You don’t’ need a crystal ball to predict that food manufacturers and Mom Bloggers will continue to forge great partnerships throughout the year. So I asked the Mom Bloggers in my network what trends food manufacturers should be aware of in the Mom Blogosphere and what advice they have to heighten the value of working with them. Here’s what five had to say.
"The critical skill that will be necessary for Mom Bloggers to stay at the top of their game is audience engagement. I also think that Mom Bloggers who have a distinct style will be very helpful to win readers over.... wishy-washy plain writing isn't cutting it.
I love seeing how things are made, so I think trips to find out how a food is made, or a learning experience on how to cook something amazing are ways to inspire great content." — Jenilee Whisler, owner of Eight in the Nest
When selecting Mom Bloggers, food manufacturers will need to pay close attention to readers’ comments on their posts. It’s a good sign when Mom Bloggers engage with these readers. Food manufacturers will also need to be more discerning about the quality of Mom Bloggers' reviews. Reviews that are overly gushy and impersonal come across as disingenuous. Mom Bloggers who write good product reviews tell a story. They really take the time to become knowledgeable about your product.
Food manufacturers may want to consider inviting Mom Bloggers on a familiarization trip to tour their headquarters, processing plants or test kitchens and to meet the people behind the brands. Each Mom Blogger can easily parlay the experience among several posts.
"Sadly, I see more Food Manufacturers requiring high numbers which is much harder to grow now than it was a couple years ago. I still see content being king, but Mom Bloggers will need to have quality websites with content that stands out, free from grammatical errors and accompanied by high-quality photos." — Alyssa Darby, owner of Arts & Crackers
Food manufacturers need to have a list of criteria that are essential to choosing the right Mom Bloggers to work with. This should include Mom Bloggers who:
- have websites that are well-designed and easy to navigate;
- write cohesive reviews free of grammatical errors and typos
- take quality photos that make food look appetizing
By focusing on website statistics like unique monthly visitors and monthly page views, it’s easy to overlook the unique talents each Mom Blogger can bring to your brand. Make sure you take the time to scrutinize Mom Blogger websites.
"I see more and more brands actually valuing Mom Bloggers and paying them for their hard work. It's not quite there yet, but brands are starting to realize just how much Mom Bloggers bring to the table." — Dianna Ranere, owner of FSM Blogs
Let’s face it, a Mom Blogger has to spend a considerable amount of time on your food product. She has to use it, and that might entail preparing a recipe or incorporating it into a meal. She has to write the review, take photos of your product or make a video. She has to host a Giveaway. She has to post her Review & Giveaway on her website and promote it on her social sites.
Currently, most Mom Bloggers are not compensated for their reviews. Qualified Mom Bloggers should receive full-size products to review that are minimally valued at $50 MSRP. But don’t be surprised by some Mom Bloggers who expect double that amount particularly if they’re asked to prepare or create recipes. Food Manufacturers can sweeten the pot by including a gift card (to pay for additional ingredients), or merchandise like an attractive casserole dish or tableware.
"I see more video-focused content. People are visual and want to engage with their sight. Good videos, good engagement." — Tammy Litke, owner of Three Different Directions
Be on the lookout for Mom Bloggers who produce videos. While most Mom Bloggers are not at the level of Steven Spielberg — yet — it’s wise to keep track of those who can produce creative videos, as well as those with promise.
"I’d like to see more loyalty on the part of companies that work with Mom Bloggers who do a top-notch job reviewing their products." — Vera Godley, owner of Chat With Vera
You’d never tire of your brand being featured in Oprah Magazine, Family Circle or SELF, so why would you give up the opportunity to have your products reviewed by an elite group of Mom Bloggers two or three times a year? This is the ultimate way for you to cement the brand affinity you are trying to build. Didn’t Mom always tell you it pays to be nice?
About the Author
Wendy Hirschhorn is CEO of Wendy’s Bloggers, a bridge for food manufacturers to create valuable relationships with Mommy Bloggers and their followers. For more information, visit www.wendysbloggers.com or contact Wendy at 212-826-8790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.