I’ve been blogging since 2003. That’s when blogs were still called “weblogs” and no one really knew what they were. I have my husband to thank for this particular foray into digital content creation — he thought a blog might be a good way to chronicle our drive across country that summer. He was right. Our family and friends loved reading about our adventures and viewing our vacation photos online as they happened.
Ten years later, blogs have come a long way, and so have I. As a former marketer for a parenting brand and now as a digital marketing consultant, I see the immense value of blogs as a marketing tool. And hundreds of the world’s largest brands agree.
The budgets in this space are immense. The business is moving and changing rapidly.
But the data is sparse.
What is actually happening here? Why are brands spending thousands of dollars at blogger conferences and practically throwing free product at them? Why are bloggers’ inboxes filling up with press releases as if they are print magazine editors? Don’t bloggers know we don’t pay for product reviews? Don’t PR firms and brands know bloggers can’t work for free?
Faced with this confusion from both clients and bloggers, I dusted off the research methods portion of my brain (well-developed back in graduate school and the years following) and I developed a survey for bloggers about their experiences working with brands. In designing the survey, I attempted to answer the following two questions:
What is the current state of the blogger-brand relationship from the bloggers’ perspective?
How can brands and bloggers work together for mutual benefit?
I assembled an Advisory Group of Very Smart People (experienced bloggers and marketing professionals) to give me feedback on the survey design. When the survey was ready, I tapped into my blogger network and social media channels to promote it. In other words, I spent about a month begging bloggers to take the survey. And thankfully, 227 of them did.
Before I even had a chance to write up the results I started lining up speaking engagements to share the data. I’ve found that there’s an incredibly eager audience for this information. I spoke to bloggers and brands at Mom 2.0 Summit. I spoke to juvenile manufacturers and retailers at the All Baby & Child Spring Educational Conference. And I spoke to PR professionals at the PRSA Boston Social Media Summit. You can view those presentation decks and read more about what I presented here and here.
And now, I’ve written the summary report. In the report I outline 5 major themes that emerged from the data about the blogger-brand relationship. These themes cover the four topic areas of my survey: Engagement, Compensation, Experience and Demographics. You can download your free copy of the research report here.
The findings may surprise you. However if you’re a blogger, the findings are likely more validating than earth-shattering.
The summary report is just that, a summary. The full report takes a deeper diving into the data and is available for purchase, starting at $199. I can also create a custom report and/or presentation for your business or firm. Send me an email if you are interested in the full report or a custom report/presentation.