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Promotion and using influencers to build your audience; the ASA speaks

Ben Dickens, March 19, 2014

A key aspect of the work we do at DVO is driving awareness of our clients’ content and brands. After all, we can publish the best content in the world on their websites and promote it on their social but that’s often seen by just a small section of the potential audience.

That’s where our digital communication and promotion arm comes into play. DVO’s team-within-a-team is dedicated to helping our stories reach as wide an audience as possible, so we can engage more people and bring them to our clients’ owned media. Think of them as a mad hybrid of media buyer, planner, PR person and promotional expert working on the myriad digital platforms that exist.

But that’s all marketing speak.

What they really do is find people with an existing audience, such as bloggers and the mainstream media, and use them to reach those people the client wants to engage.

We use a whole host of tactics to do this; great stories, innovative content, strong relationships and even a bit of persuasion.

We aren’t alone, however. Every brand and its uncle is looking to bloggers and focusing on “earned media” – you can see it as an evolution of PR. But there are key considerations, such as the industry regulators (the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK) and other guidelines (Hello, Google!). While you might argue that a search engine has no jurisdiction over what a brand can and can’t do, it can penalise you for breaching guidelines, which will hurt you where it counts.

It’s a minefield for sure. That’s why we sought clarity from the regulator.

As well as DVO’s extensive blogger relationships, you might also know we have a strong association with OMN London, a network of the capital’s marketers set up by one of DVO’s founders, Gus Ferguson. Drawing on this, we canvassed bloggers and marketers collating their questions to ask the regulator. You can read the ASA response, put by the Committee of Advertising Practice, here.

The key issue is one of control, particularly who dictates what and how content is created. If it’s the brand, it’s advertising. If it’s the blogger, it’s not.

If you’d like to find out how we can build and grow the audience for your content as a digital agency, contact us on 020 3771 2461, email us at iminterested@dvoagency.co.uk or tweet us @DVOagency. We are digital after all.

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