Last week we introduced you to Romina, a 31-year-old Latina blogger from New York City. As the author of Mamá XXI, a Spanish-language source for coupons, deals and general interest for Latino families, Romina is one of the 3.9 million women with children who write blogs in the US—a number estimated to increase by 500,000 in the next couple of years. Even though only 2 percent of bloggers belong to the “Mommy bloggers category,” this small sector of the blogosphere represents a huge platform for brands seeking to reach a powerful, niche market. These bloggers receive more than 500 pitches a day and in turn produce focused content that arguably helps disseminate a brand’s message better than other sources.
As an influencer and pivotal member of the Latina blogging community, Romina offers valuable insight into why companies should not only seek out bloggers but also consider blogging as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Interview with Romina Tibytt of Mama XXI
Why should large companies trying to reach the Latino market consider bloggers as part of their overall Web strategy?
Blogs are all the rage right now and the preferred medium for users to get recommendations and information. Bloggers are up to date with all social networks, tools, tips, and the Web in general, therefore prove very influential in this area.
On the other hand, the fury of social networks and the Internet cannot be denied— stars are born on YouTube, Pinterest, etc. Adele, a singer whom I adore, was discovered after a friend uploaded songs to her MySpace profile, and there are many others who’ve had the same experience. A blogger is someone who is versatile and efficient; they can just as easily write a review as they can upload a video to Youtube, host a Tweetup, or generate “Likes” on Facebook. Their most important attribute is the level of commitment they maintain to their readers, which leads to the discussions and user feedback so useful to companies.
And finally, as mentioned above, the presence of Hispanics in social networks is very important and is growing second by second.
What’s the difference between a blog campaign and a Facebook or Twitter campaign?
There are many differences, as they are two different platforms that make use of very different tools. A blog is the ideal space to discuss an issue in one or multiple articles while Facebook is an excellent platform to promote a topic, generate conversation, make a post go viral and publish visual content. The latter, however, doesn’t fare well in terms of providing a lot of details or information. Twitter is similar to Facebook in that it’s useful in generating conversation, interacting based on a topic and help the message spread widely.
From my point of view, and I think most bloggers would agree, for the success of a campaign, you should employ a combination of all three platforms.
When you’re trying to send a message to your audience, be it health-related or about a product, how many blogs should you publish on the same subject?
This is a very good question too. You could say that the answer depends on the subject, focus, and many other things—but not really! It’s simple; as the saying goes, “the more you fill the pitcher, the faster it will break” (tanto va el agua al cántaro que al final se rompe). The more you insist on a topic, the more impact it has. To this end, there are many factors that influence the outcome: firstly, the reader is more engaged when we report frequently on particular topic, secondly this continuity generates new interested readers and at the same time, allows bloggers to tackle topics from different perspectives, deepen and diversify the conversation.
The number of articles (posts) or notes depends on the campaign, some lasting weeks, others months and some even a year or more, hence campaigns enact ambassadors or elect representatives for particular brands.
What recommendations would you give to brands and organizations that are considering campaigns with bloggers?
I would recommend they that take into account all the extra benefits offered by blogs, as they are a very different source of media—blogs are innovative (and therein lies the secret to their success). Brands should look beyond numbers and site statistics and look towards the influence the blogger has over communities, followers and the public, which is generally stable. They should be open to working together with blog management companies like Social Media Spanish because they are generally very creative and have many ideas to contribute.
I can attest to, as well as the bloggers with whom I have the infinite pleasure of working with daily, the success of new trends and continued effort to seek out ways to bring about new tools and generate interest. We know our audience very well, and we know how to reach them based on their interests, hopes, concerns, needs, etc. Additionally, we practically live on social networks and try to stay on top of trends, which is why we attend national conferences and participate in related activities.
Last, but not least, I wish to emphasize that brands should also take into account that a blogger puts time, effort and energy into a campaign, so they must be compensated well.
What tools do you use to increase traffic to your blog, generate page views, and which social forums do you think are more useful for promotion?
Well, to generate traffic to my blog I mostly use two types of tools, firstly SEO (search engine optimization). This really just means online positioning and employing best practices, such as titles, spelling, originality, Google, codes, graphics and visual tools, etc. On the other hand, and the tool I like most: social networks—which, with the recent changes Google has made to its algorithms, also influence search engine rankings—like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, e-readers and Youtube.
I think Facebook is the most useful social platform that helps with promotion, dissemination and capturing the audience’s attention.
Tell me about your section of Women Entrepreneurs. What is the goal and what is the goal?
In Women Entrepreneurs I highlight women who have stood out in a specific sector or activity and originality.
The economic crisis has affected everyone without discrimination, but especially Latino families. I have seen many of my readers try to find new ways to generate income based on their particular skills or talents without needing to neglect their families. Most have done very well! That is why I decided to give them a space on my blog in order to recognize them and support them while promoting what these wonderful women are doing.
The second purpose of this section is to inspire and encourage other women who are perhaps a little disoriented and don’t know what to do to succeed or achieve their dreams and goals beyond the household.
Finally, it’s a place to meet and get to know each other better and strengthen our bond as an online community.
What do you do besides blogging? What are some of your other interests or passions?
In addition to publishing my blog Mom XXI, I’m a Blog Guide for About.com’s Blogs (a New York Times publication), I write weekly for Moms Blogs by Jeanette Kaplun and Todobebé, I contribute regularly to the Blogger Friends of Maseca section of Maseca, and I have also contributed to Plaza Familia’s monthly print magazine and a number of other projects. I’m also a homemaker, wife, mother of three adorable children, and I love to dance. To destress, break the routine and move around a bit I go to Zuma two to three times a week.