As I mentioned last month in Influencer Marketing Tools of the Trade, Dan Krueger and I are in the midst of an earned-media blogger outreach campaign on behalf of Skinny & Co. We just finished our first week and we’ve already delivered products to 47 bloggers and have another 60 queued up for delivery this week — and we’ve only reached out once so far. We will be reaching out to everyone who hasn’t responded by tomorrow with a follow-up email, which usually results in double the positive responses based on our past experience.
Yes, we have received many requests for sponsorship and advertising money but we were able to graciously decline because we received more than double the positive responses than we conservatively anticipated by this point in the campaign.
We’ve boiled this exceptional response down to four special things, two of which have nothing to do with anything we’re doing at Gerris Corp:
Coconut oil is really hot right now amongst a broad spectrum of influentials
Skinny and Company coconut oil is the best product in the market, bar none.
The Skinny & Co. team is exceptionally generous with their product when it comes to influentials.
The social media news release (SMNR) we made for Skinny really captured what Skinny is all about, from their amazing 100% raw, alkaline, small batch, extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil to their founders and their origin story from the jungles of Vietnam all the way back to their offices in Indianapolis, Indiana, everything’s in the SMNR. Including videos, photos, and logos.
Bloggers actually went out of their way to compliment us:
“I am super impressed by your media site – honestly, I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen, which will make my job easy!” — Shelley from My Journey to Fit
“I really like how you make it easy to insert the photos into my site by offering code right under the picture of the product. That will be SUPER helpful.” — Joanne from Apple Crumbles
No matter what the tech savviness is of anyone you reach out to, even the most techie appreciates it when you make things as easy as possible for her. If you’re doing things right, you really should be aiming at doing 80%-90% of all the work for each and every blogger.
The more work you encumber the blogger with, the higher the possibility for resentment that you’re making her work for free. And, yes, you are her valet for the entire campaign. It’s not fire and forget, you need to make sure you’re the one with the memory, you’re the one responsible for all reminders, and you’re the one responsible for the reviews, for the posts, for the tweets, and for everything else — not the blogger.
This relationship needs to be win-win-win, and if, at any point, the experience either becomes stressful or, worse–boring–that balance could be compromised.
The real reason why, however, is that this campaign is a hybrid A-list and long-tail campaign. We reached out to over 1,000 bloggers in the world of food, fitness, health, wellness, running, sport, etc. It was very exciting for our team, and I am sure all of that personal excitement easily translated to the bloggers as well.
As an aside, we always choose to do our outreaches and host our SMNRs on a separate domain, in this case www.SkinnyCoNews.com — to both allow easier campaign tracking as well as to protect our clients from any blowback that can happen as a result of aggressive email campaigns. Losing SkinnyCoNews.com to a black list is a lot less destructive to a business than not being able to email from their own corporate domain. Safety first!
I know I have been a little dark-hearted over the last few years when it came to earned media outreach and how it’s been corrupted by ubiquitous bought-and-paid-for reviews, essentially pro-company advertorials. Well, my passion and excitement for the beauty and magic of earned media blogger outreach and earned media influencer marketing has been restored.
Dan and I are very excited about the rest of the week. And, before I finish here, I thought I would pass on the discount code that we were given to give to our bloggers, since this is, in fact, partially a blog about Skinny coconut oil. So, here you go: SKINNYCO15 — if you use it at checkout, you’ll get 15% off. Feel free to share. And the blogger outreach isn’t over yet, so if you’re a blogger who’s interested in doing an honest review of their coconut oil-based line of health and beauty products, let me know quick! You, too, might be one of our passionate and generous Skinny Bloggers!