It’s been a nice summer break, but with August over and kids back in school, the focus for social media moms, primarily prolific bloggers, shifts back to business. While mom blogs proliferate, many still serve as an online diary for friends, family and the odd reader who appears via organic search. These, while perhaps still in the majority, are not of interest, at least on a professional level, for those of us working for brands.
Those blogs that can deliver verified readership numbers are a different breed. Mom bloggers with any history usually have received multiple requests from brands for product reviews, blog posts and participation in social media events. And, over the last 5 years, more and more have expected to get paid when they provide readership via their blogs and networks of social media contacts. Not an unreasonable request.
Approaching mom bloggers and analyzing the ROI of working with one, though, is still in its infancy. In this era of big data this perhaps comes as some surprise. But it need not be difficult – just start here.
1) Verify Readership – Bloggers who work with brands treat their publishing empire as such. They can provide readership numbers, impressions and a variety of information upon request. Many subscribe to data services and can provide access for you to their reports.
2) Explore their Properties – One of the key benefits of working with bloggers is the ability to reach a very niche audience. Unlike larger publications, bloggers have much lower overhead and can support a quite robust following of an extremely niche market – perfect for smaller brands.
3) Approve Content – Another bonus of working with bloggers is the ability to not only approve content but specify exactly what content is covered and what keywords are used. While it’s important that bloggers speak in their own voice to their audience, most are willing to work with brands on editing and revising posts.
4) Use Tracking Links – Developing specific tracking links for each blogger to use on all of their properties when linking back to content on your site allows you to closely monitor click-through and ecommerce sales.
Working with social media moms, of course requires experience and technique to maximize return, but these few simple steps can lay the groundwork for a robust marketing program.
Maryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Marketing, a consulting firms focused on green and sustainable industries, fresh produce, food, Hispanic marketing and marketing to Moms. See her at ExpoEast Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore, speaking on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands, September 27, 2013 Connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin