Forrester Report on Sponsored Conversations. A New Industry is Born!

 
 

 

 
 
Forrester Research Report on Sponsored Conversations
Forrester Research Report on Sponsored Conversations

Executive Summary

Kmart gave some bloggers a free shopping spree in exchange for a blog post about the experience — a practice we call sponsored conversation. With appropriate protections for disclosure and authenticity, this practice will take its place alongside public relations and advertising activities in the blogosphere.Marketers should take advantage of sponsored conversation as an entrée into the online conversation.To succeed, you should get to know the bloggers you plan to work with and set expectations across your organization.

How Sponsored Conversations Fit Into The Marketer/Blogger Landscape

Marketers already try to influence bloggers through public relations activity. They also pay for ads on blogs. Seen in this context, sponsoredconversations are an extension of existing activities. As long as bloggers don’t hide who’s paying them and have freedom to write whatever they want, we think sponsored conversations will fit in well with the other forms of marketing through blogs (see chart below).

· Public relations professionals already target bloggers as they do reporters. Some PR firms have even developed specialized skills in “blogger relations,” and bloggers appear on email influencer lists maintained by companies like Cision. Marketers often send press releases to bloggers and attempt to influence them with personal communication. Public relations pros will often send freereview products to blogs like Engadget, just as they do to reporters and analysts. These relationships can transcend the occasional product review; for example, Wal-Mart’s

Eleven moms, a group of independent bloggers the company recruited, receive free sample products to review and then decide on their own which ones to review and what to say about them.

· Marketers already have found various ways to advertise on blogs. Marketers buy ad space on popular blogs like TechCrunch and Huffington Post just as they would on any other site; Intel recently worked with blog ad network Federated Media to have 100% of the ads on a gamingblog created by Boing Boing’s bloggers. Best Buy went further, working with Six Apart’s blog network to deliver not just ad units but a sponsored question-of-the-day that inspired bloggers to respond to in their personal blogs.

· Sponsored conversations add a new twist. Sponsored conversations like Kmart’s provide a feature that public relations and blog advertising can’t provide: a guaranteed review of the marketer’s brand in the blogger’s own voice. Since actual cash or merchandise changes hands, this has the potential to undermine the blogger’s credibility, which is why it only works if bloggers disclose the payment and can write whatever they truly feel. For instance, Ford recently offered Jessica Smith of  Jessica Knows a Ford Flex car for one year; she now blogs about her family’s experience with the car and participates in Ford events. Colleen Padilla of Classy Mommy is a paid online brand advocate for Energizer Rechargeables. And Panasonic recruited influential bloggers to create content during the popular Consumer Electronics Show earlier last month.

Social Marketing Sponsored Conversations - Forrester Report
Social Marketing Sponsored Conversations – Forrester Report

Marketers often send press releases to bloggers and attempt to influence them with personal communication. Public relations pros will often send free review products to blogs like can transcend the occasional product review; for example, Wal-Mart’s Elevenmoms, a group of independent bloggers the company recruited, receive free sample products to review and then decide on their own which ones to review and what to say about them.Public relations professionals already target bloggers as they do reporters. Some PR firms haveEngadget, just as they do to reporters and analysts.

Social Marketing - Sponsored Conversations - Forrester Research
Social Marketing - Sponsored Conversations - Forrester Research

 For the full report click on the link below to download the free Forrester report now

:http://izea.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Forrester.pdf 

Social Marketing Success Stories and Social Marketing Research post by Warren Raisch at ThinkConversation.com: November 15,2009

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