Small Niche Bloggers Gaining Corporate Attention (And Getting Free Stuff)

Filed as General, News on March 22, 2008 2:43 pm

Despite the fact that blogs are gaining “respect” within government as well as the media (at least in sports), it looks as if some of the smaller players are attracting the attention of corporations trying to find a way to generate buzz about their product.

While some companies try to bribe blogs to post about their products, it looks as if the smart ones are courting weblogs on the “C-List,” who may be easier to get a review than their A-List friends.

(The Arizona Republic) Courting one blog with a couple of thousand daily readers may not have a huge impact, but marketers can easily reach several such blogs with little effort, said Debbie Weil, a corporate blogging consultant based in Washington, D.C. [...]

“(Food blogs) may not have the mass reach, but it’s a more engaged, specific audience,” said Greg Zimprich, a spokesman for General Mills Inc. “Their readers are going to care a lot more about a product of ours.”

The Minneapolis-based food giant tracks dozens of small blogs devoted to rating foods. Most don’t get more than a couple of thousand daily visits, but General Mills nevertheless sends off its cereal bars, soups and other packaged foods in hopes of a mention.

This trend seems to be repeating itself within the cosmetics industry, with some lucky ladies getting free purses and free trips to Paris.

While many (if not all) of these bloggers are not generating enough income via ads to go pro, their online passions have captured the attention of the corporate world, who may see bloggers as a way to get an “extra edge” over their rivals.

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  1. By Going Like Sixty posted on March 22, 2008 at 3:29 pm
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    Who determines the A / C rating? Is this on a scale of A – F, like grades or A – Z? If Technorati.com is the gold standard of blog ranking, are the letter ranks related? If so, how?

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  2. By Darnell Clayton posted on March 22, 2008 at 4:35 pm
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    Hey Going Like Sixty,

    While a lot of bloggers use Technorati, there is no “official list,” although the easiest way to tell is by visiting Technorati, not to mention seeing who has the highest subscription stats (via FeedBurner).

    Usually Tech and political blogs dominate the scene, although you may run into a personal blog every now and then.

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  3. By Damien Franco posted on March 22, 2008 at 6:37 pm
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    As a D-list blogger myself, I can see this trend starting to take off. I was recently contacted by a new software company for a position on the marketing team. Whether I qualify myself for the position or not, I can see the benefits of targetting blogs in niche markets to help increase exposure to new or current products. It was really only a matter of time that the big corporations would see the financial benefits of targeting smaller blogs. Anything to help a product go viral, right?

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