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The term “mommy blogger” hardly sounds like a marketer’s dream, but that is – in fact – what they are. Their consumer power and strength is fueled by their common desires, goals and needs as women, and they truly know how to connect and share. Not only that, but they do so with passion and sincerity. Moms spend $2.1 trillion on everything from diapers to cars to electronics every year in the U.S., and we know that if a product works for them – or, even if it doesn’t – they will spread the virtual word. As such, marketers would be wise to understand where certain mommy bloggers are coming from and what they’re trying to do, and then keep those lessons learned in mind when developing campaigns that target them (and – let’s be honest – they are gateways to their kids).
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like mommy bloggers are more than virtual girlfriends; they’re a desirable and effective marketing tool – championing products and cheerleading brands.
Last week, The New York Times reported the long-form blog is dying. Tell that to the moms. “Mommy bloggers” — a term applied to a generation of women living out the trials and tribulations of parenthood on the Internet — are hardly a dying breed. BlogHer.com, an online community for female bloggers — mommies or otherwise — lists 6,907 blogs in the “Mommy and Family” category. A few years ago, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that of the 82.5 million mothers living in the United States, 35 million of them have children under the age of 18 and, according to eMarketer, that same number has regular access to the Internet. Blogs not only serve as forums in which these moms share everything from funny anecdotes and family pictures to confessionals about postpartum depression; they also give savvy moms a community with which to share parenting tips and product recommendations. Business Week reports: “Large corporations have been marketing to bloggers for several years, and many have marketing campaigns specifically set up to reach mothering blogs.” By truly understanding these concerned, passionate and smart women, brands of all sizes are powering their marketing efforts with TLC.
Marketers not hip to the mommy factor take note: the blog next door could be your new best friend.
The main challenge with mommy bloggers is one that plagues any large demographic: avoiding misconceptions. “A lot of moms that blog cringe when they are referred to as a mommy blogger, ” writes Jessica Smith, a blogger and advisor at MomForce.com. Other potential misreads: mommy bloggers are in it for the swag; they lack creativity and don’t take marketing seriously; and (as a blogger), my favorite: mommy bloggers sit around in sweats all day. “If you find moms who are passionate about something, they’ll be all about trying the product,” says Maria Bailey, author of Mom 3.0. Bailey’s advice to businesses targeting the mommy blogger demographic sounds familiar: be transparent and know your audience. In other words, don’t send diapers to a mom who writes about the challenges of parenting a teenager, or “tell a woman that you read her blog if you never have—they track who comes to their sites.” Like all consumers, moms value honesty and have strong opinions, opinions they are going to share. Developing sincere relationships with them is the only way brands can ultimately succeed in their world. Serious mommy bloggers know the difference between a fast one and a freebie.
Make the latter worth their while, and the results could be priceless.