The New Blog / A Case Study

Blogger Joy Cho putting the finishing touches on her Target collection, via @ohjoy on Instagram

Blogger Joy Cho putting the finishing touches on her Target collection, via @ohjoy on Instagram

Blogger outreach is an important part of community management activities for any brand. There’s nothing more credible than an outside source, especially when that source is a place where thousands of people go solely because they want to.

Recently, I’ve noticed the emergence of Instagram into a pseudo-blog. I follow almost 400 accounts on Instagram, a large portion of which are lifestyle, fashion and event-planning bloggers. Most of them have blogs that tie into their Instagram accounts, but I would venture to guess that, like me, not all their followers read their blog. Their Instagram account becomes a second place where they can showcase their content to followers who maybe just want a few seconds of content in their timeline every day.

Brands need to pay attention to these types of people because while they might not as be as highly-engaged with one blog, they are minimally-engaged with many blogs. This requires a different strategy than, say, just partnering with one blogger. That being said, the same tried-and-true guidelines about bloggers still apply here: you need the right bloggers, the right content, and the right time. Research is key.

via @OhJoy on Instagram

via @OhJoy on Instagram

One of the most interesting blogger outreach efforts I’ve seen recently was a collaboration between blogger/designer Joy Cho (a Syracuse alumna!) and Target. Joy designed an exclusive party collection (Oh Joy for Target), full of bright colors and happy details. Joy is already an accomplished blogger, but instead of relying on her reader base, they expanded to other lifestyle bloggers in a big way. They hosted a brunch in celebration of Oh Joy, and invited several event and lifestyle bloggers to participate.

The brunch was gorgeous in all the right ways, and as you can imagine, totally Instagram-able. The next morning, my feed was filled with images from the brunch, and I didn’t even know that all my favorite Instagram accounts knew each other. Talk about six degrees of separation! Beyond Instagram pictures, there were also several blog posts, all in addition to Joy’s blog posts and Target’s blog posts. And, as a bonus, the brunch was a highly visual event, and Target has been able to re-purpose much of that content on platforms like Pinterest.

via 100 Layer Cake

Bloggers Instagramming, via 100 Layer Cake

This strategy created a ton of different relationships. It created a strong relationship between Oh Joy and Target, who will be creating three other lines for Target this year. This cements the relationship with Oh Joy’s readers and Target. It also creates a relationship between all the bloggers invited to the brunch and Target, who will be much more likely to cover Target launches in the future. Finally, it creates a relationship between all the bloggers’ Instagram followers, who then got a quick taste of the collection in an organic way.

Key takeaways from Target’s Oh Joy strategy:

  • Invest your time: Target’s investment was evident in this blogger outreach, which meant a lot more than simply spamming bloggers with a press release

  • Cast a wide net: Your audience isn’t just paying attention to one thing. They’re paying attention to many things. Make sure you’re hitting many (but with purpose!)

  • The new blog: Blogging isn’t limited to WordPress accounts anymore. Right now, Instagram can act as a blog. Pay attention to the next big thing!

What do you think about Target’s creative Oh Joy blogger outreach?

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