Mum’s been involved in a couple of online conversations recently on the topic of what bloggers should get paid. So while our little blog here isn’t commercial, instead it is just our little place to capture our stories, thoughts and learnings, but it’s not to say one day it won’t be and mum has a pretty clear view on what commercial looks like.
As bloggers we obviously think of our readers first and foremost as our audience….ok maybe my fellow canine aren’t the best readers but their wonderful owners. Through tools like google analytics we learn some basic stuff about them (where they live and when they are not out walking and playing with us dogs and reading stuff online). Through the comments they leave on our blogs and other social media we learn more about their likes, dislikes and attitudes on things (hopefully important stuff like favourite dogtreats to make). All very valuable and depending on why you blog these may be things you use to help shape the style, content and voice of your blog.
And I am sulking!
(I’m actually laying next to Dad on the lounge tonight and not next to Mum like I normally would…. Mum is going to the seminar in an audit spot not a working spot which means I don’t get to go… need to be more organised mum and get in early for a working spot!) Continue reading
We love reading some of the Facebook forums especially Aussie Bloggers to Love. Other bloggers are great at putting intelligent questions out to the group and the blogging group generous in the advice they offer. What has been interesting of late is bloggers posting questions about companies approaching them asking for free mentions or posts. So with mum’s background as a Marketing Manager here is her take from the client side.
For the majority of marketers out there blogging is a great unknown. Most, especially at a senior level, have learnt their craft in a world of Free to Air TV driving big reach numbers and the emotional message. If budget allowed then this TV schedule might be supplemented by newspaper, magazine or even outdoor. Digital is still relatively new to them and for many the introduction has been via banner ads and page take overs where the purpose and style is similar to that of print or outdoor media (key message for reinforcement and frequency of message).
So what about blogging? While the format is digital it’s role in the marketing mix is very different. While blogging posts can deliver incremental reach, especially in the case of the big blogs, let’s face it… We are not in the realm of the +1 million viewers per episode for most of the prime time TV shows here in Australia. While people might be dual screening and skipping ads the good ol’ TV is still an important part of the marketing mix for the reach and depth of messaging it does bring. But what blogging does bring is that depth of messaging. An emotional connection. Rather than just a passive environment like TV or even print, most bloggers create an interactive environment. This is the real value that bloggers create. In many cases it is not the one-way communication that traditional media delivers but the much sought after conversation that so many marketers think they are seeking between their brand and their consumers.
Mum’s thought as a marketer is that bloggers should be charging and they should be charging a premium. It is not just about the actual sponsored post. Where bloggers can really add value to a brand is by facilitating that conversation. If bloggers are well briefed by a client (so some of this is on the client to brief bloggers properly but bloggers can also sell this benefit of a blog strategy to clients) than they can not only be spreading the word but they can be gaining valuable feedback to provide to the client by the comments left by blog readers. It is a lot like research but in the case of bloggers it is like chatting to a friend… something very valuable if you are a brand seeking feedback. An example of a business set up on this sort of model if Soup. Besides the basic reach (views) that bloggers use to sell themselves the real point of difference versus other media options open to a marketer is comments. Do you have “average comments per post” or something similar as a selling point on your media kit? That opportunity to access a two way conversation is what is in it for the brand marketers.
And now today’s dog blog. Going for a different topic from our Marketing Monday but one close to our heart. Jo over at Creature Clinic posted a great interview yesterday with Dr Lewis Kirkham about bringing a baby into a house where the fur kids have tradtionally been centre of attention before. We love reading Dr Jo’s posts. As a vet she has some great advice that she puts into a wonderfully practical form in her blog. She also has 2 young kids so some topics, such as this, are incredibly relatable for us. The relationship between us dogs and the little ones in the house is something we are extremely passionate about… in fact it is still the only rant we have had on the blog when an article we came across got my schackles up (and mum just got cranky). If you have time stop by Creature Clinic and Dr Jo even has a couple of signed copies of Dr Kirkham’s book which the interview is about to give away.
Hope you have enjoyed Dog Blog & Marketing Monday. Would love to hear your thoughts on how important comments are to your client sell story for those blogging commercially.
