Imagine the thrill of getting the phone call from Oprah’s staff and finding out that she’s chosen YOUR product or service as one of HER favorite things and she’s going to promote your product or service on her show. This kind of exposure has been known to catapult minor players into multi-millionaires overnight. Ah- heady stuff.
The reason getting your product or service “featured” on Oprah is such a big deal is Oprah has millions of devoted fans who hang upon her every word. If Oprah declares your product or service a winner, then millions of people instantly believe her.
However, if you’re a small business owner, you don’t have to wait for Oprah to notice your product to tap into this kind of marketing for your product or service. Each day, there are tens of thousands of bloggers who have smaller, but similar followings. These bloggers may not have the “reach” of Oprah, but their audiences are just as loyal and just as ready to follow their favorite blogger’s advice about which products/services to purchase.
Many forward thinking businesses are reaching out to these bloggers and trying to form a relationship. Some companies are sending products for the blogger to review – others are reaching out and offering sponsorships of the blog in question. In any case, bloggers have a connection with thousands of people and smart business owners are seeking to connect with these “power customers”.
There is a catch to this kind of marketing however. In order to reach out and tap into this “hidden” market – you have to begin with knowing exactly WHO you are targeting.
Face facts, Oprah is a HORRIBLE place to promote the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. However, some marketers are deperately trying to reach out to bloggers who have no use for their products or services.
One of the most beleagured blogging groups are known as the “Mommy Bloggers”. These articulate, web savvy women have established successful blogs which have attracted other young mothers as faithful readers. The main complaint of many successful “Mommy Bloggers” is the almost spam like attempts at pushing products upon them. PR and marketing firms are approaching these women as if they were operating Mom, Inc. instead of what they truly are – busy women who are blogging in between child care duties, car pool duties and household duties.
Right now, the Mommy Bloggers have the spotlight – because many of them are not blogging for fame or fortune, but merely as a social release. (As a mother, I remember the HUNGER for adult conversation when my children were young. Many of these women are blogging merely as a form of feeding that hunger for adult conversation.) They are bewildered and beleagured at the incessant hammering from PR and Marketing firms.
However, if you’re a small business owner, there is a REAL opportunity for you to “tap into” the social media marketing arena – without establishing a blog of your own. There are literally tens of thousands of blogs which have not achieved “superstar” status – yet!
There are many rising stars – and plenty of opportunities to get your product or service in front of the audience these bloggers can provide. Unlike advertising in traditional media, when you connect with these bloggers readers – you’re connecting with a tightly targeted audience.
The key to leveraging these relationships is simple – you must first have a clear and concise picture of YOUR target audience profile. Once you know who your customers are, then it’s simply a matter of finding a blog where those customers “hang out’.
One of the MAIN complaints of the Mommy Bloggers is when they are contacted by businesses whose products and services are NOT a fit for their audience. The Mommy Bloggers feel insulted when a company tries to get them to promote products or services that are an obvious poor fit for their audience.
It’s a sad commentary really. The Mommy Bloggers know EXACTLY who is in their audience – because knowing your audience is an ESSENTIAL part of building a successful blog. They expect business owners to know who their target audience is as well.
If you don’t know who makes up your target audience, pick up your copy of Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results. Once you’ve created your Composite Customer Profiles, then it’s simply a matter of finding the blogs where your customers are hanging out. Then, there is the opportunity to create a real connection with a single customer – which will in turn lead to an avalanche of sales. Talk about getting the most BANG for your advertising dollar… isn’t that what you really want from your small business advertising?