External brands, created beyond your own brand and organisation, are vital PR. They offer credibility from a trusted influencer.
Goals: Reach, Exposure, Awareness, Conversion
Bloggers are often sought after for their reach. But the typical goal of marketing is behavioural change for profitable purchase of products and services. So lots of people could be reached, with zero conversions into actual customers. Then it is basically awareness or exposure. Those are equally valuable – but behavioural change and purchase will keep the numbers balanced. Many of these goals begin with reach.
It’s common for bloggers to receive incentives or compensation for publishing posts about brands. This could include sending free samples, for the writer to properly experience the product. Monetary compensation ranges dramatically. Incentives depend on the reach, reputation, and influence brought on by the blog.
Paid sponsored posts are a debated issue. Bloggers often expect payment for the compromise they make in using genuine audiences for commercial gains. These bloggers may also be writing their own content. So they expect to be paid for the time of creating articles about others’ brands. Those with journalistic perspectives prefer to declare paid posts as ‘sponsored.’ This is a grey area. Transparency takes many forms. It can, at times, make the brand appear more genuine.
Some blogs slightly resemble traditional formats of news writing. This is beneficial for PR campaigns. A normal news media release can be a familiar format for blogs. Remember to adapt news content for SEO. A quick lookup can reveal the most popular keywords for a particular topic. Subheadings are easier for the reader, and they help optimisation. Other techniques, such as meta tags, can be further delved into.
Blog Lessons from Traditional News
Historical news writing methods provide vital ideas for today’s PR targeted towards bloggers. Who/What/Where/When/How are important for some articles about products, especially for posts about brand-related events.
News values help in appealing to targeted market segments. These specific audiences will prefer stories with proximity, familiarity, impact, consequence, conflict, loss, prominence, timeliness, and novelty. These are contextual ways to articulate a product’s fulfilment of blog readers’ needs.
Readers’ Relationships with Brands
Pitch to the blogger as though the brand is a person. Brands have personalities which can connect with blogs’ audiences. Blogs can get involved in more than simply publishing articles or posts. They can make offers to readers, take part in charity campaigns, and get communities in fun interesting events. Brands make differences in people’s lives – success stories, health recoveries, anything making people feel better. Blog audiences can get emotionally attached to brands which truly benefit them. Think outside the box.
Real Connection and Community
Brands can benefit from external blogs in many ways. Transparent messages can make brands seem genuine. Involvement campaigns, such as charity, can bring brands into blogs’ communities. Get creative. Send articles, ask to get mentioned in others’ posts, and create exciting programs for readers to feel involved. Anything is possible.