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How PR Pros and Marketers Can Crack ‘The Blogging Cycle’

If blogger campaigns aren’t part of your marketing strategy, you’d better fix that.

Blogger campaigns are a relatively new arena for marketing and PR professionals, and with the market so saturated (there are more than 100 million blogs on the net), it can be difficult for marketers to explain the value of investing in it. However, smart blogging campaigns achieve excellent results for established brands and startups.

Almost 40 percent of marketers agree that blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing.As reported in AdWeek, a recent poll found that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing method for acquiring customers online.

Leaving aside the academic debate of whether bloggers are journalists, we know that they have many loyal readers (77 percent of internet users read blogs) and that people see them as credible. In the United States alone, more than 60 percent of women said that they have made a purchase based on a blog post, and teens overwhelmingly trust YouTube vloggers over celebrities.

Clearly, a recommendation from a trusted blogger can go a long way with your target audience. The blogger also has a lot to gain from working with a brand, and not just monetarily. In some instances, the only exchange that occurs is when the blogger is given a product to review and can then keep it.

The most popular bloggers also rise because of honest reviews. If followers start to feel that the blogger is acting like a shill for a certain company they will quickly move on to the next up-and-coming writer. This is why I call blogging pure capitalism in action. If you have a good product and present it in an interesting way, the blogging market will reward you.

How does this happen? Does one blog post really have potential to become a whole campaign? Sure it does. The progress and benefits of such a post are illustrated in the “blog, share, gain, build” (BSGB) model, following the data generated during blogger campaigns on BlogsRelease. As an example, let’s use one of the most beneficial types of campaigns: the product review.

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Brand identifies bloggers for campaign

Before the cycle can begin, you, the brand manager, must figure out what kind of bloggers you want to work with.

Different campaigns interest different types of bloggers, so don’t focus on just broad categories like “fashion” and “tech.” If you have a mobile app, for example, try targeting niche bloggers who write about new apps and pitching them the product in a way that hooks them.

Blog

The blogger writes the product review and posts it on his or her blog. Simple.

Share

Since it is in the blogger’s interest to promote his or her blog, it’s likely the blogger with share the review on social media. That will lead followers to share it, their followers’ followers will share it, and so on. Bloggers tend to be very active on social media and, depending on the field, will have several prolific accounts on different platforms to reflect this (such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc). Meanwhile, you will also promote the blog post on your own channels.

Gain

What do you gain from all this? First, being known to reach out to consumers is excellent for a brand’s reputation. If a popular and trusted blogger recommends you, that trust will carry over and give you credibility.

Plus, blog posts are much better for your SEO than, for example, a Facebook review, because they show up on Google. The post will stay there and gather traffic without you having to do anything. It’s a great investment.

Build

Blog posts publicize your brand to consumers in your target market that otherwise may not have come across your product. Partnerships with bloggers will often lead to better consumer engagement in general, because you will have insider knowledge on what people are talking about in your sphere.

And if they know you’re listening, they’ll be eager to talk with you. This is how you acquire brand advocates: people who are genuine fans of your brand and are eager to get involved in your projects.

L’Oreal recently had a successful campaign which exemplifies the cycle. With the launch of their new product, the Miss Manga Mascara, L’Oreal decided to do a blogger outreach campaign with beauty bloggers. Samples of the mascara were sent out for review to 50 prominent bloggers.

The result? 200 unique content items (including blog posts, YouTube videos, conversations on Twitter and Instagram, etc.), and a significant SEO boost. All just from publishing one call for product reviews.

The best part is that at the end of the blogging cycle you’ll be exposed to more bloggers, and the process starts anew. In these partnerships, everybody wins.

This article was originally published on PR Daily.

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