Relationships with the Right Bloggers
A blogger can make or break your business. With a few strokes of a keyboard, a blogger can either catapult your brand into the worldwide realm or sink it into oblivion. Having a relationship with the right blogger is key to keeping your business at the forefront of the positive chatter on the Web.
While many people tout the many benefits of search engine optimization when it comes to Internet marketing, not as much is discussed about managing your online reputation. Monitoring what is said online about your company by bloggers, commenters and forum posters is critical to your business success. All it takes is one negative review from a blogger to send your company’s good name spiraling down the path of no return.
Information moves at the speed of light on the web. By the time an event has aired on network television, the top bloggers have already picked up the story, dissected it, given their personal take on it and opened it up to comments. These bloggers can be your best friends if you manage your resources well and develop a good rapport with the key players in the blogosphere.
Online Reputation: Fostering Relationships With Influential Bloggers
Linking up with the right bloggers is a bit of a challenge. As you can imagine, everyone wants to be friends with the tastemakers of the web. That automatically puts them at an advantage over the myriad of small businesses that want to take advantage of their popularity.
If your business offers a service or product that is complementary to their niche, offer to place their ads on your site for free.
Subscribe to their blogs and add them to your social media sites. The key here is to show them what you can do for them before you ask what they can do for you.
In order to stay in good graces with the bloggers, you must remain a credible resource. Keep your website updated with fresh and relevant content that is useful to your readers. Regularly update your photographs and provide links to related products, services or information. Offer a free e-book or newsletter that your readers will find helpful. Bear in mind that a blogger will only want to endorse your company if you are a genuinely helpful resource.
When you have developed a good working relationship with the key bloggers, work hard to maintain that relationship, even when you’re not looking for favors. By staying in their good graces, you will be in a better position to ask them to endorse your product or service when the time comes.
Sometimes you will receive a bad review on a blog, forum, or consumer website. There may be bad news surrounding your company or personal life. In instances like these, reputation management is key. The first step is to find out what is being said and take steps to mitigate it. If your product is being trashed by a disgruntled customer, handle that customer’s issue before they cause more damage. If it is a competitor, you may have to work harder to erase negative information about your brand online. A good reputation management company can handle these reputation challenges, and their team of experts will work tirelessly to restore your good name on the web.
Most influential bloggers are experts at reputation management — it’s integral to their influence. Most good reputation management companies have great relationships with influential bloggers for that reason.
The relationship between bloggers and businesses is a delicate balancing act of objectivity and loyalty. Your business will benefit greatly from a good working relationship with bloggers who can sing your company’s praises. Foster good relationships with key players and reap the benefits of free advertising. Maintain those relationships and you will find your company’s bottom line grow with each blog post.
How do you foster authentic relationships with influential bloggers?
Alex is a blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate. She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not contributing her own thoughts and observations to the online community.
Chad Ian Lieberman says
Reputation management does work. Although negative comments are pushed off the first page and still may be found on the second or third page. When I have a new client, before I charge them anything I will review the situation. I once had someone inquire about my services and the negative link they wanted to remove was from a major newspapers website. I told them it was most likely not going to be realistic to remove it from the first page and would not take the clients money.
A lot of times the negative reviews come from sites that allow people to give negative reviews to businesses with no merit. I’m not going to mention them by name, but there are tons of them. When I review a individuals or companies situation if I know it can be pushed off the first page we will proceed.
There is a trust factor when hiring a reputation management company. For example, when I’m hired I will need to create at least one or more email accounts for the client and create some new accounts on the net for the purpose of creating positive links in the place of the negative one. Any company that doesn’t ask for this, I would be suspect of. You have to create new accounts for the client to remove bad links.
Another strategy that has to be discussed before any work is done, is what kind of links would be acceptable to use to replace the bad links. In short, reputation management does work and is extremely valuable because potential customers will run if they see negative reviews, regardless if they are truthful or not.