The Hand that rocks the Cradle - Falkon Digital Ltd

The Hand that rocks the Cradle

By Sadie on October 29, 2013

Rules the cyber world…

‘Mummy’ bloggers have been influential online since blogging became accessible and now the internet is flooded with Mummy bloggers writing and tweeting about their trials and tribulations, but why are these women so influential and so important to marketers?

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis

Having a child is a life changing event and has a massive impact on your life; sometimes you feel you are struggling, sometimes you need tips and advice and sometimes you just need to be heard. The way that the social media landscape has changed means that other people with more experience, or going through the same things as you are much more accessible and therefore it becomes easy to form a circle of online ‘friends’ who share these moments with you.
You don’t have to be a parent to see the support and some genuine friendships online amongst the Mummy blogging community, the cry together, they laugh together and in the darkest moments they support and even mourn together.
It is these genuine friendships and trust that makes Mums online a powerful influence when it comes to marketing.

Trust and Word of Mouth

For years word of mouth has been a great referrer of sales and with the introduction of the internet these word of mouth recommendations have moved online and become much more tangible. However it is always important to remember that a word of mouth recommendation is only as powerful as your trust for the person recommending it.
Mums online build up a circle of trust, yes they fall out, have banter, just as we do in the real world but they have power in their recommendations because they are trusted, this trust comes from their honesty.

Because of this trust PR companies, and internet marketers identify ‘Mummy bloggers’ and get them to recommend their products. They realise that a recommendation from a trusted Mum could mean a huge impact in sales, traffic and the odd link for good SEO.

The rise and fall of the Mummy Blagger

Mummy bloggers became the sought after referrer. Companies targeted them and offered them money, products and all sorts of compensation – hell, why not? Their recommendation was worth a lot in terms of revenue and some Mummy bloggers sold out.
The Mummy blagger was born. We’ve all seen these sites, just endless reviews on products, sponsored posts and little passion. The problem with these people was they thought they would make a living off their blog and forgot that the most important part to play was to be yourself and be trustworthy.
Once these sites were trusted less the impact and value went down therefore marketers wanted to move on to the next Mummy blogger. Is this the fault of the Marketer or the blogger? Either way this is a deadly cycle to be avoided.
These ‘blaggers’ are becoming few and far between as they have quickly realised that selling out will not profit them long term.

Mummy Blogging survey

We asked a number* of bloggers, who just so happened to be Mums, what they thought about blogging and internet marketing.

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We found that most Mummy bloggers wrote a few times a week, some very rarely, and some with the discipline to do a blog a day.

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All the Mums we spoke to promote their blogs in some way, this shows a certain level of marketing savvy. Whether they are doing it to get heard or to exhibit their prowess as an online influencer varies between individuals.

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The most common way of promoting their blog was through Twitter. This is also where a lot of discussions happen and you can see how influential certain women are. Some bloggers claimed to do SEO however the level of SEO was very different between bloggers, some using SEO plugins and keywords, some actively sourcing links. The fact that some women promoted their blogs locally through flyers was surprising to me but shows that many women take blogging seriously as an investment. I was not as surprised that no one claimed to use the forums for promoting however in some comments people used the forum blogger networks but perhaps see this separate to the actual forums.

do-you-advertise-on-your-blog

A far cry from the ‘Mummy blaggers’ we found that 35% of the women we spoke to didn’t accept sponsorship posts on their blogs from PR and SEO companies. 65% also refused to have advertising on their blogs.
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I have always thought that influential bloggers are harassed by SEO companies and PR’s this is certainly the opinion I have been given by following certain conversations on Twitter. However, the majority of Mummy bloggers do not feel hassled by marketers, I am assuming this is because more companies are learning to respect bloggers and properly engage with them.

Manners for Mummy bloggers

Why should Mummy Bloggers recommend your product if you can’t be nice?
If you want a Mummy blogger, or any blogger to recommend your product, you need to follow some important guidelines or etiquette.
• It is important to remember why Mummy bloggers are so influential, they are trusted and if you don’t respect their blog, their time and their opinion you are bound to end up on the naughty step.
• Don’t assume all bloggers think you are using them but at the same time don’t treat them like idiots. Many of these women are intelligent, witty and understand a lot more than you realise, respect that they may be Mums that blog but they also have valid opinions on other subjects.
• Read their blogs, read their tweets find out their interests and if there is a potential opportunity with the client ask them politely and respectfully.
• Many bloggers are PR friendly but don’t try to get them to sell out
• Appreciate it takes time to review things properly. For example if you have a book, it may take them hours to read it then another hour to write an honest review. Why would they sacrifice this time just for the privilege of getting the book; each case is different but bloggers need to be treated fairly.
• Don’t always push for links – sometimes brand awareness is better than a link, mentions of a brand in a positive light are great, ideally a link to the website or product is courteous but don’t demand it be followed, a no followed link from the right blog could send lots of converting traffic which is much more important.
• Treat them as individuals, if you are in a hurry you may be tempted to blanket email a few bloggers, this is useless no one responds well to this form of communication.

A good relationship with key online influencers can be a great opportunity for your clients and a good opportunity for the blogger.

Thanks to the all the bloggers who helped by answering my questions in particular Single Mother Ahoy and Plan B partnership, who provided me with some very valuable insights.

*Survey of less than 200 bloggers ideally we would like a larger sample size