There is a lot of chatter about bloggers – we’re the new media. We’re the grassroots marketing, niche celebrating, ass-kicking, visually stimulating web masters that can help bridge the “authenticity” river between brand and consumer. Quite a set of Louboutin’s to fill…
But despite the fact that brands are to bloggers like new business for any firm, there are a few perks beyond the “publicity” conceptions. It’s easy for brands to see that when a product meets blogger – you’re doing that “blogger” a favor. When arguably you could be doling out dollars for paid advertising or working with reporters to “tell the story” – you are turning to the blogosphere. For brands – a “free post” gains you an influencer with little money spent. For a blogger: a simple tweet from a brand is blog traffic gold! However, since blogging is a relatively new medium, only the “strong” are surviving these brand relationships. Some bloggers are seeing brands simply just dip their toe in the water of the “no holds barred” media.
But think of it this way – bloggers need brands. It’s no secret that brand names change the way our readers see us. But if we are “true bloggers” we’re thinking through who we are aligning ourselves with. Not just accepting any old offer… We’re also filtering what we are saying doing and bringing to our audience by what we write. How do we best stay relatable? I myself may have better use for a product review of a tote bag then camping gear. Inversely if that “camping – became glamping” now that would be a different story. In the blogosphere content is king. Bloggers need brands to:
Help Tell the Story – If we’re talking about a brand – we’re bringing you the open door version. When I review a product or write a sponsored post, I am bringing the brand and my readers the most honest post I can. Who we align ourselves with makes us more tangible, real and relatable. Our grass roots relationships can lead to bonding over the simplest products – (see below – SHOES!). So when you marry your enthusiastic readers with a great product we in turn are helping ourselves. We need brands to help us tell that new exciting take on what would otherwise be an old tawdry feature. Ex. Instead of the best cocktails for Labor Day – what are the best cocktails for the holiday to hold on to summer with Malibu Island Spiced Rum?
Share Enthusiasts – Our grass-roots audience comes to us. We’re not force feeding them with ads, labels, and in your face postings that push them towards a different purchasing decision. We’re not marketers. I consider ourselves explorers, the Lewis and Clark of grass-roots communique. So what is going to help us emerge from that ground level? BRANDS! Think of how you align yourself – become an enthusiast and show a brand that you are an influencer. Why wouldn’t a brand want to talk to someone that likes their product knowing there are thousands of constituents? We’re growers and the way we grow is based on who we talk to and network with – brands can help cast that wider net.
Grow the Business – Like I said in my last post – “Why Bloggers?” – there’s a separation between the rookies and the vets. Veteran bloggers are building a business, not just looking for a way to tell their friends how cute they look in a new dress. There is a business behind that blog. Lots of sweat, maybe some tears. There are secrets to how to grow that business and organic best practices behind each publisher platform. Maybe now there is a new category in town – B2B is no longer Business to Business but easily interchanged – Blogger to Business, then also synonymous with B2I Business to influencer. If the bottom line is what needs to be pushed or influenced – here’s a shout to the PR Pro’s, are bloggers coming to the door? OPEN IT!
What else can you think of? Besides the obvious monetization of posts, entrees to unique brand experience at the crux of it all why do bloggers need brands?