With the American International Toy Fair only a few weeks away (February 16-19) I thought this is the perfect time to start thinking about the toy brands bloggers love and want to pursue for outreach campaigns. When it comes to toys, Laurie Schacht is the expert. Also known as the Toy Insider Mom, Schacht is a regular on local and national television and I use to produce her holiday segments during my years on CBS News The Early Show. Laurie was the perfect guest.
Today she is the perfect guest contributor with the first in a two part post for Ready4Air where she breaks down how toy brands and bloggers can work together.
By Laurie Schacht
American International Toy Fair is around the corner and I’m already hearing the familiar complaint: Toy brands don’t pay enough attention to bloggers, and more specifically, mom bloggers.
As much as toy companies are always looking for influential bloggers to connect with, manufacturers are at Toy Fair for two primary reasons: First, to sell toys to retailers. I’ve watched bloggers get very offended when representatives brush them off the second a retailer walks into the booth. It doesn’t matter if that retailer is Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, or a small independent toy store. The point is, this is how they make a living. I walk into most booths with a scheduled appointment, and I will either patiently wait for the retailer to finish, or just come back later when the representative isn’t tied up.
My time at the trade show is tight, but these companies need to make sure their products get shelf space, and that’s their first priority. Their second priority is press. Toy fair is a big media/press show, and unless you are offering up millions of impressions, be prepared to step back when a traditional news reporter or a network camera steps into the booth. Media coverage is free and it is still the best way for toy companies to promote their new toys. But, this doesn’t mean toy manufacturers don’t want to work with bloggers—as a matter of fact, they do.
Every mom (and dad) blogger is a parent, and every parent wants the coolest new toys for their kids. I can’t think of an industry that will get bombarded with more pleas for free stuff than the toy industry. And while the blogging world gets more sophisticated, there are still those new bloggers who set themselves up with a site, write a post, open a twitter or Pinterest account, and with only a small handful of followers will begin bombarding toy companies with requests for toy samples. It is overwhelming, and it can make some marketing and PR representatives a bit leery.
Related Posts: (5) Tips For Creating a Blogger Bio That “Gets” You
Tips on what toy companies are looking for (and why they are often so shy):
Keep in mind: Product samples are a big expense. Toy manufacturers are looking for blogging partners to give them good guidance and to help them understand the benefits of what bloggers can offer—and they expect to see results.
Bloggers Who Are Engaging: They are looking for bloggers who are engaged with their communities, who are passionate about toys (and who have age appropriate kids to test them), and who can prove why they need to be on this blogging bandwagon. There are few industries that are more fun than the toy industry, and there are thousands of toy companies looking to make the right connections.
Coming Up Next Week : Tips For Bloggers On How To Get A Toy Brands Attention
TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. If you are interested in “ Book Case TV” or are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell@SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com. If all else fails, her resourceful assistant, Sang, will find her.
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