Super Bowl Brand Showdown: Which $1 Million Branded Emoji Won the Day on Twitter?

branded emojis

If you tune into the Super Bowl mostly for the commercials, you are not alone! In a recent study, nearly 1 in 4 viewers admitted to watching the game specifically for the commercials. At The Motherhood, we are fascinated by the new commercial trends and brand strategies around the event that we see crop up every year. For Super Bowl 50, we were especially interested in Twitter’s new advertising option for brands: a $1 million branded emoji.

Twitter started offering branded emojis back in Fall 2015, so it’s no surprise that the company is continuing this option for some of its highest paying advertisers — especially right in time for the #SB50 social chatter!

The way it works is simple: when users type a certain hashtag into Twitter, it will trigger a custom-made emoji. For example, type #SB50 into a tweet and you’ll see a football emoji appear. In fact, Twitter released several new emojis just in time for Super Bowl tweeting:

branded emojis

Brands partnered with Twitter to release their social emojis prior to the big game in hopes that when their commercial aired live, their hashtag – accompanied by a custom emoji – would stand out in the conversation online. The branded emojis come with a hefty price tag, but with 73 percent of Super Bowl viewers using a second screen to check social channels, the investment may have been well worth it. Here are the four brands that paid big bucks for a new kind of Super Bowl advertising — and the results, according to The Motherhood’s social listening team:

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Pepsi, the official sponsor of the Halftime Show, also owned a Promoted Moment during the game’s break. The hashtag that triggered the musical notes and Pepsi can emoji was tweeted more than 431,000 times (including retweets) by more than 235,000 people yesterday. It was a clear winner among the branded emoji hashtags, generating more than 1.2 billion impressions.

branded emojis
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Budweiser’s #GiveADamn came in as the second-most-mentioned branded emoji hashtag on Twitter, with 29,000 tweets (including retweets), 25,000 contributors and 85.8 million impressions. The #GiveADamn campaign has a strong anti-drinking and driving message, hence the new emoji with a beer bottle and car keys being dropped. For every tweet with the hashtag, Budweiser is donating $1 toward Safe Ride programs.

branded emojis

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Bud Light’s commercial with Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen was a parody of the presidential campaign, encouraging people to support the #BudLightParty. We also noticed Bud Light received several celebrity endorsements on Twitter during the game. The campaign hashtag with the bottle cap emoji (resembling a political badge) was tweeted more than 11,600 times (including retweets) by 9,600 Twitter users, generating 62.3 million impressions.

branded emojis

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Coming in with the fewest number of branded-emoji tweets was Verizon’s #Minute50 hashtag. This hashtag triggers a clock emoji with 50 minutes on the clock, symbolic because the company has been giving away prizes (everything from free data to Super Bowl tickets) to Verizon customers every hour on the 50 minute mark since January 24. #Minute50 received fewer than 500 tweets (including retweets) yesterday from 440 Twitter users, resulting in 4.2 million impressions. However, we want to note that because this campaign has been running for two weeks, yesterday’s tweets likely don’t accurately represent the overall reach and effectiveness of this campaign.

branded emojis

What’s next for branded emojis?

We look forward to seeing the other emojis, branded or not, that Twitter will reveal in the future! We’re anticipating many more to come for future events (think summer Olympic Games, the presidential campaign, etc.).

A note on Facebook: Although the Twitter branded emojis (naturally) do not appear on Facebook, use of the above hashtags on that platform was high. Again, #PepsiHalftime was by far the most used of the four. However, we found that the most shared link was to Budweiser’s #GiveADamn ad and also had the highest percentage of female users.

Did you tweet with any of Twitter’s branded emojis during the Super Bowl? 

Football Game Day Recipes with Naturally Fresh®!

Life with Lisa

This Sunday marks the biggest football game of the year, and it’s also the second-biggest food consumption day of the year, second only to Thanksgiving! That means it’s time to start thinking about the perfect Game Day recipes and overall menu.

We’ve been working with a group of 36 amazing bloggers who have crafted delicious Game Day recipes using Naturally Fresh® – a line of home-style salad dressings that are free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. From appetizers to entrées, these bloggers incorporated Game Day staples like buffalo chicken, nachos, bacon and even veggies to create dishes that are sure to please any palate.

