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Brand Communication Through Digital Influencers: Leveraging Blogger Engagement

Ebru Uzunoglu, Sema Misci Kip
Published 2014 · Sociology, Computer Science

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The growing power of bloggers to influence their connected network has emerged as a new communication venue for brands. This study elaborates upon the role of bloggers in brand communication, and reveals how brands can engage with bloggers, currently considered as online opinion leaders, from the perspective of the two-step flow theory. Following clarification of the aims of the study, we report on in-depth interviews with 17 brand and digital agency representatives, selected because they regard communication with bloggers as an important strategy in increasing the influence of their brands among online communities. This exploratory study reflects current blogger communication implementations, and concludes with a discussion of seven major issues arising from the literature review and interviews (definition of bloggers, blogger selection criteria, digital integration, power of bloggers, long-term relationship building with bloggers, measurement, and budgetary issues in blogger communication). These areas represent relatively unexplored areas of blogger engagement from both an academic and managerial perspective. Based on the findings of the interviews, we propose a model which traces the influencer role of bloggers from the two-step flow theory perspective. This model is named as the brand communication through digital influencers model.
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