Effective CMOs operates at the nexus of the C-Suite and customer support – creating a brand voice that is authentic and effectively amplified in a way that doesn’t cheapen the message. “Challenging” doesn’t even begin to describe the daily struggle that this mission creates.
It might be tempting to keep your head down and push from the trenches with the rest of your team. But the fight behind the scenes is only one part of the fight. The competition-crushing victories in marketing happen far outside of the C-suite.
A friend of mine pulled out his phone and bragged about his 20,000 LinkedIn connections. It might sound impressive, and I certainly give him credit for pushing a metric. But, there’s no way he actually has a personal relationship with a meaningful percentage of those 20,000 digital breadcrumbs.
When I talk about getting out from behind the trenches, LinkedIn doesn’t count.
When push comes to shove, I’m sure he can rely on some of his connections to “Like” and comment on his post. But CMOs need to do more than create a popular post on LinkedIn – although hats off to those that get the job done in this arena, especially if you’re working with a B2B brand.
Instead, for maximum impact, you need to reach across what I like to call “Friendemy Lines”. In a crowded online space, there are individuals and organizations that can compliment your brand’s voice and help put your message in front of motivated online shoppers.
These individuals are the wildcards that run niche blog sites – dedicated to a hyper-focused target audience. Sure, they sometimes steal eyeballs away from your site with their content, but they can also push your message far beyond the corporate blog – and authentically frame that message in a helpful, unbiased review or product comparison.
These can help nudge shoppers off the fence and into your product catalogue.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Networking with niche bloggers is a powerful way to get genuine, professional reviews in-front of your target customer.
Here’s what I look for in a niche blog:
The people that run micro-blogs are mavericks. Big personalities with an independent streak populate this world. As a CMO for a well-known brand, building rapport is key if you want to make a useful ally.
Alliances are built on mutually beneficial partnerships. That’s why I approach micro-bloggers with a friendly and transparent message. Usually I’ll send them an email that says something like:
My name is XXXX and I work with XXXX. We came across your blog while we were doing some research. I found your article on XXXX especially helpful – you found a way to discuss XXXX in a way that was interesting and informative.
I am working on better communicating the value propositions of XXXX. If I send you one, would you be willing to create an honest review for us? I’m not looking for a fluffy puff piece. I’d rather get your honest opinion and hopefully you’d be willing to share that with your audience.
If you’re open to receiving a few samples, I will be happy to get them in the mail later this week.
I usually receive responses to these outreach efforts within a few days. But don’t take my word for it.
Joe Auer is the niche-blogger behind Mattress Clarity. I am lucky to have a relationship with him, and I asked him to comment for this piece. Here’s what he had to say:
“How many people get paid to sleep on the job? I built my site around the things that provide me with more restful, relaxing sleep. To create most of my professional product reviews and comparisons, I accept free products. Then, if I love them, I feature their product in an honest review. My readers trust me because I’m transparent, and I’m sleeping better than ever!”
Savvy CMOs are amping up this strategy to create genuine buzz. To the consumer, it passes the smell test that most PR blitzes fail. If you can echo your product’s value-props across the small sites that your customers see in Google search results, you’ll move the needle.
Did you know there are over 4,000 MarTech solutions on the market—a 2500% increase over 2011?
With so many options, identifying the right ones and getting them to work together isn’t easy. How do you do it?
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