Inspired by a number of things happening or we have seen this week we thought competition was an interesting subject. Mum has been watching a bit of the Sochi Winter Olympics on TV. She was telling me a story about when she got to do some work projects with Australian Olympic Gold Medalist Ariel Skier Alisa Camplin. During a presentation someone asked her if she watched her competition either at training or at events. Alisa’s response was that if you were out watching what your competitors were doing and worrying about them you weren’t putting your all into your own efforts.
So mum really enjoys her dog sports, especially agility but she also enjoys her job too and hence Marketing Monday. For this reason she finds some recent stuff happening in the agility world a fascinating example of great marketing.
Welcome back for 2014 1st World Dog Blog readers. We love the new year… it really does have that fresh start feel about it, especially here in Sydney where the sun has been shining and we have been outside enjoying it. Given the heat it also means enjoying the early mornings and the evenings for our training and mum has been focusing on some of her other work stuff on the computer during the heat of the day (while I nap of course).
So it seems that mum’s work and the plan for 1st World Dog Blog have a lot in common for 2014. It is all about meeting new people. In marketing terms it is “Driving Awareness”.
We have talked a bit about awareness in an earlier post about the Funky Funnel. We are a still a relatively new blog, like mum’s business is a relatively new business, so an important step is getting out there and introducing ourselves to people so they know we exist.
I’m a real life dog so I’m still a big fan of meeting in person (well… sniffing in dog). So quite often when we meet people in dog parks, at trials or other dog places and something relevant comes up then mum will drop that 1st World Dog Blog exists. Having met me, as it would be rare for mum to be at a dog kinda place without me… if so I want to know why, than people are generally interested to learn more about the fun stuff we do or get the recipes for the yummy treats that their dogs are trying to snaffle from my mum.
There is also the world online. Given a lot of you reading this we haven’t actually met than you have obviously stumbled upon our little blog through an online means (we are actually really curious how you have so please feel free to drop a note in the comments of this post as to how you came across 1st World Dog).
Here are some of the ways that we have put ourselves out there:
- Post Tags: We know some have found us through the searches of our tags on WordPress. We are not always great at this. It is easier if using the laptop but a little bit more cumbersome on the iThings and tend to stick to some key tags.
- Facebook: Mum has been using Facebook herself for a while so she feels pretty comfortable with this. For most 1st World Dog posts she also shares it on her own Timeline to broader the number of people who see it (the technical term is Reach I think).
- Instagram: This is a newer thing for us but we love sharing photos and playing with the fun stuff you can do with the photos via other apps. We Live In A Flat has been awesome at sharing great tips and photography apps for this.
- Pinterest: I have a page on mum’s account. We mainly use this for recipes but other things sneak in at times. We also have other dog stuff on another board called “It’s A Dog’s Life” for a bit of fun.
There are also a host of other ways to meet people such as Twitter, Google+ and plenty more but to be honest if we did them all there wouldn’t be much time for pats, runs, jumping and all that fun stuff.
We are also conscious of giving each of these a slightly different purposes. As we have already said above that Instagram is more about just photos. Pinterest tends to be about recipes so it gives anyone following us a reason to connect on a variety of platforms and well we find some platforms tend to do things better and are a more natural fit to why people use that platform.
Without making this a really long post we will finish up the marketing stuff there and next week talk about How To Meet.
And now for our Dog Blog. In the spirit of New Years Resolutions that humans seem compelled to make we came across this post about Resolutions for Dogs. It is a really nice post and from 3 Lost Dogs and if you are sniffing around on there you might also want to check out the Beginners Guide To Agility. Mum wholeheartedly agrees, especially with how important (and tiring for me) the mental stimulation is. We hope you enjoy sniffing around this blog as much as we do.
Mum loves training and trialing with me as it really does force her to be “in the moment”. Be it doing some basic jumps in the front yard or out at a trial, if mum isn’t 100% “in the moment” than it all goes wrong.
Well the same can be said about great marketing moments. It is about being aware of the external things (oh is that a bird over there?!?!) that are going on and understanding what is relevant to your readers. Would they be interested in your opinion on that piece of current affairs or news.
