Mom Bloggers: My .02
A recent article in Advertising Age magazine entitled Inside the Mommy Blogger Business is making the rounds on the Internet. No fewer than three colleagues sent it to me independently, leading me to believe I should probably write about it.
But what can I say about this topic that is:
a). news to you and
After all, the stats quoted in the article aren't really news. 8 million women publish blogs, at least 3.2 million of them who are moms. Since mothers account for $2.1 trillion in spending each year -- and the fact thay they put enormous confidence in the opinions of other moms -- blogs can be a great boost for companies that fall in favor with top bloggers.
What should these mind-blowing stats and game-changing trends mean to you? Simply put: you've got to have at least one toe in the pool. You needn't cannon ball in, but drop your towel and get ready to take a dip.
In situations like this, it sometimes pays to switch into "McDonald's" marketing brain (that is, to build your store next to a McDonald's, which has spent millions researching location and profitability). So what are the big players in the space doing? According to Ad Age, companies like Walmart and BabyCenter are incorporating mom blogger features into their sites to bring useful content to their customers and to stay close to the source of ideas, trends, and the general pulse of moms. I think these "affinity" features are a smart way to acknowledge bloggers as having a voice worth hearing and to develop a positive two-way dialogue with the blog followers.
A more immediate and direct way to connect with mom bloggers is through product sampling. I just received an email invitation to sponsor a MomSelect "Swag Suite" at the annual BlogHer Conference in July. $750 buys you the opportunity to place 100 products in front of influential moms and their keyboards. You don't know what (if anything) they might write about your product, but you are on their radar. This arrangement intrigues me because it sidesteps the conflict-of-interest concern that paid bloggers encounter. Sure, it's free stuff, but the blogger has no pressure to write anything -- let alone anything favorable -- about the products.
And if you're really new to the idea of mom bloggers, spend a little time getting up to speed. Make just one visit to the newly launched site Moms Who Blog and you'll see a group of women -- all with a blogging shingle in cyberspace -- no two of them exactly alike. Which ones might have a flair and a following that align with your brand?
Lastly, whatever your current Mom Blogger I.Q., consider picking up a copy of the new book Mom 3.0: Marketing WITH Today's Moms by Leveraging New Media & Technology. This latest title comes from Maria T. Bailey, the powerhouse behind 2005's popular book Trillion-Dollar Moms.
No time to read? Stay tuned to Maternal Journal. I'm reading Mom 3.0 now and will write a synopsis in the coming weeks.