Posted in Insights, Mom~Entum

11 Rules of Engagement for nurturing relationships with bloggers

Marketing as we know it has forever been changed. No longer solely discussed in corporate boardrooms, marketing departments and behind glass partitions, marketing is happening in communities all over the web. And Moms are at the center of the change and helping to shape it.

As a result, many companies are scrambling to reorganize and rethink how they take products and services to market and how to harness the power of these highly engaged and influential audiences. Today there is no such thing as business as usual. 140 characters strategically placed has proven to have the power to change the world. The right piece of user-generated content can yield a more powerful brand message than an expensive, highly researched television spot. The power has shifted fueled by technology, ideas, Mom’s desire for knowledge and her inherent need to connect.

So brands immediately seek Moms to create blogger outreach efforts. Almost 4 million Moms write blogs and eMarketer estimates 54% of Moms visit blogs every month so Mom blogs are definitely a place to start. And research shows us Moms make 85% of all brand purchases in the U.S. and that in less than 10 years, women will have purchasing power at an estimated $40 trillion. But so often they are not about building community, but more about one-off programs to launch a new product or service. Building a blogger community is a long-term commitment that takes time, effort and nurturing. And the nurturing part is often the hardest part of the equation. Most brands have difficulty establishing their voice and are not equipped to for relationship building.

11 Rules of Engagement for nurturing relationships with bloggers:
1. Hire the right person for this relationship-building role.
2. Hold a kick-off call with the blogger.
3. Provide bloggers with something of value. This means great content. Help them increase their social currency.
4. Involve them upfront in the marketing idea whenever possible. Don’t wait till the program is decided and then enlist them. They know their social graphs.
5. Keep it honest and transparent. Be real.
6. Understand.
7. Be clear about what’s in it for the blogger. In this economy, she’s looking for ways to supplement her family’s income. Let’s be honest, she’s not in it just for the name recognition.
8. Remember once you start a dialogue, she’s going to want to hear from you. Establish how often and how she wants to hear from you upfront.
9. Be respectful of her time. She’s busy. Think about what you’re asking of her.
10. Understand she is looking for a long-term relationship. Moms want to be a brand’s go-to person.
11. Be clear upfront about disclosure policies.

And remember, It also takes a cross platform strategy, Moms don’t just live on blogs. Brands need to look at their efforts on Facebook and Twitter. How do you tie the conversation together because today’s social media Mom engages in multiple arenas.

I also spoke to Ted Rubin, OpenSky Chief Social Marketing Officer and a Social Mktg Advisor who works with many Moms, had this to say,

“Marketers need to take note… women are not only driving household purchases, they are a bringing in a good percentage of the household income and Bloggers have their fingers on the pulse of this audience.

Forget “the consumer is king,” and make sure to understand “the consumer is ‘most definitely’ queen! When given a voice, women will reward a brand with not only their purchases but also their friends through pass along viral content.

And make no mistake… the Mom Bloggers are the gateway to this audience. Court them, respect them, and do whatever is necessary to build genuine relationships with them.”

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  2. 12/6 2010

    This post is spot on. I worked as an online music publicist for independent record labels and artists for several years, petty much building a blog network from scratch, before many of the larger PR outfits considered them a suitable outlet for online assets (content) such as mp3s and video (and contests, etc.)

    You are so right to include “having respect” uppermost in your list of how to interact in the symbiotic world of blog marketing, I think I would add that “empathy” is probably the most important trait one could have as a PR professional in this new landscape, where outreach should be based on relevance and authenticity.

  3. 12/6 2010

    It seems silly, but don’t forget to read their blogs! Or at least skim and understand them. Bloggers get lots of pitches that don’t make any sense. Tailoring your pitch to their content, or helping them see how it fits in to their niche or their readers will go a long, long way.

  4. 12/7 2010

    Absolutely. Read their blogs, tweet with them, learn about them, meet them at blog events. The whole nine yards.

  5. 12/7 2010

    Thank you so much.

  6. 12/8 2010

    [...] visit blogs every month. Holly Pavlinka of  “Content to Commerce” has posted “11 rules of engagement” for building a community among mommy bloggers. First rule: Hire the right person for this [...]

  7. 12/8 2010

    [...] it’s a bummer. Because there are responsible, great people who really want to engage. Companies know that bloggers are a great way to get the word out, and a product or service into [...]

  8. 12/9 2010

    It’s interesting to watch when someone thinks they are only going to get information out of bloggers and give nothing back. Bloggers are savvy and won’t just give up ideas and information without working out the details.

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