Great post by Jennifer Leggio (aka Mediaphyter) on the pros and cons of customers and brands interacting by way of sponsored blog posts.
The money grafs (pun intended) from Jennifer:
- Is sponsored blogging authentic?
- Is it transparent?
- Is it sustainable?
Authenticity: Why not? A person can do a sponsored
blog post without selling his or her soul just as a product reviewer
can be unbiased when he or she gets a free gadget to try out for a
while (or keep, depending on the reviewer, and that’s a whole other
debate). This is not an issue of integrity. People need to stop making
it one. Nowhere in any of the PayPerPost marketing info do I read “if
you sponsor a blogger you guarantee that blogger will sing your
Transparency: Again, I say, why not? In the case of
blogger transparency, using Brogan as an example, he’s one of the most
transparent guys on the Internet even before he did this post. That did
not change with his sponsored post. You still saw the true author. In
the case of brand transparency, Kmart took a risk sponsoring Brogan to
do this post. I’m sure, behind the scenes, management had tough
conversations over what piece of their business might be exposed by
giving someone more intimate access. It’s the same thought process that
an enterprise tech company goes through before determining whether or
not it should send one of its products out for review.
Sustainability: Wait for it… YES. This is absolutely sustainable, and I think this is the most important question to answer."