Our company is getting 4-5 requests a week from bloggers for product samples to test and a second product for a giveaway. Should I be sending all these bloggers my product? We are a small business and have to be selective who we send product samples to.
By Jennifer Manocchio
The good news is that if you have bloggers coming to you requesting product samples, you have already generated some awareness in the marketplace. We have typically seen an increase in blogger product requests after media exposure or a targeted blogger campaign.
You should definitely be selective with blogger samples. According to a Technorati study, the average blog has only 6 readers! Yes… 6 readers! Therefore, it is important that you research each blog prior to sending product samples. You certainly want to be sending product to a blog that reaches your target audience, is credible and has a significant number of readers to make the largest impact possible.
Following is how we evaluate blogs to determine the credibility, reach and impact.
1. Review the blog: Ensure the content is relevant and tasteful. Take a look at how the blogger conducts product reviews. This will help you determine what to expect and to ask for any alterations you see necessary (including a link to your web site, retail locations, etc.). Also, some blogs list the number of views or followers. This will give you a good indication of reach.
2. Technorati: Visit Technorati and conduct a search on the blog to determine the blog’s authority. The authority is simply the number of other web sites linking to that blog. The more web sites linking to the blog, the more credible you can consider the blog.
3. Track Unique Monthly Visitors: Free tools like Compete and Quantcast can provide estimates for the number of unique visitors a blog receives each month. The only caveat to sites like these is the free versions do not provide estimates for blogs hosted by WordPress or Blogspot.
4. Other Social Media Sites: Conduct a general Google search on the blog or blogger to determine what other social media sites he or she is involved in. If he or she uses Twitter, Facebook, etc. and has a good amount of followers, that can certainly help increase the reach of your product/brand.
You can usually see immediately if the blogger posts reviews on other social media sites. If not, simply ask if that is possible as part of the product review.
5. Google Page Rank: Determine the page rank using the Google Page Ranking tool. A higher page rank will help influence organic search engine optimization.
Also, if you are short on product samples, consider declining the product for the contest or providing a discount or coupon for the blog readers instead. While the product giveaway will likely increase exposure, bloggers will still consider covering a product without a giveaway.
Need help sorting through all the blogger requests or want to launch a strategic blogger relations campaign to increase brand awareness, increase relationships and increase sales, contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.