#gno information!

@ClassyMommy Shares Tips on Working With Brands: Know Yourself, Find a Niche

#gno information!

classy-mommy-motherhood_child-car-seat-parenting The chatter on last night's #GNO made my head spin. I think I'm still recovering from the stimulating and informative discussions on how brands are tapping into Social Media Moms as we enter the "New Age of Brand Evangelists." Clearly, there's a lot to talk about when it comes to this hot topic. Tweeters asked how bloggers and brands connect in the first place and wondered what triggered the relationship. Is it traffic stats, influence, twitter followers, or something else entirely?
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I think all of the above are important, but venture to guess that the "something else entirely" is the essential ingredient that triggers the lasting or more formal relationship with a brand. (And I think it goes without saying that bloggers obviously need to work with brands they are passionate about and are a genuine fit for their lifestyle, tastes, beliefs, family, etc.)
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For me, vlogging has been the "something else entirely" factor which has created my more formal relationships with brands. Before I ever imagined companies would send bloggers free products I started Classy Mommy to write about all my favorite finds and the gazillion products on the market for Moms and babies. Back in 2006 the one thing I did that was different and a natural fit for my style was start doing "video reviews" of products.
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Circa 2006: My 10 month old daughter tests organic baby food for one of my first videos. At the time the word vlogging was not even in my vocab, but for those who know me in real life, you know I talk alot and enjoy the camera so "vlogging" was an instinct for me. 3 years later, I still don't use any script and find being myself on the fly is my best strategy for a fun video.
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This month, since I'm a professed microwave chef, I'm working on a vlogging campaign for Healthy Choice to showcase their products. Clearly, I'm still being myself as I let viewers in on the dirty little secret that is my jam packed freezer. I mean really have you ever seen a freezer like mine? I'm a disaster and my crazy kids are a pretty good match for my crazy freezer!
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And vlogging was the reason Wal-Mart asked me to join their 11 Moms campaign last summer as they were looking for Moms willing to share money saving tips on YouTube. This video I created about saving money with rechargeable batteries, probably also caught the eye of Energizer as I'm now a brand advocate for Energizer Rechargeables. So for me, I definitely think vlogging was the "something else" factor to trigger my brand relationships.
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Just like a a blog post incorporating a brand needs to be genuine, so does a video. I'm still doing the same thing as when I started messing around with the camera 3 years ago, but I have learned that my best videos are super short - cause even I don't want to watch myself chattering if I start going over 1 minute!
Know yourself, your blog, your niche, and how you are different from everyone else. Are you a heavy tweeter? Really funny? An expert in living green? Do you have a large family? Wild kids? Love to vlog? Take phenomenal photos? In my experience, I see companies reaching out to bloggers based on how they differentiate themselves and how that particular angle might be a fit for a specific campaign or brand.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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