Most women, either in their pregnancy period or post pregnancy phase, use the internet to research and educate themselves on issues pertaining to topics around pregnancy and child care. A study conducted in Sweden, way back in 2007, suggests that 84% of the Swedish women sought pregnancy related information online. They reported that the information available online was either moderately or highly reliable. Our in depth research of the search volume originating from India indicate that women in our country as well look towards the internet for their information. Certain keywords/phrases that Indian women actively search for are:
- how to get pregnant
- due date calculator
- ovulation kit
- pregnancy diet chart
- pregnancy Chinese chart
- baby weight chart
Anatomy of most online pregnancy resources
A quick survey of a few popular online sources for pregnancy information reveals a pattern in the information and tools that these sources offer its visitor. The 10 most common among them are listed below:
- Due date calculator
- Pregnancy by Week/Month
- Myths and Facts related to pregnancy
- Food and Nutrition during the pregnancy period
- Baby Names List
- Fitness and Weight Management during pregnancy
- Pregnancy health problems
- Infant and toddler care
- Faqs on pregnancy
- Local merchandise for the newborns
Winning early loyalty
There is no real scarcity for content and over a few thousand sites are available, offering the same content in terms of quality and depth to its readers. However, the ‘scavenger hunt’ for a good online source to follow during the entire pregnancy period and the post pregnancy period ends the moment an expecting mom or a new mom signup on the site for their weekly or monthly newsletter. Hence, it becomes extremely crucial for any online resource to get to that point where they get the reader to signup with as little steps as possible in order to establish the much needed loyalty.
Need for anonymity
There are two distinct periods when women use the internet extensively to seek information and prefer remaining anonymous – a) when she first discovers her pregnancy and b) the postpartum period where she is dealing with a lot of changes in her body and emotions. During the early pregnancy period the woman looks for general information about pregnancy. She tries to keep the news of her pregnancy under wraps and only to the knowledge of a few close ones. While during the postpartum period she feels all her queries may sound very unpleasant to hear and tries to use the internet as a source of information for her queries.
Experience based pregnancy stories
Most women find the information available online either moderately or highly reliable. The reliability of the information is an essential attribute, but women searching for information online also express a desire to read experience based pregnancy stories, even if it is of complete strangers. The want to identify themselves to other women who have had similar experiences or have gone through similar health conditions and the decisions made by them during the time of their pregnancy. They feel a strong need to connect with such individuals or seek advice from women who have been through it previously. Since the nature of this information is quite hard to gather, many online resources fail to offer this.
Looking up to supermoms
A lot of women look up to celebrity/accomplished women who have had kids as a source of inspiration for many issues ranging from fitness to parenting. Such women are seen by many as ‘Supermoms’ who have been able to shuttle parenthood and career, maintaining a good balance between the two. Interviews and stories of such women and how they managed their commitments will definitely be content that attracts a lot of readers.
Gauging the content
While most online resources focus on creating as much content as possible, a very few have taken the step towards listening to what their women readers have to say about the content. It is important to know the intellectual and emotional feedback of the content. At times content may be so elaborate and might discuss conditions that may not be applicable to a large set of audience and may cause misconception about pregnancy.
Looking beyond health information
As much as the information related to maternal health is important, women who are pregnant as well as new moms look for an array of information outside the scope of health. A few areas that seem to be of interest are
- Pregnancy Fashion
- Reviews of baby products
- Baby horoscopes & Chinese horoscopes
- Polls and surveys
- Calculators of various types (helping moms determine future outcomes based on some metrics)
Building a sense of community
Providing an opportunity for dialog and discussion among expecting moms and as well as new moms can help build a community where moms helps each other. Such a community can be moderated by an expert or by active women within the community. Forums are a good way to initiate such discussion threads and retain a lot of the knowledge shared for future audiences.
Its an established fact that people trust the opinion and information of other people (either peers or experts) more than that of a brand as a result of the neutral, unbiased view that they can offer. This is where the enrollment of the experts can make a difference. People will find it easy to put a face to the information and more open to asking questions for which they seek an expert’s opinion.