When the digital moms segment aired on the Today Show, I had over a dozen colleagues and clients email me to ask if I had seen it. It is clear that Mom bloggers have certainly reached the public mind in a way that excites many marketers. Over SXSW, I had several opportunities to sit down and learn from mom bloggers what their experience has been of working with marketers. Dinner with the Walmart 11 moms, long conversations with Stacy and Rebecca from MomCentral and hallway conversations with people who are only indirectly connected with mom bloggers like Laura Mayes from Kirtsy – as well as experience in working on a few programs focused on mom bloggers for clients have all led to this post.
So, here are the top 7 things gleaned from conversations with mom bloggers that most of them really wanted PR people to know. At the end of the list is an 8th that I didn't actually hear from anyone, but still think is valid enough to include on this list:
- "Get to know me." Mom bloggers are often sharing extremely personal things about their lives on their blogs, from helping a family member deal with a difficult illness to their own stories of juggling everything. Take the cues from their writing about whether your product or service is a good fit and when is a good time to contact them about it.
- "Stop asking for free coverage." Most mom bloggers aren't like journalists and don't really "cover" products or news. They do write about things they find personally interesting, and often accept products to try, so invite trial and if you want to reach a mom bloggers audience, consider actually paying for a sponsorship or advertising as a way of supporting her instead.
- "Tell me who else is involved." Often a mom blogger you are talking to may know other moms who would be interested in your efforts or could suggest even better people for your effort from their personal network. Share your list early and be flexible enough to change it.
- "Remember I have kids." It's ironic how many marketers forget that Mom bloggers are moms first and foremost. So they can't do that conference call with your team at 8:30am, or pick up and head off for a 3 day weekend next week to take a tour of your factory. Don't be surprised to get a response to your email at 2am or it sometimes takes several days. Just because you're surgically attached to your Blackberry doesn't mean that they are too. Remember their schedule and family obligations and you'll be much more likely to get them involved.
- "Kids come in different ages." Again, this falls into the "duh" category of marketing knowledge, but moms have kids that are different ages and often your product's usefulness relates directly to how old a mom's kids are. Last time I checked, toddlers don't really eat beef jerky – so your free samples are probably not too useful.
- "Don't try to tell me what to write." This should be obvious, but surprisingly easy to forget for some marketers. Mom bloggers, like any other bloggers, want to have their own opinions and share them. If this makes you uncomfortable, a mom blogger program may not be the best option for your product.
- "Keep a relationship after your campaign." Nothing is worse than a campaign ending and all of a sudden everyone disappears off the face of the earth. Great blogger engagement is about the relationship. Don't let it die when your campaign ends.
- BONUS TIP NOT OVERHEARD (but still valid) – "Don't assume we want your stuff." Some mom bloggers are just blogging for personal reasons and are not interested in marketing. Others are very specific about who they would consider working with and you may not be on the short list. Don't assume just because you have a great new laundry detergent and moms often have to do laundry that they would love to sample your product.