Friday, 14 October 2011

The new mantra of PR: Marketing through blogging and Social Networking

Indian blogging scene has grown quite a bit over last 12 to 18 months. Last year in May when I started blogging, there were hardly any blogs that one could name which were even remotely popular, other than Labnol and couple of others. However, over last year or so Indian blogging scene has grown and now we have number of blogs that command decent traffic.
I see exponential growth in Indian bloggers in coming months  , thanks to Aamir, Amitabh and host of other celebrities (latest being Salman Khan ) embracing blogging quite seriously. Yes, it is may be money making source for some, but these celebrities are bringing “blogging” into Mainstream media. Not a single day passes by without some or the other blog content being quoted in our national dailies.
With blogging becoming popular, most PR agencies are looking at bloggers as a serious marketing avenue. During early days of my blogging I used to get standard PR material mailed frequently, most of which could be termed as spam mails, as little consideration was given to who the blogger was, what subject does he write about and so on.
However, times have changed, now PR agencies ensure that the mails are not only personalized, but also provide tailor made content that would add value to its readers, sometimes going to an extent offering incentives to the readers of the blog. A win-win situation for blogger as well as the PR agency.
One of the very recent example of this is the This event is happening on July 18-19th in Delhi. Folks behind event have mailed probably 15 -20 bloggers who write about startups and offered their readers few passes (priced at Rs. 500 each). In last couple of weeks, I have seen atleast 10 different Indian bloggers announcing contest for their readers to win these passes through some kind of contest. Not only does get coverage with their targeted audience, even the blogger is happy as he is able to offer some good stuff his readers. guys have been kind enough to offer 5 free passes for readers. I will shortly announce how readers can avail those passes, so stay tuned !
Like blogging, even social networking also has grown tremendously. Just to give you and idea, head straight to your nearest cybercafe and have a glimpse of what other people are doing. You will see majority of them either on Orkut, Facebook or some other Indian social networking site happily scraping and leaving messages.
And this is the reason why even Shobhaa De is promoting her book on Facebook. Infact her site directly points to her facebook profile. Rajiv Dingra has cited couple of other examples on how authors are taking social media route to promote their books.
Another interesting thing I have noted is the importance that Google gives to blogs in its search engine. Try any keyword search and you will see that out of top 10 majority of the top results go to blogs. Another reason why blogs are increasingly becoming important to PR agencies to market their client’s product/services.
If you have not embraced blogging or social networking, I suggest you jump into it NOW !
It would be interesting to know readers’ views on this.


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