I just finished reading this great article by Janice Croze, one of the bloggers for 5 Minutes for Mom and a contributor at MomCrunch. I started to respond with my thoughts via twitter, but I quickly realized I had a heck of a lot more than 140 characters worth of insight onto this topic.
I think (I could be wrong) I am somewhat of a different animal when it comes to the world of blogging moms. Many women in this industry get into it because they have something to share. They have opinions, ideas, funny stories, and so much more to share with an online audience. Over time, some of these moms start to really harness an expert level of knowledge and start to break into the corporate world, either as social media consultants, PR influencers or a type of CorporateExec-to-BloggingMom translators I am completely the other way around!
I have been running the marketing department of OnlyGreen for just over 4 years. I love my job. I like to tell people that I get paid to play on facebook…but really that’s only about 5% of what I do! One thing I focus on is trying to stay on top of marketing trends and ensuring that we are using the most up-to-date forms of communication. The world of mom bloggers has quickly moved to the forefront of my radar….as well as lured me in as one of their own
This article talks about the idea of trust and integrity amongst bloggers and how it can be compromised when they are paid to represent a company’s service or products. Janice holds true to her own belief that most mom bloggers value the trust that they have build with their readers, and that they use that trust to determine what a good corporate partnership could be. I really think she is right, but then again I am the eternal idealist…
However, looking at it from both sides, I feel that the need for integrity should not lie solely with the blog author. In my opinion, a marketing executive who is looking to use bloggers to promote their company, should be choosing a blogger who aligns with the focus and value of their company’s image and target audience, as opposed to choosing them strictly based on their number of readers. There is something to be said about quality over quantity. Don’t get me wrong, an adequate reach is definitely necessary for a successful marketing campaign, but only if that reach is being received by an engaged audience that will trust and believe in your message.
Honesty counts. For instance, it is great to think that I could have OnlyGreen’s products or business opportunity represented by a blogger who has a 50,000+ following, but if that blogger also promotes conventional product lines that are chalked full of harsh chemicals, are they really the best fit for us? Is it really an ‘honest’ looking approach if we have a blogger talk about using our all natural, handmade, safe products, when in the next post she discusses how much she loves neutrogena (ranks as one of the worst companies on the safe cosmetics database)?
When entering the arena of online product placement, both the company and blogger have to take a very close look at each other and ensure that they are building a relationship that will make sense to those they are each trying to appeal to. They both need to assess if the partnership will really bring value to the brand that they are each building.
Ideally speaking, all professional marketers would think this way…but I’m not THAT naive!