How to engage an audience through bloggers

“It’s good to talk but better to talk to the right people.” I said as my closing statement to the second point in my How to Win Bloggers and Influence People article. However, as I sat in the audience of our digital training day, Digital EDGEucation, I came to realise that the question brands were asking wasn’t just ‘where’ to find the right people, but also ‘how’ to talk to them. This will consequentially lead to answer the question of ‘how to engage an audience through bloggers.’

Where to Find Brand Advocates

In answering ‘where’ to find these people, our panel of content specialists aptly pointed in the direction of tools such as Brandwatch and Gorkana. Brandwatch analyses how your brand is perceived online, offering you insights into everything that is being said about you and where. Gorkana, on the other hand, is a database that helps to manage and track your interactions. It also helps you to find comprehensive lists of relevant people within your industry.

How to Talk to Them

At 4Ps Marketing we know that what both of these tools (and many of the others) cannot do is tell you ‘how’ to talk to people. They are automated and this is why I’m going to share what I think is the biggest piece of controversial advice I can give you considering my job:

DON’T use external agencies to do the talking for you, whether it’s PR, digital PR or community management or whomever.

DO position your agency as the key insight and experts in the industry to consult, organise and steer your plans while also educating your in-house resource. They should not be your people on the ground but those with a keen bird’s-eye-view on your data and strategy, analysing and refining it constantly in-line with the industry and also providing calculated creative input.

DO employ someone who loves your brand and loves to build relationships and communities and can do a full-time job of it. Someone who knows how to talk to anyone and everyone.

Ex-PRs or bloggers make excellent candidates as they already come with their own network within which to navigate, but the key is to find a chief ‘relationship-maker’ who you can trust to talk to your advocates not only digitally but face to face.

Build relationships. Send your chief out on coffee dates. Tell them to take the time with each contact not only as an influencer but as a human being. Build real relationships so that when you find the people that love you, you can love them back.

Start conversations on Twitter. Share content that harmonises with your brand. Invite your influencers to be a part of who you are and they’ll invite their audience to join in, too.

With Google tipped for moving into a future of ‘conversational search’ (more to come on this later in the series), ‘how’ you can talk to your audience is quite simple, really.

It all starts with hello.

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how SEO and content are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in social media and PR, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels.