Thinking about why it is that blogging is such a good medium for spreading the word about beauty it came to me that it’s because it’s such a flexible way of connecting with people. It can be that most basic of dialogue that’s written in a diary-like way – the original “web log” style that conveys your thoughts like a whispered secret to a friend; or like the kind of conversation when your work mate sees you slicking on your lipstick and just has to know what colour it is. In its most sophisticated form it can out-do any print magazine with photos, graphics and content.
The blogging world is fast and furious, it’s reactive and it sets a cracking pace. Bloggers don’t need to plan their edits and print-runs months in advance (although some do) so they can see a look they like on the street or try on a product at home and get something down on the page right away.
Blogging is a powerful force that can take just a few words and a photo to make you need to try a product so strongly that before you’ve scrolled to the bottom of the page you’ve clicked on the link to buy that product. Once you’ve entered into the blogging world as a reader or a writer you look to the blogosphere for beauty news and reviews, tips and tricks and you trust what you read. That’s because you’ve got to know about the writer, they’re visible and accessible and real.
For the beauty industry, bloggers are a huge pool of talent with fire in their belly just waiting to spread the word. For some brands they are a total replacement for traditional marketing and advertising methods. For example brands like La Roche-Posay don’t advertise at all in the UK and rely on the power of bloggers to tell their story for them. It’s bloggers who piled on the pressure for them to launch products in the UK that they’d previously had to travel to France to stockpile.
Sometimes us bloggers can be treated as the poor relation to print press and perhaps not all brands have quite grasped how best to utilise the power and expertise of bloggers. Many of us aren’t bloggers by profession but that doesn’t mean we’re not professional. And we certainly have influence.
Interaction with brands and PRs can be a little bit like the Wild West at the moment and there isn’t a code of practice or way of working that is standard across the piece for either blogger or brand There’s still a bit of bad behaviour on both sides with some bloggers thinking that the minute they put their virtual pen to paper they should get freebies and with brands often expecting free work from bloggers just for the prestige. I think that this is something that will evolve over time and there will be winners and losers.
For my part I’ve been around since the days when the likes of Mary Quant and Biba were taking the beauty world by storm and the World Wide Web was many years away. So I have a bit of a different view of beauty and life than the typical teen or twenties blogger but that doesn’t matter in the slightest. I have a place at the table – and as Mr MacDonald says “I’m Lovin It!”