This is the generation of the blogger. The influencer of online communities. When it comes to online retail on a global scale, bloggers are taking centre stage in both Eastern and Western parts of the world. KPMG report that in China, 40 percent of its online shoppers read and post reviews about products – more than double the number in United States. Founder of Astley Clarke, Bec Clarke, explains “at one point, 2.9% of all online sales were attributed to one of our blogger’s accounts alone – that’s a phenomenal number”.
With the rise of social media, blogger reviews and recommendations are now part of a powerful word-of-mouth marketing strategy. 81% of the online population trusts information and advice they get from bloggers with 61% making a purchase based on a blogger’s recommendation.
For any UK companies hoping to leverage online visibility in international markets and increase brand awareness, the support of highly influential bloggers is a must, not ‘nice to have’.
In order to increase your international blogger outreach you need to consider these 5 steps.
1. Set goals
Setting goals and objectives from what you want to achieve from your international outreach will help you select a suitable blogger and help you make important decisions. Goals can vary from ‘increase brand reputation’ to ‘increasing international sales’.
2. Find relevant bloggers
When sourcing relevant bloggers you need to be aware of who their audience is – as their audience should be a reflection of your target market. In order to search for relevant bloggers, we advise using local search engines and local social media sites such as Weibo Sino in China to source blogger profiles.
In order to conduct a blogger outreach campaign you must also take into consideration the traits and etiquette of different cultures. Understanding cultural habits and preferences is critical to international partnerships.
Richard Lewis’ book, ‘When cultures collide” details tips on cultural interactions. We take a look at some examples:With Brazilians “always show that you care about their personal problems as well as their competence on the job.”
– When dealing with Canadians, be ready to mirror their “values of tolerance, calm, reasonableness, and low-key utterances and behaviour.
– Chileans: “Maintain a positive attitude, treat them as equals and do business in a friendly manner.”
– “Columbians appreciate closeness and even compassion from foreign colleagues or partners; don’t hesitate to show warmth whenever possible
– When dealing with Koreans, “encourage their creativity – they are proud of it.”
– In Japan it is best to phone for an appointment rather than send a letter or email. It is also important to be a good correspondent as the Japanese hold this in high esteem. (Kwintessential)
– Carry out Search Engine Page Ranking
– Number of unique visitors to your site
– Blog comments
– Social media stats – are the blogs shared on local social media platforms, how many foloowers does the individual have?
– Posting frequency – is it daily, weekly, monthly?
Is the blogger a correct fit for your brand? Take into consideration their tone and subject categories. Would they be suitable to be a brand ambassador and represent your brand in a target market?
Once you have found a suitable blogger, it is important to collaborate with them effectively.
Approach the blogger by email, tailoring your message to the individual blogger. Make it easy for them to say yes with a convenient, beneficial offer. As you are targeting international bloggers take into account different time zones and schedule an email for them at an appropriate time. Also, consider international holiday periods before approaching. Check out our Global E-commerce Calendar to help you seek out international holiday periods here.
As bloggers need help reaching campaign goals, it is important to offer a valuable resource for their coverage such as: images, data and products. Bloggers can’t review something they don’t have. Be sure to include in your offer a full disclosure of any gifts. You should also take into consideration the time needed to send samples and products internationally and include this in the project management of your campaign.
Create and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine the impact and ROI of your online campaigns. Setting KPIs will also help set your goals and objectives. This could include:
– Engagement – number of post replies/ comments
– Audience size
– Shares per post
– Positive or negative sentiment
– Content appreciation – favourites, social bookmarks
– Conversions – e.g. sales, requests for information, downloads, visits to targeted landing pages and the use of special discounts/offers.