B2B: The Blog to Brand Relationship

September 24, 2013

Senior Consultant, Jordana Wolch, and I had the opportunity to speak at BlogPodium this weekend, a blogger conference attended largely by home décor and lifestyle bloggers. In the three short years since its inception, organizer Jennifer Flores has created a favourite destination for bloggers, complete with quality presenters and panelists, as well as top tier brand sponsors.

The Home Depot and Sarah Richardson kicked off the day with interesting and informative speeches, but we were most taken with the creativity, professionalism and incredible determination of the 250+ bloggers in attendance. Please note: newbie bloggers can create better marketing collateral than most global agencies.

Our presentation focused on the value bloggers, or influencers, bring to our clients and advised bloggers on what brands are looking for from their partners. You can view the presentation below, but here are our five key takeaways:

Authenticity is key – Bloggers can act as a bridge from a brand to the consumer but in order to do so credibly, they must provide an authentic brand experience and establish an emotional connection.  Bloggers and influencers provide a genuine point-of-view that is a natural extension of our clients’ brand and can influence decision-making among consumers.

Believe in the brands you work with –When bloggers work with brands they admire, respect and relate to, the content they produce is more compelling. Bloggers benefit from a more engaged audience while brands benefit from a genuine endorsement through a reputable voice.

The most important metric is action – Impressions and visitor traffic are important metrics, but we also look at metrics that demonstrate a bloggers ability to drive action. Influence metrics (for instance, social sharing, click through to a brand site, registrations and downloads) demonstrate a blogger’s ability to influence their audience.

What you can offer beyond your blog – Bloggers that build their personal brand, and not just their blog, can offer valuable opportunities to the clients they work with. For instance, having a column on another website, organizing an event, or the strategic relationships a blogger has cultivated, can provide added value to the brand-blogger relationship.

It is a relationship! Relationships fail when they become transactional – The brand, blogger and consumer relationship should be win-win-win. When it becomes transactional, bloggers and brands risk commoditizing content and creativity. Bloggers should see each opportunity as a step towards the next opportunity and building a long-term relationship.

Influencer Marketing presents a valuable opportunity for brands to establish more meaningful connections with their consumers. Many of our clients, including The Home Depot, have started to build strong relationships within the blogging community and work collaboratively to demonstrate their unique value to consumers.

We left BlogPodium inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd and look forward to next year as this event continues to grow.