Getting your organization visible on blogs is an increasingly important way to not only reach your buyers, but also to reach the mainstream media that cover your industry, because reporters and editors read blogs for story ideas.
I recommend that you treat influential bloggers exactly as you treat influential reporters—read their stuff and send them specifically targeted information that might be useful to them. Offer them interviews with your executives and demonstrations or samples of your products. Offer to take them to lunch.
"For a company or product that sells into a niche, you'll never get noticed by editors at major publications like The Wall Street Journal, but you will get niche bloggers to be interested in you," says Larry Schwartz, president of Newstex, a company that syndicates blogs for distribution to millions of people in corporations, financial institutions, and government agencies. (Disclosure: my blog is syndicated by Newstex and I do some marketing work for the company).
"For example, if you are in the consumer technology business, getting your product mentioned in Gizmodo and getting a link back to your site from Gizmodo are probably more important than even a mention in The Wall Street Journal," Schwartz says. "Increasingly, the way for people to find out about products is through blogs, and you often get a link to your Web site too. It used to be that the moment of truth was when somebody went to the store to find your product. Now the moment of truth is a link to your site from a blog."
Pitching influential bloggers as you would pitch mainstream media is an important way to get noticed in the crowded marketplace of ideas.
But even more effective is having your own blog so that bloggers and reporters find you.
"Blogging gives me a place in the media community to stand out," says John Blossom, president of Shore Communications Inc., a research and analysis company. Blossom has been blogging since March 2003 and writes about enterprise publishing and media markets. "In ways that I didn’t expect, my blog has allowed me to become a bit of a media personality. I've been picked up by some big bloggers, and that makes me aware that blogging is a terrific way to get exposure, because the rate of pickup and amplification is remarkable. The press reads my blog and reaches out to me for quotes. Sometimes I'm quoted in the media by a reporter who doesn’t even speak with me. For example, a reporter from the Financial Times recently picked up a quote and used it in a story—based on my blog alone."