Many blogs have matured into respected and credible sources of information for a variety of subject areas. Interest blogs especially are indisputably a permanent feature that enriches the traditional media landscape with high quality and unique content. You score with authenticity, independence, timeliness, and more and more consumers form a trusted point of contact for buying decisions and form opinions. Blogs are increasingly appealing to marketers, and not for nothing. There is often still ignorance over the range of concrete dealings with these blogs, such as the applied blogger relations.
From our Practice: Blogger Relations
Whether or not the term influencer or blog marketing ultimately applies, is always a matter or the greatest possible distances it can reach, opinion leaders and win itself optimal blogger relations. This is significantly more than the corresponding blogs, but increasingly also about the related social media channels. The classic blog is now only one of many channels on which bloggers distribute their multimedia content and interact with their readers, even if the name suggests otherwise. In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, the compatible photo sharing community is also strengthen, and video and audio blogs in particular gain relevance on YouTube, iTunes, and Vimeo. In general, we note the positive trend that many bloggers see when they tell their stories across many channels. In this way, from a blog post—through the appropriate social signal—a very impressive range arises. In this case, we are often criticized by both sides that companies do not treat bloggers appropriately, or that the behavior is unprofessional. Because of these shortcomings in blogger relations, it always comes back to avoidable misunderstandings on both sides. For us, as a viral and blog marketing / social media agency, blogger relations consist primarily from personal and respectful cooperation with the bloggers or the most diverse areas. However, this requires an understanding and sensitivity to the special features of the so-called “blogosphere.” Promising blogger relations this always result in a large amount of experience and knowledge precisely in this same blogosphere.
Optimal Influencer and Blog Relations = Effective Marketing Blog!
The primary strength of blogs lies in their function as an opinion leader with their large and targeted ranges. As part of exceedingly influential influencers in their subject area, they can serve as multipliers for brand messages and product recommendations. Of course, no successful blog is self-perpetuating, but has reputation and readership and thus deserves a constant stream of clean-researched content worth reading preparation. Blog marketing lives off authentic and original contributions, and can deal critically with the subject. But it is precisely this that can do a lot more to contribute to an effective branding strategy than it ever could for ordinary online marketing. The leading and often greatest reach of blogs are concerned with themes and therefore in higher demand. A thorough knowledge of the scene, optimal blogger relations, and long-term relationship care are enormously important here. The meaningful and purposeful use of blogger relations, and the interest and then binding of the appropriate target groups to a brand, product, or company, can be sustainably strengthened. In addition, the positive impact on the overall (online) reputation and referral marketing of a company cannot be overestimated.
Our Practical Experience as a Social Media Agency
Depending on the areas, bloggers often have their very own requirements and needs that must be met by an agency / company with respective blogger relations. Frequently, it is individuals that are worn by their professional and personal networks and write about tops they admire with great passion and in-depth knowledge. It is important to note that blogs are not no-cost PR channels for brand messages, but are critical and confident cooperation partners whose opinion and operation must be taken into account, along with blogger relations and respect. We as an agency therefore place great importance on every blogger individually—depending on the range of topics and content focus—addressed optimally. We rely on our knowledge and experience in relationship management, media skills, common sense, and last but not least, good manners. The contact can be carried out via a variety of ways. Usually this is a personal e-mail or phone call, as well as news on social media channels. It is important to always identify relevant blogs though careful research in advance and apply no thin counterproductive. With blog marketing, it is always quality over quantity! Other important points about blogger relations are good motivation letters with exactly the right amount of relevant information that reflect a demand for media content and background information. Factors relevant to good blogger relations are therefore based to a large extent on the sustainable development of a stable relationship of trust between bloggers and agency / business. This process needs to have both time and experience, as well as staff with extensive knowledge of the media communication and contemporary blogger relations.
Advertorials vs. Credibility?
Paid contributions are for many bloggers quite legitimate, as long as you identify it as such and it is not isolated from the rest of the editorial content. Such “advertorials” or paid editorial content is not uncommon and thus are not an expression of purchased opinion. Even in these, all reputable bloggers reserve the right to refrain from contributing to the brand, and can raise concerns about the product. Bloggers are basically to be regarded as an independent body within blogger relations. They only write and publish content that they approve of. Contrary to a regular editorial, they must justify themselves to anyone, are not primarily influenced by commercial interests and determine their guidelines freely. The specific conditions for cooperation are always based on clear agreements with us in advance. Here, it is especially important to agree on the two-sided ideas and leave no ambiguities open, which could result in the only counterproductive disappointments and misunderstandings. But even tempered contributions should never be confused with a (-bought) uncritical coverage. All subsequent corrections and objections are only justified in exceptional cases (factual errors, etc), but are otherwise inappropriate. Inappropriate influence can quickly provide sustainable upset and have a negative impact on the reputation of an agency or company. So, therefore, higher-quality advertorials will be higher value on a thematically appropriate and relevant blog. To realize this through optimal blogger relations, it certainly requires a higher expenditure than classic marketing display, etc, but the lasting impact for effective brand building cannot be overstated.
Conclusion: Blogger Relations is a Valuable part of any good Marketing Mix!
Influencer or blog marketing has earned its place in any marketing mix right. If a thematically relevant blogger is convinced of a product or brand, they write not just about it, but make an emotional plea about it. As strong opinion leaders and influencers, this contributes far into the preferred target group and is additionally enhanced by the creative use of social media channels. And even if a blog post was not taken to 100% of the desired action, or there were critical reader comments, this should always be understood as a valuable opportunity for a proactive customer communication and image improvement, and be addressed accordingly. Consequently, many companies now realize how very useful it is to use blogs, as important multipliers for effective brand building, as targeted promotional activity and a powerful marketing tool. We at dot-gruppe command experience and knowledge in the field of blogger relations and ensure the effective mediation between bloggers and companies.
Autor: Benjamin Müller | 14.03.2014