Take a look at some of their recipes below, and visit our Pinterest board for even more delicious inspiration!

Bacon Ranch Pimento Cheese. Game Day recipe and photo by Julie, Mommie Cooks           

game day recipes

Garlic Ranch Mac and Cheese CupsGame Day recipe and video by Arlene, Flour on My Face

Buffalo Chicken Flaky CupsGame Day recipe and photo by Michele, Sunshine and Flip Flops

game day recipes

Spinach Bacon Ranch PizzaGame Day recipe and photo by Ida, Second Chances Girl

game day recipes

Game Day Buffalo Chicken DipGame Day recipe and photo by Jennifer, Double Duty Mommy

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Light Spinach & Artichoke DipGame Day recipe and video by Christie, Raising Whasians

Loaded Ranch French Fry BakeGame Day recipe and photo by Erin, A Parenting Production game day recipes

Chicken Bacon FlatbreadGame Day recipe and photo by Tracie, From Tracie
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3-Ingredient Buffalo Chicken EmpanadasGame Day recipe and photo by Shelly, Mom Files

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Game Day Spicy Ranch MeatballsGame Day recipe and photo by Jennifer, The Rebel Chick

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Loaded Mashed Potato BitesGame Day recipe and photo by Tracy, Nest Full of New

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Ranch Chicken SlidersGame Day recipe and video by Caroline, Smarty Pants Mama

Big Game Avocado Ranch Dip. Game Day recipe by Lisa, Life with Lisa 


You can find Naturally Fresh® in the refrigerated section of your local Kroger, Publix, Ingles and Harris Teeter stores. Which of these Game Day recipes will you be whipping up this weekend?

Featured image source: Life with Lisa

The Motherhood Recognized by Industry Peers: Earns PRSA 2016 Agency of the Year and Best in Show

Agency of the Year

The Motherhood was named 2016 Agency of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America’s Pittsburgh chapter at its annual Renaissance Awards ceremony on January 28, receiving recognition for outstanding contributions to the public relations industry. The Renaissance Awards program is a gathering of the region’s top public relations and communications professionals from leading agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

Our work received the highest honor of the evening, Best in Show, for The Stork OTC campaign, which also won a Renaissance Award the Digital Social Media Campaign category. This entry was the only entry, out of nearly 90, that received a perfect score from the judging panel*. This award-winning campaign engaged 30 influential bloggers who had experience with fertility issues for a social media campaign to generate awareness of The Stork at-home conception device’s move from prescription to over-the-counter (OTC) availability. The program generated 57 million impressions, a trending hashtag and contributed to the device selling out at CVS/pharmacy online.

Agency of the Year

The Motherhood earned top accolades at PRSA Renaissance Awards Ceremony, including Agency of the Year and Best in Show, among other awards.

The Motherhood also received a Renaissance Award in the Online and Social Blogger Outreach category for the Brain Chase campaign. This 2015 campaign included a partnership with the team at Brain Chase, a new online “adventure learning” program for kids, aimed at helping them avoid summer learning loss. The Motherhood engaged a strong team of influential bloggers to help raise awareness and drive signups for the summer 2015 program. During the four-month campaign, the blogger team drove one-third of total sign-ups.

In both the Digital Social Media Campaign category and Community Relations & Public Service category, The Motherhood earned Awards of Merit for the P&G Power of Clean campaign. For this campaign, The Motherhood partnered with P&G and Ketchum to execute a campaign behind the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program. Twenty bloggers initiated a conversation about “Power of Clean” and drove video views, helping to deliver a donation of 126,000 days of clean water.

The Motherhood’s entry for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign was also recognized with an Award of Merit in the Community Relations and Public Service Category. For this campaign, we worked with United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life to engage 50 influential bloggers to participate in a “blog relay,” sharing inspiring quotes on blogs and social channels. Each comment, like or share of their posts triggered one vaccine donation, with an overall total of 60,000 donations in four weeks.

