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6 Tips: Get Industry Bloggers to Review Your Product

Photo Credit: @boetter via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: @boetter via Compfight cc

One of the best ways to build awareness of your product is to get it into the hands of influential industry bloggers. Reviews by trusted bloggers not only give your business and product credibility, but they also (often) provide links back to your business’s web page, providing you with additional traffic and search engine authority.

Here are some tips for making connections with both serious influencers, as well as up-and-comers, in your industry:

1. Identify Industry Bloggers

If aren’t already following industry blogs, it’s time to get up to speed. Fortunately, there are several resources that you can use to identify influential bloggers in your industry:

  • Klout: Klout is a service that measures a person’s or company’s social media influence. While not all social media influencers have a blog, many do. Visit Klout and enter an industry keyword to find influencers, these are great contacts.
  • Technorati: Technorati’s blog directory can help you find the most popular and authoritative blogs in your industry.
  • Tomoson: Tomoson is a service that matches businesses willing to provide free samples of their products to bloggers who are willing to review them. Tomoson lets you specify the types of bloggers that you’d like to work with, such as those with high social media followings.
  • Page Rank Checker: This service lets you check a site’s Google PageRank, Google’s way of identifying a site’s importance and its position in search engine listings.

Note: While it may be tempting to immediately go for the “big guys,” bloggers with super high PageRank and mega-Klout scores, you may find it hard to get these folks to pay attention to you. Consider going for newer blogs or blogs with a more modest following. These industry bloggers are often eager to work with new businesses and are grateful for product samples and the opportunity to create new, interesting content.

2. Reach Out

After checking out a blog to make sure that it’s a good fit for your business, contact its owner. Some bloggers who do reviews have a page dedicated to their review policy. Read this carefully so that you don’t end up annoying the blogger.

When making contact, introduce yourself, provide a link to your company’s site, and offer to send the blogger a sample of your product so that he or she can review it. If you offer several consumer products or several varieties of one product (such as different colors or flavors), ask the blogger about his or her preferences.

3. Offer Additional Content

While there are a few bloggers who make a full-time living at what they do, most either blog as a hobby or as a source of part-time income. They don’t always have time to chase down stories, take high-quality photographs of your products or research the latest sales and specials that you offer through your affiliate programs.

Here are some ways to make it easy for bloggers to write about you and your business:

  • Provide content: Upload professional photos, videos, and infographics to the “media” or “press inquiries” area of your site along with a statement that gives bloggers and other media professionals permission to use them when writing about your company or products.
  • Keep your business blog up to date: Keep readers informed about new products, awards, and other company news by updating your blog regularly.
  • Promote your affiliate program: Many bloggers rely on affiliate programs for income. If your company offers an affiliate or referral program, make sure that bloggers know about it. Provide them with a sign-up link to your program.
  • Offer ideas: Hobby bloggers can have a lot of influence, but they may not have a lot of marketing savvy. Suggest angles for stories and offer product for giveaways and contests. Suggest that the blogger conduct an interview with you.

4. Follow-Up

After sending out the product sample, wait a few weeks, and then follow up with the blogger to see if he or she needs additional information or has questions. If possible, try to get a date for the review. This keeps the blogger on track and insures that your efforts (and samples) don’t go to waste.

5. Make Use of the Content

Good reviews are good content, so don’t be passive. Yes, it’s great that the review is generating some business and interest, but you’ve got to do your part in keeping the momentum going.

When you get a good review, hype the piece: Link to it on your website, reference it in newsletters, Tweet it, post it on your Facebook page, and share on Google+ and LinkedIn. This ensures maximum exposure for the piece and your company. It also means extra exposure for the blogger, further solidifying your relationship.

6. Keep In Touch

Make the most of your relationships with bloggers. Keep in touch and be sure to pass along news about your new products as well as general industry news.

Have you worked with bloggers before? Have product reviews been beneficial for your business?