How Brands promote content with Blogs

It is human nature to trust recommendations from those who they find credible.

When I plan a journey, I often reach out to my friends who have previously been to the place, for recommendations on places to stay, food and transport etc. The same holds good before I make a new purchase.

Probably that is the reason why it doesn’t come as a surprise to me when a research from Nielson indicates

 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people — even someone they don’t know — over content created by a brand. 

Perhaps in the same way, when people share their experiences, opinions and ideas online through blogs, those become effective source of recommendation.

Blog for Brands

No wonder, blogs are fast emerging as a potent platform for promoting brands!

Like a good trailer gives an idea about a movie and creates an interest for the movie in the mind of the viewer, a good blog post can evoke the reader’s interest for a brand. A blog need not delve into the detailed specifications. However, it should emphasize on the utility, and/ or highlight the desirability of the brand, while the details can find their way to the product brochures.

What differentiates blogs from traditional media is the cost effective manner in which quality content can be promoted for brands through blogs, with the increasing social outreach.

As bloggers generally are a part of one or more blogging communities they nurture relationship with their readers, hence blogs are sometimes more effective in driving readers’ engagement with the content than traditional media.

Sponsored Advertisements, Adsense, Affiliate Marketing, and Giveaways have been widely prevalent forms of advertising online. But besides these, there are other ways too in which brands promote content on blogs.

 

Here are 3 ways in which brands engage with blogs to promote their content:

Content Promotion with Blog

Sponsored Posts 

Through Sponsored Posts, brands engage with bloggers to write and publish content. Here the blogger researches on the brand and writes the article in his/ her own voice and style, and also provides 1 or 2 links to the post.

Sponsored Posts can be written in the different styles such as:

Creative writing – A blog integrates a brand as a part of a story or a creative narration. Here the brand is used as an important prop to aid the flow of the story. Such creative writing can be part of a campaign or a sponsored post. You could see an example here and here. 

Brand Story – It is the story of the brand narrated to the reader in a way that brings out how the vision and the inspiration behind the brand, a bit of its history, what the brand stands for and how we relate to it. This helps in reinforcing the relationship of the readers with the brand by highlighting the distinctive features of the brand and by reminding the readers of the core things that the brand stands for. Check out examples here.

Experiential – A post where the blogger narrates his experience of traveling to a place or of using a product or, or gives his/ her opinion of a product or a service in form of a product or service review stating the favorable as well as the not -so favorable experiences. 

Factual – A post in which a blogger researches on facts and explains the use of a product or how it solves a particular problem. Now that corporate social responsibility is a mandatory activity for businesses in India, an integration of the CSR strategy with the brand’s marketing strategy is desirable as it helps to create a positive image of the brands by creating awareness about how a brand is engaging with a community for its CSR activity. Posts on such initiatives can be seen here and here. 

 

Contests

Besides sponsored posts, contest are a great means that help in generating buzz around the brand and is hence used by brands use to promote content through bloggers. Contests are generally organized through the blogger platforms (such as Indiblogger, Blogadda, Blogmint being some of the platforms in India) who invite influencers to participate in a competition.

➡ Contests can be creative and can have any of the formats mentioned above. 

The winners are given a handsome prize, or travel with expenses paid, or invite to exclusive events etc. Contests with some minimum assured prizes are the best way to get more and more bloggers to participate in a contest. 

 

Guest Posts

For start-ups or brands that want to contain the cost for promoting, the best way to do so is to write a guest post or publish an article on a blog that has posts related to the field of the business. The blogger may want to see the content and edit the post before publishing. As in the case of sponsored posts, through the guest post the brand benefits through exposure to the blogger’s network.

 

Lastly, it pays to remember that promotion of brands is not a one-time activity, but needs to be done on a recurring basis, to keep the brand on top of the user’s mind, be it through advertising on media or through blogging. To that extent, developing a working relationship with some bloggers is an option that some brands find worth considering.