Our partner agency on the recent Bolthouse Farms Kids program, Smith Brothers Agency, also took home a Renaissance Award in the Marketing Communications category for the “Snack Mob Sampling Tour.” To elevate the Bolthouse Farms Kids brand in Pittsburgh and generate awareness of its new products in partnership with Smith Brothers, The Motherhood enlisted a powerhouse team of influential Pittsburgh moms to attend a series of local market #SnackMob truck events throughout the city and encouraged their readers to do the same. Bloggers also used their social media posts to spread the word about the #SnackMob contest and to document their own experiences with this one-of-a-kind snack truck.

The Motherhood team extends its gratitude for our brand partners and nationwide network of bloggers with whom we had the honor of creating this award-winning work.

Last night’s Agency of the Year and campaign recognition follows a very successful 2015 ceremony, during which The Motherhood took home the first-ever People’s Choice Award, after our campaign around Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood with The Fred Rogers Company received the most votes from the PR professionals in attendance. Beyond the ceremony, The Motherhood was also named the second-fastest growing marketing company in our headquarters city in 2015, as well as AMA Marketer of the Year.

Follow us at @TheMotherhood on Twitter and on our blog for the latest industry insights and leading research, or email us to learn more about our offerings.

*Entries were independently evaluated by a panel of judges from PRSA’s East Central District, comprised of chapters from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Western and Northwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.

The Motherhood Research Reveals How Sponsored Content Leads to Purchase

making a purchase

When researching products and making a purchase, consumers turn to real people whose opinions they value.

There has been a shift in online advertising, and consumers are less receptive to intrusive ads and impersonal brand messaging. Digital ad-blockers are now among the most popular app downloads, and to continue reaching target consumers online, brands are increasingly turning to sponsored content on blogs and social media.

Authentic, high-quality online content, developed by influencers, represents the future of public relations and digital marketing. However, the need to track how these sponsored content campaigns lead to consumers making a purchase is a critical challenge.

To help determine what kinds of messages encourage brand affinity and consumer purchase, The Motherhood asked more than 700 blog readers from across the country to share insights on how they consume online content, including sponsored content – and its impact on what they buy.

Creating Trust

“I’m definitely more likely to trust another mom than I am to trust a brand advertisement.”

Social media and blogs present the unique opportunity to build a sense of community and trust with others like us, and also for brands to authentically connect with consumers. Online influencers have created tribes of followers, made up of people who have similar interests and who value their opinions.

Blog readers highly value bloggers’ perspectives and recommendations. As a result, readers share those recommendations with their own communities in real life and online, creating a ripple effect. With 86 percent of readers talking to others offline about topics they’ve seen in blogs and on social media, sponsored content not only influences direct readers, but also the readers’ social circle, creating a trust circle with exponential reach.

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Readers aren’t Buyers — Yet

“Personal stories I’ve read always weigh in my mind when making a decision about a product.”

While consumers are reading blog posts and social media, they are just that – readers. A common misconception is that when an individual reads a blog or social post about a product they will immediately click through to purchase. Our study found that the influence of online content extends beyond that initial read.

After reading a blog post, the majority of consumers keep the information in mind for when they’re actively considering making a purchase in the future, and only 13 percent make a purchase right away. When evaluating the effectiveness of social media programs at driving sales, brand marketers need to recognize that there is most often a gap between the initial impression and the time when the consumer is ready to buy.


Making a Purchase

“One of the best things about the internet is that you can get all sorts of opinions on all sorts of things. You just have to connect with people who like what you like for the reasons you like.”

However, when readers are ready to buy, brands they’ve read about online and those their friends have mentioned rise to the top of their minds. Although The Motherhood’s research found that making a purchase isn’t necessarily an immediate action, future purchases are very often influenced by sponsored content online: the vast majority of consumers stated they are more likely to purchase from a brand they’ve read about on a blog or in social media.

Want to know more? See the entire infographic below for the complete results of The Motherhood’s research!

sponsored content

Healthtex at Walmart: Baby and toddler clothing that won’t break the bank


Image credit: Mindy, Sincerely Mindy

It often seems like babies and toddlers make it their job to go through clothing as quickly as they can: growing like weeds, crawling, climbing and making messes. We at The Motherhood know parents of these littlest kids love finding quality clothing options that won’t wear easily and that don’t cost a fortune – so we were thrilled to partner with Healthtex, a line of clothing for babies and kids that can be found exclusively at Walmart, for a campaign this month.

