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The Blogger Strategy
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Brands understand that the game has changed and what worked five or ten years ago is no longer the best plan for today. There are new ways of communicating with customers, new channels of information delivery, and ultimately new brand plans that need to be created. And most brands are open to growing and staying current in order to gain success. However, getting approval for these untraditional methods may be harder with little data, little ROI, and potentially a lot of trial and error.

What if a brand put its success in the hands of a commoner? That’s right, someone who isn’t associated with the brand but can bring something new to the table. It’s not really a new idea or a new strategy, but in fact a new following that will listen to this sole consumer. Many brands are seeing the value of adding these consumers to their marketing team as their blogger outreach team. They don’t show up at meetings (unless they are virtual) and they don’t promise any ROI. But what they do have is a connection with consumers who will listen to what they have to say. That is invaluable to any brand.

Much of this strategy is trial and error. Which bloggers will live up to their end of the bargain and which will prove valuable to the brand? If a brand can get enough support from management to go through this process and determine those advocates, people that other consumers listen to, there may be a brand win. The benefit is a new communication channel to consumers where the brand isn’t pushing messages, but rather a blogger is stating their tried-and-true opinion.

Adding bloggers to the overall strategy is tough and worthwhile all at the same time. Many brands carry a consistent group of brand advocates, while others opt for one-off engagements based on the program. Brands like OXO, GNC, and Ghirardelli are using the blogging strategy and as a result their products are being discussed without the brand saying a single word. It’s not easy and there are no guarantees, but the benefits can provide a new level of success for the brand. So don’t count it out until you talk to a blogger, have them take a test drive, and see what conversation ensues.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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