is simple enough — you provide a sample or trial of your product or service. The blogger writes up what they honestly think about it, and you get to share yourself with the world (or at least that sliver of cyberspace where the blogger has some authority).

Efficient, effective and free, you have nothing to lose! The only problem is finding the bloggers themselves. How do you hunt down those web gurus who have the most clout, while still relating in a significant manner to your brand?

These tools are free, simple to use, and totally awesome for anyone looking to create or expand their blogger outreach program.

Tools to Find and Connect to Bloggers

Tomoson

Tomoson

Tomoson: Out of all platforms connecting brands to bloggers for mutual benefits, this one is the most straightforward yet the most flexible. It makes sure you connect to bloggers on their terms, as you are not allowed to dictate how they review your product or link to you. And that’s the best way to do blogger outreach, but keep in mind that blogs are editorial.

When running a promotion you can tell a person where they can link to IF they want to. It is not required that people link to you because it’s against Google policy. Most people will work with a business to help in any way they can (source).

Tomoson also has their own rank that measures users’ influence which works much better than Klout for me.

BlogLocal

BlogLocal
BlogLocal: Let’s say you realize that a blogger that is popular in your industry is a 30 minute drive away. That is the perfect opportunity to contact them through social media and request a face to face meeting to introduce them to the product or service in person, and then get them on board for a review.

It is also a simple way of connecting on a deeper level that will provide the foundation of a long term working relationship.

BlogLocal shows you blogs in your area, so you can find out who is around you in any city, or in the cities you frequently visit.

MyBlogU

MyBlogU

MyBlogU: MyBlogU lets you build your authority by contributing your expert opinion to a relevant article. It’s a great tool to build your brand trust.

At MyBlogU, there are a ton of active bloggers who are looking for expert snippets and comments, interview opportunities, and a chance to help one another. That makes it a rich hunting ground for bloggers that obviously know about your niche, and so would be open to working with you on whatever you need help with.

It may also be a chance for you to show your own authority and value to the community at large, and start building a repertoire with others in the industry.

 

Before you connect …

Long gone are the days when blogger outreach was considered a success when you got one product review and happily ran away with it. Today it’s all about building solid relationships; it’s about turning bloggers into brand ambassadors or brand evangelists.

Here are some tips for you to make the most of every connection.

  1. Connect on Twitter. In spite of nearly everyone on the planet having some form of experience with this social media platform, not everyone knows how to best utilize it for relationship building. It is rare to find a blog that doesn’t have a Twitter. Some will have several, including those for their individual writers, editors, and founders. You can connect with them one on one, sharing their content, @tagging them, or just engaging in a valuable manner that makes them more familiar with you and your brand. I maintain separate Twitter lists for my valuable blogging contacts to keep a closer eye on them. Tools like Oktopost and Commun.it makes profiling social media contacts very fast and efficient.
  2. Find out what projects they are involved in. You may find that other projects a blogger is maintaining may work even better for you (or compliment your future plans) or you may discover the blogger is planning to go to an event nearby. Whatever it is, spend 10-15 minutes browsing around to see how else you can work together — your research will be highly appreciated. I usually use this tool to find other sites the blogger has. I also make sure I go though their “About page” and most recent social media updates before I reach out to the blogger.
  3. Use tools to collect more information on people you connect. Rappotive is excellent for seeing who the person behind the email is, for example. And of course, Knowem will make your job much easier finding the bloggers’ social media identities with one click.

 

Conclusion

Most bloggers are more than welcoming of the chance to try something new and blog about it. Not only does it expose them to something they may use in the future, but it gives them a chance for fresh content that attracts an audience based on a previously established brand. The key is to approach blogger outreach properly!

Blogger Outreach is an important part of any marketing strategy in this day and age. You need the right tools, and luckily there are plenty that are free and can help you. Try these out, and let us know about any others you enjoy in the comments below!

5 Tools to Build Following and Increase Interactions on Google Plus

November 24, 2014 · Filed Under Social Media · 3 Comments 

Even though we’ve been all skeptic (quite rightfully so judging from a few of Google’s miserable attempts to enter the social media business), Google Plus is still alive and even thriving. In many industries (Travel, technology, business), it’s even rocking!

In my experience (and I am in one of the most popular Google Plus niches: Search and social media), Google Plus has a huge potential of connecting you to influencers and sending traffic to your site.

