By Leticia Barr
Today, the most effective parent-to-parent conversations can occur beyond the blog post. The ever-evolving online space has witnessed the development of new social tools utilized by bloggers and other digital influencers that can convey a story about a product, provide an inside look at a brand, or enhance a brand’s customer service.
Savvy marketing professionals are designing blogger outreach programs with a more holistic approach – taking into account bloggers’ use of Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Forward-thinking companies have moved beyond ‘spray and pray’ blogger outreach to engage bloggers in more meaningful ways – leading to compelling content that’s of higher value to parent audiences.
General Motors stands out as a leader for two innovative campaigns that tapped bloggers to create cross-platform content. When prepping for the debut of the 2013 Terrain Denali, GMC invited a dozen bloggers to Michigan. Like other auto press events it included time to learn about the new Denali through a vehicle walk-around and drive-time. But the entire event was wisely designed to be interactive and capitalize on bloggers’ influence across multiple social media platforms.
Drive routes to showcase Northern Michigan at the start of summer were planned in conjunction with the Michigan Bureau of Tourism. Inspired by the scenery, bloggers captured images of the car during morning drives using Olympus PL-3 cameras provided through a partnership with Olympus. By the afternoon, we had not only experienced the car, but also learned how to shoot incredible images for our blogs.
Bloggers were invited to select a favorite image of the Denali to appear on the GMC Facebook page for the opportunity to be their new Timeline photo. As soon as the photos were up on the GMC page, each blogger went to work reaching out to our social networks by Tweeting, emailing, and sharing in Facebook groups to get our friends to like our images for the chance to be featured as the new Timeline photo. The well-planned event generated brand awareness and new Facebook fans for the 2013 Terrain Denali, as well as deepened brand relationships with bloggers for long-term gain.
As further evidence of GMC’s strategy to both spotlight and leverage digital influencers and their rich content, GMC also recently tapped leading fashion bloggers to showcase design inspirations for a custom Buick Encore digital look book, called Buick Pinboard to Dashboard.
The effectiveness of both of these campaigns is rooted in GMC’s recognition of bloggers’ digital influence across the broader social media sphere and a focus on the development of rich, compelling content. I’m excited about this evolution in how bloggers and brands are working together, and to see how consumers react to the new content we create together.
Leticia Barr is known throughout the social media sphere as Tech Savvy Mama, her award winning technology and education blog. She is also a Parents.com columnist, and a contributor to several brands’ content streams. Reach her on Twitter @TechSavvyMama.