The bigger the blogger, the better, right? And it’s all about the blog’s page views, unique visitors and stickiness. If you’re a brand working with an agency and doing outreach with bloggers, this is where you typically start. But this brand new study from the Social Studies Group and V3 Integrated Marketing shows you might just be missing out on reaching a bigger mom audience.
Shelly Kramer and Wendy Scherer have been collaborating on strategic research and marketing since 2009 and have partnered on independent studies such as this and on high level engagements in a wide variety of categories including technology, nonprofit, pharma and food. For this study, the pair spoke to some 300 moms in the U.S. in 2012. 90% were women with children. 98% are based in the U.S.
But let’s first set some context. Right now there are a reported 84 million moms in America with 32 million moms online. 5 million are SAHMs (Stay At Home Moms). It’s a pretty big pond for a brand to fish in. According to Nielsen 2012 an astounding 1 in 3 moms today are bloggers. These moms are the Chief Purchasing Officers for their families, either making or influencing the decisions with $2.4 trillion dollars worth of spending power.
One-third of the moms in this study reported they spent over 40 hours a week online. Over three-quarters of the women spent over 20 hours per week online. And was this time spent singularly focusing on their blog? Nope.
These Chief Purchasing Officers have influence not just over their friends and family, but influence beyond their blogs as this study from the Social Studies Group and V3 Integrated Marketing points out. We are more than our blogs. In fact, many of today’s bloggers are masters of engagement and using multiple platforms to drive engagement. Just today I spoke with a mom who shared her strategies for growing 1 million fans on Pinterest in nine months time.
How many brands can say they’ve accomplished that? Today’s moms aren’t just on Pinterest; we use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Flickr and other blogs to drive engagement across channels and to our blogs. The moms I meet are knowledgeable about SEO, linking, tagging, Google analytics, networking and building their own press outlets and relationships. And they know that blogs are just one piece of the puzzle for building a brand and business.
Thirty-two percent of their time was spent on Facebook, 22% on Twitter and 17% was spent on fellow blogger sites. Why are the moms spending so much time on so many channels? They understand the power of social media. And because they spend so many hours online each day, they understand their audience doesn’t just live in one channel. They understand moms engage with different kinds of content on different platforms at different times or days. They want to make sure their content gets seen so they know they need to be cross platform. But clearly they are using these channels to drive blog readership as the chart below shows.
Scherer had this to say: “There’s valuable engagement that stays on the various social channels that has true value for brands. And it’s engagement you won’t find on their blogs. Each channel is different, lending different kinds of engagement. It’s different courses, for different horses. Moms do not live by their blogs alone.”
So where should brands focus? Bloggers with 2,500-9,999 visits per month are the most varied with their social media usage with the 10,000 or more visits next may be the most effective. Kramer said, “Obviously marketing campaigns need to play across platforms, but most importantly you need to provide strategic guidance, direction and content, tools and visuals that will help the influencers be successful across all channels.”
The Social Studies Group is a market research firm that specializes in using social media conversations to help companies better understand their customers, competitors, markets and industries. Custom service offerings include netnography (virtual ethnography), identifying and analyzing niche communities and influencers; comparative linguistic analyses of social media used for organizational and brand messaging; creating “universes” that can be monitored and analyzed over time; and in-depth social media monitoring for knowledge accumulation and analyses.
V3 Integrated marketing is a full-service, integrated marketing, digital communications and social media agency. They specialize in strategic planning and thinking, brand development and management, development, implementation and execution of strategic integrated marketing plans and helping clients build brand awareness, grow new markets, convert leads to sales, develop and manage communities and master ROI across all mediums.
Great post Holly, and valuable insight. Keep in mind, if you are creating, using, integrating, encouraging, empowering blogger content... syndication of that content, across social platforms, is a critical ingredient to making it successful for the brand.
Awesome article! Influence is definitely well beyond the blog itself and the brands that understand that are reaping the benefits. Brands that utilize the same higher profile bloggers that everyone else uses may be getting eyeballs on the content but are they getting influence? I'm more likely to purchase a brand based on a heartfelt, sincere response by a smaller blogger than I am someone that pitches every product that lands on their doorstep.
As you noted, many bloggers diversify across multiple platforms, including being early adopters of new platforms.
You are absolutely correct: there's more to it than just numbers. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for your comment Nicole. You're spot on. When it comes to influencers, research bears out that "big" names don't necessarily equate to "big" results. Small, engaged communities - what Wendy and I like to call "the magic middle" are what you should aim for. Thanks so much for coming by - love your thoughts on this topic!
Insightful analysis that should be required reading for Brand marketers! Thank you. Happy Super Bowl weekend.