5 Mistakes Marketers Will Make With Mom Influencers at Toy Fair 2019
And How You Can Avoid Making Them
It’s that time of year again. Time for thousands of toy brands to meet in New York and position their products to be the hottest holiday hits. Buyers, media, and influencers will walk the floor eager to uncover the next big sensation. Somewhere in the midst of all the booths, product demonstrations, and over-priced wraps, there will be a disconnect between marketers and mom influencers, and 5 mistakes will occur.
Oh, I date myself, yes, I’ve been attending Toy Fair for a decade. I’ve been walking the floor of Javitz Center since before mom bloggers were a thing and when toy brands advertised in paper magazines and screen time involved an actual television. I attend not only as a marketer and CEO of a media agency, but also as a mom influencer who blogs, vlogs, and hosts a radio show in 50 markets across America. Bottom line, I speak to a lot of toy-buying moms and know a little something about marketing toys to mothers. It’s from this prospective that I watch brands miss opportunities with mom influencers every single year. This year, I’ve chosen to empower toy marketers with a few pointers that will maximize their interactions with mom influencers at Toy Fair 2019.
Here’s my list of the 5 mistakes I expect to witness at Toy Fair and how you can avoid making them yourself.
1. Brands won’t know the name of invited influencers or the opportunities they present.
Here’s the scenario. The influencer arrives at the brand’s booth for her pre-scheduled appointment. She was sent an email by the brand (or their PR firm) to which she responded and confirmed a day and time. She arrives and is met by a young public relations professional who has no idea who she is or who she represents. The PR professional then lumps the influencer into a broad big bucket often called “MOMMY BLOGGER.” The first mistake is that no mom who blogs appreciates being called a Mommy Blogger. Secondly, the needs of a blogger are very different than a YouTuber or Instagrammer. If you don’t give an influencer the tools she needs to promote your product, she can’t share your product with her followers.
Avoid this mistake by taking the time to know who is coming to your booth and give them the attention they deserve for promoting your product for free and the tools they need to help you succeed. If you hire an agency to manage this aspect of the show for you, challenge them to define exactly who is coming to the booth and how they intend to engage with the influencers once they arrive.
2. There’s no way for the influencer to share from the brand’s booth.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked the brand representative what hashtag they would like me to use if I post their product to Instagram only to hear that they have none. Even worse is when I ask about the brand’s social media channels so I can tag the brand or product and the representative doesn’t know them.
Correct this pitfall by making it easy for mom influencers to share from your booth. Post your social handles around the booth, or better yet, put them on a card and hand it to the influencer. Establish a show hashtag and encourage influencers to use Toy Fair’s official hashtag to gain additional visibility within the industry. Display your products so that they are Insta-worthy and clearly label any prototypes that cannot be photographed to avoid embarrassing moments. Have someone ready to be on camera for YouTube, live streaming, or other video opportunities, and don’t forget to ask the influencers if you can repost their content on your social channels.
3. No one from the brand who can speak about their products is present at the booth.
Everyone needs a bio break or deserves to grab lunch; we aren’t talking about that situation. I am describing the scenario when an influencer is scheduled at your booth at an agreed upon time and no one is there to speak to them about your products. Influencers are professionals who are also busy and inundated with email invites for Toy Fair booths. They selected you because they believe their followers will find your products relevant and interesting.
Be respectful and appreciative of the other human being’s interest and show up as they have. Treat the relationship like you would any other important appointment, and it will pay off in social currency.
4. Talk over, around, and above the influencer.
You are mid-sentence describing your hero toy product to a group of mom influencers in your booth, and suddenly you see a retailer you’ve wanted to meet. There are many graceful ways to manage the situation. Continuing your product tour without eye contact is not one of them.
Use professionalism to explain the situation, engage the help of a co-worker, and respectfully excuse yourself for a moment. If there is anyone who knows what it means to multi-task, it is a mom influencer, and they will appreciate a polite departure.
5. The brand isn’t ready to answer the most frequently asked question, “How can we work together?”
You’ve opened the door of engagement with an influencer because they bring value to your brand, but the most successful partnerships offer reciprocal benefits. The mom influencer is likely to know what’s in it for her as well.
Be prepared to answer how you intend to maintain the relationship or describe future opportunities to work together. Toy Fair is a timely opportunity to secure brand backers who will play out as beneficial relationships for the remainder of the year.
The winds of change are blowing in the world of marketing to moms with the emergence of the Gen Z mom. It’s a great time to re-evaluate your approach to engaging mom influencers while there’s still time to make adjustments that will maximize your ROI at this year’s Toy Fair.
Need last minute help with your brand or feel like you could be doing better, email me at Maria@bsmmedia.com
See you there!
Maria Bailey is CEO of BSM Media and author of “Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drives Sales” and soon to be released, “Marketing to Gen Z Moms.”