Here is a sampling of what our team of bloggers, all with kids under the age of three, had to say about the clothes they found for their own kids!

Jennifer at Diary of a Working Mom dresses her two-year-old son, Everett, in Healthtex clothing for daycare. She reports, “Healthtex clothes are durable enough to hold up to whatever project they’re working on at daycare that day, but inexpensive enough that I don’t have to frantically worry about stains … I can feel good about him leaving for daycare in Healthtex.”


Image credit: Jennifer, Diary of a Working Mom

Ashley of The Frugal Ginger shared a “survival kit” for running errands with a toddler, including an extra set of clothing, a hat and mittens. She said, “My daughter puts her clothes through a lot of wear and tear. So I love that Walmart carries a brand that is really affordable just in case she gets stains all over them. This is a quality brand that you may not have even known Walmart carried. Hopefully, this will help you save both time and money. Something we all need!”


Image credit: Ashley, The Frugal Ginger

Jennae at Green and Gorgeous dressed her daughter, Juliza, in a variety of different looks for a mini fashion show, and you can see all three on her blog. She shared that much of Juliza’s existing wardrobe was already made up of Healthtex clothes: “The brand is super affordable, and the clothes are really cute and comparable to stuff I’ve seen elsewhere for much higher prices. How affordable? Well, I was able to get two outfits and an additional top for $25. At those prices, my daughter can afford to be a fashionista.”


Image credit: Jennae, Green and Gorgeous

Interested in putting together a few cute, inexpensive outfits for your own kids? You can find Healthtex clothes on or in your local Walmart store.

Highlights from the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)


This year, more than 150,000 people attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where annually, the latest and greatest in technology makes its debut. Among the plethora of newly launched gadgets, a few specific trends emerged from the show. Read on for highlights from 2016’s CES:

CES Debuts New Smart Home Developments and Connected Devices

It comes as no surprise that more and more manufacturers are ensuring their products are internet-ready to streamline the customer experience. In fact, it is estimated that 15,000 of the 20,000 new products presented at CES have sensors that make them internet-capable.

One of the most buzzed-about connected products that debuted last week is the LG Signature Refrigerator, an appliance that takes convenience to the next level. The refrigerator’s doors open with a wave of your foot, and a knock on the door makes the opaque surface transparent, saving energy when you need to browse your fridge inventory.

Since its launch in June 2015, Amazon’s voice-activated assistant, Echo, has been paving the way for centralized smart home automation. Last week at CES, we saw several manufacturers launch Echo-compatible products and apps that make the “smart home” concept even more of a reality.

For instance, TrackR’s Bravo ($29) is a small Bluetooth-enabled tag that you can attach to your keys, wallet or virtually anything else. As a result of Echo’s new integration with Amazon’s Echo, users will be able to ask Echo to help find their missing, tagged items.

Ford drivers will also soon be able communicate with in-home systems that are set up with Amazon’s Echo from their car. That means one day, drivers will be able to activate their home security systems or shut off their porch lights from the road.

CESPhoto credit: Business Wire

360-Degree Video

Another emerging trend to watch is 360-degree video. With this technology, viewers can get a dynamic, holistic view of an event or subject on screen (as an example, check out this red carpet footage from the Golden Globes). During CES, Nikon and GoPro announced their plans for consumer-grade 360-degree cameras.

Users can currently view these videos on Facebook and YouTube, but until recently, there weren’t many manufacturers creating affordable cameras to shoot the spherical content.

While it will likely be 2017 before these new, 360-degree cameras hit the market, we’re eager to see how brands and consumers adopt the technology.

Wearables for Every Member of the Household

Smart watches and fitness trackers took center stage during CES, but other wearable companies debuted and shared exciting updates, too:

  • Owlet recently released the wearable sock baby monitor that gives parents peace of mind. The smart sock tracks babies’ heart rate and measures how much oxygen is in their blood. Bluetooth technology shares the information to the parents’ smartphone in real time.
  • Sensoria, a line of smart fitness clothing, debuted smart athletic shirts and a sports bra during this year’s CES. The clothing line includes embedded sensors to improve running by tracking speed, pace, cadence, foot landing, distance and more.
  • WELT by Samsung looks like a standard belt, but it tracks physical movement and monitors eating habits. Made by Samsung’s Creative Lab, the WELT is still under development and currently unavailable for retail purchase.
  • WonderWoof and WonderMeow are bringing pets into the wearables game. These Bluetooth-enabled bowties for dogs and cats track pets’ steps, sleep and play activity.

