With outbound tactics peeling away and word of mouth dominating "what works," brands are itching to get product placement and reviews on the best blogs.
Let's take a look at a few ways bloggers have reshaped the way we do things.
Their Role in Word of Mouth Marketing
Consumers no longer want to hear from brands anymore, they want to hear from other consumers for a recommendation and bloggers are a key part in B2I2C. (Business to Influencer to Consumer)
Just take a look at some of the stats:
- Influencers are most active on blogs-86% have a blog
- 81% of the online population trusts information and advice they get from bloggers
- 61% of the online population has made a purchase based on a recommendation from bloggers
Targets are Niche Based not Genre
When PR pros reached out to traditional journalists, they were reaching out to people who covered a much broader area whereas bloggers write about very specific topics.
A blogger's audience comes to them and follows them to stay up to date, inspired or educated on a very specific topic and a brand mention that doesn't fit snugly within that niche sticks out like a sore thumb.
Finding niche bloggers is a lot more involved and time consuming than consulting a traditional media data base of contacts. Hence the popularity of blogger outreach tools within the last few years.
If you're a GroupHigh user, the "post content filter" is very useful in finding bloggers by targeted topics.
Because I work best with examples: I'm promoting a brand of premium paint and want to do a campaign where I have bloggers repaint their living rooms with my paint. Well, I wouldn't reach out to all DIY and home décor bloggers because some never write about painting-they may only write about furniture. Some write about DIY out of recyclables, others write about projects to do with your kids, and others cover the niche of frugal decor and my paint isn't cheap.
Thus I'd want to research bloggers who focus not just on DIY and home decor but DIY and home decorating that at least occasionally include painting tips or inspiration in their posts. I would also want to make sure I eliminate the bloggers who write about DIY for people on a budget because that would not be my target audience.
With the access everyone has to social media and how quickly digital words can spread, everything a blogger says-fantastic or awful-gets amplified. Through social media sharing and re sharing and their recommendations and lack thereof in their posts.
Even a "bad pitch" now gets publicized and spread around all over Twitter and inserted in to blog posts so a word of caution there!
From the pitch you send to your bloggers to the content that they create for their audience-it's all super targeted and personalized.
Bloggers respond better to personalized pitches that show that you have read their blog.
They are also creating content personalized for a targeted audience of your buyer personas so the "personal touch" you put in your pitch and blogger communication will be reciprocated with some fantastic posts recommending your brand.
Many brands are seeing success by pitching a higher volume of mid-level influencers, often in the form of bloggers, than "super influencers" like celebrities.
Consider a few bits of information found from a study done by Social Chorus. Working with 100-300 mid-level influencers, brands found that they got 16 times higher engagement rates than working with a small number of higher status influencers.
It's a Gray World
Working with traditional journalists followed a very black and white process and set of rules.
Bloggers don't have these rules. No one is requiring they adhere to a strict code of ethics or editorial schedule. They call the shots.
Opt-In Network Power
Because bloggers are an opt-in network, their audiences tend to be very engaged and loyal.
Bloggers know they would not be successful without their followers so they tailor their posts to them and engage with them. This causes a relationship of extreme loyalty which means a brand mention causes more action than awareness.
What are your thoughts on how bloggers are reshaping PR and marketing? Would love input in the comments below. Cheers to a good discussion!
(blogger / shutterstock)