Moms = kids = guests in your fun center. But how can you build awareness of your business with this family group without spending lots of money in advertising? One way to do this is to build a relationship with bloggers—specifically the groups of moms who like to blog.
You can consider this a low-cost solution, but only if you don’t value your time at all. Creating a relationship with a mommy blogger takes time and evaluation. Your goal here is to reach a new audience—not just the blogger but her network of other moms who follow her.
Here are some steps you can follow, some from Jennifer some from us:
1) Find some blogs—You can simply go to Google and enter “mom blogs in” and enter your town or city. You can also go to mombloggersclub.com or momblogmagazine.com and check out the bloggers. Also, go to alltop.com and search for “mom blogs in (your area).” That will get you started.
2) Read some blogs—Visit each blog and read through recent posts. Which blog made you laugh or smile? Which blog made you want to read more? Get to know the blogger through her writing and the things that are important to her.
3) Assess the blog—How many members does the blog have? How many people are leaving comments? Does the blogger engage with her readers in the comments? Ideally you’re looking for someone who has a solid relationship with her readers, and shares the values you have.
4a) Reach out—Contact the blogger by email and let her know what you like about her blog. What are the things you have in common, other than children and running a business? Jennifer James advises to “address bloggers by name, because it really makes the difference between them reading your pitch or chucking it in the trash.”
4b) Share your idea (a.k.a. the pitch, and this part of your reach out email)—Odds are your goal is to spread awareness of your center to moms in your town, especially if it will increase your daytime mid-week traffic. So share this idea directly and honestly, and pitch her on your need for feedback from her network of moms. What do moms in your community want to do with their pre-schoolers during the day? Is day care an issue? Or do they just want a safe, clean place for directed play? Or maybe they want something more structured like a mom and me program? At this point, you should be looking for feedback-ask the blogger if she can help with this and what her ideas are.
4c) Put skin in the game—Research companies charge a lot for research, which is essentially what you’re asking for. It would be very nice for you to offer some passes or game play redemption cards for the blogger to offer her network in exchange for providing some feedback. $5 certificates are a very nice “thank you” and a terrific way to introduce some moms and kids to your center.
5) Follow through—Don’t do any of this if you have no intention of taking the feedback and putting it to use. You’d be crazy not to! This is the exact crowd you want as customers, so they will have the most valid feedback on improving your business or services. Secondly, if you put some changes or new programs in place, you’ll have a group of customers open to trying them out! Lastly, you’ll have an honest, responsive group who will give you useful feedback on those changes.
What are your questions about reaching out to bloggers? Let us know in the comments.