It’s not something you read about a lot on Inside Indiana Business—the M word. “M” for Moms. As single entrepreneurs and empowered groups, mommy bloggers are finding incredible success on the blogging end of the world as direct product influencers. If you don’t think they have that kind of clout, consider just one number: Every year in the United States moms spends $2.1 trillion on products and services.
The Big Picture
Reaching this vast and sprawling pool of ever online and multi-tasking women is another matter. It’s a lot more conversational than traditional PR and can result in a refreshingly honest interaction. But you must do your homework and keep your relationships above board.
Other big numbers to think about:
- 36.5 million U.S. women are moms at home
- 40 percent of all adult females go online
- 22.7 million women read blogs
- More than 80 percent of purchasing decisions are made by mommy bloggers
- And there are more than 82.5 million mothers in the U.S.
Small-to-large businesses find the inbound marketing road to moms a choice path, especially since there are so many moments of opportunity to reach the Power Mom.
Rules of the Road
But the rules of the reach are also changing just as fast as moms are getting pitches and corporations are getting traction with direct conversations.
Sears resurrected lay-a-way plans at stores after tuning into blog chatter by moms.
Wal-Mart started out with elevenmoms.com (no longer 11) pooling groups together in even nichier groups, including those just hunting for online coupons.
5dollardinners.com is now one of the highest rated mom-focused blogs according to Nielsen and was originally launched by an Ohio mom of two.
As with any overnight success story, government scrutiny can be quick to follow.
The Federal Trade Commission is now weighing in, especially when growing cases of freebies and paid reviews are starting to come to light—like the Cheetos mom who got free snack food for her family of eight from maker Frito-Lay along with a trip to L.A. “complete with parties and pampering.”
Mom blogs may no longer be exempt from truth in advertising laws and may be forced to disclose pay-for-play compensation.
About the Approach
Brandweek calls the mommy lure a move away from developing “messaging” to “integrated” listening. Like a huge online focus group, those who listen well will be able to adjust their businesses to create long-term relationships and brand-loyal customers.
Some rules of the road if you’re thinking about approaching mom blogs:
- A traditional PR pitch doesn’t work. Moms are conversation starters and enders. And they don’t have a lot of time to dig through your product specs. Be brief and to the point.
- Moms know what they like—or potentially want—to help other moms. If you don’t have a product or service that can possibly do so, don’t waste their time.
- Read the blog before assuming your company service or product is a match just because moms might be the target audience. You may find one techie mom out of 10-20 posts. She may be the right mom for your product.
- Mommies are busy people. Don’t pester. You will hear back from them, but it may take 24 hours to a week or more.
- On more traditional media mom sites, you may need to go through a gatekeeper as well—such as a moderator or editor that works for a traditional media outlet. Be patient on the return.
- Avoid pay-for-play, unless roles are disclosed and prominently posted. Moms are always looking for value and an honest and ethical conversation goes a long way.
If moms aren’t interested, they’ll let you know. But if they are, welcome to a whole new world of key influencers.