Like most bloggers, I receive dozens of approaches every day. Some of them are great, some of them are interesting, and some of them are so wide of the mark it's laughable. (Anyone else willing to work for $5 an hour?!) But for a lot of businesses the dubious pitches are a genuine mistake. I've written before about the brave new world of blogging and tried to explain how it works, and why we are unlikely to work for nothing. But in case you don't want to wade through all that verbiage, here, in a nutshell, is why your company should be engaging 'mummy bloggers' for promotion, PR and marketing of your product or service.
1. Bloggers are online influencers who establish trust and help build brand discovery for their readers, which ultimately influences brand awareness and consumer purchasing decisions. For readers aged 18-54, blogs rank within the top 3 sources of influence and information consulted before making a purchasing decision.
2. They have direct access to your target audience: mums and families. And they have a real relationship with those people, exchanging pleasantries, supporting each other, sharing tips and photos on social media, and more. Blogging is personal, relatable and real, and its about a genuine relationship between the blogger and their readers.
3. Readers trust their authentic voices far more than they trust your brand voice, even if you have cracked your social media reach and the stats say you're doing all the right things. A real voice has more clout than your corporate or even celebrity one.
4. Again and again research shows that word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective, and this is the best 'word-of-mouth' you're going to get. From one mum to another is the biggest influence on family purchasing, from baby classes and prams right up to holidays with teens.
5. Bloggers have extensive reach already, but their audience are also great at the word-of-mouth stuff, so you get a double/triple/quadruple whammy - for one blog post! Most mums connect on Facebook, and sharing a blog post with their local baby group, school gate mum friends or wider connections, is an easy part of that. Result? Even more influence for that one blog post that cost you £500 or less.
6. They're a friendly, helpful bunch. Read their blog, learn about their family, be friendly and appreciative, and they will probably go above and beyond what you ask for.
7. They move PR on from the old 'spray and pray' tactic to a targeted audience, with genuine interest in your product. Direct sales may not result (it's not CPC advertising), but your product will likely be implanted in the consumer's mind for 6 months time.
8. It makes you look more real and down to earth. Even the biggest corporation can become more down to earth and real through a blogger's work. We can talk recipes, gossip, ideas, tips and more, telling a story and driving real conversations. Consumers believe a third party more than the brand itself, which they perceive as biased, but if we know and like a brand it is more authentic, and powerful. (They can also help with your ORM (Online Reputation Management) by weighing against any negative exposure.)
9. They have big, targeted, engaged audiences. A magazine like Mother & Baby has a circulation of around 20,000. Many blogs will reach far more people per month. Bloggers have thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of readers each month. And remember, authentic recommendation is more likely to lead to action as opposed to mere awareness of your product/brand.
10. They are creative, they know what works for their audience, and they know how to create evergreen content that has longevity. Some of my post popular posts are reviews of family days out and baby products from years ago. Readers don't care how old those posts are, as they are still relevant to them right now.
11. Blogs have repeatedly been found to be amongst the top influencers on buying decisions, with consumers selecting everything from food products to family holidays based on bloggers' reviews and recommendations. Readers know bloggers keep it real and only genuinely recommend things they would buy themselves, so they trust us and make purchasing decisions accordingly.
12. Research suggests more than 45% of mums read blogs and 88% of those strongly trust the recommendations bloggers make. With 85% of all family consumer purchases being made by women, that is a HUGE audience.
So why should you engage 'mummy bloggers' for your marketing team? They tell stories, well written posts with an authentic voice that do not look like sales pitches, adverts or other big marketing, rather they are stories that have influence and reach real people: your customers.
How do you get them on side? Don't expect anything for free, but a good relationship, good product, and grown up conversation about fees and expectations will reap dividends for your brand and sales.
(And if you don't fancy trusting luck alone, enquire about our blogger outreach service at Lse@attachmentmummy.com)
Coming next week: How to work with bloggers