Using bloggers. It's a no brainer!
Bloggers can be targeted just like journalists, by the industry and topics covered. You can also find relevant bloggers for your campaigns by the lifestyle they promote (and if it fits the brand image).
Then the research into what blogger to choose should dive into their potential reach. Unlike other media, bloggers do not tend to dwell on the size of their audience and actually, the numbers aren't the most important issue. Look into bloggers that have very engaged communities in their niche by assessing social media interactions.
Bloggers usually have very engaged communities of readers - their influence is not to be underestimated! The relationship between the writer and its readers holds greater value when it comes to bloggers than when it comes to journalists. A blogger has a very personal me-to-you relationship with readers, whereas a journalist operates on behalf of an organisation, representing an us-to-the-public relationship. The reader, or consumer, can feel the difference.
You might also want to check if the bloggers you are targeting are open to any approaches by brands. Check if they have previously covered any brand products or campaigns and how. Check if they covered competitors and from what perspective: it may be beneficial for your brand to be seen against other competitors or it may be detrimental, research is key.
A notable example of the successful use of bloggers was when luxury tile manufacturer Porcelanosa invited a group of journalists, including two prominent bloggers - cherry picked because of their luxury interiors and lifestyle focus - along to its 23rd exhibition in Valencia showing luxury kitchens, bathrooms and new products including its very own building material.
Several of the designers and architects were on hand discussing their inspirations and collaboration process with the group, illustrating their passion for design and quality.
Porcelanosa provided a highly organised and informative press trip, not forgetting to introduce the group to valencian culture with a fantastic tour through the city indulging in local food and wine.
Each and every aspect of the trip was immediately covered by both bloggers. Within minutes Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts detailing what was happening on the trip, new products and interaction with Porcelanosa representatives were shared amongst their combined millions of followers.
See blog posts here:
The sheer immediacy of using blogging to aid a campaign is highly valuable and a real no-brainer.
Blogging is a more immediate form of promotion than the print media - unless the print publication in question has a strong website - with some trusted and respected blogs having tens of thousands of unique readers every month.
When measuring the value of using a blogger, make sure to be on the lookout for discussions of your brand and gauge the sentiment. Positive mentions are great, but also pay attention to any negative mentions. Using a blogger can backfire quickly if their posts are seen as too sales-y.
However, the real value is entirely dependent on what you put into it. If you get it right, recruiting bloggers to target the customers who haven't found you yet can be a great, cost-effective marketing tool for your brand.