Bloggers are a unique breed. They are hard working, have extremely high ethics and can sniff out BS better than Columbo.
This is precisely why conducting a blogger outreach campaign can be the most difficult type of social media campaign.
CTK Techknowledge, a nonprofit software company, contacted me to develop and execute a strategy to promote their Heart & Soul Grant to potential applicants.
Part of the strategy included reaching out to bloggers in the nonprofit space in hopes that they’d write a blog post about the grant.
Our goal for this part of the campaign was 30 blog posts. We ended up with 142 blog posts that sent over 5,000 visits to the Heart & Soul Grant application page. 1,552 organizations submitted applications.
How we did it
There we three factors that contributed to the overwhelming success of this campaign:
Inspire participation with incentive – Bloggers get approached all the time to blog about a product or cause. The last thing we wanted to do was to be another beggar. We knew that in order to overcome this challenge, we had to offer an incentive that would be way more compelling than an iTunes card or Amazon gift certificate (yawn). Knowing that nonprofit bloggers are change-makers who prefer direct participation in changing the world, we created the “Bloggers Choice” award. Here’s how it worked:
*One of the participating bloggers would be randomly chosen to hand-pick one of the applicants.
*The chosen applicant would get $1,000.
This incentive gave participating bloggers a chance to look like a complete rock-star to their readers and peers! They would also receive a few mentions on the CTK website, Facebook Page and Twitter feed.
Turn heads with trending – We told participating bloggers to publish their blog post on March 1st at 2:00PM (EST). This specific constraint was critical in creating a trending effect among the nonprofit blogging community. There were only 39 bloggers that we were able to personally enlist, so we had to trend their posts in order to get more bloggers to participate. An additional 103 bloggers participated throughout March. If allowed the initial 39 bloggers to publish anytime in March, we wouldn’t have turned the other 103 heads.
Unify with an awesome team – The stars of the this whole effort were Juan Garcia and Justin Minsker (of CTK), JD Lasica (of SocialBrite.Org) and Deborah Finn (Strategic Techology Consultant). What they contributed was a lot of hard work, sincere belief in the Heart & Soul grant, and great people skills.