Forrester Research : “Why You Should Pay Bloggers To Talk About Your Brand”
This morning Forrester Research released a new brief about “Sponsored Conversations” written by analyst Sean Corcoran with support from Josh Bernoff, Jeremiah K. Owyang, Thomas Cummings and Jennifer Wise. The briefing suggests that Advertisers should “Add Sponsored Conversations to Your Toolbox”, something that I strongly agree with as CEO of IZEA, the company that pioneered the space.
While compensating bloggers was considered taboo a few years ago there has been a paradigm shift in thinking over the past 12 months and this briefing underscores that change. Many major blogs participate in some form of sponsored conversation or sponsored blogging, and the economy is driving bloggers and advertisers to explore this option more everyday. Both advertisers and bloggers have come to the same conclusion – display ads don’t work in social media.
The team at Forrester did an excellent job on this briefing. A few takeaways that I agree with include:
- Mandate disclosure
- Ensure freedom of authenticity
- Partner with relevant blogs
- Don’t talk and then walk away
The last bullet point is probably the biggest hurdle for major corporations. Sponsored conversation can get conversations started, but it is up to the company to continue the conversation and develop relationships with their customers.
Forrester says “A New Industry Is Born” and I agree… though I would say IZEA gave birth to it in 2006. Radical ideas take time to gain acceptance, something all of you entrepreneurs out there need to understand. The biggest ideas are often met with the loudest opposition.
My prediction : The sponsored conversation space will reach $1B within 5 years… The question is, how to measure it.
You can download a the Sponsored Conversations report from Forrester for free.