Alicia Navarro, CEO and co-founder of Skimlinks discusses why blogging and Twitter represent a golden branding opportunity.
"Brands have always struggled with the challenge of getting their message heard in the 'Big Conversation' that is the Internet. New communication channels seem to only add to this frustration, as the plethora of social media and user-generated platforms mean that there is no shortage of opinion - good or bad, on anything from world events to the neighborhood restaurant but also, on any given product or service.
Niche bloggers have become authorities, forums; a thriving discussion that can go on for days about one single product, Twitter and Facebook, allow online publishers to share and spread their content, and with increased usage of tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, many users have their social media streams as a constant throughout their day, giving further reach and more opportunities to get in front of readers.Communities who are passionate about their subjects
These platforms are filled with communities who are passionate about their subject, and who have a large number of loyal followers. The creators of this type of independent content wield considerable influence over consumers, meaning these sites represent a potential goldmine for consumer brands.
The opportunity lies within the two conversations going on here: one between the online publisher/blogger/forum and its readers, the other one the brands are trying to have with consumers. Publishers are the power players, and it's because they've got one thing right - they are providing people with content that they actually want, not content the publishers want them to have.
When AOL's Tim Armstrong declared that "content is king" he was right on many levels. Content is why people come to a site - the masses don't visit to see that fabulous banner ad. They come to engage with the content, and get frustrated if anyone interferes too much with this desire. Advertising needs to get smart.
The new social platforms have hugely increased the opportunities for brands to engage with consumers. It's all about content and it is about trust, and it means marketing on these platforms needs to be about relevance and non-interference first and foremost.
The potential is out there, and thanks to social media, the sky's the limit for brands - if you get it right!"
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