With the burgeoning blogosphere, simply having a web presence is not enough. Companies need to establish a successful website, social media campaigns as well as a blog strategy to stay relevant in today’s online market.
Integrating a blog in the company’s overall marketing plan not only helps with search engine rankings and furthers the brand’s online image, it also propels all other marketing initiatives in a way that other platforms cannot. Evidenced by the recent influx of bloggers; brands and bloggers are taking heed and fostering symbiotic relationships.
As of July 2011, there are an estimated 164 million blogs on the Internet. Hispanics make up 15 percent (33.5 million) of the overall online presence in the US, and are growing three times as fast as the general market. Evidently the sector of Hispanic bloggers is thriving as seen by the number of big-name brands sourcing bloggers to promote their products. Hispanics are 37 percent more likely than the general population to publish a blog on a blogging platform or use a social networking site, according to a recent study by 360i.
Big Brands using Bloggers
In January of 2012, Ford sent 150 bloggers on a two-day, all-expenses trip to Detroit, Michigan for the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Green Bloggers, otherwise labeled “Online Influencers” by the Ford company, were taken to the Henry Ford Museum, given a behind-the-scenes tour of design facilities and were first to preview the new 2013 Ford Fusion. The bloggers were strategically sourced via ad agency Ogilvy. The lengths Ford went to recruit bloggers speaks to this overall trend of non–traditional marketing. Ad and marketing agencies are pitching to bloggers and using them as both a focus group and test market for new products and ideas. Some companies court bloggers more aggressively by incentivizing coverage and requiring live blogging via Twitter, Facebook or otherwise.
Just as Ford focused on green bloggers to spread the message of eco-driving, brands looking to focus on the Hispanic market are turning to Latinas to promote their brands. A study released in November of 2011 revealed that Latino consumers spend $7.5 billion on personal care products. Thus it’s no surprise that Pantene and Covergirl incorporated Latina bloggers as part of their Valentine’s Day campaign. Mary Kay also got in on the action at November’s LATISM (Latinos in Social Media) Conference in Chicago in 2011 by offering makeovers to attendees. They were interested in hearing what bloggers thought about Mary Kay products. Mary Kay’s tactics were akin to Ford in their subtlety. Nevertheless, this type of deliberate recruitment of bloggers shows just how valuable they are to brand promotion.
Mommy Bloggers, “Las Blogeras”
When it comes to the most targeted and arguably the most lucrative, Mommy bloggers are it. It is reported that 3.9 million women with children write blogs. This number will rise to 4.4 million by 2014. Mothers are more likely to blog than women in general and, with a lifestyle more conducive to consistent blogging, are more attractive to major brands. Though very much a niche market, brands are finding these bloggers to be loyal, deeply involved and committed to sharing their views and endorsements with their audience. A prominent Mommy blogger is 31-year-old Romina Tibytt who publishes Mamá XXI, a three-year-old Spanish-language blog that helps mothers source coupons, deals and samples to their families. We spent time talking to Romina about the blogging market, best practices and just why she joined this growing market.
Interview with Romina Tibytt of Mama XXI
1) Can you give us a brief description of who you are and why you decided to launch a blog?
My name is Romina, I’m 31 years old, and I am from Argentina but have lived in New York the past 10 years. I am married to an Argentine and together we have three children: two boys and a girl, who are both our joy and reason for living.
I received a Masters in Primary Education with a concentration in folklore and folk dances in Argentina. I also studied anthropology and philosophy, but I never received my degree because I emigrated.
Currently, I work as a freelance writer and blogger. I started my blog Mama XXI at the end of 2009. By then, the economic crisis had affected my family, I spent hours—more like full days—on the Internet, reading and learning about how to handle the situation at hand when I discovered the English-language blogs that offered readers coupons, tips for how to save money, etc., all of which had become quite popular at this point.
After not finding similar resources for the Hispanic community, I decided to start my own Spanish-language blog where I could share and exchange useful tips with readers. It also served as a creative outlet away from the everyday tasks and family chores that for years kept me on “stand by.”
2) What changes have you observed in bloggers and the blogging community from 2010 to the present?
There have been many important changes over the last two years. When I started my blog in late 2009, I remember that one of the first blogging communities that picked up my blog was Monique Frausto’s Blogs by Latinas, which had several English blogs and only a handful of Spanish-language blogs—I could count them on one hand!
Today we are many female Latina bloggers, active and writing in Spanish—there are hundreds of us in the United States. The reason? Demand! The popularity of these types of blogs has grown, and continues to rise rapidly, because they are platforms that users find very useful, practical and simple. The interaction between the blogger and readers as well as that among the readers themselves, plays a major role in its success.
3) Who are the “Blogeras” and who do they represent?
I think the term “blogeras”, as bloggers, arose from the need to translate the English term bloggers. Over time it became a name for the group of those who write in Spanish and with which we are simply identified, hence we use the hashtag #lasBlogueras on Twitter.
4) Tell me about a campaign for a government agency or a non-for profit organization. Explain the topic & the result.
I have participated in several campaigns for the government, most of them focused on the promotion of healthy habits. The response has been very favorable from all my readers, not only do these blogs send a good message but they also generate discussions and reflections. I personally consider these actions very important.
In the area of health, there are very few resources and information available to Hispanics. There are also major barriers for those seeking access to information sources; language first and second pre-conceived ideas, such as if the doctor will answer questions if you do not speak English. These and other similar barriers should be demolished.
Each time I receive a proposal to participate in a campaign that involves health, I have no doubt to be a part of it. I am all about improving the quality of life of my Latino peers. And health and education are key topics.
5) For large brands trying to reach the Latino market, why should they consider bloggers as part of the strategy?
This is a very interesting question. Nobody wants to be left behind in today’s competitive and demanding business world. Blogs are the trend of the moment and a preferred forum among readers to get recommendations and information. A blogger not only uses his platform to disseminate information, but does so through all networks.
To be Continued…
Please mark your calendar for next week when we will publish the rest of our interview with Romina Tibytt of Mama XXI. If you want to learn more about how Social Media Spanish can help you with blogger outreach for your campaign or brand, please visit our Capabilities page.