Bloggers have a proven impact on consumer spending. Louisa Claire explains why businesses willing to invest in bloggers for the long haul will reap the greatest rewards.
If there was one piece of advice I could give to Australian businesses about working with bloggers it’s this: Play the long game.
The recent 2013 Technorati Digital Influence Report found that blogs are the third most important digital service when it comes to influencing a purchase and yet much of this remains untapped because of the poor approach most businesses take to blogger outreach.
Here’s why you need a long term perspective:
1. Social media is social – relationships count
Bloggers are increasingly inundated with pitches – the Technorati 2013 Digital Influence Report revealed that, on overage, bloggers get just under 10 pitches a week but many receive that number in a single day.
To attract the meaningful attention bloggers and consumers alike your brand needs to stand out from the crowd.
We all know that relationships count. The barista who remembers your daily order, the hairdresser who remembers you just had a holiday, the postie who remembers to knock quietly knowing you have young children sleeping.
These small moments tell us that someone has noticed us, and that we matter – they stick in our minds and will have us returning to the café and the salon or even leaving a beer out for the postie!
Relationships are the key to experiencing greater success with your campaigns and while relationships require small but consistent investments, the rewards are manifold.
2. Google likes quality and consistency
When a blogger links to your site it tells Google that they think your site is of high quality, benefitting your standing in Google’s page ranking.
The immediate benefit of this is that when consumers search for your product both your site and the blog post will appear in a Google search giving consumers a first hand, authentic review influencing their thoughts on your product.
These benefits are amplified when you work with a blogger, and they link to you, more than once.
3. Readers respond to authenticity
I was given a Thermomix for Christmas. If you spend enough time with me, say 30 minutes, you will realise that this machine has changed my life in tangible ways. The authenticity of my testimony will mean that the next time someone talks to you about a Thermomix you’ll think to yourself “Louisa is always raving about hers too…”
Blogs work in much the same way. If I write about my Thermomix once then my readers know I have one and like it. If I write about it a couple of times, tweet recipes and share photos of the food I am making then you really get the idea that the Thermomix is part of my everyday life – the recommendation extends from a product review into authentic advocacy.
Repetition of this kind is born from an authentic relationship with the brand or product.
Playing the long game doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be social. If you want to get started but don’t know how then these tips will get you on the right track:
1. Get social
There is increasing amounts of research showing the influence bloggers have on consumer spending and while you can read all about it, the real benefits of social media and the nuances of the different online communities is best understood by doing.
Don’t entrust your entire social media campaign to a third party representative but take the time to learn the basics of social media. This helps you understand personally how social works but also assess the efficacy of the third party agency you are working with.
2. Build relationships
Take the time to work out who the best bloggers are by asking if they are well aligned with your brand, if they have strong communities and if their readers are your market.
We need to move past a one click wonder approach to blogger outreach and stop asking who the “top bloggers” are.
When you think about running a blogger program take the time to work out what the strategy is and how it fits into your whole digital program.
The 2013 Technorati Digital Influence Report showed that the majority of consumers agree that the smaller the community the greater the influence so don’t forget the little blogs
3. Invest in bloggers
We like to talk about “blogger investments” with our clients. The heart of blogger investment is recognising that bloggers add value to your organisation. Find bloggers who love you and have been impacted by your product. Invest in them – they’ve already invested in you!
There remains a vast untapped resource for Australian brands to really drive consumer spending through bloggers. It’s my opinion that the brands who will succeed at this are the ones prepared to invest for the long term. Will that be you?