It can be noted that blogging, until recently, was just considered an online platform that could be used as a personal digital diary by internet users. With its growing popularity, the approach of users to tap blogs has changed. Many online studies suggest that blogging in India could become the ‘new fourth estate,’ as many users believe that blog content is as trustworthy as other forms of media.

With the increase in acceptance of blogging as a serious business, many brands have leveraged this platform for various communication purposes. A few years ago, it wasn’t too difficult to find a blog that didn’t have any type of advertising on it. But these days, bloggers are polishing their marketing skills to commercialize them. Taking the popularity of blogging into consideration, brands too are taking the blogging space as an integral part of their marketing activities.

Here are five things that brands should keep in mind while associating with bloggers for various marketing initiatives:

Create ‘interest’ groups

The primary goal of brands today is to select the right kind of blogs in their media plans. Once that is listed out, it is important that brands create special interest groups along with these select bloggers. This will bring in two things, firstly, brands will get to create a niche presence in an already cluttered social media place. Secondly, and most importantly this will help brands get focused results.

‘Meet ups’ work best

Many restaurants and food joints are highly betting on blogger meet ups. An interesting example of this, would the latest campaign that Philips India ran to promote its Philips Saeco Poemia Coffee Machine.

The brand associated with a renowned food blogger Kalyan Karmakar for couple of social media activities. He also conducted a brew camp wherein he spoke about the world of coffee and much more. Such meet ups not only create networking opportunities, but also brings in productive results.

Phillips brew camp

‘Creative’ freedom is a must

Brands should look at ways in which bloggers can be given creative freedom, and are not dictated to as to what they should write. A classic example of this would be an initiative that Burgs had taken up a couple of months back. The burger outlet invited food bloggers to make their own signature style burger. As a reward, the winning burger was actually sold for a week in all its outlets across the city.

The winner of this contest was a new enthusiastic group food blog called Bhooka Janta. The result of such an activity is way beyond word of mouth publicity and brands should look at creating such campaigns.

Focus on ‘rich’ content generation

The biggest advantage of associating with a blog is the opportunity of creating rich content. Brands should stop looking at just a review post from bloggers.

There are a number of ways through which brands can bank on bloggers for interesting content associations which can be beyond text. HUL’s Sunsilk had created an interesting YouTube channel last year called Sunsilk storyteller. The channel featured fashion blogger Scherezade Shroff who represented India at the Sunsilk International Blogger meet in New York. The channel was a very good example of video blogging.

‘Integrate’ with social

Brands should understand that it is very important to integrate each of its marketing campaigns to social media. Today, even if brands are looking at creating niche content, it is necessary to make some noise about it, not just for PR purposes but also to its digital presence. Brands could start an activity with bloggers using social media, and it goes without saying that they should take an unconventional route.

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