In the world of PR, blogger outreach is one of the sharpest, new arrows in our quiver. Why? More laser-targeted impressions, which means the right reach. And it’s only natural that followers are more likely to trust a blogger’s word over a branded ad.

Our zcomm team taps into the blogger world, in addition to other digital marketing tactics, to target specific audiences in industries including health, beauty, food, consumer and non-profits.

One of our key partner bloggers is Kimberly Vetrano, the founder of “She Scribes.” Kimberly doubles as a mother, wife, photographer and freelance writer. She decided to become a blogger because she loves to write, and blogging was a way to write about her life.

Kimberly prides herself on blogging about a variety of topics for a diverse readership. Her tag line is “A little bit of this, a little bit of that.” In fact, her blog topics are heavily influenced by her readers. She makes sure to read her fans’ comments, and even does yearly “polling” to find the topics that her readers find most interesting. In addition to blogging about her life, she also tracks and writes about what’s trending — crafts, recipes and style posts are all hot topics now.

When asked how she keeps her blog so active, Kimberly says her blog is her business, and she treats it that way. Kimberly says, “I make it a priority to post at least once a day, 7 days a week. If I have something planned on the weekend, I’ll write a post ahead of time and schedule it on the weekend.”

Kimberly tries to engage her followers through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. “Social media influences my blog in a big way…there are plenty of readers who share the same interests and can engage with you about them on social media channels or via comments on the blog posts.”

Kimberly’s favorite social media outlet is Facebook. “I feel like I can connect with readers more on that platform. I can scroll down and read comments and reply to them when I have a chance. I feel like Facebook is more personal.”

When relevant brands come to zcomm for blogger outreach, we call Kimberly (and lots of other bloggers) with the kind of content that she loves. Because we know what she likes. So, when reaching out to bloggers, take time to read the blog on a regular basis BEFORE you contact them so you know exactly what they write about and the content that floats their boat. That’s the key to cracking the blogger code.

My Thoughts On Instagram

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Hailey discusses the social media platform Instagram and how to use for your brand.

Instagram is pretty cool. I can’t deny that. It takes ordinary pictures and makes them look extraordinary, maybe. It’ll turn a sunset into a sunset with a sepia tone, or a plate of pasta into a plate of pasta that just looks a little cooler. All joking aside, that’s what has made it so popular. It lets us feel creative and allows us to see things a little bit differently. It brings out the artist in all of us.

I don’t use the app very often, but my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with Instagrammed shots. Some of them really are neat, but others just make me want to eat and then go on a de-friending spree. I think some people abuse Instagram and take WAY too many pictures of their meals. Last night while I was out to eat with my mom, I watched the girl at the table next to us take and upload pictures of her drink, her appetizer, her entre and then her empty plate. Unnecessary. I personally don’t really care what other people eat, but for those who do, check out my InstaGRAHAM CRACKER.

In just two years, Instagram has acquired more than 50 million users. Although many of these Instagrammers use the app for their own personal pleasure, many brands and companies use it as well. Hosting an Instagram contest is a good way to use the app to interact with users. For example, almost weekly, Red Bull runs contests asking users to use a specific hashtag depicting that week’s theme. This week happens to be #SummerIsComing. To win, users must:

  1. Find the week’s theme
  2. Snap a photo
  3. Tag the pics
  4. Rack up the votes
  5. Win prizes! (The grand prize is a trip to X Games 2012)

Brands obviously don’t have to run a contest to engage with Instagrammers, but it’s definitely a good idea. Even simply uploading Instagrammed pictures of products is a step in the right direction. TJ MAXX does a good job of re-tweeting consumers who have tweeted Instagrammed pictures of their finds.

Like most of the other social media sites we’ve already been introduced to, this one is also great. Brands and companies should take advantage of it, but keep in mind that like other platforms, they need to use it appropriately and consistently. And unless you’re a chef or food-related business, please refrain from making me drool by uploading dozens and dozens of filtered pictures of mouth watering food. Thanks.