A #BeBoldForChange Profile for International Women’s Day: Chaton Turner

Today is International Women’s Day 2017 and the theme this year is #BeBoldForChange — to forge a better working world and work toward a more inclusive, gender equal world. In honor of IWD17, we’d like to share with you an inspiring woman and influencer we’ve known, worked with and admired for many years, and someone who represents all those things. She is bold and works for a better world, every single day: Chaton Turner.

Chaton, an attorney for one of Pittsburgh’s largest organizations, who has published her blog, Chaton’s World, for 10 years, has dedicated her life to issues affecting gender equity, workplace fairness and women’s rights. Over the years, I’ve had conversations with Chaton that stayed with me long afterward. She thinks in ways that are broad in scope, thorough and big picture, but laser focused on the specifics of the issues she cares passionately about, and always with an eye on how she can be most helpful.

Chaton is driven to share with her community what she has to say. I asked her where she thought that came from, and Chaton told me about her grandmother.

International Women's Day Quote

Growing up, Chaton’s grandmother was sought after by community organizations and local churches because nobody else came close to being able to mobilize for a cause, a charity event or even sell tickets to a fundraiser like her. Watching the impact of her grandmother’s civic involvement, and how much her grandmother’s dedication made a difference, taught Chaton that even as an individual, you can significantly impact your community and the world around you.

Becoming an attorney gave Chaton the added confidence that what she had to say had value.

And then, becoming a mother crystallized for Chaton the issues affecting women that she fights for to this day.

Chaton told me that, as an employment lawyer, she understood workplace issues such as pay equity, paid leave and workplace flexibility from a policy standpoint, but once she became a mom, she lived those issues in a way that was wholly tangible and real. She also immediately realized that being a corporate lawyer, the benefits she received were not common for most women.

So Chaton took action, writing and speaking about paid leave, workplace fairness and other key issues women and girls face, and joining local organizations that dedicate themselves to equity and women’s rights. In her role as a board member of the Women and Girls Foundation, Chaton is working with the organization on the PA Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, a campaign for paid family and medical leave in Pennsylvania. You can sign up to get involved here.

One of the things that struck me most from our remarkable conversations is the thoughtfulness and care Chaton puts into every idea, message or challenge she voices. Chaton said, “In my job, I focus on conflict resolution and my goal is to make every situation better, if possible. What I’ve learned in resolving conflicts is the outcome is what matters most. It is not ego or pride, it’s the outcome. So, that’s always my approach, even for my blog. I’m thoughtful about what I post or share, to nurture a healthy conversation and positive outcome around the issues being discussed.”

I kept thinking to myself: the world needs viewpoints and approaches like Chaton’s now more than ever. In the online community of mothers, built over the last decade, we need each other — and Chaton’s dedication to this “neighborhood,” not unlike her grandmother’s, makes us all better informed and hopefully, more willing to #BeBoldForChange.

After we finished our last call, Chaton sent me a note with a final thought. As we celebrate IWD17, I’d like to share Chaton’s beautiful words with you. Thank you, Chaton (and your grandma), for living #BeBoldForChange and inspiring us all to make a difference for women and girls in our community and in our world.

Spotlight Blogger: Kayla Aimee Writes

Kayla Aimee

At The Motherhood, we find the power of stories and words to be invaluable. That’s one of the many reasons that we love Kayla Aimee of Kayla Aimee Writes, our March Spotlight Blogger! As a published author, mom, speaker and top influencer, she has a beautiful way of sharing her stories and perspective that engages her readers time after time.

Take a look at our interview with her below and see for yourself!

What do you feel is the #1 trend in influencer marketing in 2017? 
Social stories, such as Facebook Live, seem to be gaining good traction and are a fun and engaging way to interact with your audience. Plus, I know they are effective because I just cannot stop watching those darn pearl parties!

What content do you feel your readers find most valuable?
My goal with every piece of writing is to engage my readers by providing something that is encouraging or equipping for them. So it meets a need for them by either providing them with an uplifting, hope and humor-filled read or by giving them the confidence to tackle a problem area in their life. My most popular pieces of content are largely those that provide solutions.

What are your thoughts on working with a brand on multiple occasions (vs. one-off programs)? 
This is actually my preference! I am a girl who shops with brand loyalty, so I prefer that to carry through on my campaigns since it is more authentic to my daily life.

I also think it helps build trust in an online era where you sometimes see people promote products back-to-back that are in direct competition with one another. When my readers see my own long-term relationship with a brand, they have more assurance that my recommendations are genuine and preference-based, rather than monetarily driven.

What are your thoughts on programs measured by initial click-through rates? 
I’m not a huge fan of them because I’ve seen how they can be manipulated, so I don’t think it’s a completely accurate measurement. In addition, I think that what a good campaign benefits from is exposure to a new audience from a trusted source.

This is another reason that long-term programs are preferable because I think people are more apt to click after seeing something more than once. Sort of like how my baby book says that you have to offer your baby the same food seven different times before they like it. Unrelated: someone please come test this theory out on my ten-month-old, who mostly just insists on throwing all of his food on the floor.

What is your favorite space to engage with your readers?
I miss the days when the comments section of a blog post was all abuzz! Right now the majority of my blog community conversation happens on Facebook, but my favorite is actually my email list. I love the more intimate format of writing weekly letters, and I really enjoy it when readers reply back to my newsletter!

Tell us why you blog. 
My blog has really evolved over the years from its inception as an online journal and currently serves first and foremost as a platform for me to serve readers in support of my traditional publishing efforts. My first book, