Help Bloggers to help you, for free
Kelly Abbott, the Technology Director of Red Door Interactive, posted an interesting article on IMedia Connection today, explaining what motivates bloggers, and how to reach them to further your marketing objectives.
He cedes the fact that blogging has long been considered a medium which has crossed the chasm into mainstream markets, and is exploding as a dynamic way for marketers to pull out their trusty rifle, and nail a target market with precise shots. The thing about targeting bloggers, is that you are targeting their entire audience at the same time; an audience, he posits, that could also form your customer base.
So you've gotten the idea that targetting bloggers could seriously help your business. Or could it?
I'd like to suggest that if you are considering targetting bloggers, you should first consider what it is that most bloggers are blogging about, and then decide if your product or service fits into that niche. Here are a few ways to do just that:
Feedster lists the Top 500 blogs of the month, every month, by the number of links to those blogs. This is a good judge of the popularity of a blog, but not necessarily of a blog topic.
A tool to discover what people are talking about you right now, is called Technorati. This site lets you run searches on keywords that you associate with your product or service, to see how popular they are on the blogosphere.
You may also want to check out the Top 100 folders that Bloglines users use to categorize their blogs of interest. (i found this earlier in the year on the O'Reilly Radar, which picked up the info on the Confusability blog ) Not surprisingly, the Top 5 were: Blogs, News, Tech, Technology, and People. Followed by Politics, Friends, and Comics. Java was 17th, Business 22nd, Sports 24th, and Knitting beat out Marketing by taking the 37th and 42nd spots respectively.
Now, just because only 16 people in the world are currently blogging about your product / service / interests, doesn't mean that they're not worth targeting. Instead, it means that you have a beginning audience from which to cultivate personal relationships and build a community around. These may be your biggest fans, so let them know that you're out there listening to them!
Of course, if you are targeting a larger audience, or want to automate your research and recieve notifications as soon as someone mentions you. Or if you want to organize your research, and all you information with a product that can replace your Email Organizer, Desktop Search Utility, RSS Reader, Personal Information Manager, Newsgroup Reader, Task Manager, Contact Manager, Bookmark Manager, and Instant Message History Manager. As well as read your Files in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Acrobat, and view your Pictures, in one Integrated Information Environment, then I can suggest a tool to help you. :)
Good luck with your targeting!