Monday, July 2, 2007

Bloggers: your business' little helpers.

Let's imagine the situation: you discovered a blog dedicated your brand, product or services your company offer. What do you?
You have several options:
  1. Completely ignore it. You already have your corporate blog up and running, why bother?
  2. Bookmark it and subscribe to blog's RSS feed to keep an eye on it
  3. Contact the blogger and let them know your appreciation by inviting him/her to test your products and show them that you value their opinion
  4. Contact blog owner and buy advertising or "sponsor it"
Is there a magic formula to evaluate what the blog can do for you? Probably your company already have a blog you set up in the house and you keep it up to date with all these Press Releases and product announcements. And most likely it has "sponsored by XYZ, Inc" in the header if your blog is WOMA compliant (and it should be!)
What can somebody's blog do for you? The most likely you'll notice this blog URL in your traffic referral sites. If this blogger is genuinely interested in your brand most likely it will link to your corporate website. You may even be able to track conversions if you sell your products online.
But it's still close to impossible to evaluate the overall impact blogs have on your business. Having Web 2.0 weapons at their disposal your fans may create online communities dedicated to your brand, e.g. NING. Let's see how iPhone fans built a community around iPhone and Apple brand:
People love to share their experience.
Flipping through fashion critics blogs I notice photos and reviews from exclusive runway preview-shows where bloggers are on A list.
Many brands took a note that there is no such thing as bad publicity and consider bloggers as bees that are looking for some honey. Some perks here and there, party invitations, product samples in the mail - some small rewards to show them that they care.
Some bloggers like "Fug Girls" are treated like celebrities. Brands are flattered to be mentioned to their close to 1 million a day readers.
But how do you know if this small little blog raving about your product is the next big thing? Help them grow, encourage them to write about you, give them a reason to write. A special invitation to attend your product launch would be very inspiring to your fans.
The worst thing you can do is to choose the option 1 - ignore them.

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