Previously I wrote an entry titled It’s Authenticity Stupid. The premise was simply if you want to be successful at online marketing or social media marketing it’s mostly about authenticity.
And it still is, but sometimes you have a choice to make especially if a good portion of your livelihood is blogging. If someone offers me money to tout something do i take it?
Well clearly it’s still about authenticity. If you take the money be upfront about it, and be very authentic and transparent. However, it’s also about brand fit. If you’re the White Trash Mom blog maybe you don’t go touting the Emily Post book of Etiquette.
One very good example of this (in the positive well done way) and why I feel the need to mention it is this WSJ article about the Savvy Auntie-Disney promotion. Disney paid SavvyAuntie’s Melanie Notkin to tweet about the release of the anniversary addition of Pinocchio. Now I don’t have any statistic on it, but it seems like it was a good bit of marketing for Disney, Melanie got paid, and it didn’t harm her brand image.Everyone wins.
Now the Journal focused on her being a credible source and being transparent and those are all important points. What they didn’t stress nearly enough was the brand fit.
The SavvyAuntie brand as I see it is about family, about being nice, wholesome, caring about kids, etc. They could be as credible as they want but if they choose to take money to promote Fight Club, sorry it’s just not working.
Now certainly you could say brand fit is simply a subset of Authenticity as an authentic brand wouldn’t take money from people that don’t fit who they are.
However the point is that while being credible, being transparent and authentic are all musts brand fit is what goes untalked about. I can see Melanie tweeting about Disney on her own or saying she bought a Pinocchio doll for her niece and or nephew at the toy fair she was at.
To put it another way: if you can’t see the person talking for free about the topic they’re being paid to talk about then sorry, it ain’t working.