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How rallying bloggers as brand advocates cuts through social media chatter

By Jason Mudd

Brand champion blogging: A little goes a long way

Wanted: A few good bloggers to artfully shout out about America’s top brands. (Several thousand bloggers, actually, to become brand champions and get more stuff sold for the companies that use them). If you struggle with how to harness social media power in ways that genuinely lift up your brand’s online reputation, while saving room in your budget for a total PR campaign, read on (and get used to the phrase “brand champion”).

Top trends for PR in 2014 continue to state that tuning into and working alongside the brand champions out there is a big deal right now – and it’s a PR concept that’s poised to grow even bigger. Top national brands like Nestle, Walmart and Starbucks have utilized targeted blogging to strengthen brand perceptions with audiences. The process is fairly simple. You hire a smart PR firm to coordinate hundreds of bloggers, who will then write hundreds of focused pieces about the merits of your brand or service. In fact, the concept has made it to Forbes’ Top 25 businesses list for the coming year.

What does working with bloggers as brand champions mean to your company’s PR efforts?

1. You’ll have the opportunity to dote key brand benefits while simultaneously increasing pagerank and SEO opportunities. The more high-value content you have, the higher you can rank on searches like Google.

2. Using data related to who searches for the blogs and who reads them, you can target the right audience with your message. These brand champions aren’t just spewing forth random content. It’s high-value content with delivery to high-value audiences.

3. Blogs written by brand champions work very well alongside social media posts and videos that promote them – thus giving them even more power. Multiple blog posts shared on social media equal more conversations and more opportunities to listen to the voice of your audience. (Listening is also a key PR trend for 2014, and for all top PR strategies).

4. Blogs from brand champions create a buzz. A buzz captures attention from editors and those who create and share product reviews. A buzz created by brand champions with consistent blog posts means, in turn, solid earned news coverage. This is especially true when your PR firm has established good working relationships with editors and publishers.

This kind of strategic blogging that taps into brand champions isn’t, however, for the random weekend blogger. This is targeted content, requested by solid freelancers, and placed into an overall campaign that’s based on audience research. This is responding to the conversation once the blog has been shared, and continuing to drive traffic to it across multiple message platforms. It’s best coordinated and managed by professionals who know how to curate and manage the message, especially if a crisis should arise.

Looking to unleash a few brand champions through bloggers for your company? Contact Axia Public Relations. We know how to encourage those brand advocates rise up and speak in the best ways possible, as part of an effective overall PR strategy. Contact us today, and start speaking to your audience in a fresh voice.

Mudd_Jason_Color_hi_res_forward_crop– Jason Mudd, APR, is CEO of Axia Public Relations. He is an Emmy-Award-winning accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. His public relations portfolio includes work for established national and emerging brands such as American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, Brightway Insurance, Florida Blue, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, It Works! Global, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Ray Charles, Southern Comfort, Verizon and more. Connect with Jason at @jasonmudd9 and Axia Public Relations at @axiapr. Be sure to tweet and share your thoughts below. We’ll read and respond to each of them.

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

Topics: public relations, inbound marketing, shared media

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