By Jennifer Gerlock (@JenniferGerlock)
To say that I was excited about attending the blogging forum would be a massive understatement. The women assembled for the panel are all thought leaders in their industries.
Barbara Jones (Founder & CEO – Blissful Media Group & One2One Network), Kim Kelleher (President – Say Media) and Christine Osekoski (Publisher – Fast Company Magazine) led the forum by discussing topics and showing examples of case studies ranging from content creation to paid brand integration and engagement.
A few key takeaways:
- Blogging continues to evolve. Most “bloggers” consider themselves independent web writers and many contribute to a number of online platforms in addition to their own space.
- The lines are continuing to blur between content and advertising. Thinking outside of the box and coming up with customized strategies and partnerships is necessary.
- When dealing with paid brand integration, integrity should be one of your primary goals. Lack of full transparency can affect your brand (or site’s) credibility. Readers are savvy and will respect you more for total upfront disclosure.
- As you engage social influencers on behalf of your brand, you need to keep in mind the distinction between bloggers and journalists and select the appropriate voice for your campaign. Most blogs incorporate a good deal of opinion and are their own independent brand identity. As such, transparency and individualized partnerships are key. The most successful campaigns contain guidelines and assets yet leave the writer free to interpret and execute in a way that provides rich and unique content for both their site and the brand.
- Bigger is not always better when it comes to measurement and metrics. A more engaged audience is always more desirable and yields the best results.
Although not discussed in detail, a number of questions were asked by audience members regarding starting a blog and topic selection. For those interested in launching their own platform, I’ve assembled a few resources to help you get started:
Jennifer Gerlock serves as Director of Marketing for Graphcom, Inc., a full-service graphic communications firm and Social Editor of Frederick Gorilla Magazine. With more than 15 years of experience in public relations, marketing and event planning, she has represented clients ranging from small mission-based non-profits to multi-platinum recording artists and their respective worldwide tours.