People Google products every day to decide what to buy. Most results won’t be from the product’s company itself, but they still influence decisions. That’s because people generally trust third-party opinions.

So when a business keeps talking about how great they are, you’re going to take it with a grain of salt – maybe write it off as bragging. But when someone else tells you how great it is, there’s less chance of bias, so you’re more likely to believe them.

That “someone else” is frequently an influential blogger.

An independent study found that bloggers are consumers’ third most trusted source of information. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to find the perfect bloggers to partner with.

Being able to identify how influential a blogger is, and their audience, can be tricky. But bloggers can give your clients’ campaigns the push that they need to succeed.

Here’s what you need to know about identifying them.

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What makes someone influential?

Influencers have the ability to impact the decisions of a group of people. They can be authors, journalists, bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers — or just regular people — who have a strong social media presence.

Partnering with influential bloggers can help your clients with specific or niche audiences. They have the platform, persuasive skills, and community to help – and are happy to “lend” these things out to the right brand through collaborations.

But remember, being popular and influential are different. Both types of bloggers have large audiences, but influential ones can engage readers and make an impact. Look at how they interact with their readers — that can give you a good sense of the relationship between them.

Why you should work with bloggers?

Partnering with bloggers has lots of benefits. You just need to know how to structure the campaign to meet the goals you set (which we’ll talk more about in a minute).

Campaigns focused on specific products can increase sales during a launch or rebranding. General or long-term partnerships are great for increasing your client’s reach since content will be about the brand as a whole. And focusing the partnership on promoting the brand’s values can increase trust.

Now, how do you accomplish this? Again, think about your goal and get creative. Here are a few ideas to start off:

  • Bloggers can help increase sales before and during a launch by reviewing the new product. It’s common to run a review “tour,” stopping at several blogs along the way.
  • Create a campaign around content creation to promote a new product. For example, you could come up with a theme or list of topics related to the product and work with bloggers to publish them.
  • When you want to highlight your client’s culture and values, blogs with similar values may offer to interview key team members or publish a guest post.
  • You can take advantage of a blogger’s expertise in their niche by having them collaborate with your client on a new product or project.
  • For a community-building approach, co-hosting an event in-person or online has a real-time and personal feel that will garner engagement.

What bloggers should you work with?

You’re probably excited to start searching for bloggers. But remember, finding the right bloggers is more important than finding the biggest or trendiest ones.

To find bloggers who’ll bring your campaigns the most value, first think of your overall goal. Different bloggers have different strengths. Some can increase your client’s brand awareness. Others will generate leads or establish trust. So before pitching anyone, ask yourself how it will help reach the client’s goals.

You should also look at their reach. Certain bloggers may be the perfect fit to represent your client, but if you’re looking to build brand awareness and they don’t have the audience, how will that help your campaign? But for other campaigns, a tight-knit niche audience could be best.

Next, you need relevance — for the blogger’s readers to care about your product. Neither party benefits if the audience isn’t a good match. If a client sells cosmetics, you should look at makeup bloggers or vloggers. But for a banking client, start researching business and finance blogs.

Lastly, think about what platforms your client wants to reach users on. Bloggers are pretty active on social. If you know what social networks your campaign needs to reach, you can focus on bloggers with active presences on them.

International Delight is a great example of a company that partnered with the right bloggers. In 2013 they ran one of the Shorty Award’s best influencer campaigns to promote their new Cold Stone Creamery flavors. They worked with food bloggers to create recipes using them, and shared their results on Pinterest using #IScream4ID.

find perfect bloggers - iscream4id

The page saw over 11 million impressions and reached over 3 million consumers. Lyuba’s White Wedding Cake Milkshake alone generated over 57,000 pins for the campaign.

Not only did it build awareness for their new coffee creamers, it also taught consumers different ways to use the creamers.

How do you pick the right partners?

Now that you’ve figured out what kind of bloggers your client needs, it’s time to actually find them.

Monitoring keywords allows you to easily find the perfect bloggers with the right characteristics for your campaign. And honestly, it can be a piece of cake if you’re using the right tools.

Here are a few things you’ll want to research:

  • Competitors: take a look at bloggers that are talking about your client’s competitors, or participating in their own campaigns.
  • Industry news: start keeping an eye on industry publications and topics to see which bloggers are taking part in the important conversations.
  • Hashtags: monitor popular hashtags that relate to your client, especially branded hashtags. This will help you find bloggers that are already fans and likely to be excited about a partnership.
  • Client’s customers: see which blogs your client’s community is already reading, sharing, and following. The blog will have more readers in that target audience.

You’ll need tools that can get you a few different pieces of information. For one, you probably want to see how often their content is shared, to get an idea of their true reach. BuzzSumo is a great tool for that. Moz’s SEO toolbar will help you pull together SEO stats for the blog.

And of course, there’s Mention!

How can Mention help?

With our influencer dashboard (available on all paid plans), you can easily see the most influential people talking about any topic on social media or a blog.

mention web influencers

To find bloggers for your campaign:

  1. Create / go to an alert monitoring one of your client’s topics. You can even set your alert to only monitor blogs to eliminate irrelevant results for this goal.
  2. Head over ‘Statistics & Exports’ by clicking it in the sidebar for the alert.
  3. Select ‘Twitter Influencers’ or ‘Web Influencers’ to view the list for each platform.

The dashboard tells you stuff like what topics someone’s interested in and how many times they’ve mentioned your alert phrase, making determining relevance easier. Then click on the number in the interactions or references to view the mentions from that blogger to see what they’re saying.

How do you reach out?

After you’ve picked the best blogs for your campaign, it’s time to contact them. Whether it’s through email or social media, be sure to keep these tips mind:

  • Create lists: before reaching out to anyone, be sure to organize your contacts and outreach. It’ll save you time and hassle later.
  • Respect their work: prove you’ve done your research before reaching out. Bring up something they’ve done in the past.
  • Be straightforward: don’t beat around the bush. Give bloggers all the information they need upfront so they can make an informed decision about the partnership.
  • Be persistent: don’t give up if bloggers don’t answer your first email. Make sure to follow up later.

Conclusion

Not only do influential bloggers come with loyal and engaged audiences, they can create content as well as you can and know how to persuade their readers to take action. You want to take advantage of that.

But the partnerships need to be strategic – that means putting in due diligence to find the bloggers with the most relevant niches and the ideal type of community. Working with one blogger who’s a perfect fit for your client can be more successful than a campaign involving 50 blogs that don’t move your goals forward.

How do you work with bloggers? Let us know in the comments.

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Michael Illas is a Content Marketer at Mention, where he creates content for you. He's a proud Queens native who enjoys traveling and watching Netflix. Get in touch with him @michaelillas.

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