By Justin Aclin, Senior Account Supervisor, Hunter Public Relations
Mom bloggers have been a force in influencer marketing for years…but dads are on the rise! February 18th marks the fifth annual Dad 2.0 Summit—this year held in Washington, DC—and the largest conference for dad bloggers marks the perfect time to take a look at incorporating dads into your marketing campaign. But don’t just slap a coat of blue paint or a football logo onto your mom influencer campaign and call it a day. Dad bloggers have their own unique needs and concerns that you’ll have to address if you want to tap into this growing network.
1) WHY DADS, ANYWAY?
Well, dads are great! But more than that, dads are a vital target for marketers. According to Millennial Media research, there are 52 million dads in the U.S., and 23% of them are Millennials who are four times as likely to buy things for their family using mobile devices than average users and three times as likely to spend more than $500 on a mobile purchase. Add to that the fact that BabyCenter’s “Millennial Dads Study” found that 70% of millennial dads look for parenting advice online (including 20% turning to blogs), and the power of activating dad influencers becomes pretty apparent. Pun intended.
2) DADS AREN’T MOMS, SO GET CREATIVE!
You may have your mom blogger strategy sewn up, but dads are a whole different ballgame. The most engaging dad blog campaigns allow them to showcase creativity—either their own or their kids’—or give them a platform to talk about something that matters to them and their families. When Hunter Public Relations activated with dad blog network Life of Dad for Hasbro’s Star Wars Command toys, Hunter PR didn’t just ask dads to do a review of the product, but instead asked them to unleash their creativity with their kids, leading to epic snow scenes and tremendous battle photo shoots that united dads and kids in creative play.
3) BE DAD-POSITIVE
Dad 2.0 isn’t just about dad bloggers connecting with brands. Since its inception, the summit has been trying to change the way marketers, and through them society, view and value dads as parents. And woe to brands that reinforce tired old stereotypes about dads as bungling buffoons who can’t change a diaper, as Huggies found out in 2012. When their “Dad Test” ad campaign earned dad bloggers’ ire, Huggies ended up attending Dad 2.0 and making significant changes to smooth things over. Make sure your campaign passes the smell test. (Pun also intended.)
4) THINK OUTSIDE THE MAN CAVE
You don’t have to market power tools or beer to talk to dads. In fact, the gold standard for dad campaigns is for skincare and personal grooming—Dove Men+Care has been Dad 2.0’s presenting sponsor (and chief producer of tear-jerking dad ads) for several years. Any brand that can resonate authentically with dads—if you can help make dad be the best parent he can be, or help him connect his kids with a beloved brand from his own childhood—can play in the space.
5) TAP INTO THE NETWORK
There are lots of great ways to build a dad blog campaign, from working with the aforementioned Life of Dad to XY Media, who also produce Dad 2.0. But dad bloggers also have their own network, the 1,100-member Dad Bloggers Facebook group, which is the epicenter of Dad Blogger life online. Dads talk to other dads. If you’ve got a couple of bloggers lined up for your campaign and need to find more, just ask the dads you’re already working with. They may have a great sense of which bloggers would be perfect for your campaign.