CESPhoto credit: Owlet

Autonomous Automotives

During CES, automakers addressed self-driving cars, and more specifically, why they aren’t ready for widespread adoption. One of the reasons they shared: These autonomous cars have difficulty managing inclement weather and unexpected occurrences. The lack of consumer trust in autonomous cars is another hurdle for car manufacturers.

Nonetheless, Volvo announced that the first semi-autonomous car will be available for sale in the U.S. later this year.

We can’t wait to see how these trends take shape this year. What technology trends are you most excited to follow?

Featured image courtesy of Consumer Technology Association

Blogs Motivate and Support New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

Have you set any New Year’s resolutions for 2016?

Approximately 45 percent* of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent are successful in reaching their goals. Among resolutions for 2016, the top categories included:

  1. Self improvement or education-related resolutions (47 percent)
  2. Weight-related resolutions (38 percent)
  3. Money-related resolutions (34 percent)
  4. Relationship-related resolutions (31 percent)

The Motherhood analyzed anonymous Facebook conversations on the topic of New Year’s resolutions leading up to the start of 2016. Here are some interesting points we uncovered:

  • Top general topics mentioned included: family, friends, health and religion.
  • The most-shared links included links to fitness/health sites, travel sites and blogs.
  • People ages 24-35 are most actively talking about their resolutions on Facebook.

Most of us know that New Year’s resolutions can be hard to maintain. As this FastCompany article states, it’s because resolutions often require changes in habits, which are difficult to make (or break)!

Finding Support Online

From our perspective, blogs, social networks and other online communities have a huge opportunity not only to serve as a source of information and motivation, but also to help with accountability and support for those wishing to make a change in their habits. In fact, of the most-engaging links about New Year’s resolutions on Facebook, four of 10 were links to blog posts. Further, the most-shared blog post link included a free printable to help people define goals for 2016!

Last year during this resolution-making time, Kentico Software released survey results that showed one-third of those who made New Year’s goals planned on searching online for products or services to help support them in their endeavors, and 38 percent planned to turn to sites or apps that can help them track their progress throughout the year. (Apps such as Charity Miles and StickK help hold users accountable by tracking progress while adding a charitable aspect.) Furthermore, the report stated that 26 percent planned on using blogs and other sites to help them achieve their resolutions.

We recently saw the supportive nature of the online blogger community in action during a campaign we hosted on behalf of a weight loss client. During the first half of this blog tour (second half results are not yet available), 91 percent of blog post comments and 83 percent of Facebook comments showed support for the influencers’ weight loss, demonstrating a strong sense of community, as well as the involvement and interest of the readers.

Bloggers: What is your experience with your online community support system and New Year’s resolutions?

*University of Scranton, December 2015


Round-up of the Top 10 Social Marketing Predictions for 2016

top 10Social Marketing Predictions-3

It has been a memorable year in social media, with many new platform functions and trends, but the best may be yet to come. We can’t help but be excited for all of the 2016 marketing predictions we’ve seen floating around and what’s in store for social media in the coming year.

Not enough time to read the heavy influx of marketing predictions for 2016? No problem! The Motherhood has skimmed the most newsworthy pieces and summarized the top trends.

Marketing Predictions for 2016

Here are the social media trends you need to know for the upcoming year:

1. Ad Blocking shifts eyes to organic and social

2. Shift from automated to authentic

  • Because online consumers have developed the keen skills to identify and ignore ads and automated sponsored content, authentic, personal content will rise as marketers realize its value in connecting with online audiences.
  • Simply searching for influencers in your space and asking them to push out stale messages will become less effective; greater strategy will be needed to engage key influencers.
  • Marketing that is less disruptive and more focused on fostering relationships will be conductive to building a loyal customer base.

