To expand your customer base your potential customers must be able to visualize how your product fits into his or her lifestyle. Traditional marketing and advertising, although most often aspirational, can miss the mark when trying to relate to the consumer on a personal level.
Your potential customers need to see your product in realistic situations that allows them to translate how that product will fit into their own life with concrete examples from people they trust. This is the void that blogger outreach fulfills in your marketing plan.
Brands most often reach out to bloggers who fit into a narrow category that relates directly to the product. And there is definitely a place for this, but it shouldn’t be the only blogger outreach you commit to. Reaching out to bloggers in your core vertical will result in blogger participation and brand exposure, but it also promotes your product to a limited audience that is likely already familiar with it. If you are trying to reach new audiences, you need to go beyond the obvious. By diversifying the types of influential content creators you recruit, the versatility of your product is emphasized and it reaches a new pool of potential brand-loyal customers.
Blogger & Influencer Outreach Case Study – Sonoma County Winery
For a blogger outreach program with a Sonoma County sparkling wine brand, the goal was straightforward – show that sparkling wine is not only for elegant affairs. Surveys show that younger wine drinkers are moving beyond the idea that sparkling wine should be reserved only for special occasions. The program reiterated this message while also reaching a diverse group of national bloggers and their readers.
Blogger Identification and Recruitment
Bloggers for the sparkling wine program were identified, recommended and recruited based on total digital footprint, social media activity, cross-channel engagement, website traffic, as well as, in and outbound links. These bloggers were also evaluated for fit for the brand, but no wine-only bloggers were included. Focus was instead put towards fashion, lifestyle, party and food bloggers. Each of these niches relates to wine, but do not have wine at the core of their content model.
Bloggers were asked to host a small get-together with friends to enjoy the sparkling wine. They then published a post highlighting this event where they shared their most memorable entertaining experience and helpful entertaining tips.
Using the Brand in Real Life Situations
These bloggers know their audience best and it is important that content not be disingenuous, so these influencers had creative liberty to use the product in their natural entertaining environment. Parties were planned and hosted by each blogger at various points over a three-month timeframe.
Results of Reaching Beyond Wine Bloggers
The goal in recruitment was to find influential content creators that reached beyond the known wine drinker. As a result of this campaign, a variety of topics were covered in influencer blog posts while keeping the core message that sparkling wine is fun and approachable, and that it can be paired with just about anything. The referral traffic from the participating blogs was nearly 75 percent new visitors. Topic coverage included:
- Hosting family-friendly parties
- Hosting your first dinner party after having kids
- Hosting a party with close friends
- Designing a dessert bar and pairing desserts with sparkling
- Creating a sparkling wine bar
- Easy entertaining tips with sparkling
These blog posts went beyond simple tasting and pairing notes and supplied examples of real life ways to incorporate sparkling wine into everyday events.