Monday, June 4, 2012

Dear Digital Marketing Department.

After a weekend spent clearing my inbox left me feeling frustrated, I wrote this.
If I could tell the digital Marketing department of any Brand anything, when it comes to approaching Bloggers for endorsement, it would be these following:

Blog exposure is a form of endorsement, not advertising.

Brands are typically thinking along the lines of advertising when it comes to blog space. We as bloggers must consider all types of brand activity as endorsement.

We do this day in and day out regardless of payment, for the love of it. Unlike traditional print media.

Please take some time to understand the influence when pitching to the parenting blogging niche, You see it is here online and on our blogs that we have recreated the village we need to raise our children.
With the technology available today, we are no longer bound by geographical convenience, in finding support systems, friendships and advice.

The parental bloggosphere is really no different to the multitude of parents, sharing over a coffee in the Park, playground or school gates across Australia, only now, those parents in the parks, playgrounds and school gates are blogging or discussing blogs.

The concept is not new, Parents have been discussing products that they have discovered all the time, they discuss current sales and will openly suggest solutions to the quandaries of other parents, in the form of a brand they trust, or have found useful.

You would not stand at the park with a large Branded Logo T, reading to all of your friends from a media release and expect your peers to go sprinting to Myer to grab up your wares.

I believe Amway tried that already and accomplished nothing more than socially isolating its representatives. In fact....I have a cousin I no longer talk to and avoid like the plague, lest she try to recruit me again.

Nor would you, stand outside the school gate and recommend to all your peers that they should buy the latest and greatest, merely because a Brand thought you important enough to send you a free product.

I don't know of any genuine bloggers who make it their mission to ruin brands, a certain amount of ettiquite is required.
The most frustrating of all pitches, are the ones that undermine our value, which brings me to my next point.

Keep in mind that we understand our value.

After a very successfully organised pitch, and subsequent major Internet advertising campaign, with a focus on Blog advertising, by a Market leading brand, I had the opportunity to ask the powers whom be, why they chose to invest so generously in blogs.

The answer surprised me and opened my eyes to true value of my blog.

"I can get 10 bloggers in a room, and if seven of those bloggers write about their experience, I have reached the same audience as I would have, had I taken a full page advertisement in a glossy mag, Only there is less of a chance that the reader will skip past your shiny full page advertorial to get to the sealed section"

When considering your pitch please keep in mind that bloggers do not have a few hundred odd pages to fill with content, for the most part, we only have one.

It is knowing this value and the fact that we do only have to fill one page...our page that make pitches like...

"Here is the media release for our product, please contact if you require any images" both null and at times, slightly insulting.

Please do not underestimate that value, ask bloggers for examples of successful campaigns.

I am always more than happy to share my success, for example, after developing a semi regular App review, I reviewed a moderately priced App, almost twelve month old, that I had found useful to blogging and my niche market. After sharing this information, the long stagnant App spent the following five weeks in the top charts in the App Store.

Or after developing a relationship with Ambi Pur, a product I use and trust in my home, I appeared in their TVC, and many months later, and long after the TVC stopped airing, the twitter hash tag is very much still active. The discussions still continue.
Ambi Pur understood the need to keep my blog voice in regard to their advertising, and enjoyed the way I made fun of myself for being the toilet spray girl.
This requires a certain amount of trust.

Which brings me to my next point.

Develop Relationships, Flexibility and trust is paramount.

Our blogs are full of our experiences, and with the mixed bag of bloggers writing about vastly different things, there are plenty of bloggers out there that are just right for your brand, however, we cannot throw to Moira, like morning television to include your ad, it is not the way it works.

We already know how it works for us. We write for our readership everyday in a way that we know appeals to them. Flexibility is a must when considering blog endorsement.
It may not be the way you would word it, or the way in which you would put it together, but that is half the fun.
Let us break a few rules a little, we know what our readers are there for, and what it is that they expect when they are there.

I like brands to give me the opportunity to write a post people will google to read. It's what we do, the best way to accomplish this is to Invite us in! Let's have a discussion! If we are happy to endorse your brand, you have won half the battle.
I always welcome candid discussion on what I expect from a brand, what we can do to to find a common ground, and the unique ways in which I can assist in their promotion over all aspects of social media.

Please keep in mind that Writing sponsored activity on your blog, benefits the blogger last, and sometimes, not at all.
There needs to be some give and take, if we as bloggers are providing permalinks and sharing on our social networks, return the favor.
We have chosen to endorse you, proudly. Share us on your social media, be proud that you have found an enjoyable blog to endorse your product! Us bloggers want readers!!exposure equals readership, and in turn will benefit you the brand.


The approach of bloggers, seems to very closely follow the approach of journalists, however, The most successful blog campaigns do not come from accessing as many bloggers you can and getting them to scream your message from the roof tops, much like you would a magazine.
With the enormous volume of blogs out there, with so many voices, your brand message will be lost in the volume of chatter, and puts bloggers in a competitive situation.

It is the fastest way to isolating a bloggers once supportive community, and to be frank... we don't like it, it is not the way it works.

No blogger wants to take the time to write about the same thing 50 other blogs are writing about and to be pitted against each other for whom gets the most comments and support is never looked upon favorably by either bloggers or their respective community's.

Think exclusively, build relationships and take the time to find the right blogger for you is always more successful than mass marketing when it comes to blogs.

I hope you find this helpful.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


katef said...

this post is awesome... nothing more needs to be said

Kim Abbate said...

Digital marketing departments could learn a lot from you Emma. Brilliant post. Really.

That Granny said...

Absolutely fabulous...... well said.....

Sharon@FunkenWagnel said...

I think this is a really fresh perspective Emma, and I hope loads of PR type people read it. I totally agree with you

ADG Online Solutions said...

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