I recently attended a blogger panel and discussion hosted by Social Media Club Dallas with four SPM colleagues. The event featured four experienced local bloggers, and our hope was to learn more about what our restaurant and food clients can offer that is relevant to bloggers and what best resonates with them in a pitch. While we were somewhat disappointed not to get that type of information, we still each learned something interesting and have some different takeaways to share:
“My biggest takeaway was that although the number of blogs is predicted to decrease over the next five years, the use of company blogs will increase. We are seeing more and more that companies use blogs to show their work and what they do – it’s a great way to sell yourself by demonstration.“
“Mine was a statement from lifestyle blogger Oh So Cynthia when asked about the future of blogs in 5 years: ‘Blogs will crash and burn for those who only want to make money. That formula doesn’t work.’
Her point was you have to do it because you’re passionate about it. It’s fine to make money, but if you’re not passionate about it enough, then it’s robotic.”
“My biggest takeaway would be that the amount of time an employee goes from “trainee” to “trainer” is becoming shorter and shorter. I was really struck by the importance of continual training for all teammates (trainers and trainees alike) and how a company blog helps share information/best practices.”
“The panel made me reflect on how I personally spend less time reading blogs and more time on Instagram, which I imagine is a trend that the industry is seeing as well.
While blogger campaigns and programs can still serve a purpose for public relations professionals, there is a growing trend for social influencer campaigns, which can sometimes be easier to execute and more cost efficient.”
The most shocking thing for me was to hear one blogger say repeatedly (paraphrasing for profanity here) “I don’t give two [effs] about my metrics.” As a PR agency, it’s our job to prove to our clients that the bloggers we work with provide value. While we work hard to present our influencers’ skills beyond numbers – we know quality matters – clients still want metrics like unique visitors and engagement rates when we select bloggers to create paid content, and bloggers should recognize that it’s part of our reality.
I’ll close with by saying the blogsphere is ever-evolving just like the traditional media landscape. If brands want to have ongoing success with bloggers and personal blogs, they will need to evolve with it. Bloggers aren’t always a fit for every campaign or every brand, and it’s important to be able to identify when and how they can be effective.
In case you’re interested in learning more about the panelists, below are a few short blurbs and more info on where to find them.
Oh So Cynthia is a lifestyle blog about Dallas and what makes it a fabulous place to live. Author Cynthia Smoot writes about food, fashion, reality TV, movie premiers, cultural events and celebrity sightings.
Matt Dixon is the Executive Director at NTX Beer Week and co-founder of Dallas Brew Society. On the site, you’ll find local craft brew tastings, the Dallas Brew Bus tours, and forums.
Peter Linder is the Head of Business Management & Sales Support (for Ericsson’s North American region) in Business Unit Cloud & IP and a regular contributor to the company’s blog, The Networked Society, where topics reflect our ever-increasingly connected world, and how that empowers innovation, collaboration, – and inspiration.
Ed Bark is the author of UncleBarky.com, where he posts “news, views and reviews” and maintains his “Above The Fold” blog. Ed was a longtime TV critic and writer for The Dallas Morning News.