A little over six months ago, my world changed dramatically when my husband and I brought our baby boy home. We did our best to prepare ourselves and our home before his (early!) appearance, though, which means that I spent about nine months searching for “baby + item” on the Internet.
Of course, the first few months were dedicated to searches like “morning sickness cures” and “when will I feel the baby kick.” But, as time got closer, I turned my attention to his arrival and all the things we would need those first few months to make the transition easier. Now, when I look back on my decisions, I can see a pattern of resources that I relied on to help me prepare. These lessons gleaned from my personal experience can be used by companies marketing to new moms.
(Personal + Blogs + Podcasts)
This resource helped me make about 80% of my decisions. I consider my midwives and friends a large part of this category, as I knew they had years of training and experience and/or my best interest at heart. However, I think the blogs I read and the podcasts I listened to were almost as important.
I loved posts or episodes like “Our 10 favorite purchases for newborns” or “What you need to survive the newborn stage.” While I didn’t consider a sponsored post bad, I placed more value on the blogger’s opinion if I knew a product had been given freely, without the promise of a review or even mention. Similarly, for podcasts, the product had exponentially more value if the hosts actually reviewed it, rather than just listing it as a supporter at the beginning of the show.
For some purchases, I felt like my friends or blogs were too narrow of a resource. There were simply too many choices for them to purchase/receive and test to provide me with a well-rounded opinion. For these items, I turned to customer reviews. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent reading reviews for crib mattresses. But those little stars and detailed write-ups are what helped me comb through the 14,000 or so choices. Reviews often served as support to a trusted resource. If one of my favorite bloggers AND 3,000 strangers will stand by a banana toothbrush, I’m sold.
Ease of Access
While this is more important once the baby arrives (bless you, Amazon Prime), I still found this a determining factor in many of my purchases. For instance, I picked out a stylish, functional diaper bag on Etsy, but when I went to order it, I discovered that it was made in France, which meant it could take almost a month to arrive. Since I’m a last-minute mom, the long shipping time meant I needed to find a new choice.
(Pinterest + Instagram)
I view social media as my gateway resource for purchases. Pinterest was most helpful for things like “10 items to pack in your hospital bag,” which usually led me to a blog. But since it wasn’t a blog I read on a weekly basis, it didn’t hold quite as much value. However, it did provide an introduction to new ideas and different items than what my standard bloggers may have written about.
On Instagram, I would usually follow a company because of the promise of a free giveaway, and while I never made a purchase decision because I simply chose to follow their feed, it did expose me to the product so that when one of my trusted sources reviewed it, I felt more compelled to either do more research or take the plunge.
Making These Resources Work for Your Company
Obviously, not everyone is in the business of mom and baby products (although, maybe you should be because I’m pretty sure those people are rich!), but it’s easy to look at the list above and see if your customers are receptive to the same type of strategies. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Does your audience read blogs or listen to podcasts? If so, who or what type? Would your company/product benefit from a sponsored post?
- What review sites are your customers most likely to reference? Are you tracking your reviews and responding as necessary?
- Can those who are interested easily find and purchase your inventory?
- If your clients use social media, which platforms are they most likely to use? How can you entice them to connect with you?
If you can answer those questions, hopefully you’ll be on your way to developing some ideas to push your competitors out of the way or give your baby (product) new life. In the meantime, if you want to know the best bassinet, swaddle or teether, I’m your gal.
Enjoyed this post? Read more from Faith!
Faith Jones—Writer & Editor