How to work with bloggers
- Build relationships vs. trying mass outreach. Bloggers respond best to personal outreach and plans that are really customized to meet their needs.
- Work with a small select group. Rather than trying to reach every blogger in your space, choose a small select group of bloggers to work with. This will allow you to create a powerful, customized plan with a small and passionate group.
- Soft-sells work better. Most people won’t care about your product or brand and trying to directly engage them probably won’t work. Instead play off of something that bloggers are passionate about that is related to your product. GM works with the BlogHer network and provides cars for attendees to test-drive. No questions asked, no sales pitch – just take the car for a spin. This has resulted in a clear brand equity increase for GM as well as numerous mentions.
- Know the audience. You really have to know your audience. For example, Campbells Soup wanted to work with food bloggers who are notoriously picky about the quality level of the products they use. Rather than specifically talk about soup, Campbell’s included their products in food that was sampled. The response was terrific as bloggers were shocked that Campbell’s products were a key ingredient in dishes they sampled.
- Bloggers will love you if you facilitate their activities. Rather than trying to push your product at bloggers, try to facilitate their activities. Host parties or help them connect. Verizon did this after PRSA Media Day where they hosted a blogger party that showcased their new phones and they let bloggers borrow them for a few days (for free!!!).
What is “The Next Big Thing”?While admittedly, none of us are psychic or have a crystal ball, we all shared some perspective on trends to watch in the next few years.
- Location – Knowledge of location will make a huge impact on the digital space. Whether it is facilitating social interactions, marketing, search or anything, location will play a big role and is a powerful concept.
- Social Connections – Building social connections online will continue to be a big trend and importantly, helping sort through the issues (management, privacy, etc) will be important.
- Mobile – Mobile is a key facilitator of both of the trends mentioned above. While the iphone may be over-hyped the emergence of always-on internet and the power of location will clearly have a large impact going forward.
Please share your thoughts and comments.
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- Phones are getting smarter – Smart phones sales continue to be among the quickest growing and most desirable, with 47% of consumers wanting a smart phone (who wants a dumb phone after all?).
- Location is key – Knowing location is a key factor in what makes the mobile internet so interesting and powerful.
- Mobile Changes Search – Search on mobile has the potential to be much more targeted and accurate due to the proliferation of apps (which provide better more relevant results for common searches) and location (which can provide more relevant results).
- Iphones – The iphone changes the potential of mobile, but the results may not be able to be extrapolated out to the rest of the market… the Blackberry app store was a big disappointment for example. There remains significant opportunity to drive sales and actual results through apps when approached strategically.