For vendors, bloggers return center-stage to their current understanding of Influencers

Between about 2005-2009 bloggers were all the rage for marketers. Probably the majority of prospects calling our company were calling because they wanted to better understand who were the important bloggers in their field and who weren’t. Our clients felt bloggers were an unknown force. Then the interest in bloggers fell off a cliff. Tweeters were the new unknown and the cause for most incoming calls. Bloggers were never mentioned. Only in the past eighteen months have bloggers come back in vogue – and to many of those in Influencer Marketing – they’re back center-stage.

This isn’t down to the bloggers themselves. I think it’s for two unconnected reasons. One is that many B2B organizations are unimpressed by the effect tweeters seem to be having on their own customers. Or rather the lack of effect. And these social conversations aren’t impressing the salesforce or senior execs. They know they’re not reaching their customers’ real influencers.

The second is that engaging with bloggers appears to be attainable and marketers are needing to show results. Not withstanding that bloggers are very often industry names already, who simply use blogging as one channel for their influence, bloggers aren’t too far away from the well-understood world of journalism. So it’s not a great stretch to broaden their existing outreach to bloggers.

When we look at the universe of real-world influencers on an organization’s products & services, and how diverse that universe is, we don’t see too many people reaching out to the full spread. Blogger outreach is easily achievable and can have immediate gratification – just one call can lead to one or more resulting posts. It’s a bite-sized approach to Influencer Marketing – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the real hard work – reaching out to those hard-to-find but critical sales influencers – who may well neither tweet not blog – still needs to be done. It’s important you don’t shy away from that.