Here are a few things I’ve found:

  • Google Plus posts have a much longer life span than Twitter updates (especially for visual content)
  • Google Plus lets you better target your updates than any other social network (Thanks to circles which are surprisingly working)
  • Google Plus posts may give your Google search visibility (in personalized results: Your friends will often see you photo and your update when searching Google). This results in even longer life span: Sometimes I see my one-year-old update suddenly get new likes!
  • Google Plus can send a good traffic to your site (Not as good as Google, in some industries not as good as Facebook and Pinterest, but definitely better than Twitter)
  • Google Plus updates can rank in general Google search results that make their lifespa enormous. Sometimes I get plusses for Google Plys updates that date back to two years ago!

All in all, Google Plus is definitely worth investing your time into. And here are a few tools to help:

 

1. Google Plus /Explore: G+ Content Marketing

The first tool is Google’s own /Explore section that lets you explore Google Plus trending updates outside of your circles.

Most importantly, the section lets you monitor trending Google #hashtags: If you want a wider a reach for your G+ content, try using those hashtags from time to time to see much better interactions with your updates.

Monitor trending Google hashtags

You can also use the section to explore “Related hashtags” to embrace a more targeted approach to Google Plus update tagging.

Google Plus Related Hashtags

 

2. Circloscope: Manage Your Google Plus Circles Easier

(Freemium)

This tool has really no alternatives. We talked to its co-founder at our Twitter chat and I started actively using the tool after that (Disclaimer: They gave me a free PRO account to play before the chat).

Some users have reported 1000% growth in followers & engagement after just a few weeks of using Circloscope. I personally got over 2k +1s on a blog post due in large part to using Circloscope smartly

Circloscope has a ton of features and I have yet to discover all of them but here are those I am currently using:

  • Discover and circle active users of any community (you can filter results to set the minimum number of followers)
  • Discover and circle users who have interacted (liked, re-shared, commented) with the particular Google Plus post
  • Discover and circle users who are following you (Who you are not following back)
  • Discover people who are not circling you back or who are not active on Google Plus for a long time
  • Discover and circle people who are going to the same event you do!

Circloscope Google Plus Circle Manager

Circloscope is quite powerful for free (the paid version also supports Google Plus business pages and some bulk actions). The only limitation is that you need to be using Google Plus to run it.

 

3. Cyfe: Monitor Google Plus Hashtags Easier

(Freemium)

Cyfe is the only tool I know that allows to effectively monitor Google Plus hashtags. It allows to set up a separate dashboard that would be built of as many widgets you need. I have a separate dashboard for Google Plus searches:

Manage Google Plus hashtags

  • Monitor search for any or many Google Plus hashtags (Surprisingly, Google hashtags do actually work for visibility!)
  • Monitor search for any terms you care about (depending on your niche)
  • Whenever you see anything of interest: (1) Go to the update to like and better comment and (2) Add the author to circles. That’s a great way to discover new contacts and generate meaningful interactions!

4. Google Plus Ripples Bookmarklet: Participate in G+ Discussions around Any URL

(Free)

This tool is browser-based bookmarklet that gives you an easy access to “ripples” (i.e. public shares of any URLs). While you can use Circloscope to add interacts to circles, this one lets you see and participate in various discussions around any URL:

Monitor Google+ Plus Ripples

You can use it to discover ripples for your own articles or for any other article where you think you can contribute to a discussion.

And yes, make sure to circle Google Plus users you discuss articles with!

 

5. CircleCount: Discover Trending Google Plus Communities

(Free)

Participating in active Google Plus communities is one of the best ways to discover new connections, build traffic and build your Google Plus following. Google Plus does allow you to search for related communities but the search is very limited.

CircleCount ranks Google Plus communities by “fastest growing” which makes it a great discovery tool for active communities. I also like it because I can find some amazing groups there I wouldn’t have thought to look for, such as “Inspirational Quotes” and “Google Plus PRO” tips.

Manage Google Plus Communities

When you are establishing yourself within a community, don’t forget to comment on others’ posts as well. It’s a great way to build following!

Do you have any tools you are using to grow your Google Plus presence? Please share them in the comments!

 

About the Author: Ann Smarty is the Founder of MyBlogU, the free community allowing bloggers to brainstorm and participate in group interviews. Feel free to catch up with us on Facebook!