One of the most popular presentations at the Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum, #PORTADA13, was by Ignacio Cassinelli, Editor of Soccer Confidential. At the age of eighteen, Cassinelli launched a blog called TodoSobreCamisetas about soccer jerseys. Since then, he has developed a loyal readership of half a million readers a month.
His talk focused on Hispanic Sports Blogs – myths and realities about social influencers. Given the size of his readership, Cassinelli has become an expert on how brands can develop a relationship with high-profile Hispanic sports bloggers.
Before building a relationship with a blogger, Cassinelli said brands should look at bloggers who write with passion and a strong voice. Brands should also ask whether the blogger writes with “authority” and whether they have an audience (followers can be purchased in bundles).
He added that “influence has no barriers. Don’t focus only on influencers based in the US. Don’t focus on those only influential around sports.” Once the brand is ready to build the relationship, the brand must “earn trust,” Cassinelli said, because bloggers tend to be writers outside of the mainstream media.
Brands should approach bloggers at the personal level, “get to know them. Appeal to their ego.”
Third, he said brands should “leverage their assets” in order to build a “synergic relationship.” He advices brands to “create social currency” with the blogger.
An emotional connection between brands and bloggers is paramount. Brands should appeal to sentiment. Bloggers don’t want to be perceived as “sell-outs” by their readership.
Additionally, brands shouldn’t give the blogger the message they want disseminated. “Let them communicate in their own terms. He advises brands to work with bloggers to “craft new ways to communicate that both sides are happy with.” The message should be generated by the bloggers who should organically connect to the brand and message.
“It’s not about the money,” Cassinelli emphasized. Cassinelli advides brands to “create dynamic messages.” He says, “sports are easy to connect to. Whether somebody is influential around the topic or not, it’s not too much of a stretch for them or their audience to relate to your message.”
Given that bloggers are often not considered journalists by a majority of Internet users, brands need to make the blogger “feel respected.”
“Influencers” or “Inciters”?
Cassinelli also warned brands to differentiate between “influencers and inciters.” Inciters have the power to call their readership to action whereas influencers may have a large following but no power.
Read the full coverage of the Hispanic Sport Marketing Forum:
At #PORTADA13: Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum: “Soccer is Global and Global is Cool”
At #PORTADA 13: Hispanics Sports Marketing Forum: “Slices in the Soccer Pie
At #PORTADA13:Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum: “Digital: Same Meaning in Both Languages”