3. Creativity will thrive

4. Experience = shared value 

  • Content will continue to fuel the customer experience.
  • More and more consumers turn to third parties, such as online influencers, as trusted sources of information on brands/products.
  • Brands will recognize more that linking an experience or story with a brand/product better resonates with consumers than facts and figures.
  • Humanizing your brand helps to create shared trust through personal experience.

5. Engagement > Reach 

  • Marketers will place a greater focus on identifying meaningful measurement metrics of engagement with sponsored content.
  • By evaluating engagement of online campaigns, marketers can gain better insights from, and connection with, targeted audiences.
  • We’ve already seen many of our clients begin to look at engagement metrics rather than impressions in our programs, as they recognize the value in targeted engagement.

6. Data and insights

  • Analytics and social insights will become more readily available, leading to a jump in automated data analysis and implementation of big data insights to create better social messaging.
  • Rather than trying to do it all, marketers will focus on key performance indicators and creating more valuable insights aligned with those indicators.
  • Using data to develop more personalized experiences for consumers will create more value for both businesses and customers.

7. Instant Gratification AND Snapchat

  • In-the-moment posts will dominate with the rise in popularity of Periscope and the addition of Facebook Live Streaming.
  • While reaching consumers organically via SnapChat is not a cost-effective option, SnapChat will become the “New TV.”
  • As this Ad Age article perfectly states, “Think appointment-watching, awareness and buying eyeballs.”

8. Video, video, video

  • 70 percent of companies now say video is the most effective tool in their online marketing belts, and two out of three businesses expect it to dominate their strategy going forward.
  • Google now includes video content in search results, and Facebook and Bing have started offering video options for advertisers.
  • Using video to tell stories can be used as an advantage by marketers to effectively convey a brand message.
  • Social video is rapidly rising, and videos need to be tailored for each platform and target audience.

9. Social messaging and messaging apps

  • Messaging apps have seen explosive growth and have already evolved as a customer service feature.
  • While messaging apps are still a mystery, big brands are testing them out as marketing channels.
  • Messaging apps are the most-used of all category apps, meaning there is a largely untapped potential for advertising in this space.

10. Social isn’t free

  • The exponential growth of brands on social has led to less organic reach, so increases in social marketing spending will continue to increase.
  • Simply promoting posts or getting your message incorporated in authentic content from key influencers will increase in order to maintain a share of voice.
  • Online influencers know their value and demand for them as key content creators continues to increase, so navigating these relationships will become trickier.


The recurring theme we found throughout the plethora of predictions is that the customer will be heard in 2016, and as a result, marketers will be using more data and insight in their campaigns, and will need to implement authentic, personalized content programs.

Which predictions do you think are most accurate?

What Your Influencer Marketing Might Be Missing: Evergreen

Influencer Evergreen content

Get the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns by leveraging the power of evergreen content.

During a recent call with a potential new client, The Motherhood’s leadership team outlined a variety of social media marketing services and shared a few case studies to demonstrate clients’ successes with past campaigns. When the presentation ended, the potential client made an interesting comment. “We can see the power of what you’re doing,” he said. “We’d be foolish not to take advantage of it.”

More and more brands and organizations have come to the same conclusion. As traditional online advertising loses potency due to the rise of ad blockers, more of them are turning to influencer marketing and sponsored content campaigns to share information about their products and services with target audiences.

However, with the online space becoming saturated, it’s more important than ever to find ways for brands to get the most out of their campaigns: While traditional influencer marketing tactics focus on the “now” (sales, impressions, link clicks, etc.), there is unlocked potential in “evergreen” influencer-driven content that serves as a digital bookshelf for brands over a long period of time.

What makes content evergreen? Evergreen content lives on in searches and continually generates traffic to your site. It provides information that is not tied to one particularly timely “hook” or event and is not likely to change in the near future, meaning it can continue to provide value to the reader over time.

In a recent study distributed by The Motherhood, bloggers repeatedly mentioned that both their blogs and the brands they work with get more value from content that is authentic and evergreen. We see brands starting to catch onto this theme, and we believe that evergreen content will become even more prevalent as its value is realized.

