I don’t usually rant, but today I need to get something off my chest.
Targeting mommy bloggers has officially become cliché.
What do I mean by that statement?
I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine and great mommy (she’d probably prefer “lifestyle” blogger) about a pitch she received. The pitch involved some pretty nice tickets to a big event. I asked her how many pitches of this sort she typically received. She said about 10 a week.
Ten a week? That’s 40 a month and 480 a year (I know other bloggers who get many more).
We also talked about the kinds of pitches she typically receives. I started to note a common theme as she was rattling them off: most involve some sort of free product or giveaway.
Understandable, right? That’s sometimes needed to get bloggers’ attention. I get it. But, I see a few trends that have continued to raise an eyebrow for me in the last few months:
Do mommy bloggers have that much buying authority?
Sure, moms usually make the buying decisions around groceries and household products (not to mention their own purchases—hair, makeup, etc.), but men factor in too, right? I mean, I’m a husband and a father. Last time I checked, I had a pretty big say in my household regarding what we buy and what we don’t. I’m not saying moms don’t have a huge say, but I think we over exaggerate women’s buying influence in the household.
Does the “free stuff” approach really work?
I’ve listened and chatted with a lot of bloggers over the last few years (and not just mommy bloggers). When being pitched, bloggers now expect free products and services. And, over the last year-plus, the stakes have been raised to unprecedented levels (I know, blogging hasn’t been around that long, but still).
Not only do they expect free goods and services—they expect them along with VIP treatment, in many cases. That’s a big offer for brands (and in some cases, that offer comes with a big price tag). Is it worth it? What are brands really getting in return?
Back up: Is blogger outreach always the right approach?
Here’s where I think marketers and PR pros have gotten a bit lazy. There are certainly instances where targeting mommy/lifestyle bloggers makes sense—when they’re your key audience as a brand. You could certainly make a pretty good case for getting to know these folks and getting them involved with your brand (i.e. not just giving them “free stuff”).
But, again, I’ve seen a number of brands target mommy bloggers and it doesn’t make sense to me. Just because the mommy bloggers are there doesn’t mean you have to go after them. Are they helping you hit your key audiences and achieve your business goals? If not, don’t bother.
I may be way off here, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
A version of this post originally ran on Communications Conversations.