When Nikon was planning the launch of the new D80 DSLR in 2007 it turned to MWW Group’s New Media team, including myself, to help build some buzz.
In response, we created a blogger outreach program that put the camera in the hands of dozen of individuals, encouraging them to try out the camera and, if they felt so moved, to share their experiences.
None, as the team at MWW Group was made up of just myself and my boss, Tom Biro.
Number of blog posts published, number of photos taken, tone of coverage and more.
There weren’t any owned channels created and managed for the program with the exception of a website where those invited could confirm their involvement.
We started out with a list of about two dozen people who we felt would be valuable to the program because of their influence online, their affinity for taking photos and other factors. Eventually that list grew even bigger because the program was so well received and more people wanted in on it.
Well before any FTC regulations around influencer programs existed, the program design stated they were under no obligation to post about the camera publicly but if they did so they were required to disclose their participation. That helped to establish many of the best practices that have become common in the content marketing industry and helped inform the eventual FTC rules.
The cameras were given to each person as a loan for up to one year, at which point they would be asked to return them or, if they chose, they could purchase them outright at a discount.
- The creation of a Flickr Group by one of the participants specifically for others involved in the program.
- Mention of the program in Now Is Gone by Geoff Livingston.
- Write-ups and other posts by many of the bloggers involved in the campaign, including Rick Klau, Darren Rowse, Jason Clarke, B.L. Ochman, Mack Collier, C.K. Sample, Tracy Manford and Joseph Jaffe.
- Subsequent coverage in industry publications and news blogs.