FM Expands Blogger Network With CleverGirls Deal

CleverGirls Collective

Federated Media (FM) plans to announce a partnership Friday with CleverGirls Collective to tap the social media marketing agency's network of more than 1,000 influential bloggers.

FM works with about 250 independent media companies, but Neil Chase, the VP of publishing at the company, says this is the first time it has tapped a network of influencers, rather than one-off individual sites, such as Boing Boing. The CleverGirls network will assist FM's clients stretch their message a little further to find those consumers just out of reach.

Chase says CleverGirls' innovative campaigns that go beyond display and contextual ads attracted FM to the partnership. When Yummy Tummy, a New York-based shapewear and apparel company, wanted to try social media, the company turned to CleverGirls, which set up a "brand ambassador" program to raise the buzz across social media sites, explains Stefania Pomponi Butler, one of three founding partners for the site launched last year.

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"Many times the advertising and the public relations dollars come from separate budgets, but some campaigns CleverGirls support come from the conversational PR side, which opens a new door for FM," Chase says. "The Yummy Tummy campaign allowed a natural discussion to take place across social sites, rather than doing a traditional PR campaign."

Slightly different campaigns appear to attract FM's clients. The two companies will launch a combined Web site during the first quarter in 2011, highlighting some creative possibilities for campaigns. The site will support sponsorship opportunities and a community of bloggers.

CleverGirls becomes the aggregator of bloggers and audience segments. Each blogger fills out a profile that highlights their respective expertise across multiple nationalities and races. Pomponi says about 20% of the bloggers are not Caucasian. Most of the bloggers in the network are moms in their early 30s.

The bloggers are financially compensated through a revenue share deal based on the price of the ads, similar to other FM partners, according to Chase. When more complex campaigns run that involve content creation, negotiations will occur in advance to determine the appropriate compensation. "We don't pay people based on clicks, or do the weird deals, where we ask people to write a bunch of stuff, and yeah, we might pay you something if it makes any money for us," Chase says. "We believe these are all high-quality content creators that deserve to get paid."

Someone with 5,000 page views monthly might not make as much as those with 10 million, but the compensation will be proportional, Chase says.

"It allows us to take a number of the audience segments we already sell and give clients a bigger, broader reach of more authors," Chase says. "It gives us more ways to build segment buys, and offer higher-quality offerings."

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