If you are like many mom marketers, you are probably spending this week recovering from BlogHer, the annual blogging conference that just celebrated its 10th anniversary in San Jose. You might be, as blogger Janie Emaus calls it, “BlogHerized”— a mind-boggling state of sorting through the Who, Where, Why and When of What you experienced at the conference. You met some amazing bloggers, but how do you begin finding those blogs that will be the best partners for your brand?
Having straddled the blogging fence for awhile (I am both a blogger and a marketer), I have discovered three “truths” that are at the very foundation of a strong and successful brand/blogger relationship:
It’s Not Just About Impressions
Yes, impressions are still ... well, impressive, but they certainly do not tell the whole blog story. Brands need to know about the online community: Who is the audience? Why do they visit this blog? How do they engage with this community? This will help marketers craft a message that not only works for the brand, but works for the blog and blog audience. And bloggers, yes, numbers are important, but don’t lead with impressions. Lead with the quality of content, lead with how the audience stays engaged—brands want to know the blogger has a relationship with his/her audience regardless of what the overall impressions may be.
Question to Ask: How do you measure success with your blog and how will that translate into success for our campaign?
Acknowledge the Line
I come from the world of publishing where there is a very distinct line between editorial and advertising. In the world of blogging, that line is sometimes blurred—not because it doesn’t exist, but because the same person who is taking a PR pitch is often the same one who marketers will be working with on sponsored posts. Honesty is always the best policy here—bloggers need to be clear on how they want to work with brands and brands need to make sure the pitch is appropriate for the blog and its policies.
Question to Ask: What are your policies for working with brands and what is the best way to approach you about a possible partnership?
It Isn’t Just About The Blogger
I am relieved to see that content is once again king and that creating an inviting and engaging community for blog readers is still a number one priority for most blogs. It isn’t so much about the individual blogger as it is the blog community. Some of the strongest bloggers I know will tell you their greatest asset is the relationship they have created with their audience and they will be able to share with you how they will engage that audience (not just themselves) with your brand. This is what motivates them and is what will make your partnership–if relevant–meaningful.
Question to Ask: What type of brand campaigns work best for your online community?
As you begin to emerge from your “BlogHerized” state, keep these three truths in mind in planning your next marketing-to-mom campaign.