Put Bloggers on This Year’s 'Nice' Holiday List
Retail's first three quarters of the year are the equivalent of waiting in the green room before making an appearance on "The Tonight Show." There's planning, pacing, anticipation and excitement for the future. Then Q4 brings the holiday push and you get your cue to take center stage. The spotlights are on, it's time to impress. In a holiday season predicted to be one of the most competitive in years, retailers need to expand their social media horizons to maximize the number of customer eyeballs that will be glancing at their bank statements long before holiday deals are leaked on the web.
Facebook and Twitter will be important consumer discovery tools, but it can be difficult for retailers to cut through the clutter that comes with social network news streams. Enter blogger relations. Established bloggers with a proven ability to deliver regular, quality content have built a network of trusted readers over the years. Outlets with a loyal following have created a track record for giving value to readers, and provide a reason for people to trust opinions and engage with content. If consumers have become faithful readers of a particular blog for years, a relationship of trust has been virtually formed. That opens the door for brands to have a closer connection to dedicated blog followers.
Perhaps the most well-known and influential of these blogging communities are moms. They've established a following and their influence now rivals that of traditional media outlets. Since they share many commonalities, mom influencers have become a trusted source. They've established relationships with readers both virtually and in-person with the rise of networking events like BlogHer and Blissdom. Therefore, establishing relationships with mom influencers can open the door to new consumers via blogging networks.
It sounds simple enough, but to be effective retailers need to do their homework. The first assignment is to become familiar with a mommy blogger's outlet and network. Is it an established blog? Is she receptive to being contacted by brands? Is the blog relevant to your products?
After answering these questions, establish a familiarity with the blog’s content before even thinking about pursuing a relationship. This involves faithfully reading posts, participating in the comments section and sharing the blogger’s posts on social networks. When a level of comfort is achieved, you can then reach out for potential review, contest and giveaway opportunities to create a buzz around your best holiday deals.
If executed properly, blogger relations can elevate your holiday social media efforts by getting your brand in front of a trusted influencer that will share their brand experience with readers to help your business have a happy holiday season.
Paula Drum is general manager of e-commerce retailer Gettington.com. Paula can be reached at Paula.Drum@bluestembrands.com.
Paula brings more than 20 years of experience leading digital technology and marketing teams, having held leadership roles at SouthernCarlson, Interline Brands, H&R Block, Wyndham Worldwide and Alamo Rent A Car/National Car Rental, prior to joining Newfold Digital’s senior leadership team. Drum is a digital veteran with a proven understanding of the digital revolution’s impact on consumer behavior, and she has led companies through the critical changes required to compete in today’s technology-centric world. Drum, a Florida native, holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida Warrington School of Business and an undergraduate degree from University of Miami with a major in International Business and minors in Economics and Spanish.