The dramatic rise of the Mummy Blog in the UK has become a force to be reckoned with; real mothers writing and discussing everything from current affairs, health and fashion, through to business, cookery and wellbeing whilst sharing personal experiences and the daily triumphs and turmoil of parental life in front of a community of loyal readers.
For the mums, blogging can provide a great outlet, a place to free the mind and escape the daily routine whilst simultaneously providing a valuable network and support group. For some, blogging has become a new-found source of income, supplemented with free goodies to review.
To businesses, they are an emerging holy-grail: popular, trusted and worth investing serious time and energy into forging long-term relationships with.
So who is the typical mummy blogger?
In general terms, Mummy Bloggers are socially savvy, educated women who wield extensive consumer power. Their words and opinions can influence brand perception both online and off. They expect to be taken seriously by businesses and traditional media outlets. They are the real, honest voices in a marketplace that has become saturated with ‘top-down’ messages.
Alongside other forms of social networking, they mark a new form of Word-of-Mouth (WOM) marketing; you can’t control it but when it works, the dividends are higher than any other form of marketing. Of all the elements of the communications mix (editorial, publicity stunts, advertising, etc), WOM is by far the most potent on a one-to-one basis. No level of advertising or expert selling could compete with a colleague, friend or an established blogger recommending or criticising a particular product or service. Similarly, it is unlikely that a teaser advertisement could motivate a viewer/reader to watch-out for the next advert in a campaign in the same way that WOM can.
How does WOM work and why are mummy bloggers the key to generating it?
Research suggests that consumers talk about their bad experiences with up to three-times more people than when they are satisfied. Before the creation of the internet and social networking forums, this level of WOM would be limited to fewer individuals but in relative terms this has now amplified, making it all the more necessary for businesses to ensure their customer service is second to none and their approach to WOM is at the top of their marketing agenda.
Mummy bloggers possess a broad sphere of influence, circulating both on and offline. Research suggests that conventional media no-longer effectively reaches today’s mums’ who are more cynical to the mass marketed ‘top-down’ message with a tendency to tune-out and view the source of information as unreliable at best and deceptive at worst. WOM cuts through the clutter, offering an alternative way for Mums’ to meet and exchange info.
Mummy bloggers tap into the conversational nature of mothers. They can build or break brand reputation through recommendations or criticisms within a community of readers who trust what they say. Most mothers enjoy being part of a collaborative community and introducing new products and services to their mummy friends. Product reviews spread awareness and create loyalty toward brands. Mummy bloggers want to discover brands that incite passion, and they work to offer useful advice and suggestions to their readers who are usually like-minded parents.
According to recent studies, a large proportion of mothers read consumer-written product reviews online before committing even to the smallest purchasing decisions; not only can I say this is true from a personal perspective but I also know of many other mothers who also expend a similar level of time and energy on their product research before committing to the purchase and we, like many mothers, are compelled to share our findings with others.
Connecting with Mummy Bloggers
Many businesses are scared-off the Mummy blogosphere due to a lack of understanding in how to target a Mummy blogger or assess the level of reach of any one blog. Whilst it is true that certain Mummy Bloggers exist only as a means to obtain 'swag', many work hard to maintain integrity in their blogs. There are a few measures available including the 'Top 10 Mummy Bloggers' by Cision and Tots100 however, as the socio-viral market is ever changing, so the top blogger last week may not be this week.
Some bloggers have the reach numbers to spread a message on a larger scale, whilst others may have a smaller readership but more passionate followers. Every blogger counts, even new ones; if a blogger shows an interest in your product or brand don’t shy away because you can’t see enough followers, work with them. If they want to review your product but you're uncertain about committing the resources to such an exercise, find other ways in which to nurture a relationship. In the same way that every customer counts, apply this same logic to bloggers too, after all, it is likely that the blogger is also a potential customer with lots of mummy friends both on and offline!
Blogs create and connect the mother with loyal readers who look to them for information and recommendations. Businesses should engage and respond to bloggers, understand the importance of the relationship and make the interactions mutually beneficial.
If you want to influence how mothers' perceive your product, brand or company, get involved in the conversation. To provoke WOM amongst bloggers and consumers, create genuine, direct, personalised and transparent conversation.
Do your research: Mummy bloggers consider it important and find it critical that companies familiarise themselves with each blog before making contact, ensuring accurate personal details and more connective outreach.
If you still feel out of your depth and uncertain how to progress your business/product/brand through the Mummy blogging network, contact me and I will be more than happy to assist - email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0845 257 1479