THE BLOG
11/19/2012 11:13 am ET | Updated Jan 19, 2013

Why Page Views Are as Irrelevant as Donald Trump

A lot of talk is swirling around about what (or who) is relevant and what (and who) is not. Two things in particular come to my mind and only one involves a comb-over. I might not be Brian Williams, but I do feel it's important to report on relevant issues like the debate over what metrics a blogger and a brand should use to determine if he or she would be a successful partner. Brands currently rank and recommend on mere page views. This system is great for those bloggers who started early and have continued to write consistently. But, where does this leave the hundreds of thousands of other quality bloggers with superb content yet small readership?

Unfortunately, it provides a disproportionate advantage to those bloggers who may have started in 2008 along with those who continue to be great marketers. Using page views as a proxy is not the best way to determine the top blog content and certainly not the best way for marketers to determine which bloggers they should work with when it comes to promoting their products.

Ask yourself this question: In the past what has made you love a particular article? What made you want to share it with your friends or colleagues? Has the answer ever been popularity? Doubtful. Previous brand/blogger collaborations have proven that partnerships based off of only page views is no longer the best option to drive sales. This is mainly because readers can literally read through the lack of brand/blogger authenticity in the partnership. If a blogger has never previously written about or, for example, used a particular brand it is likely the readers will see through the collaboration and call its bluff.

Right now there are a majority of brands who are starting to jump on the blogger bandwagon but it seems no one is quite sure how much gas the bandwagon has or where to navigate it. If brands can't figure out the true value created from working with bloggers, in the future, they will stop.

When determining what type of bloggers to work with for an upcoming campaign, brands must look at three factors: (1) engagement, (2) relevance, and (3) relate-ability to the readers. The current yet outdated system of choosing to work with bloggers based on page views is only giving brands the ability to reach a subset of the desired audience. If they put the emphasis on engagement, relevance, and relate-ability instead, they would be able to reach a higher number of interested audience members without having to create as much unwanted promotional noise for everyone else.

According to the 400,000 netizens who have signed the petition on SignOn.org, "Donald Trump does not reflect the 'magic of Macy's." As the Trumpster's brand collaboration with Macy's has recently demonstrated, recognition and popularity isn't what determines a great partnership.

Yes, that really just happened.