Why is influencer-driven evergreen content powerful? It offers brands:

  1. Long-term Results: Content grows in popularity over time, continually drives traffic to your site and increases brand awareness.
  2. Search Engine Optimization: It helps achieve search rankings for industry terms as well as improving SEO results for the brand through link building.
  3. Credible Voice: Influencer content can serve as a landing page for a brand other than its official website, building the brand’s reputation and providing increased value for users.
  4. Resources for Customers When They Need It: It is always available and is sought after by potential customers when they are further along the path to purchase.

With easy access to online resources and others’ opinions, consumers no longer put all of their trust in brand advertising and marketing without also doing their own independent research. In fact, based on a recent survey by The Motherhood, consumers trust family, friends and customer reviews 44% more than retailer and company websites.

Brands can create and publish their own evergreen content, but influencer-created content – shared by someone their readers feel they know and can trust – adds an extra layer of authenticity and often gives consumers the confidence they need to take the next step to purchase the product or service. When brands find an influencer who genuinely loves their products or services and can share that information with her readers, it’s a relationship that provides a natural avenue brands can tap to build trust with consumers.

Bloggers in The Motherhood’s network know the power of evergreen; here are some real-world examples!

Example #1: Bloggers Become Top Traffic-Drivers

Blog posts from an influencer marketing campaign served as one of the top drivers of traffic to a healthcare client’s website. Many of the influencers’ blog posts have generated hundreds and even thousands of monthly visits to the company’s site.

evergreen traffic increase over time

Here are some key learnings from the blog post that performed best over the long term:

  • It contained practical tips on the general topic with a naturally flowing product link at the very end
  • One year after the blog post went live, it was still generating an average of 400 daily views
  • The highest source of traffic to the blog post was Pinterest

Because of these evergreen blog posts, the client has continued to see a high level of referral traffic to the site long after the original campaign ended, and the client has become an industry leader in online conversations. Through The Motherhood, the client has also maintained a working relationship with key influencers to repurpose content and collaborate on additional campaigns.

Tip: Focus on authentic conversations that can be optimized for search and authentically share product information.

Example #2: Annual Holidays and Events Generate Recurring Traffic

The Motherhood’s blog received a boost in traffic this October from a Halloween-themed blog post published back in 2011! With primary traffic to the post coming from organic search and Pinterest, the post generated an 88% increase in page views from September to October 2015. Each year around Halloween, this blog post generates a higher number of page views.

increased site traffic analytics

Furthermore, a 2010 blog post written by The Motherhood on Halloween safety tips, sponsored by Energizer, was picked up this year by a municipality and sent to all residents in that area, generating a huge spike in traffic to the post.

Tip: Take advantage of reoccurring events such as holidays, rather than one-time events or occurrences.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can engage influencers to write evergreen content for your brand:

  1. Share Stats and Data
  2. Invite Product Reviews / Consumer Insights
  3. Provide Expert How-to Guides or Tips
  4. Offer Strategies for Common Problems
  5. Storytelling through Personal Anecdotes

Before initiating a campaign focused on generating evergreen content, be sure to keep the following points in mind:

  1. Be authentic. Pinpoint influencers who are a good fit for your brand and focus on quality of their content and professionalism of their work rather than simply looking at their numbers.
  2. Fully identify goals such as search rankings and keywords. This is probably the hardest step, but it is extremely important to have in place before moving forward. These terms must be effectively communicated to the bloggers so that they can seamlessly work them into content during the writing process.
  3. Add value. Bloggers and influencers have an interest in creating quality content and bringing traffic to their blog and your content. Be sure that the content you are asking influencers to create will provide value to readers and presents information and insight other than what is provided in traditional marketing practices.
  4. Use a blogger network/agency. Consider leveraging the expertise of an agency, which has existing relationships with influencers in your space, along with experience crafting campaigns focused on authentic long-term content.

Most importantly, remember that patience is a virtue. Evergreen success does not happen overnight; you have to allow time to reap the rewards!

