For some marketeers and PR types, finding one’s way around the blogosphere is probably a bit like an outsider trying to carve a route across central Edinburgh through the various tramworks-induced traffic diversions.
I speak from personal experience. A couple of weeks ago, after wending my way in and out of two dead ends in said city’s St Andrew Square, I was rewarded for my perseverance by a CIPR-hosted presentation from Forth Metrics on their new blog-seeking missile, inkybee.
Inkybee – http://www.inkybee.com – is a clever, web-based blog search and tracking tool, designed to simplify blogger outreach – the encouraging of bloggers and their followers to engage with your brand or issue. The neat inkybee brand mark is a bee in full flight with a purposeful expression – another reminder of me and no doubt sundry hapless tourists, delivery drivers and newbie tramworks subbies doggedly circumnavigating the city centre road closures.
Why the name? Well, apparently, the inky bit is about writing and the bee part is about buzzing around the web.
Engagement, engagement, engagement
Forth Metrics director, Hugh Anderson, rightly stressed that high levels of online engagement are SEO-friendly. Google increasingly favours meaningful content and interaction – whether blogger outreach, blogging or social media engagement.
The supreme search engine has got wise to old hat approaches like ‘black hatting’ – stuffing the top of a web page with hidden keywords to grab higher search rankings, and penalises sites accordingly. The future smiles on those with good content and interactivity – which should be second nature to good PR practitioners.
Finding the ‘magic middle’
The importance of finding the right receptive influencers was emphasised. Key among these are what digital analyst Brain Solis – @briansolis – calls the ‘magic middle.’ These are the mid-tier bloggers, dedicated to niche specialisms and with followings ranging from the mid-hundreds into the thousands.
Other pointers included the sound advice to ‘behave like a friend’ towards your target bloggers. Read their blog, comment sensibly on their site from time to time and follow and retweet them on twitter.
How it works
The blog tool helps simplify these four stages of blogger outreach:
- Discover: inkybee’s search algorithms find relevant blogs by target audience
- Research: rank lists of blogs by the reach and engagement metrics that inkybee captures
- Track: follow the progress of outreach efforts and produce reports on the time invested
- Measure: create reports to demonstrate campaign success based on objective metrics.
Competitive introductory pricing ranges from $19 to $119 per month, dependent on the number of users, campaigns per month and analytics required, and a free 30-day trail period is offered.
Practising what they preach, Forth Metrics have also produced an excellent e-book – 8 Reasons Why Blogger Relations Are Essential To Your PR Strategy – available to download free at http://www.forthmetrics.com.
Worth making a beeline to.