The bell-curve has more to tell us than simply who will get a C on their biology exam and who will score the elusive A. As related to bloggers, this Gaussian distribution (don’t worry – I had to look that up too) indicates, at the top of the curve, where the most value lies. The mid-level blogger is therefore the norm and where a brand can expect consistent return, as opposed to a hit-or-miss, long-shot with an uber-popular blogger.
Mid-level bloggers offer a potentially more targeted audience
One of the things that the mid-level blogger has going for it is a more defined target audience. MetricsMan, a social media research expert, states that: Big audience numbers are irrelevant. Relevant audience numbers are big. Currently, campaign impressions are counted but not divided into categories. As the radio and TV world recognized, it’s more valuable to break out a specific demographic when gauging the success of advertisements. While the Super Bowl might pull in huge numbers, it would be virtually pointless to advertise nail-polish during the game. Similarly, major bloggers may post a high impression count, but smaller bloggers reach a targeted audience so their impressions should be weighed more heavily. Brands should be on the lookout for mid-level blogs with readers who fall precisely in its’ preferred demographic. In this manner they are more likely to reach actual buyers instead of spending more money on a flashy website ad which casts a wide net for it’s audience.
Fewer impressions may mean more affordable campaign costs
Speaking of money, top-level bloggers translate their high impression count to high adverting prices. And yet, advertisers could be spending less money to attain better results. Studies show that the “Power Middle” has an action rate of sixteen times that of higher-end blogs, because of reader loyalty, and are much more cost effective.
Emerging bloggers often engage more directly with readers/fans
The reason that social media has taken the lead in successful promotion has a lot to do with trust. Once a blog has formed a relationship with a reader, the reader trusts the blogger’s recommendations and sponsors. With mid-level bloggers, there is still the chance for a sense of community to develop. The rockstar blogger is generally too busy to engage in comments conversation or even establish a relationship with it’s own sponsors. Mid-tier bloggers are more eager to establish relationships, and this is precisely what drives sales. SocialMediaExaminer.com has gone so far as to declare “The smaller the community, the greater the influence” when discussing this matter. Brands make the mistake of looking at numbers and uber-popular bloggers, without recognizing that renown doesn’t equal influence. In the same way that we ask our girlfriends opinion while shopping, or look to see what our peers are wearing instead of shopping off the couture runways, we look to the bloggers who we feel represent these same girlfriends to drive our purchases.
As all of us know, bigger is not always better, and we should opt for quality over quantity. Brand who realize this will find that campaign execution with mid-tier niche blogs that can actually drive sales, instead of driving up their marketing budget.
Heidi Nazarudin is the Founder and President of BloggerBabes.com , an association with more than 500+ active bloggers. She has hosted blogging events for Saks Fifth Avenue, Armani Cosmetics and JustFab.com to name but a few. Heidi blogs full-time at TheSuccessfulStyle.com
Photo Credit: Flor de Maria Fashion