The Motherhood is a social media marketing firm and blogger network with extensive experience in the space of influencer marketing, and has continually been a leader in innovation within the industry. To work with The Motherhood’s network in creating branded evergreen content that will live on in users’ search results, you can reach us at

2015 Holiday Shopping and Marketing Trends

2015 Holiday Shopping Trends

Have you finished your holiday shopping this year? Whether you’ve just started or you’re all wrapped up, check out these 2015 holiday shopping and marketing trends:

Rise of Video: From gift inspiration to product reviews, video is playing a big role in holiday shopping planning this year. One in every four shoppers say online videos are their go-to source for gift ideas.1 On top of that, 64 percent of smartphone video viewers also said they’d prefer to watch a YouTube video when they have a question about a new item (rather than pick up a phone to call customer service, read a user manual, etc.).2 

Unboxing videos — videos that involve taking a product out of the box so the user can get a feel for it — have become more popular, too. In 2015 alone, Americans have watched 60 million hours of unboxing videos on YouTube, totaling 1.1 billion views! 3 

Mobile Shopping and Marketing: We’ve all done it: consulted our smartphone to find online product reviews or price comparisons in the aisle of our favorite retail store.

But discovery is just one piece of the puzzle. Mobile shopping-related searches increased more than 120 percent year-over-year in 2015, and shoppers are using their phones for inspiration, research and ultimately, purchase.

In fact, 54 percent of holiday shoppers say that they plan on purchasing on their smartphones during spare moments in their day, like walking or commuting. Thirty percent of all online shopping purchases happen via mobile phones; smartphone purchases have increased by 64 percent this past year alone.4

Fun fact: Google reports that Sunday is the biggest day of the week for mobile spending.4

Capitalizing on the mobile shopping boom, marketers have found success with push notifications, which have a 50 percent higher open rate than email marketing communications.

The data from users’ mobile shopping habits offers retailers the opportunity to better understand how customers go through the research and purchase process, and paves the way for longer-term engagement with shoppers well beyond the holiday season.

Social Media Shopping and Purchase Influence: While using our phones for mobile shopping we often turn to social media for inspiration and deals.

On Facebook, conversations around gift inspiration, three weeks before the holiday, were predominately led by women ages 25 to 44. Posts, photos, and shares were the most popular media types, with top mentioned links including blog posts featuring fun recipes, holiday gift guides, and DIY crafts.

According to Crowdtap, of the various social media platforms, Facebook boasts the most clout, influencing 59 percent of consumers’ holiday purchasing decisions; however, Pinterest was cited as the top source for finding ideas, and blogs were one of the most popular sources for researching gifts.

Furthermore, 41 percent of retailers are using social shopping buy buttons this holiday season, a functionality that was not even available last season.

Short-term vs. Long-Term Engagement: If your inboxes were anything like ours in late November, you likely received hundreds of Black Friday and Cyber Monday email promotions, touting day or week-long, flash-sale discounts.

How did retailers fare after the major shopping weekend? According to ShopperTrak, brick-and-mortar retail sales that occurred over Black Friday weekend (Nov. 26 – Nov. 29, 2015) saw a 10.4 percent decrease versus 2014. In comparison, online shopping on Cyber Monday triggered a 16 percent increase in sales this year, even though 48 percent of holiday shoppers reported that they did the majority of their holiday shopping on or before Cyber Monday (up from 40 percent in 2013).

One criticism of retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the lack of long-term engagement that follows the sudden promotional influx post-Thanksgiving. A study by Retention Science indicated that while Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers come ready to spend, they’re also ready to make a quick exit. These shoppers churn 274-296 percent more quickly than customers who buy during other times of the year!

In an Ipsos MediaCT survey, more than half of respondents were open to buying from a new retailers, and 41 percent actually purchased from a new retailer, indicating that consumers were open to new stores and brands for their holiday purchases.

These findings speak to the importance of using data-driven insights (that retailers have been gathering all season long) to build brand loyalty with these shoppers, and offer them longer-term value so they have reason to come back for more.




1 Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study 2015

2 Google / Ipsos Brand Building on Mobile Survey, February 2015. Base: 3,505 respondents age 18-54 video viewers across devices (TV, desktop, smartphone, tablet)

3 YouTube data, January–October 2015, United States. Classification as a “haul” video was based on public data such as headlines, tags, etc., and may not account for every “haul” video available on YouTube.

Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study 2015. Base: Holiday shoppers n=2004


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