Ahead of this year's FunFest Blogger Summit, miPR's Kirsty Barr looks at why more firms should recognise the power and influence of the blogging community.
A pivotal report by Technorati way back in 2013 revealed that bloggers have more influence on customer decisions than social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
And, certainly, there are few PR and marketing departments within consumer product groups which don’t recognise the power and influence of bloggers on their sales.
The Cambridge Satchel Company is often used by digital marketers as an example of what brands can gain when they work with bloggers. MD Julie Deane started her business in 2008 with a budget of just £600. She was aggressive in her targeting of fashion blogs and asked each customer to take a photo of them wearing their satchels and to write a testimonial.
It wasn’t long before the glossy fashion magazines took notice and today the Cambridge Satchel Company is a worldwide fashion brand.
Closer to home, Disney is renowned for what has been called its most powerful marketing force – ‘social media moms’.
The entertainment giant boasts a carefully selected group of some 1,300 parents who post blogs, tweets, Instagram photos and more to help Disney influence the travel and holiday plans of families across the world.
In all sectors, creating and maintaining a strong network of affiliated bloggers is an on-going task, as this new stream of media is more transient that other sectors – new blogs launch and others close constantly. It also important, of course, to stay abreast of the performance rankings of current bloggers, as change from month to month.
In the toy, pre-school and children’s entertainment sectors, there’s another very basic factor that has to be considered – kids grow up. So the blogger who worked with you so well last year on your new pre-school line very possibly won’t be the right one for you this year.
At the same time, it is true that often mummy blogs have a shelf-life – they end once the children have gone to school.
Websites like Tots 100 and Cision’s listings of the top parenting bloggers are incredibly useful starting points, but here at miPR, we’ve found that getting to know the bloggers personally has been vital.
We now have an extensive group of bloggers we work closely with – with the list constantly updated to allow us to fit specific bloggers to our client portfolio.
But we also recognise that there are new and upcoming bloggers continually emerging (it’s estimated that there are some 4,000 parenting bloggers in the UK at any one time!) who we all need to get to know. They, in turn, want to engage with brands.
And it was this situation which led us to launch the FunFest Blogger Summit. This one-day event takes place on Saturday September 12th for all bloggers – mums, dads, general lifestyle and entertainment bloggers. And they can bring their children along for free too.
There will be conference sessions in the morning where bloggers can learn from experts and peers, and an expo session in the afternoon where they can network with some of the biggest brands in toys and children’s entertainment.
Plus, of course, there will be loads for the kids to do all day, inside and outside of the beautiful Whittlebury Hall where the event takes place.
To find out more about the FunFest Blogger Summit, visit funfestuk.com or contact Kirsty.Barr@mi-pr.co.uk.