PR POV: The Business of Blogging

October 1, 2013

Bloggers and BrandsSo we all have heard about that blogger. The one that was able to quit her job, pose in front of a camera and somehow still be able to afford a new outfit for every post.

If that isn’t the most trivialized definition of a fashion blogger I don’t know what is. The business of blogging lies so much more at the intersection of creativity and business savvy. Bloggers are changing the face of e-commerce and not only harnessing new and specific audiences they are helping affiliate marketers grow monetary empires and brands are noticing the potential for new market opportunity.

It’s a new media market. One that every brand has the potential to be in – in a way bloggers are the pioneers of social business (fashion being the tip of the iceberg in the blogger ecosystem).  As this world evolves and starts representing more than $4Billion in value, there are lessons that we can learn from these “specialized” audiences to form best practices for existing clients.

So what can you learn from bloggers and apply to your brands?

Authentic Content Drives Traffic – Authenticity is a word that the blogosphere choke’s on. Though it seems like a force fed concept – the more you honor the humanization of a blogger or a blogosphere the better your brand campaign may be.

Ex. If a car company wants you to test drive a new model – find ways to make the brand work with the blogger – Is the travel blogger going on a trip? Flip them the keys for an experience on the open road behind your brands wheel. That post will lend the freedom to the writer and will put your brand at its organic center.

Believe in Pay to Play – The blogosphere is starting to form a tiered structure. Over a year with certain blogs and you are going to get a much more refined post and project. However, the longer the blog has been around – the longer the blogger has had to figure out how to create their “business.”

Ex. Looking to garner brand awareness around a product that may have a limited launch? Entertain a few big bloggers with big followings, several mid-tier and some of the low hanging fruit – you will get the impressions but also the story-telling.

Pick and Choose your Advocates – Brand advocacy is a tangible relationship. Just like you would cultivate a relationship with a reporter – do the same with a blogger. Show that your brand fits in with their audience.

Ex. Unlike a steadfast publication – bloggers have had to work for each and every one of their readers, from scratch. They will hold that audience dear and will be very choosy about who they introduce into their space. But (for ex.) just because she is a “college age” blogger doesn’t mean she will want to post on behalf of an alcohol brand. She’s a lifestyle blogger focused on clean living…and after building a loyal following – her readers are as well.

Have any other tips on how best brands can establish relationships with bloggers? Let’s chat!