I've been blogging for almost 5 years but I rarely or almost not talk about my field of work, Marketing Communications, because I want to write more about non-work topics where I'm also interested - movies, mass media, heritage, travel etc.
But lately, I've received invitations to talk or write about the craft, the practice, the profession. So aside from accommodating such opportunities to share what I know, I will also try to share it in this blog once in a while.
So my first will be about bloggers engagement. Why? Lately, I've seen so much social media feeds about brands' concern on bloggers who don't behave well in certain events, activities and campaigns. I've been in Digital PR for around 7 years and have attended local and international trainings and conferences so let me share the best practices I've learned through the years.
There are 3 Cs to consider in brands' bloggers engagement.
There are thousands of bloggers in the Philippines, hundreds are engaged by brands. But for me, first to be considered should be content. Is the blogger using the blog for what it's really meant for? Please remember blogs started as online diaries so that means a blog should carry the publisher's insights, experiences etc. If not, then the blogger should revisit the purpose of the blog. For me, I usually look for a unique content, a creatively written material, a well documented account of an experience. That's my first parameter before I proceed to the next C.
Command or Community Engagement
This refers to influence. Brands normally consider popularity as the main consideration for engaging a blogger in a campaign or an event. BUT nowadays, influence can't be simply measured by just the mere page views, hits, followers etc. Numbers are good but we look for more. (And sometimes, numbers are manipulated!) We actually look for COMMAND or COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. If a blog has 10 million page views in a month, what does it really mean? Where do these visits come from from? How about the bounce rate? Who are the followers? Do they actually read the post? Do they share it in an organic manner? So while the stats are good reference, we look at how a blogger on an influencer is able to engage his readers or followers. Do they interact with the publisher? Do they respond to his call to action? Do they comment and give valuable insights as well? So before we identify one as influential, top or superstar, we should consider this factor first.
So one may have good content and command, but another C determines the decision if he or she can be engaged by the brand.
Okay, one may have good content and good command on his or her community, but if his character fails, then that's a dead end of the engagement. No brand wants to be associated with someone with bad or questionable reputation. I guess I don't need to get into details what makes it to having a bad character. GMRC and common sense are enough basis for that.
I hope this can somehow help my colleagues in the industry - agencies, organizations and brands, as well as my blogger friends. I'm fortunate to have known and be in the circle of good bloggers and online influencers who eventually became my friends. And the good news is, there's a good number that the brands can engage. They just need to do their homework or ask help from the experienced.
For those who don't know me, I'm Ferdinand Bondoy, Regional Integration and Executive Director of ComCo Southeast Asia (www.comco-hq.com). (Updated, March 04, 2017). And I also blog at www.digitista.blogspot.com.