Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting book has “targeting blogs” as one of the traction channels and this is the subject of this blog post (build from this week’s edition of the newsletter – 3ThingsThisWeek).
Targeting blogs your customers read is one of the most effective ways to get your first wave of customers. In this phase, you need to identify the holes in your product by gaining a steady stream of “cold” customers who will give you honest feedback.
Mint identified targeting blogs as their core channel in their early days. Mint gained initial traction by targeting mid-sized blogs in their niche. They chose blogs whose followers would likely be interested in their product. They gave bloggers VIP access to their service in exchange for a badge posted to the blogger’s web page. The badge linked to Mint’s service, which gained the startup even more customers. Mint also sponsored blog posts to gain influence with readers and formed content partnerships with major sites like The Motley Fool to provide unique content for their readers while promoting their product.
The playing field is not limited to blogs. Link-sharing communities such as Reddit are also great places to build traction. There are lots of forums on the internet that might share or promote your product or service to its members.
Welcome to the Influencer Economy is an amazing article that takes you through the stages in which “influencer economy” has developed in past few years and also give some insights on what to expect here in coming days. The influencer economy has its roots in the blogging movement. This got accelerated after the sites such as Blogger, WordPress were founded. From this, the influencer marketing has evolved considerably in recent time. Many influencers today run their own TV shows, fashion magazines, and newspapers. Trends suggest that consumers are replacing traditional media with these newly democratized influencers and creators. This is a “must read” article to gain the perspective of influencers if you wish to use this traction channel.
Now that you have an idea of influencers, The Definitive Guide to Influencer Targeting is a great snapshot of a guide on how to use this traction channel. This guide covers everything like – Where do you look for influencers for your product? What defines an influencer for your product? How to engage with them? How do you compensate them? This is a great guide as a starting point for your experiments with this traction channel.
Finding the right kind of fellow bloggers is a crucial step in this traction channel. There are a variety of tools you can use to uncover relevant blogs including YouTube, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Twitter, search engines, Google Alerts and Social Mention. You can run tests on a variety of smaller blogs to see what type of blog and blog audience resonates best with your product and messaging. The best way to find and get to know bloggers is to talk to them or through their writing. You need to get a measure of them, make a connection, find things in common, see how they think. Read more on this in this article – Finding and Connecting With Bloggers and Targeting Blog Audiences to get better at using this traction channel.
I would love to hear about your experiences and challenges in using “targeting blogs” as a traction channel. If you have some success stories in using this channel, they will be great stuff to share with others trying to explore this.