Today’s post is from a guest author who has experience in digital marketing and being a sought after blogger.

James Hills combines the talents of being a professional travel and lifestyle blogger at ManTripping.com, with a history of leading influencer relations programs at some of the top ecommerce brands in the world including: Sears, Kmart, Staples, and ProFlowers. Today, in addition to writing about men’s lifestyle topics he also is building #MenWhoBlog, a consultancy focused on helping marketers engage with male bloggers
In his free time, he enjoys traveling, tasting spirits, smoking a cigar, and trying new things – just for the heck of it! You can reach him at @ManTripping r or via email at james@mantripping.com.

 

I cut my teeth in the content marketing world working with mom bloggers and that space has evolved and changed a lot over the past several years. In the past, influencer engagement was a virtual free-for-all where you could send out content or product and people were eager to post it simply because they were being “recognized by the brand”. Today though, influencers have realized that they provide a valuable service for brands and expect to get paid compensated accordingly.

For better or worse, we as brands created this monster – in my time at Sears and Kmart, I spent increasingly more money to accelerate the normally slow “PR” process of pitching  and in the process we achieved a higher “ROI” based on the metrics we deemed valuable.

Over time, the “Mom Bloggers” (Don’t dare call them mommies!) have developed incredible infrastructures to grow their following, help each other amplify posts, and generally I think we can all agree that women are more likely than men to talk and share – especially about shopping related topics.

Today though, the next wave is the rise of the “dad bloggers” or as I like to refer to them, “man bloggers” since not every man is a dad and the male psyche is less connected to the act of being a “parent” as their children get older. That isn’t to say that dads don’t love their children as much as moms do, just that the topics that interest this group are going to be more focused on things like career, home, cars, technology, food, beer, fashion, health, or travel and less on toys and stuff for kids.

I know I’m going to get myself in trouble with some of these comments, but please understand that these are generalizations. The reality is that for a successful influencer marketing campaign you MUST get to know the blogger, their style, interests, passions, and their community. Not all men are the same … just like not all women are. Finally, please remember that no matter how good your list is, there is no replacement for taking the time to get to know the person behind the screen.

Many Man Bloggers Work “Out of Home”:

This is one of the key differences when it comes to the two groups. While there are absolutely stay-at-home dads and moms who have “office jobs”, this means that influencer marketers need to be aware that deadlines, pitch emails, contact availability etc. may be different and need to take this into consideration. For instance if you want to have a Twitter party at Noon, understand that man bloggers may not be able to make that time as easily as say 9 p.m. Eastern after kids have gone to bed.

Similarly, if you are trying to reach a blogger by phone it’s best to be available early in the morning or at night. (Though as a blogger I highly discourage you from cold calling me with a pitch.)

Man Bloggers Tend To Be More Discriminating About Brands:

In my experience, I feel that since many man bloggers tend to publish less frequently than mom bloggers they are more discriminating in what brands and advertisers they will cover. This is true for sponsored as well as non-sponsored posts and especially true if there is no pre-existing relationship with the brand.

The solution here is to be clear with your offer and what you expect in return. I had a pitch recently from one of my new favorite brands, Samuel Hubbard where the title was “Samuel Hubbard Would Like to Give You Great Walking Shoes”. This title was unambiguous, transparent and effective at establishing a relationship.  They then executed everything from shipping to follow-up extremely well and the quality of the product was exceptional so it is a pleasure to tell my friends – beyond just the basic transaction.

This is a best practice for general pitching – man or mom, but when you are trying to get genuine engagement without paying, it is critical to be clear with what you want and what you are providing.

As a direct result, they were able to cut through the clutter and achieve their goal.

Social Following and Influence Is Relative:

As a marketer, this is one of the hardest things to wrap your mind around … and even more complex for c-suite executives to understand on a quarterly report. For some objectives – link building for instance – you have a fairly concrete metric of “domain authority” but with driving impressions and subsequent metrics like visits, all bloggers are not equal.

I mentioned earlier that many mom bloggers actively participate in sharing groups and have amassed INCREDIBLE social followings through reciprocal relationships, sweepstakes opt-ins and other methods that the typical man blogger hasn’t. As such, it isn’t abnormal to have a mom blog with 100,000 UMV have a lower absolute clicks to site compared to a man blogger with 50,000 UMV.

I am not saying that those 100,000 visitors are “fake” – but their motivation for visiting the page or sharing it may be different. This relationship is similarly impacted by the fact that the average man blogger publishes less often, so while there is less stuff to read, the posts tend to stay on the front page longer.

Because of this, when constructing an outreach campaign, you should take these factors into consideration and not just go with the blogger who has the highest stats for each campaign. (This applies to all bloggers too, and especially within other niches.)

Man Bloggers Aren’t as Well “Trained” as Mom Bloggers:

This one’s tough and man bloggers are learning the tricks of the trade very quickly because they are chasing the same opportunities they see their wives and female blogger friends getting. However, in general man bloggers are more likely to need a helping hand or a very clear assignment brief.

Additionally, because of the way many mom blogs evolved – as a source of work from home employment vs the way many man bloggers started – as guys who just had stuff to share, they aren’t as oriented towards serving an advertiser. Similarly, mom bloggers have benefited GREATLY from sources like Bloggy Bootcamp, BlogHer, and even agencies like Collective Bias. While they weren’t ever “exclusive” to women, they were certainly not catering to guys.

Honestly, even though I had been leading campaigns for more than 10 years, when I started doing sponsored work and having deadlines, required links, etc. it was tough because I no longer had the freedom to do “what I wanted”. Instead, I was adapting my content to emulate the mom blogger campaigns and structures that the advertisers were used to.

Man Bloggers Need Programs Designed for Them (or flexibility to create original content):

Most blogger outreach campaigns today start with a female POV and then “bolt on” a few men to the campaign. It’s a strategy that works ok, but to fully unlock the power of the male consumer you need to either give them full freedom to serve the brand the way they think is best or develop program parameters and campaigns that are designed to work with their audiences.

This can be small things like more focus less on promoting deals or creating “pinterest graphics” and more on things where man bloggers are more active such as on-blog content and Twitter. Similarly, it can mean more of a focus on solving problems that men are looking for solutions to and recognizing that men traditionally have a different role in the household than women.

An example of this would be a hypothetical campaign for “beans”. Both the men and the women are going to create a recipe that involves those beans.

The mom campaign may be more serious and focus on nutrition for her family and an “easy family recipe”.  The campaign may require you create “beautiful Pinterest graphics” or an Instagram video.

Whereas the man campaign may be more liberal and talk about the “side effects” of beans, or even why they make you fart. Alternatively, a focus on the fact that they can cook them in the microwave as a quick healthy snack at work and maybe a tutorial about creative ways to hide a stain on your shirt.

For brands looking to be conservative, this may be a bit scary but when you give them the freedom it can be a beautiful thing that will create what you are ultimately looking for – genuine relationships between a brand and a potential consumer.

Both men and mom bloggers need campaigns that are catered to their interests and support their strengths. By doing this, you as a brand will be able to powerfully leverage this group of social media influencers that are just waiting to help promote your brand.

 

Do you have any examples of brand partnering with male bloggers? Share in the comments below!