Marketing to Influentials

Bloggers are becoming an increasing influential part of media

Practically anyone can start a blog—about whatever interests them. As a result, there are millions of blogs, many covering niche avocations and including product recommendations.

Since many consumers refer to blogs when making purchase decisions, marketers are experimenting with new ways to influence these consumers. Rather than just advertise on blogs, they’re marketing directly to bloggers.

In 2007, nearly seven out of 10 respondents to a Manning Selvage & Lee survey indicated that targeting influentials—which certainly includes bloggers—was a tactic they already used or planned to use.

Similarly, 43.4% of the US marketers said that marketing around consumer-generated content was a tactic on their radar screen.

Marketing to Influentials

However, marketers are not targeting the different types of user-generated media in equal measure.

A joint October 2007 study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Association of National Advertisers, American Association of Advertising Agencies and Booz Allen Hamilton, called “Marketing & Media Ecosystem 2010,” revealed a divide between marketing leaders and non-leaders. About twice as many marketing leaders used blogs and social networks than did non-leaders.

Marketing to Influentials

“Most likely the reason is that both blogs and social networks take time to understand, and marketing tactics are still at an early stage of development,” said Jeffrey Grau, senior analyst at eMarketer.

So how should marketers approach bloggers?

In an October 2007 audio interview on The Talent Blog, Peter Rojas, co-founder of Engadget and Joystiq, and former editorial director at Gizmodo, offered the following tips to marketers on how to promote products on blogs:

  • Most important, there must be a fit between the product and the subject of the blog.
  • Avoid shooting e-mails and press releases to bloggers. It is more effective to become familiar with a blog and get to know the writer behind it.
  • Give a product to a blogger as an exclusive and allow the blogger time to work with it.
  • Provide bloggers with links to more information, such as product images and updated information.

Via eMarketer