Consumers will spend $3.4 billion on a special meal to celebrate Mom this weekend, according to the National Retail Federation, and it’s likely that quite a few honored moms will head home afterward and blog about it.
Restaurants traditionally create a special brunch or dinner for Mother’s Day, and they’re increasingly turning to social media for marketing, which is especially appropriate given mom bloggers’ growing role in food marketing. Their ranks have swelled to about 4 million in North America, and their importance to food marketers is increasing along with their influence.
Why mom bloggers?
McDonald’s, which has always worked to market its quickservice meals to moms, was one of the first food companies to actively recruit mom bloggers, flying 15 of them to Chicago in 2010 for a perk-filled tour of the chain’s test kitchens, The New York Times reported. In exchange, the bloggers were asked to write one post about the experience, although the company said it never told them what to write or edited their work.
Currying favor with influential moms makes sense, Social Media Director Tom Wion said. “We identified them and said: ‘These are our key customers. These are key influencers for our brand. We need to make sure we’re working with them,’ ” Wion said.
Kraft Foods is marketing Cool Whip to mom bloggers; Unilever created a campaign to persuade them to promote Ragu; and even the National Mango Board increased its investment in marketing to moms, Mom Blog Magazine reported.
Some facts about mom bloggers from H&R Block:
- On average, mom bloggers earn about $14,000 more a year than nonblogging peers, making them even more important to brand marketers.
- Moms who read blogs or write them are 52% more likely to have a college degree.
- 14% of American moms blog.
- 35% of Salt Lake City moms blogged within the past 30 days. The city has the largest percentage of mom bloggers in the nation.
What women bloggers want
The numbers paint a picture of educated and relatively well-off women whose blog topics and points of view vary widely, but they also have some key characteristics in common, and marketers and public relations people would do well to keep them in mind, V3 Integrated Marketing founder Shelly Kramer writes in PR Daily. Mom bloggers want to have a rich relationship with a few key brands that they believe in; they’re drawn to campaigns that contain a social-good component; and they don’t want to be talked down to or underestimated, she writes.
“They rarely choose to stay home and raise children because they don’t have any other choice,” Kramer writes. “Instead, they most often opt for the chance to do so.”
On a less digital note
The Washington Post told stories of women whose work, done decades before the word “blog” was born, forged a legacy in the food world. They include 92-year-old Chinese-cooking doyenne Florence Lin and Rachel Carson, whose writing and activism led to a safer food supply.
“They are mothers of invention, in effect, who have shown us the way by instruction and by example — their strengths passed on in legacy, in creativity and in recipes we adapt as our own,” according to the Post.