Have you thought of doing a blog giveaway for your products with a blogger in your niche? Mom blogs have exploded all over the internet and so have blog giveaways and reviews but are they really of any benefit to a small business? The answer to this question is “it depends”.
When I first got in business little over a year ago, I noticed the trend and went all out with signing up mom bloggers to review my online kids’ bookstore. I was excited with all the blog press I was receiving and expected to start getting paying customers from those reviews and giveaways. Sales did not come and I came out of the whole experience extremely disappointed with this marketing modality.
If I knew then what I knew now, I would have gone about my blog reviews and giveaways campaign differently. Here are the erroneous assumptions small businesses have about running a blogger outreach and how a small business owner should structure a blog campaign to get the best bang for their buck.
1. Blog reviews will bring in sales
So I thought as I shipped off my wares to requesting bloggers. Having this mindset sets you up for failure. Blog reviews when done well will bring you back links and improve your website’s position on the search engines. Pairing your review with a giveaway may give your website a traffic boost, face book fans and more twitter followers but will hardly bring in sales, at least not immediately. So your blog reviews and giveaways should be utilized as a branding tool and a way to increase your social media followers.
2. Equating a blog’s traffic and page views to its influence
If you take a look under the hood you will find out lot of mom blogs with the highest traffic numbers tend to be review and giveaways blogs. Their audiences tend to be hanging round for the freebies. You will also find out that large segments of their audience are fellow bloggers who are waiting in line to send you a pitch for their own review and giveaway blogs. Instead of simply judging a blog by its traffic stats, look through the blog and get a feel of how the blogger writes. Go with a blog that has more content than reviews and giveaways.
3. Not providing any guidance to the blogger
As much as you would hope the blogger could read your mind, she does not have such abilities. You have to set your expectations from the onset. Most bloggers prefer to write their first hand experience with using your product or service. You can make the work easier for them by making them aware of the keywords you want targeted in the write-up. Emphasize linking to your website through those keywords instead of just through your brand name. You get your best search engine ranking push from anchor text links using keywords a prospective customer will type when searching for your product or service. Provide hash tags for promotional tweets too.
4. Leaving the promotion of the review (and giveaway) to the blogger
Sure you are paying for your review in either cash or goods and you expect some social media marketing as part of the review package. Don’t however fold your arms and leave the whole promotion to the blogger. Promoting alongside the blogger shows you take your business seriously and shows that you are willing to take the extra mile to get your business ahead. Promoting your review (and giveaway) through your own social media platforms serves as a third party validation and a form of word of mouth seal of approval for your own audience which builds trust and makes them more likely to buy from you. The blogger will also appreciate the exposure to a new audience.
With some homework and elbow grease, your next blog giveaway can actually help your bottom line on the long run. Cheers to your continued marketing success!
Bola Ajumobi is a mom, a literacy advocate and owns an online kids bookstore, SlimyBookworm.com where you find a wide array of engaging books for kids. Save time and money on gifts for the kids by joining the Free Slimy Bookworm Birthday Club.