10 tips for brands who want to generate more online mentions

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Last week, I wrote a post entitled ‘How easy / hard are you making it for bloggers to talk about you?’

My argument was simple: Some brands and organisations get carried away with wanting to activate high impact digitally-led campaigns often at the expense of establishing solid foundations e.g. arranging your digital assets in a way the encourages re-purposing / re-publishing.
I shared a few of my own thoughts as to the practical steps brands can take to make things easier for people to mention them online in that original post, but I wanted to get the opinions of some industry peers as a follow up.
So, I asked them this question:

What is the one thing brands should / could do to make it easier for bloggers to talk about them online?
 

Here’s what came back…

10 things brands can do to get bloggers to mention them more
1. “The opportunity is to dig into what hooks or triggers motivate a particular group or segment of bloggers and then package useful content in compelling and interesting ways that PR can use to engage them. Get on the blogger’s radar by appealing to their ego – but in a relevant way. Then create content that is special, that is unique, relevant and timely. Bloggers love to be first. They love to share. Once you’ve created compelling and useful content, make it easy for bloggers to share on the social networks where they spend their time.”


2. “Beyond generic social sharing widgets, it might mean the ability to Tweet an individual data point, image or video. easy + useful + relevant = win. Don’t stop with an infographic, monster list of industry statistics or entertaining video – keep producing interesting content and you’ll not only get on the radar of influential bloggers, you’ll stay there. Brands just need to empathize with bloggers’ needs and then package brand content in an interesting and useful way. That’s how you make it compelling for bloggers to talk about brands online.”


3. “It’s simple, but easier said than done: make social objects that bloggers will want to talk about, share and engage with.” 


4. “More access to information, whether that be using a Digital News Room service, or clear direction to social media profiles or even signposting highly relevant information on a company website. Just make it easy to find stuff!” 


5. “Better SEO across all uncopyrighted, good quality content (imagery, video, whatever) so we can find exactly what we’re looking for when we search for it. This of course means improved naming and tagging of any imagery/video across all sites they may be using (press room, flickr, youtube etc).”


6. “Same thing as always – get to know them and build the relationship. Different bloggers will be in it for different things, understand what makes them tick and what kind of opportunities they will be interested in. At the same time, they will want to get to know the actual company more than PRs – have a good think about why you’re standing in the way and where/ how you can remove yourself from the equation.”


7. “Present a person who represents the brand. Not the brand itself, a team of people, or an unidentified person: make it clear that a real person speaks.”


8. “Brands have to make it easier for bloggers to access updated and more compelling content through their newsrooms, as well as have their experts available to field questions and engage through social media channels. In many cases, bloggers, like journalists, will request information through PR professionals, however, they also want direct access to experts where they congregate in their communities.”


9.  Develop personal, helpful connections BEFORE they need something.”


10. “Online pressrooms are great – as a mummy blogger, I’d like to be able to sign up, set my interests and preferences, and then get an alert when new content is live and then be able to jump in a pick up all the text, images, contacts I need in one place. That said, a good relationship with PRs is really important – I tend to be far more likely to respond to pitches from a brand I haven’t worked with before when the pitch is from a PR I trust (and who shows they’ve read my blog!)”


Conclusions

The key recommendations I gleaned from these responses were:
  • Provide access to content in a stress-free manner.
  • Facilitate access to experts who can impart real knowledge and insight.
  • Develop the right relationships and create mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Remember that Google is often the first port of call when it comes to the start of the research journey so all elements of SEO are crucial.
  • Be timely, be useful and be relevant.
A good dose of common sense doesn’t hurt either.
Adam
Note: Thanks to all who took the time to take part in the production of this post.

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