Blogger Check-in: Social Moms and Mobile Games
There’s not much debate. Smart phones make being a mom easier. Fussy kids calm almost magically if you hand over the phone. Hungry kids? Find a kid friendly restaurant close by. A working mom? Offer 24×7 responses from the playground. And the list can go on, a while.
So it isn’t surprising that Moms are one of the fastest growing users of smart phones and the Washington Post reports marketers are all over it:
“The number of moms with smartphones is about equal to men of the same age, but they are adopting the technology at a faster pace. The number of moms who purchased iPhones grew 132 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same time last year — outpacing men, who rose by 121 percent…”
We think games are a big opportunity for Social Moms and Mobile developers to work together. Moms are the front line on what games their kids play, and they drive the conversations on what games should make it on the phone.
So how should Mobile game developers and social moms work together?
A few months backed we checked in with 20 of our community’s social media power moms about mobile games. Here are some highlights of what they shared.
Where are they learning about new apps? Most hear about new apps via social media (10) followed by personal recommendations from friends and family (7). Only a few (2) used app review sites.
How to stand out? Most bloggers are flooded with requests, so here are some top blogger’s tips on standing out:
@justprecious “Bloggers are overwhelmed emails requesting that we share a new app with our readers, there are just too many to share. I usually don’t even add one to my phone when they offer it for free, there are just too many. However, if a game were to truly make a difference in my life, and the developers could grab me and show me how they could make that difference, then I would likely download it and share it with my readers. How? in person. I know it sounds crazy in a social media world, but the social element is so important when there are so many opportunities. Here’s my suggestion: Gather 10 or 20 developers and, together, host a party or event. Take that time to mingle with influencers and really show us what makes your game/app such a fantastic-must-have. (I have attended events for apps in the past at people’s houses. They gave everyone a download code, demo’d the apps and shared them with the parents and the kids.)”
@thoughtsofamomy “I only do app reviews for apps that are family friendly or that will help simplify the life of a SAHM for a working mother. Educational games are key! I’ve bought an iTunes card specifically to buy educational games only. Even though my 12 yo who is into the military games, I will not buy it for him. He has to use his own money for that. When providing a game for a blogger to review, make sure it fits her family. For
instance, if the game is geared towards Pre-K, does the blogger has a child in that age range?”
@1momof5 “I think game developers could use bloggers to promote games via blog posts and long-term study and feedback. I worked with a game company once that had me try out different features and report back after each step to let them know what I liked, what I didn’t, and what worked and what didn’t. I felt like that was a great use of my time and theirs.”
@StacieinAtlanta “I would love to see more developers at blog conferences. Although conference costs vary, I would start with some of the smaller conferences first.”
@Celeste_Sann “Using ads on blogs to bring new apps or games to our attention. Specifically target “active” moms and their blogging communities.”
How can bloggers create buzz, and what compensation are they looking for? Bloggers felt the opportunity to test the app for free and compensation of around $25 to $50 would be fair.
@CarissaRogers “I would create a well rounded ‘review’ that isn’t really a review. By Tweeting about it, mentioning on Facebook, writing an article about how my kids uses it, and quotes from my kids. Why they like it, what they don’t like, how they most use it. That sort of all around job of testing it out and using my Social Media network would cost $50.”
@ConnieFoggles “Letting bloggers try games for free with their families and then having them blog/tweet/Facebook about the experience would help create buzz. I would charge between $25-$50 depending on how much I was expected to do.”
@CutestKidEver “Letting bloggers try games for free with their families and then having them blog/tweet/Facebook about the experience would help create buzz. I would charge between $25-$50 depending on how much I was expected to do. ”
Key takeaways from the check-in:
Tailor your pitch : Target the right bloggers for your app and get to know their content before you pitch. Understand how they do reviews before you engage.
Get bloggers involved from the start: Including a few bloggers in on the conceptualization and usability of your app can help you get early adopters and start to build the buzz for your app.
Invest in reaching bloggers: attend a blogger conference to build relationships and hire a few bloggers to help you get the buzz going. A bloggers campaign could cost as little as $250 to $500.
Let’s address the sponsored post controversy heads on. Cause I know you are wondering…
First an important reminder: the bloggers in our community get this, but never go out with a post, tweet and update you are sponsoring without disclosures. It’s bad marketing and can get you huge FTC fines.
Will other moms view your game review as objective if it’s sponsored? It depends on the blogger and the story. If the review is a cut and paste from the companies web site/release and there’s no real story, then no. In that case, there is no point to the post except for a SEO incoming link. I’d rather leverage those dollers towards a Facebook ad buy.
If you got a real story out of the post, like “here is how I used and why it worked,” then you’ve got some marketing gold. You now have a real experience with your game and likely an audience that trusts that blogger.
Choosing the right blogger? No real short cuts, you have to check out their blog. Twitter, Klout score, will give you an indication if they are popular but you have to get on the blog and see their content. You can tell what type of reviewer a blogger is by visiting their blog and see other reviews they have done. Are they drawing you in? Is it personal? A good story? Do you feel compelled to check out the product? Then hire that blogger!
If you get the right blogger on the job, you will get a story. Sometimes you even get a new way of thinking about your product. A new way of talking about how folks can use your product.
It’s also great way to test if a blogger really gets your product, fits your brand personality and could be an ongoing ambassador for your product. So for me, a sponsored story when done right is content creation, not an advertorial. It’s having a super user that is pretty close in lifestyle to your target consumer except that they live online, are uber popular, and know what a hashtag is.
Do you think mobile game developers and bloggers should work together?