It doesn’t have to be political or a rant (although I did have one recently because it was a topic I felt strongly about). It could just be a bit of fun, like when Lupo took center stage in the family photos of the new prince or a moment of reflection like our Photo Challenge picture during recent bushfires around Sydney.
One of my training buddies has a very clever mum. She has picked up on strata / apartment laws are changing in our area and for the 1st time it will be much easier to have a dog in an apartment (previously there was a lot of approvals required). She runs a dog training business (check out Goodog in my Friends page) so has created a course specifically for apartment dogs. What an awesome idea. So awesome in fact that local newspapers have run the story… including a front page!… Love the tongue Shellbe! )
There is a lot of power in being in the moment… another marketing example is the Oreo tweet during the US Suprbowl. Huge sharing just by being in the moment. Being aware of your surroundings and then looking at ways, sometimes not direct, as to how they fit into your business or blog can be very newsworthy (as Shellbe has proven with her front page pic).
So that covers both mum’s marketing bit and also my dog blog… cause you have to check out Goodog website and the blog there for lots of great dog related advice.
Have fun being in the moment guys!
So mum tells me that when you humans go shopping that most of you only take about 3 to 5 seconds to make up your mind what you are going to pick up when you are standing at a section of the shelf. Wow mum…. that is not a lot of time pondering which food or treats to buy me. So that had us wondering how long people spend deciding once they have clicked through to a blog whether they shall investigate further… hmmm???
When buying my stuff at the shops what usually counts is:
i) Comprehension. Can mum easily read what is on the packaging and what are the main messages on the packaging?
ii) The brand. Is it a brand mum has heard of before and is what they have said relevant to us?
There are other things that come into play but these are the ones we thought were most relevant when we think about what this would mean to the world of blogging.
Thinking about our personal experience we click through to plenty of blogs but really only engage in a few. So how do these ideas of Comprehension and Brand fit into blogging.
Firstly comprehension. Well if you are just browsing and it is all too hard… you just walk back out. Picture you are buying a new lead. You go to the shop and all the leads of different materials, lengths and designs are all jumbled up in one big bin. Don’t know about you but ALL TOO HARD. Well it is kinda the same if you are looking to see if it is a blog you might want to read. If it is all messy and not easy to see what the main theme is than it is all too hard. You might read the start of one post and then walk away if that doesn’t interest you and it is too hard to understand what the broader theme is about. Mum seems to love headers for this reason (and hence you will see this growing on our blog as mum organises the posts into groups so anyone who pops by can easily see the type of things we chat about…. and also so mum can find them again.
The other thing is branding. Such a big scary marketing word but if you are a blog that wants to interact with brands (that is be a commercial blogger) than you are a brand in your own right. A logo is one element of that but it is all of the touch points that someone comes into contact with via your blog. Like personality (blog voice) which we chatted about before, the branding also includes things like other blogs you link to and from. Think like you are down the dog park and you are hanging with all the tough looking staffies with studded collars (it’s ok I know staffies are big softies but just work with me on this). The expectation from a new dog coming into the park is you are a bit of a tough pup. This might be different from if you were chasing the ball with the kelpie.
As you read 1st World Dog we are not putting ourselves up as a blog that has this stuff right at the moment. In fact as we are writing this we are thinking of what we can do to improve (especially the comprehension stuff so mum can find posts again and we just have a basic wordpress template). With time these are things that we will work on but in the meantime we love checking out what others do. One of our favs that we find really easy to understand what is there and navigate around plus it just looks gorgeous is Pretty Fluffy. We are working our way through reading more and more of this blog but love the recipes (some inspiration for Foodie Friday) and also the Dogs of the Blogs (every good blog needs a dog!).
Hope you enjoyed this week’s Monday Marketing Stuff. If you want Monday Marketing Stuff and other 1st World Dog updates straight to your inbox than just follow us with the bottom over on the side. Or you can keep up to date with other 1st World Dog happenings by check out my Facebook or Instagram pages.
But oh this marketing stuff is exhausting.