Bloggers. Sometimes they come with negative and descriptive adjectives in front of their names. Sometimes they can move markets with their audience and expertise. For HP's launch of its HDX Dragon notebook last year, bloggers were all good, and still are.
HP's word-of-mouth marketing partner Buzz Corps recently made public the results of its blogger-driven Dragon launch and sales. According to Buzz Corps CEO Chris Aaron, finding influential bloggers in the tech space was easier than trying to follow thousands of tech fans on Twitter or Facebook.
"We were looking to involve bloggers because their expertise enables product development and marketing to happen more quickly," Aaron says. "We wanted to do right by the bloggers and right by the communities they have created and served."
Aaron's respect may sound self-serving, but HP put their money and product on the line. As the HDX Dragon was developed, bloggers were consulted on usability issues. In return for their expertise June of 2008 was deemed "31 Days of the Dragon" by Buzz Corps. The 31 bloggers involved in the project had a chance to give away a Dragon notebook every day for 31 days. The bloggers got to drive traffic and subscriptions; users got a chance to win a PC, and HP got the word out about a crucial product.
Among the key results:
Bloggers saw traffic increases between 150 and 1,500 percent during the giveaways. Most of that increase stuck with the average participating blog retaining a 50 percent traffic increase.
HPShopping.com saw an 84 percent increase in sales of the Dragon during the 31 day promotion. Overall HP PC sales at all outlets increased 10 percent.
ROI: 50 million impressions of the Dragon were served for a cost of $250k.
"We will do this again," Aaron says. "Bloggers are a great community for us."