Monday, October 22, 2007

How Marketers Are Using Blogs to Get Their Message Across.

Blogs are, increasingly, becoming a part of the marketing campaigns of large companies.

Washington Post article discusses how bloggers are increasingly turning into ghost writers shilling for products. The article covers a company called Chitika which seems to be similar to companies such as PayPerPost. Excerpt-

Over the past few years, a number of businesses have been connecting bloggers with advertisers who recognize how the cross-linking that goes on in the blogosphere can be a good way to spread the word about their products. Some advertisers have covertly tried to generate buzz with bloggers with under-the-table payments. But newer firms are starting to move their online marketing into the mainstream, with full disclosure from bloggers and a willingness among advertisers to accept that not all reviews or buzz will be favorable.

And the potential is there for these blogger-advertiser relationships to keep growing is there. There are 63.2 million blogs on the Internet, with 175,000 new ones every day, according to Technorati, an Internet firm that serves as a search engine for blogs. But the vast majority of bloggers -- 85 percent, according to a 2006 survey by Pew Internet & American Life Project -- don't tap out their thoughts and opinions to make money.

Chitika (pronounced CHIT-i-ka) is one of the companies connecting the two sides, paying people who feature images of products on their blog. Bloggers select the products they want to place on their sites and are paid a few cents each time someone clicks on an image, which links to another Web site about the product.

The site works well for blogs that review or discuss consumer electronics products, for example, but Chitika executives say it is branching into other popular online shopping areas, such as clothing, food and beauty products.

"We are all about blog dollars," said Chitika's chief executive, Venkat Kolluri. "Bloggers just love this model. They recognize that rather than blast the name of an advertiser, they can add value by presenting a product they're [already] endorsing."