October 31st, 2011 | Posted By Adrianna Giuliani
Last week, I was completely energized after attending Blogalicious a women’s blogging conference. I was on a panel—The Truth About Brands & Bloggers—but truly considered myself more of a student than a teacher for the weekend. Through a number of candid conversations with my fellow panelists and impromptu chats with some prolific bloggers, I got a refresher—and crash course—of what’s on the minds of brands and bloggers as we continue to work together in the space. Here are the Cliffs’ Notes on what I found most relevant and inspiring. Special thanks to my rockstar panelists Nancy Martira,Ted Rubin and Don Moore, the fabulous women of Blogalicious who invited me down and of course the brilliant bloggers who schooled me all weekend.
From Blog Squads to Ambassadors and Brigades: A lot of buzz words can surround the blogosphere as brands and bloggers partner together. From content campaigns, to ambassadors, brigades and squads the list can read like something out of a super hero book. Then there are your twitter parties, tweet ups, sponsored posts and content campaigns all working to support an overall theme, message or conversation. But from what I have sensed and seen in the space, we’ll see a shift in the year ahead, where the bloggers move from a supporting role in a marketing communications plan to the star of it. We’re already seeing national mainstream brands like TJ Maxx lead the way and I predict we’ll see more bloggers take center stage in 2012. Nancy Martira and I were on the same page here and she encouraged both bloggers and brands to brainstorm something big together (there were a lot of head nods)!
If Content is King, Engagement is Queen: One of my fellow panelists Ted Rubin said this during our panel and it was met with applause and laughter. Although I teased him for pandering to the almost 100% female audience, I must say he was truly spot on. The last few years brands have spent time building their social media profiles, but now that they have these audiences, making sure they are engaged, listened to and thanked is key. Working with bloggers is a terrific way to humanize a brand, create winning content and build a community where consumers will gain value and stick around.
People Share Awesome: This quote was from Don Moore, and while it sounds like common sense, for those of us work in the space we know it is not always so common. As brands and bloggers work together more, it’s increasingly important to work on campaigns and creative ideas that their readers and consumers want to share. No one wants to be the brand that takes over a blog with sponsored content that becomes the dullest thing on the menu? The content that bloggers create and share, on behalf of brands should be as awesome as the content they organically share. That means not pushing bloggers to create overly commercial messages and content. We all win when we move from marketing to people to moving them.
October 18th, 2011 | Posted By Cassie Boorn
Our Social Media Specialist Amy Schoenberger has always had a heart for cause marketing. From her experience on campaigns like Tide Loads of Hope and Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and through volunteering as the NYC board president of Nest, she has a chance to work with non-profits and cause programs on many different levels.
Today she is guest posting over at Beyond Cause Marketing’s Sandbox Sessions about her recent experience at the BCM Summit.
“As marketers, and especially in PR, our job is to communicate the message of our organization externally. We’re given a narrow set of guidelines and we work within them to create a campaign or mechanism that best represents what we’re trying to accomplish.
But how often do we really take that organization and flip it on its head, questioning the very reason it exists, and making major overhauls in order to ensure the success of its mission?”
Read the rest here…
October 11th, 2011 | Posted By AAmendola
What is it? We’re not talking about tagging yourself in your Facebook photos here. The idea behind image tagging technology is taking static images on the web and making them interactive and much more useful to users. It’s about adding an additional layer of information and engagement to regular photos. Ever see a photo online and wonder what product is that? Where can I get that shirt? Where is that gorgeous beach, take me there now? And so forth. The value for everyone involved is obvious.
Publishers who provide content that comes tagged will create more engagement for their readers and will allow them to get more information about the images without taking them off their page. A typical link would drive your user away to a new destination, but tags just pop up on the spot. This is particularly useful with media. A music blogger could tag the cover of an album he is reviewing with a music video so that the reader could listen without leaving, or link them to iTunes to purchase on the spot.
Publishers can also monetize the images on their sites and blogs by including tags that link to partner websites, suppliers, retailers, etc.
Brands/Retailers/Marketers can embed tags with all sorts of value to their consumers. The most obvious is linking to eCommerce sites to drive purchase, but there are a slew of others such as including UGC product reviews, links to FB or Twitter pages, drive them to your brand websites, digital coupons, and so on.
For consumers the true reaction to tagging is yet to be known but the tags are only activated by rollover and are not intrusive. Personally, we find them to be fascinating.
What it could look like for PR? Make existing content assets so much more engaging and valuable for blogger outreach programs:
- Tag images with coupon codes to incentivize trial
- Include linkes to eCommerce/Social commerce sites so consumers can order products
- Include videos of talent or spokespeople within the tags to provide added information or entertainment
- Tag content with “like/share” buttons to drive users to your Facebook page or other social media presences
I leave you with this thought, Imagine how amazing Flickr or Pinterest would be with image tags?
Andy Amendola is the Director of Digital Strategy at DeVries. You can find him tweeting and checking in all over town at @AndrewAmendola