Last week, I had the privilege of helping to coordinate an event with the Publicity Club of New England, welcoming a diverse group of experts to our Boston office to discuss “The Evolving Relationship of Brands and Bloggers.” Moderated by 360PR’s Laura Tomasetti, the panel included Dave Charest, Senior Manager of Content & Social Media at Constant Contact, Morra Aarons-Mele, Founder of Women Online, Audrey McClelland, Founder of Mom Generations, and Melanie Feehan, Influencer Program Manager at 360PR.
The best blog-driven programs connect the dots between meaningful content and the right audience. A prime example, Charest talked about how he and the content team at Constant Contact leverage outside contributors to boost readership of Constant Contact’s blog, which in turn has boosted organic search for the email marketing leader. Charest referred to content as “the currency of the Internet.”
Feehan shared some of the criteria 360PR employs to identify influencers for brand ambassador programs. “Relevance and social equity are the two biggest factors,” with social equity taking into account the broad range of platforms bloggers are using today.
“We’re learning that authentic relationships matter,” added McClelland, who started blogging almost a decade ago as a way to support her family. Today, an established parenting and fashion-influencer, McClelland said she was an enthusiastic T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s shopper long before those brands tapped her as an ambassador.
Morra Aarons-Mele, Founder of digital cause marketing agency Women Online, noted that “every social channel, with the exception of LinkedIn, is dominated by women.” Aarons-Mele developed a strategic engagement with social media savvy moms (and dads) for the Shot@Life Blogust Campaign. Over the course of a month, a different blogger posted each day about the campaign and a life-saving vaccine was donated to children in need for every comment left by blog readers. This blogging “relay” created more than 50 million online impressions for the non-profit campaign.
After the event, Tomasetti observed, “Whether in-house or third-party, blogs can be the super-glue in a content marketing strategy, helping to educate audiences in long-form, while providing robust content that can be shared in a variety of ways and channels – all dotting back to the brand as a relevant resource.”
You can read other highlights from the discussion on the Publicity Club’s blog here.