Once seen as the preserve of big egos, bloggers have come of age and hold sway with their loyal readers.
Whether it be personal shoppers, celebs taking their mums to premieres or Google Buzz, there’s always been a trend to keep up with, and many of them have come in with a bang and then died off quietly. A few years ago,people didn’t take blogging seriously. It was seen by the masses as a platform for people with inflated egos who needed somewhere to talk about themselves, and PRs wrote it off as a flash in the pan. Fast-forward to 2013 and bloggers are being treated as professionals. They are the newspapers of a decade ago - sitting in the front row of London Fashion Week and seen as authorities in their fields.
Laura Tinker, head of Talented Talkers, a brand engagement service, says: “Bloggers are now hugely influential people with a dedicated following of loyal readers, who brands need to engage with and, as the saying goes, have onside.”
Like any business relationship, blogger outreach requires some thought and creative thinking and now needs
to be a part of your integrated digital and offline marketing strategy.
Here are some key actions that should form part of your plan:
Do your research Like working with journalists in traditional media, it’s important to identify the influential blogs that best match your brand and your customers. Which bloggers are the ones that can enhance your brand’s search engine presence? Are there any communities on social platforms or otherwise that you can connect with?
There is an argument that it is better to work with bloggers who are self-hosted or at least have their own domain, as from a Google perspective authors are more highly rated.
Individuality Don’t be afraid to work with bloggers who are happy to think for themselves rather than follow the crowd. Bland adoration will not achieve your goals, but a blogger who loves their subject and has strong opinions will create the most interesting and readable blogs.
Engage When it comes to your own brand’s blog it is good to engage with independent bloggers as well as other brand blogs. We all love feedback, and if you want your blog to be in a place where people comment and interact then you need to put the time and effort into doing the same for others. As you build your network, people will respond and engage with that, and the blogging network as a whole will keep on growing.
Blogging isn’t one of those boom-and-bust trends. Famous brands and agencies have fallen foul of the influence of the blogger, and in a climate where content is king, bloggers hold power. Blogging is going to be around for a while. Whether as a medium to express an individual’s passions or a business venture, it offers brands the opportunity to create close relationships with those who are passionate about fashion and style.
- Nishma Robb is chief client officer at global digital marketing agency iProspect