Marketing to Bloggers

For this blog post, we invited Kerry Sauriol to tell us about the other side of marketing to bloggers: the blogger’s perspective. Kerry has built a large a loyal following though her blogs Crunchy Carpets and Wet Coast Women (see bio below). If you are considering a blog outreach campaign (especially one aimed at mommy bloggers), this is a must read post.

Marketing To Bloggers

When I started blogging, it was purely as a creative outlet and an amazing way to meet people out there in cyberspace. Later, as I discovered the local blogging community, it also became a great way to make REAL life friends.

I have loved the community that is mom blogging.

What I wasn’t really prepared for was discovering what a commodity the mom bloggers of the world are to marketers and big business.

Granted, women count for 85% of the US purchase decisions, and the mainstream media is saturated with ads targeting us over products from soap to well…soap.

According to much of the pitches that are now arriving in my inbox…..I am VERY excited about things like mops and ham.

Courting mom bloggers has become a huge business. Cars are handed out; trips to Disneyland are offered as well as exclusive getaways at destination hotels where the corporations set up mini conferences for their new brand ambassadors. All for want of a positive post.

According to a survey by PQ Media, an alternative-media measurement firm, roughly, $50 million is spent courting bloggers to extol the virtues of their product. Very little of that money is actually seen by the bloggers writing the reviews.

It is now taken for granted that a review blogger, especially a mom review blogger will happily work for product or free all expense trips to things like the Toyota plant. And for the most, this is true.

For myself, if it is a product or service that I use or would use and I think talking about it would be REMOTELY interesting to my, readers, I will usually be happy to write something up.

For other mom bloggers, they want nothing to do with PR pitches and make no bones about it.

Other mom bloggers feel that our time and our blogs are worth more than some free product.

And that is the main point that all marketers must realize, there is no ONE mom blogger type. What works with one will not work with another. Before you send out your email blast to your mom blog list, do your research.

Read the blogs you are about to pitch to. Make sure that this is the TYPE of mom who will be interested in your product.

Yes, TYPE of mom. I said it. There are so many types of moms….all convinced that there way is the right way, that if you annoy the wrong type, you will be in a world of trouble. And by trouble I mean PR nightmare.

Ask Nestle.

Ask the Corn Refiners Association and (ironically) Mom Central.

While some moms will be happy to enjoy free webinars in return for positive press regarding their love of Betty Crocker or High Fructose Corn Syrup, there can be many more who will not be so thrilled and be more than happy to tell their online world why they are not happy about it.

And so my next key point about marketing to bloggers is BE PREPARED. Make sure you are aware of how mom bloggers are using social media. Facebook is dominated by women. Women and moms LOVE social media. What a mom blogger posts on their own site travels far beyond their RSS feeds….twitter sees all.

This can be a great thing for a marketer or a very bad thing. If your product is REMOTELY controversial make sure you are prepared to field discussions online about your product. Do not leave this up to the blogger.

When marketing to mom bloggers, you have to be very clear about what you want from them and their blogs. Are you looking for an advertorial or do you want an actual honest review. Be clear and honest in your pitches and expect the same from the blogger.

Build a relationship with the bloggers you work with. Get to know them. The better you know and understand the bloggers you are dealing with the better the posts and results of the posts will be.

Understand that a mom blogger tends to be a mom first and a blogger second. If you are inviting a mom blogger to a marketing event, childcare or being allowed to bring children to the event will be key to the attendance of that blogger.

And again, remember that while yes indeed you may be giving product or trips to the bloggers for free. Their time and their sites are valuable. Respect that and the bloggers will respect you in turn.

About Kerry

Having discovered that children don’t give annual employee evaluations, Kerry jumped at the chance seven years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. She has found she can more than handle being called a stupid head by her two eldest and sweetly precocious children instead of being fired by her peers.

Kerry’s hold on sanity is her computer and the world of mommy bloggers. She can ignore the chaos created by three kids, three cats, a dog and patient husband and find the peace it takes to come up with her latest post at her personal site Crunchy Carpets . Apart from obsessive Tweeting and Facebooking, she can also be found haranguing people to post on her other site Wet Coast Women.

Blogging has brought her the opportunity to meet amazing people, speak on CBC Radio and be interviewed by the Globe and Mail on a few occasions.

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