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Why You Should Spend Your Marketing Budget With Bloggers & New Media

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by David Garland in David's Blog

Why You Should Spend Your Marketing Budget With Bloggers & New MediaWhat is your monthly marketing budget?

  • A: $0
  • B: $10
  • C: $500
  • D: $1,000
  • E: $10,000
  • F: $100,000
  • G: Unlimited (muhahahahaha).
  • H: What is a budget?
  • I: I was told there would be no math.

The good news about marketing today (not yesterday) is that you can do a lot more with less. And the neat thing about that is if you do have a budget for marketing, you don’t have to spend it on the same old crap.

Crap, of course, meaning….

  • …blinky banner ads of death.
  • …random newspaper ads.
  • …billboards for “awareness”.
  • …confined 30-second spots.

Without going into too much of a rant of why these suck in many cases, here is a quick overview:

  • Trust: Do we trust billboards and blinky things? Do we trust heavily produced commercials?
  • Targeting: Are you using a chainsaw or a scalpel to find people interested in you? In many cases, traditional ads are said chainsaw. You are swinging it around wildly trying to find the right people based on traditional demographics (i.e. 25-35 year old men). These demographics are based less around an interest or passion and more around numbers.
  • Engagement: Are the audiences you are getting in front of passive viewers or enthusiasts? I know, for example, when I pass a billboard (online or offline), I’m not engaged with it. I’m focused on the road or the website.
  • Spreadability: Do you share banner ads with people? Do you clip newspaper ads out to share with friends?
  • Expense: Want to run an ad in many national magazines? That will be $100,000 for one month. Thanks! Local paper? Might be $1,000 for a square the size of an ant. Is it worth it?
  • Attitude & Boring: “This is the way it has always been done.” “If I try something new and fail I will be fired/company will die/evil elves will bite me in my sleep.” “Marketing should be really boring…”

Does this mean that advertising is “bad”? Does it mean people that have a marketing budget and are spending it are evil dinosaurs? Not at all. What I would argue, however, is there is a better way to spend your money.

I know I’d rather spend my money with passionate bloggers and new media sources. People who actually care…a lot. People that will stretch your budget more than anyone else and offer all kinds of new ideas. People with audiences that are engaged and come there by choice and have a personal connection with the creator (one-on-one relationships).

It might be an online show (ahem, RISE, cough, cough…and MANY others).
It might be an online magazine.
It might be a really cool blog.
It might be a podcast.
It might be a mix.
It might be something else we haven’t even thought of yet.

Would you rather get in front of 100,000 people that may or may not care about what you have to say and aren’t that engaged, or 1,000 that are uber-passionate about the subject and know, like, and trust the blogger?

For example, let’s pretend you are the chief marketing executive with a travel clothing company and have a budget you are looking to spend. What are your options? The old school approach would be to hunt down the big mass media sources in the industry. Perhaps National Geographic or Travel + Leisure in print. Maybe it is the The Travel Channel on TV. You call them up and talk to a distant ad executive who talks about tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to try something out and you will be in the midst of about a zillion ads. And what are you going to get? A static ad or a :30 spot.

Or you could try a smarter, faster, cheaper approach and research a smattering of passionate content creators in the travel niche online with a REAL connection to their community. Perhaps you stumble upon Gary Arndt from Everything-Everywhere who has one of the coolest travel blogs around (and is an upcoming guest on RISE). You actually talk to Gary on a one-on-one level and realize there are all kinds of things you can do with him, for a fraction of the cost and minus the confinement of a static ad. Maybe Gary will plug you in his podcasts from around the world. Or do a really unique giveaway. Or some kind of other creative form of marketing that lives, breathes, and spreads.

My recommendation to MWM (Marketers With Money)? Try something new. Try something creative. Find the people that care more than anyone. It is time to innovate.

What is your take?

Image Credit: Randy Lemoine

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