Year after year, the impact of social influencers and bloggers on purchase decisions continues to grow.
While word-of-mouth marketing is nothing new, blogging platforms, Instagram, YouTube and other digital channels have made it easier for anyone with something to say to say and share it far and wide.
At the same time, today’s audiences have tired of traditional advertising and are turning to influential peers for insight on the best products to purchase and trends to follow.
By working with these influencers, marketing and PR professionals have an opportunity to connect directly with customers and develop advocates for their brands.
One of the biggest niches this can be seen in is the world of parenting influencers. What started with “mommy bloggers” has blossomed into a massive community of families exchanging advice and experiences.
Finding the right influencer to convey your brand’s message requires a bit of detective work. Although it may be easier to mass email a list of bloggers, it’s not effective.
As I wrote in The Dating Game of Blogger Relations, a successful influencer / brand relationship is one where each party treats the other fairly and with respect. This starts with understanding whom you’re reaching out to.
You ultimately want both the parent and your brand to benefit from this partnership, and that means making sure the families you reach out to are the right fit for what you’re offering and your brand is the right fit for their interests.
When you are researching a parenting influencer, view them through three lenses: the type of parent they are, the niche they’re focused on, and the potential influence they can deliver.
“Parent” is not enough of a description when vetting blogs and other influencers. The parenting community is incredibly diverse, featuring moms, dads, grandparents, adoptive parents, single parents, blended families, and much more. Lumping everyone into one category won’t work.
When researching a parenting blog, start by looking at their children. That’s why they’re parental bloggers after all.
I can tell whether or not someone has looked at my blog before making contact. And every request I receive to review diapers or other baby products lands right in my trash can because a quick glance at my blog would show you my children no longer use diapers.
Figure out how many children are in the family, what their ages are, and whether they’re boys or girls. If the campaign you are pitching only requires one child, how will you respond to requests to accommodate the other children? If you are looking to target boys for something, be certain that this is not a family of all girls.
Next, focus on the kind of parent they represent. Are they a mom, dad, or a grandparent? Do they consider themselves helicopter parents or practice attached parenting? The age of the influencer, if they work outside the home, and even their hobbies can give a clear picture of why this parent would be the right or wrong fit for a brand.
It’s also good practice to check whether the blog is written by more than one parent. Some blogs have many writers with different backgrounds and expertise. You’ll want to research how to reach the individual who’s the best fit.
Parents typically have a theme or niche that they specialize in. Some focus on general parenting tips while others focus on healthy living, recipes, saving money, or homeschooling.
Although the blog name may clue you into what the influencer covers, a review of their home page and article headlines will give you a much better picture. Featured posts can tell you what is popular with their readers.
Additionally, parents who offer sponsored posts, product reviews, gift guides, and/or sweepstakes typically have a tab or link on their site to help brands find their pitching criteria quickly. Those who specialize in product reviews may be less likely to promote informational-only content, but reviewing recent work will give you an idea if they are open to it.
Although some of the above intel can be found on an influencer’s about page or social media bios, you’ll have to dig deeper to understand the extent of their influence.
Many influencers will be able to provide a media kit with additional details, such as website stats, audience demographics, active social media profiles, number of followers, brands they have worked with, and rate cards or expectations for compensation. If a media kit is not available on a blogger’s site, don’t hesitate to ask for one.
When seeking out parental bloggers for a campaign, have a clear idea of who you want to represent the brand, but stay open minded when it comes to their stats. The most likes and followers may not always translate into better results for your goals. For instance, you may decide to go with an influencer who has a smaller audience because they cover things in greater depth or produce high-quality video reviews.
Raising a child is a singular and challenging journey for families. Although working with parenting influencers may require a different approach than traditional media, they can inject your story with the unique perspective and authentic voice of your customers’ peers. And that can be worth all the work.
Want to learn more about customizing your promotions to reach niche audiences like this? Download our guide Gain Targeted Attention with PR Newswire.
Author Mary Johnson is the office manager in the PR Newswire Cleveland office. You can find her blogging at ineedaplaydate.com or read her Blogs We Love reviews on Beyond Bylines. Follow her on Instagram at @mryjhnsn.