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    The Best Brand Advocates: Bloggers

     

     

    Why Should Brands Work With Bloggers?

    Brands are realizing the necessity to find and amplify the reach of content that speaks on the value of what their products or services can offer consumers. Brands are also recognizing that they need to utilize their social capital towards finding and maintaining brand advocates.

    Developing, cultivating and nurturing your brand advocacy program is extremely important in the social business era. As Rob Fuggetta, CEO of Zuberance, points out, “Brand Advocates are a company's most loyal, engaged, and enthusiastic customers. They're eager to help the brand in multiple ways.”

    Take for example Melody Overton. Melody is an attorney and blogger from Seattle who has a true passion for Starbucks. She is a Starbucks advocate who gets her coffee from them twice a day; once in the morning and once in the afternoon. She tweets at @SBuxMel and owns a blog called StarbucksMelody.com where she writes about nearly everything about Starbucks.

    When you work with one blogger, you have the opportunity to connect with hundreds (even thousands!) of other bloggers. Bloggers can take you to the next level of engagement, reach and impressions, driving brand awareness and value proposition in an authentic way.

    What Do Bloggers Bring to the Table?

    Today, we share and consume a lot of information in a digital format. In fact, a study by Neilson found that 23% of total Internet usage time is devoted to social networks or blogs and that social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. internet users.

    Bloggers bring to the table a number of unique qualities that make them ideal brand advocates. With an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States alone, bloggers make up one of the most rapidly growing voices and mediums for breaking news, valuable market insights, pop culture and op-eds, and they’re often the first to introduce us to trendsetting styles and unique brands.

    Blogs have become popular go-to read destinations for Internet users because of their (mostly) easy-to-read layouts and genuine perspectives that are communicated in styles that are often unique to the author. The product recommendations by bloggers reveal a personal touch reflecting the genuine opinion of the blogger. Most readers assume that there is generally no ulterior motive for a blogger to write the piece, readers consider a blog post at face value.

    Brands Working With Bloggers

    Last Spring, Gap released a new digital catalog to revitalize the catalog experience for their customers. The brand tapped into fashion bloggers from popular sites including FabSugar, Lookbook.nu, and Refinery29, to style and showcase pieces of Gap clothing. Bloggers who participate in the digital catalog use pieces from Gap as the foundation of an outfit, mixed in with other pieces and show off the resulting look via photos and brief descriptions.

    Gap isn’t the first fashion brand to rely on the services of these style experts. Brands such as Burberry and Coach have teamed with fashion bloggers on their brand sites as well. Brands are tapping into the fashion blogger market because they recognize the immense influence that fashion bloggers have on readers. Fashion blogs are even beating out magazines, even Vogue, when it comes to links, social media activity and general buzz.

     

    Whether you’re blogging on your own website, on behalf of your company, or cultivating a community of bloggers to share your story, you can’t ignore the influential power of blogging. Blogs are a prominent way to increase brand awareness, generate brand engagement, and entice genuine interest from your target market. The next step is implementing a blogger relations strategy. Stay tuned for our follow-up post on how to develop and maintain blogger relationships.

    Check out this infographic on the current state of the blogging world:

     

    Topics: bloggers, blogging, blogs, branding, community, consumers, Content Marketing Strategy