Such brand advocates were created by Tomasetti and her 360 PR team as they worked with bloggers on behalf of a major supermarket chain. "The effort was successful because we sought to engage bloggers in a true two-way dialogue over time with a high-touch approach," said Tomasetti. This approach not only worked for [our client], but it can work for your brand as well. Here are some ways to make sure your blogger relationship is one that is truly built to last:
Think near- and long-term
Yes, you want to spur excitement and immediate engagement, but don't forget to also consider what you will do to sustain the relationship over time. Think about how bloggers can play a role in your broader social media conversations and communications campaigns. "We met with bloggers on an ongoing basis and gave them special access to the brand team," says Tomasetti. "Bloggers were the first to know about important brand initiatives that could help them with the things that mattered in their everyday lives -- like saving money and eating healthier."
Have an open dialogue with bloggers
"To imbue your thinking, identify a core group of bloggers who demonstrate an authentic interest in your brand and have an open dialogue with them," adds Tomasetti. "Invite their feedback and utilize their perspective to help shape future engagement efforts." This will not only help with your overall marketing efforts, but will give you great insight into product development and even customer service initiatives.
Make sure it fits
Look for bloggers who are a fit with your brand's message and goals. Take into consideration such factors as blog content, reach, activity and reader engagement. "We've found Twitter to be a particularly useful platform in interacting with bloggers and learning about bloggers' passions and pain points," says Tomasetti. "In addition to online assessments, we find it valuable for our teams to interact with bloggers at conferences. At the end of the day, we're still in the relationship business."