 

 

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    By: Somali K Chakrabarti

    Hi there! Welcome to Scribble and Scrawl! Here, I delve into themes related to positive lifestyle – from making smart-living choices, savvy financial decisions to nurturing the mind, body and soul. I share my travel experiences, explore facets of art and culture and highlight inspiring stories. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

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53 thoughts on “How Brands promote content with Blogs

  • September 14, 2015 at 7:12 am
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    Nice post to describe where the trend of marketing and brand promotion is heading to……Next generation of promoting products…

    Reply
  • September 14, 2015 at 9:59 am
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    nice post about a new utility for blogs in public space. blogs are no more just a personal logging space in the web, but has opened up into new forays as these.

    Reply
    • September 14, 2015 at 10:12 am
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      Thanks Sohom. Yes the utility of blogs has evolved over the personal web logs. The effectiveness of promotion, of course, depends upon a blogger’s creativity, and network .

      Reply
  • September 14, 2015 at 9:50 pm
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    You’ve said it all in this post about branding and the role blogs are playing in it. Very well-written… and I think there’s not a single point where anyone would disagree with you… 🙂

    Reply
    • September 15, 2015 at 1:16 am
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      Thank you Maniparna. It is to be seen if blogs and vlogs can emerge can a disruptive force that drastically changes the way content is created and promoted. 🙂

      Reply
  • September 15, 2015 at 2:05 am
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    Nicely explained Somali how brands are advertising their products and how bloggers are using the power to boost the brands. :):)

    Reply
    • September 15, 2015 at 3:14 am
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      Thanks Prasanna. making use of bloggers network and social influence makes blogging a viable medium for promotion.

      Reply
  • September 15, 2015 at 4:34 am
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    Very apt title and write up.Loved your post on creative writing too.:)
    Cheers,
    Sriram & Krithiga

    Reply
  • September 15, 2015 at 10:36 am
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    An analytic post about promotion of brands by great blogs .

    Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 2:16 am
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    Nice post Somali. Shows that brands have learned that spending money on marketing is futile unless they engage with their audience. Blogging and contests are great ways to build awareness. The key aspects to a brand’s success are how they treat their customers and how human they appear.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2015 at 5:15 am
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      Thanks Vishal. Very rightly you have pointed out that engagement is the key and that is what blogs can bring about.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 3:38 am
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    You said it all, Somali 🙂

    Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 5:37 am
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    Nice detail here 🙂 I am hoping for a lot of such opportunities 😀

    Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 6:25 am
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    Somali, actually as someone who has spent her life in marketing and advertising, I think this trend of native content and blogs promoting brands is headed for trouble because content is being turned into ads and will therefore fast lose their credibility.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2015 at 6:19 am
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      Thank you Lata. I respect your opinion. At the same time I think it will prompt readers to use their discretion better in what they want to read. Also any blogger would need to refrain from making false claims to maintain their credibility.
      Creatively and credibly engaging in promotions will present the opportunity to make blogging economically viable, and hence sustainable.
      Through history we know that writers & authors were sponsored by the state. Nowadays media too is owned by corporate houses with several business interests. So in my opinion, sponsored blogging is a natural progression.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 8:13 am
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    Very well covered article….what I love about your posts is that it is always so complete, there are no loose ends and one gets an explanation in the most simple language. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 9:11 am
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    Another of your signature comprehensive posts.
    I love how you organise your points.
    So neat, Somali. 🙂

    Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 10:11 am
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    Hmmm. You have written all the things of the topic clearly Somali ji . But I have a question , not one actually two . first – who can write for these brands ? Brands contact to blogger or vice versa ? and secondly , they pay for it ? and if yes what it may be ?

    Reply
    • September 17, 2015 at 6:26 am
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      Thank you Yogiji. As of now if you see brands are approaching bloggers through platforms such as Blomint, Blogadda, Indiblogger. Sometimes brands may approach bloggers directly, or even bloggers cam make their pitch to a company where they have connections.
      There is a wide range of variation in prices depending upon a lot of factors – such as the ranks of the blog , traffic, how much engagement the blog drives, how much research is needed for the post and finally how much the brand is willing to pay, and if the blogger is okay with it.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 10:41 am
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    Nice post..its amazing how blogging as a marketing tool has developed!

