By Jennifer Manocchio
The short answer is yes.
Blog reviews can increase brand awareness, product trial, SEO rankings, web site traffic and retail and Internet sales. Blog reviews can have this influence because many people read blogs regularly and consider the blogs they follow to be credible resources. Consider that of the 42 million female Internet users in the United States who participate in social media, 43% visit blogs for advice or to get recommendations according to the 2009 Social Media Study.
The key is to identify the goals you want to achieve, identify the target audiences you want to reach and design a campaign that will specifically help you meet those goals. It is also imperative the campaign include a method for measuring the results.
For example, if your goal is to increase product trial among stay-at-home moms, a positive blog review in top “Mommy” blogs will accomplish that goal by alerting followers that it is a good product. You can enhance product trial by also offering giveaways to the blog followers. Most bloggers appreciate giveaways because they engage followers and keep them coming back to their blog.
If you want the blog coverage to drive traffic to your web site or a microsite, employ promotional offers – like coupons, product samples or giveaways – on your site to encourage bloggers to provide a link to your site.
A Case in Point
Sweeney launched a blogger relations campaign for One TIME Wood – a leading outdoor wood sealer – during the second quarter of 2009. The goal of the campaign was to create product awareness, drive consumer traffic to its web site, and increase online sales.
To achieve this objective, the agency created an interactive blogger relations campaign that allowed bloggers to test and compare One TIME’s product against competitive products. Sweeney created the One TIME Wood Protector Challenge and invited the Internet’s top home improvement and mommy bloggers to test One TIME Wood against any traditional wood sealer.
Participants received a challenge kit, including: One TIME Wood Protector, wood sample, paintbrushes, competitor’s sample and instructions. One influential home improvement blogger was given enough One TIME Wood Protector and One TIME Stain and Sealer Remover to refinish an entire deck.
Bloggers were encouraged to report the challenge results on their blogs (positive or negative). As a benefit to the blogger and their readers, One TIME offered a 10% off promotional code for the purchase of One TIME Wood. This also allowed Sweeney to track the sales.
One hundred percent of the participating bloggers raved to their followers about One TIME’s unique performance. In turn, the blogger reviews generated awareness, traffic and sales. In fact, the company experienced 16% increase in Internet sales as a direct result of the blogger relations campaign.
Following is a representative sampling of the actual reviews:
In all, the campaign:
- reached more than 90,837 consumers…
- created 28 direct links to http://www.onetimewood.com…
- drove 135 consumers (53.32% new visitors) to www.onetimewood.com; they visited an average of 5.24 pages each and stayed on the web site for an average of 5:14 minutes.
- began generating awareness and establishing the One TIME brand as the best wood protector for decks and fences.
And because these blog reviews are online, they will remain available for consumers to read for many months and years to come.
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