‘Engaging’ vs. ‘Targeting’: Relationships are a new currency in marketing‘Engaging’ replaced ‘targeting’ in the marketing lexicon last year. The Brand Z report that I read a few weeks ago, talked about what this means. Going forward relationships will be more important and effective than the use of overwhelming force or by buying influence. Here’s a short excerpt from the section entitled The Digital Revolution from Brand Z’s Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands this year. When brands enjoyed sovereign control over the dissemination of information about themselves, marketers could choose a demographic—for example 18-24 year old women—and design an attention-grabbing, persuasive 30-second TV commercial…That’s changed…Information is the currency of the digital democracy. It changes brand-customer interaction from a series of isolated transactions into an ongoing relationship that becomes deeper and more interconnected… Sustaining these relationships depends on transparency and trust from both sides. So, now that you’ve heard from Brand Z—and they should know—it’s confirmed: relationships are the new currency in the marketing world. Blogging and guest-blogging—putting content out there about your brand and product—is one strata of the kind of relationship building that Brand Z is talking about. Worldwide shippingnetworks connect every business geographically, but blog relationships and social media are beginning to connect and bind together businesses in a different way: through transactions of information and insight . In this system, ‘all boats rise together.’ That’s why evidence is beginning to suggest that search engines take note of the way that information is shared and threaded together in guest post content, moreso than they acknowledge comment links. So how do you begin building relationships with blog-owners? First you have to read their blogs to find out about them, and determine whether or not they’re mission is aligned with yours. You find their contact information behind their contact tab. And then you pitch. Pitching: How to be ‘Interesting’ This is an example of a successful guest-post pitch. For those of you who are near-sighted, I’ll write it out for you. Daniel,I’m just getting started as a contributing author at Technected, but we’re eager to build relationships with blogs like yours.I was thinking I could write something for PPC for Hire about Facebook Deals. Either that or I could write about the coincidence of Google’s rapidly evolving roll-out of new Place functionality and the recent revelation about how they can profile our geographical movements through Droid phones. ‘Place and Privacy.’ ‘There are both positives and negatives to this etc.’ Something along those lines.Would you be interested? Best,ThomasHere are a few samples of my work… Notice that in my salutation, I refer to the blog owner by name. I refer to his blog by name multiple times. This proves that I am a human and that I am aware of his sight. Some will recommend that in your contact you fabricate a situation where you just ‘happened’ to find the blog. I’ve found that there’s no need to add a layer of flattery, and if you think about it for a minute, you’ll realize that receiving an endless sequence of identically fabricated flattery from guest-posters would be annoying for a blog-owner. Honesty and brevity are best. Notice that I provide information and links to my work. Again, this establishes me as a human being—someone who will be providing interesting and topical content—not just some scraper. I pitched two ideas that were timely that week: timely content is always in demand. I was brief: this is usually appreciated. Here’s a basic template that you can work off of. Contact,I’m just getting started as a contributing author at (name of your blog with embedded link), but we’re eager to build relationships with blogs like yours. I’d like to write an article for (name of the blog you’re writing to) on one of the following subjects. -Pitch a concept that’s in the news that week, well-calibrated to the blogs specific audience’s concerns. Take a position on the issue or new development. Make sure that your position is well-researched. -Pitch a concept that explains some useful method or tool that will appeal to the blog’s audience. If the method or tool is already well-known, add nuances and observations of your own. Would you be interested? Best, Your name Make sure that your message is concise, don’t lie, pitch interesting topics that you’ve researched, be brief and respectful and you will find that blog owners are eager to engage with you.