A Mind of Moms Wrap-Up with Natalie Ghidotti

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As we told you earlier this week, Little Rock PR guru Natalie Ghidotti of Ghidotti Communications attended this week’s Mind of Moms summit in northwest Arkansas.

The one-day summit, held in Bentonville and attended by more than 150 people, including representatives from major corporations, aimed to connect businesses with moms who blog. These so-called “mommy bloggers” are an influential community of passionate writers and devoted followings. It’s not surprise businesses want to reach them.

Today, Ghidotti shares her impressions of the event, as well as some tips she picked up from some of the sessions. You can follow Ghidotti on Twitter at @Ghidotti.

By Natalie Ghidotti

So, I’m a mom, but not a blogger — yet. The recent Mind of Moms conference piqued my interest because:

1) I’m a mom, and I love helping clients better understand moms, and

2) The “mommy blogger”” truly intrigues me, and I want to know more.

My Questions

So what about these “mommy bloggers?” Do they blog in their pajamas with a baby on their hip? Do they dish on every bad experience they have with a product? Do they have readership beyond best friends? Are other moms, like myself, reading these blogs and choosing Colgate toothpaste because @momadvice or @dealseekingmom told her to?

I got all these answered and more at Tuesday’s one-day conference. The fact is, for consumer marketers, these “mommy bloggers” (a name some of them aren’t fond of) are an important group. They reach a coveted group of busy moms who make all the purchasing decisions in the home. Moms are the ones choosing which coffee to brew and which laundry detergent to use on that next load.

Mommy bloggers, such as @geekmommy and @katjapresnal, can spread your message faster than @Oprah and can be talking about brands before you ever get close to being on Oprah’s schedule.

Rules of Engagement

With that in mind, companies are on a quest to determine how to best engage these mom bloggers with their brands. As a former print journalist, I was surprised to find out that the rules of engagement with these bloggers is quite different than when reaching out to traditional journalists.

After the jump, a few things for companies to keep in mind when “pitching” mom bloggers on your brand.

Don’t go “hog wild.” Keep your business objectives in mind and find the right blogger for the job. That means identify partners who fit your brand. Just because the blogosphere is a new space, doesn’t mean you need to lose your brand objectives and values.

Remember, for many of these bloggers, this is a business. That means things such as “sponsored conversation” (financial compensation) are pretty common. Because these mommy bloggers have such loyal readers, they can easily turn other moms (and even some dads) onto your brand. Think about signing a blogger on as a spokesperson who then blogs about your product gives away your product to her readers (@momadvice is a Kenmore spokesperson).

You can send products to bloggers to review and write about, but don’t ask for the product back. Mommy bloggers are offended by that.

Junkets are pretty common with this group. Feel free to invite mommy bloggers to experience your brand on location, but make sure you relay expectations up front. And don’t forget to have the right tech accommodations (WiFi, lots of outlets to plug in those laptops and comfortable places to nurse – we are talking mommies here!).

Do your research. When deciding on potential blogger partners, check their reach by researching their blog on Compete, Quantcast, Alexa or Technorati. Also, how many Twitter followers do they have, and how many Facebook fans? But be warned: High traffic numbers don’t guarantee influence, and certainly not respect.

Go beyond that initial pitch. Build an ongoing relationship. Social media isn’t about a three-month campaign. It’s a community!

A positive review is not guaranteed, even if you’re paying that blogger.

Think contests and giveaways. What mommy bloggers enjoy most is getting their readers in on the deal action.

The mommy blogosphere is a “big small town,” according to @barabarajones. Be respectful of all; they share all kinds of information!

There’s so much more I learned and hope to share in the future. But for now, check out this great archive of more than 1,000 tweets from #mindofmoms, thanks to @BradLawless. I think only half of those tweets are mine.

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5 Responses

  1. Great insights, Natalie. Mapping online influence is a bit overwhelming to many business people who are still trying to figure out how social media works. Your practical tips are a welcome addition to the conversation.

    I would add one: Remember that it’s still all about the message — you have to add value somewhere along the way or you will not find an audience anywhere.

  2. Great wrap up @ghidotti. Thanks for taking the time to pass along all of this valuable information.

  3. Thank for attending the event and writing this great summary! We’ll post a video summary of the event, along with a Twitter summary and the PowerPoint decks on our blog soon.

  4. Natalie,

    As a “mommy blogger,” Guide to Parenting of K-6 Children at About.com, for 11 years, I believe that you have stated the key points for engagement. Mommy bloggers’ readers often are looking online to make product decisions and they love to get the inside scoop on new products and/or freebies, contests, coupons, etc.

    One of the key factors in a positive review and promotion of a product, business, or service by mommy bloggers is “Does it solve a problem?” MB’s are happiest when they can blog about solutions to problems for other moms.

  5. […] a Little Rock PR pro who used to work with me at Arkansas Business and was a guest blogger here recently, was on “Today’s THV This Morning” today talking about social networking […]

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