Brands, companies, startups and even government agencies have been doing it for more than 10 years now. Some very experienced and know that it doesn’t work but is still doing it. Some new comers who are just starting to venture into this now overly crowded media with bloggers and social influencers, who will eventually find that they are just wasting time. I have been doing this whole blogging and engaging/ marketing through mediums – blogs and social networks actively for at least 8 years now, seeing both side of things, I have just one thing to say. THIS DOES NOT WORK! Not for everyone and surely not for everything the advertisers and communicators want to achieve. And it is a super time consuming and energy burning method of advertising and communication.
I am in this business and so I am (usually) in the known of what’s juicy, who’s doing what and how all the active big brands engaging bloggers are doing with this digital medium. This medium is growing so fast and furious over the past couple of years it is impossible to keep track of everything and all the new blogs that are sprouting out on a daily basis. Everyday I chance upon a new blog and new influencer. And every one of them seem to have some form of sponsorship or advertorial going on in their new and little readership blogs. Check their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter following and they hardly have enough followers and fans to fill a badminton court. WHAT? What are these brands and agencies doing reaching out to these blog owners? Well, this brings me to the topic of “Everyone Is Influential” which I will publish in another post.
Let’s get back to this post’s topic – Blogger Engagement DOES NOT WORK!
Ask anyone on the street, at Raffles Place, at the market or in the malls, ask them to list three blogs they read or heard of. Probably for every 10, less than 3 will be able to do that, the rest probably tell you they don’t read blogs nor follow any of these things and people online. Blogging is just another industry, one with many unique characters and communities. One that are highly talked about in the advertising, marketing and communication departments of companies. One that gets highlighted on front page of the print papers when someone fame another, when followers dropped by the ten thousands or when there is something worth gossiping about. Other than the above, nobody care what a blogger is saying or which celebrity bloggers are endorsing a new tyre company.
Blogger engagement, blog advertising, influencer marketing and whatever you call it; these digital mediums we use does not work for everyone nor for every business objectives. Same goes to big budget outdoor advertising and TVCs, they are not effective for everyone and everything too. Then why are big companies, learning institutes, statutory boards and government agencies still putting their budget into these digital online mediums?
Probably they are doing it right. Probably they are using this medium in a more integrated approach for a much bigger campaign. Perhaps it still works for some objectives, like the following…
Need for content
Content is king, content is key in digital marketing! This phrase been heard and mentioned all the time since 2000. And it still is the key essential for digital marketing, more so now as brands struggle to keep their Facebook page and Instagram profile updated with content that engages. For an established brand to reinforce their product, their users’ experience and users’ endorsement speak louder and of more volume as compared to the brand recommending themselves.
Blog posts with review and user experiences with your product and services are worth sharing with the communities brand built. No matter if it’s organic from a real paying customer or sponsored with the experience. These posts and sharings online make good word of mouth for great products.
Need for talents
Bloggers and Instagram users are revealing and showcasing their best online. There are pretty girls, cool looking dudes, cute and adorable children and babies and even well groomed parents. If these influencers are looking great online and with some following of their own, wouldn’t they be ideal for your next brand photoshoot or commercial?
Need for reach and awareness
Well, first I have to say, no matter how many million views one get on the blog or how many likes they get on Instagram, these does not mean that your campaign gets 100% of those amazing reach too. Because often those liking photos on Instagram are “tappers” that’s what I’ll call them, they double-tap as they scrolled down their feed blindly, and those with lots of comments on their posts, click on them and you see many random comments by people from all around the world. Are all these users within your target reach? As for the real views the blog gets their millions of page views from are often for just the few click worthy or search loving posts (or about SEX and hidden from main site) published and hidden somewhere deep in these blogs, if your post is not on the homepage of the blog or appearing highly ranked in the search results for your target audiences then no one is reading it. This brings me to my last point…
Need for search and link love
Blogs are a great medium for search engines. Especially so with well written (and keyword intensive) blog posts that gets ranked highly when the intended keywords are searched by your potential customers. No matter an organic post or one that was sponsored for, when someone searches for a product or services you provide and get to read about a real review about it, the chance of them completing a purchase cycle is higher. The question is whether or not these users will eventually land one a purchase page on your website after the post? This is where the link loving from the blog owner is important.
So you see, blogger and influencer marketing don’t work for everything a marketer or communicator need but this medium still works in some ways. But when strategied and integrated well into your next marketing campaign with adequate blog study and engagement, you may just hit more sweet spots with your next paying customer.
How have you planned to make your next social media or digital campaign work the right way?