Here’s a Google experiment for ya: Type a popular brand name along with the word blog next to it, like “Nintendo 3DS blog.” Chances are you’ll find a fan blog for the brand rather than an official blog for the company or product. While this is the type of thing that could be maddening to SEO experts and marketers alike, fan blogs for brands are potentially solid gold. Sure, some of these spots are simply puffed-up posts blathering on about products which coincidentally have ads on the blog. But befriending the fan bloggers can also turn into marketing and publicity gold.
Target, Disneyland and Apple are the kind of brands people feel so passionately about they just have to blog about them. Fans who blog and the fans who read their blogs want to blab about what their favorite brand has been up to. Millions of readers turn to these blogs as a news source. Starbucks Gossip is a great example of a fan blog with brand loyalty and a big following. The site claims it is “monitoring America’s Favorite Drug Dealer” but really it reports everything from new products, Starbucks promotions and all the headlines surrounding the coffee chain. Starbucks reportedly embraces bloggers like Starbucks Gossip by giving them press releases, interviews and exclusives. The coffee company wisely knows the power of Internet buzz and keeping customers happy.
Targeting fan blogs or even product- or genre-specific blogs makes sense because you get to talk directly to your niche. Beauty blogs are a great example of how targeting blog readers pays off. Product Girl features big, glossy photos and reviews of makeup and beauty products. From nail polishes to skin care, the blog dishes about all things beauty while the brands on the much-read site get fashion magazine type of coverage without all of the publishing world red tape. Fabulous.
Sure, not every industry can target fan blogs. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a blog devoted to spatulas. But any business can find a blogger (or create their own blog) to help spread fandamonium about your product. After all, once you’ve become your own fan, others are sure to follow.