    Reply
    • September 17, 2015 at 6:43 am
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      Thank you Maitreni. Just organized the thoughts around what has already started shaping up 🙂

      Reply
    • September 17, 2015 at 6:30 am
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      I know what you are referring to Mridula. In my view, a post that is promotional in nature, if written at the request of a brand, needs to be paid for. That would be pretty cost effective for businesses too.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 3:39 pm
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    I am glad I am a blogger! 🙂 Great post on this topic of blogs.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm
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    Nice :). I think of late or maybe I have started observing now, that the blog marketing is really picking up and I am really amazed how well the market is responding to it. Good time for bloggers I believe 🙂

    Reply
  • September 17, 2015 at 3:44 am
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    Somali, you very well presented the various ways to promote brand through blogging. The post reminded me of our talk on blogging as marketing tool and its effect on credibility of blogging. I agree with Lata on credibility point but as you said that bloggers need to be careful not to make any false claims that can hamper credibility. Bloggers need to be very cautious while promoting any brand because it’s also affecting their own brand as Responsible Blogger.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2015 at 6:36 am
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      Thanks Ravish. Yes we had that discussion. So while it presents an opportunity for both brands and bloggers, it adds to the responsibility of the bloggers too. With a well written post, a blogger can create a pull if it resonates with readers, but as a blogger if I write crap, who would want to read it?

      Reply
      • September 17, 2015 at 12:15 pm
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        Rightly said, Somali, no one wants to read crap. But again….As we have talked regarding the balance between short-term & long-term goal. As I observe on some blogs that bloggers forget about readers when they’re getting vouchers for submitting their entries.

        Spiderman said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” The bloggers, today, have great influencing power and so their responsibility has also increased manifold.

        You’re right, Somali, bloggers are responsible for their own credibility not Sponsored Blogging. They can wisely use the opportunity for benefit of everybody – Brands, Bloggers, and Customers or hamper their credibility for some short-term benefits, like earning through vouchers by submitting entries in Brand Promotion Programmes.

        Reply
  • September 25, 2015 at 7:39 am
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    Very informative post…however getting the right brand for the blog is always a hard nut.

    Reply
    • September 25, 2015 at 6:52 pm
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      Yes that’s true. Getting the right brand for the blog is tough and probably for brands too might find it tough to get the right bloggers. Thank you Sameer for stopping by.

      Reply
  • May 31, 2017 at 7:50 am
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    Loved reading the post. Very detailed and useful. However finding the right mix of bloggers that echo the values of the brand can be a tough task. What is your take on influencer communities? Would love to read a post on those lines.
    Do check my blogpost and share your views- Checklist for online presence

    Reply
    • May 31, 2017 at 12:30 pm
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      Thank you Neha. I agree that finding the right platform can be challenging for brands, and that is where aggregator platforms come into picture. Among these platforms too the most effective are those that know the niche and skills of the bloggers who have enrolled and develop an ongoing professional relationship. Influencer communities are gaining importance as they are much more cost effective than traditional media and at the same time effective as well. I am jumping over to your post right away. 🙂

      Reply
  • July 27, 2017 at 5:41 pm
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    Intrigued! Absolutely in love with your blog! Marrying marketing and blogging is like a dream. Could you help me to know where i can find such campaigns to try this out. I am taking a break currently ( here’s the reason why – https://rommanne.wordpress.com/category/quest-for-peace/ if you are free to read) and was wondering if I could try my hand at promoting brands with blog content

    Reply
    • July 31, 2017 at 6:53 am
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      Thank you so much. Blogging can be used for promoting brands that you believe in. The first step would be to register on platforms such as Indiblogger , blogmint and blogadda. I went through your post and I understand how it is to have to quit the corporate life but then it also gives you a chance to do something that you may like doing in the long run. It takes a while to grow readership on the blog but if you are persistent it is very much possible. Wish you the very best.

      Reply
  • July 31, 2017 at 7:43 am
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    Thank you so much ma’am! Yes it is difficult but I absolutely enjoy blogging and I am happy that this break is the catalyst that triggered me to start writing! Thank you so much for the pointers. Let me check the necessary requisites and join these platforms right away! This encouragement means a lot! Thank you ever so much! 🙂

    Reply

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