Retailers realize need to take longer look at young bloggers

A recent piece in a special fall fashion issue of The New York Times Magazine notes that the face of fashion is getting younger. The story follows 12- and 15-year-old females who blog about their fashion favorites, icons, and even post photos of themselves playing a fashion-forward version of dress-up with digital cameras.

In the news

A recent piece in a special fall fashion issue of The New York Times Magazine notes that the face of fashion is getting younger. The story follows 12- and 15-year-old females who blog about their fashion favorites, icons, and even post photos of themselves playing a fashion-forward version of dress-up with digital cameras.

The piece also notes that some retailers, like Urban Outfitters, have started to contact the young bloggers to promote their products.

Why does it matter?

While many retailers falter in a tough economy, enthusiastic teen and pre-teen bloggers, who write blogs like Style Rookie and Fashion Robot, provide an audience that should not be ignored.

Reshma Patel, cofounder of Think PR, says as long as the bloggers are researched and prove to be relevant for the client, they can be a valuable tool for increasing sales and brand awareness.

“There is nothing more powerful than online marketing, buzz, and PR,” Patel says. “So we definitely approach [bloggers] as we do any other media in the sense that we are careful with the way we pitch them and what we pitch them.”

Moon Lee, PR director at KMR Communications, also notes the importance for brands to connect with young bloggers, given their growing numbers and the fact that young consumers increasingly rely on the Internet for information and purchasing.

“[A] main reason you reach out to bloggers is it's a quicker turnaround with placement, so you must be very brief,” she says, adding that it's a challenge to convince clients of bloggers' importance.

“We try to get clients to understand that it is media,” says Moon.


Five facts:

1 A recent DoubleClick Performics study of Web users ages 10 to 14 found 83% spend an hour or more online a day, while 68% spend that much time watching TV.

2 The DoubleClick study also found that 72% of the online tweens belong to a social networking site, but 60% of them rarely or never read blogs.

3 A December 2007 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 35% of teen girls, compared to 20% of boys.

4 The same Pew study found that 28% of online teens have created their own journal or blog, which is an increase from 19% in 2004.

5 The study found that 70% of social network-using teens visit other people's blogs, and 42% of teens who social networking sites have their own blogs.

 

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