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A new report from ComScore promises to track the readership for blogs, both popular and obscure. The report, entitled Conversational Media Report, according to ComScore comes from working with Federated Media Publishing, which sells advertising on many existing blogs.

The report could go a long way toward validating the use of advertising on blogs. But is advertising the best way to promote your company via the blogosphere?
Recently Chris Brogan posted about how he loves Saturn automobiles. He made no apologies for being an evangelist for Saturn, and talked about how he would happily promote the company. A representative from Saturn was smart enough to find Chris' post, and leave his input. The rep then asked Chris to contact him, and returned to answer additional comments.
But then, something interesting happened. Other bloggers (including myself) noticed that Saturn had reached out to Chris via his blog, and we then blogged about Chris' post, and Saturn's response.
The simple fact that Saturn had reached out to Chris became the story. A few minutes that one rep from one company took to reply to one blogger had netted the company over a dozen positive blog posts. The combined daily readership for these blogs likely numbered several thousand, at least.
So which method is more effective? Should Saturn (or any other company) approach Federated or another blog-ad network and buy ads on the highest-trafficked blogs in its industry? Or should the company actively monitor the blogosphere and engage bloggers in their own space by reaching out and responding to them?
Of course so much would depend on the execution, but I definitely know which method would be cheaper.
Bonus link: How to launch a successful blogger-outreach program in one day, for free.

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image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier