Mom 2.0: General Mills Recruits Blog Backers

AdWeek say: MyBlogSpark has recruited more than 900 bloggers — over 80 percent are moms
6a00d83451637969e200e552080bdd8833-800wiThe General Mills program highlights the growing importance of bloggers to marketers, particularly packaged-goods companies. So-called “mommy bloggers” are an influential group, increasingly courted by big brands because moms control up to $2 trillion in annual spending. That’s led companies like Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart to up their efforts to reach them. Walmart, for example, began the much-lauded Elevenmoms program that invited a select group of mom bloggers to give product feedback on the retailer’s site.

Thanks to the popularity of blogs, particularly among moms, brands can get reach that rivals or tops traditional media. The 910 bloggers in MyBlogSpark draw an audience of 8 million visitors, according to General Mills.

“Some of these bloggers have bigger distribution than newspapers,” said Witt. “They’re pretty important.”

General Mills has already put the network into use for a couple of its brands. It contacted 100 mom and food bloggers in conjunction with the launch of a new blueberry acai flavor of its Yoplait Yo-Plus yogurt. It provided coupons to try the product as well as tote bags and other swag to give to readers. General Mills also sent out key product messages touting the yogurt’s health benefits.

The effort resulted in several blog posts, nearly all of them positive containing similar product messages. Most posts did not disclose they were written as part of the General Mills program. “I had the opportunity to be one of the first to try the new Yoplait Yo-Plus Blueberry Acai Yogurt!” wrote Abby at Me and My Boys! blog. “I loved it!”

Overall, the program resulted in 5 million total impressions and over 8,000 comments with no media costs. (General Mills does not buy ads on blogs, Witt said.)

The network will make such programs easy to run quickly, he added, rather than the ad-hoc approach it had relied on with its blogger relations. An upcoming program would include 500 bloggers, he said.

*AKI is setting up a mtg/case study session with MyBlogSpark here at Fallon, standby for invites.

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