We talk about blogging with employees of Heureka advertising agency, famous bloggers Maciej Budzich and Artur Kurasiński, Onet Group lawyer, and the star of the conference, an expert marketing blogger – Natalia Hatalska.
Advertisers and marketers used to be afraid of cooperation with bloggers. After all, a blog can have plenty of negative comments and it’s all beyond control. The growing meaning of blogs, not only as information source (a fact proven by the statistics of Natalia Hatalska), but primarily as a source of opinion (especially about products) has given bloggers much attention. Company marketers value bloggers as people having their own opinion that know how to share it, and what’s important, able to reach and engage large groups of people. It’s true, a handful of extreme bloggers are ready to call their blogging colleagues who get into an “affair” with a particular brand or product “corrupt.” But most of the time it is collaboration that brings gains for both parties and does not translate into giving up yourself or ideals in any way. Kamil Dmowski and Michał Górecki from Heureka interactive agency can tell much about the cooperation between an author of an opinion-making blog and a company that wants to engage the blogger in their campaign.
It starts like this: a company wants to promote a new product, starts a campaign, and knowing how much an expert with his or her own website can do, the company plans to invite bloggers to cooperation. Carefully selected bloggers (sometimes beyond absurdity: a person who has a cat, a problem with acne, who spent his or her last holiday in the mountain region, does not use products of the competition and… is ready to change the name of the blog). Ones that will be comfortable with the subject of the campaign and will be”valuable” players on the market. This means people who run a website that is commented, gathering some kind of a community – the target of the campaign. And who leave some kind of contact on their website. Depending on the product, companies look for blogging enthusiasts of motorization, cooking, fashion, parenthood, children etc. According to Heureka experts, the reason is not to order a particular (advertising) article on their blog, but to make them partners of the action by providing them with an element that is engaging both for the blogger and the readers (a benefit for the company is a by-product), which will allow to create unique content attracting people to the blog.
Bloggers test a given product for a given brand (and they state that clearly on their blog) and share their opinion about it, are asked to take part in a particular activity (like planting trees together with the bloggers), event, share their experience in a subject connected with the campaign (e.g. moms going back to work) or give a possibility to take part in a game or competition on their blog. What’s the gain for them? Apart from valuable content, they may receive money (some blogs even have pricelists), barter exchange, increasing the blog’s popularity.
Blogger – it sounds proudly?
Professional cooperation with agencies is accepted by a known blogger Maciek Budzich of Mediafun. But Maciek does not always want to be a blogger, because many people do not respect this form of activity. Whenever he feels he might not be taken seriously, he introduces himself as editor-in-chief of a website. He advises the same to other bloggers.
For Maciek, a blogger is simply a content producer. For a young blogger, surviving the first year is quite a lesson. When do we become professional bloggers? This is visible in the number of comments, attractive and exclusive content, the fact we are the first to publish something, and a brand. Brand is the largest potential, and a good blog is one that has a brand. Maciek emphasizes it is not important how many unique users a blog has (a fact that will be emphasized by the next speakers as well), but who reads it and where it is forwarded. It is worth creating a brand that will exist in the users’ awareness, regardless of how they find out about the blog.
What defines each of the stages of blog’s expansion: a small, private blog, a brand blog and a a website blog? According to Mediafun editor, it is passion, which is clearly visible on small blogs but disappears on website blogs. Maciek also accuses large portals of loud, tabloid-like headlines whose aim is to get high positioning at the cost of reliability.
A blogger’s activity is more than regular content updates – sometimes posts are even pushed to the background, and the blogger, as a personality, is active in other channels – social networking websites, Youtube, comments on the Internet.
Where do we find a blogger – trendsetter? Some hints are: blogroll, brand websites, competitions, ranks, activity in blogosphere and on microblogs, other bloggers’ recommendations e.g. on adtaily.pl.
2012 was the year of blogs in Poland. According to Maciek, this was due to improving technical possibilities, the expansion of platforms, ease in preparing content and publishing it (e.g. good quality of videos can take videoblogging to television.) He only believes there should be more blogs run in duets, that would give an opportunity of conducting dialogues.
Material from workshops for bloggers organized by Onet Group, 16 Feb. 2012.