Over the last few months, Clare Adams of Bigger Bubbles Marketing and I have teamed up to develop what we think are better ways we can pull our areas of expertise for our clients existing and new. Clare and I both understand online marketing and social media and we both feel that we can use that to make any business grow its brand presence. One area of online marketing we are both passionate about is working with bloggers.
Clare has worked with many bloggers when creating awareness campaigns. Especially for her family focused business clients. I AM a blogger. Crunchy Carpets is my blog brand and I have been working with brands and PR agencies for quite a long time now. I have seen what works and what doesn’t, both from a relationship and marketing perspective. Unfortunately a lot of brands and PR agencies still don’t quite see the full potential of bloggers and so the campaigns out there are getting a bit stale. So is the pool (IMO) of bloggers who are continuously courted based purely on page view numbers. I think there is a LOT more to working with bloggers than purely the numbers.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Think outside the box. Let’s get past the Twitter parties, and product reviews. The blog/brand relationships that have caught my attention are the one’s who went beyond the usual and actually embraced what the blogger was all about and USED that to market their brands.
2. Listen to the bloggers. As a blogger, I am always flattered when a PR agency ASKS me for input about ideas. Although, you need to balance this with a rough plan. A good PR agency will LISTEN to you. Marc Smith is a fabulous example of both point 1 and 2 when it comes to this. The brands he works with listened and they developed plans that work for both of them.
3. Don’t forget that Public Relations campaigns are MARKETING too. PR should be tied into your over arching marketing plan. Make sure all departments are communicating. I have been a bit baffled when I am hired by a PR agency working for a brand that also has it’s own PR/Marketing campaign and neither tie in together. An example of this has been some of the work I have done with car companies. As a conscientious blog partner I ask about hashtags that should be used when promoting my work and 9 times out of 10 they don’t have one and MY campaign doesn’t relate to the hashtags being used by the car company. So basically I am working for the PR agency and not the brand.
Clare and I feel we can do the above for you. We have learned from our own experiences and see what works and what doesn’t work.
We feel that online marketing and PR is based on relationship building. Developing relationships with your community – your potential customers – is what can make you stand out from your competitors. Creating a presence that reflects trust and respect and down right neighbourliness is what social media marketing is all about. Clare and I have worked hard at building communities and we want to take that experience and share it with you.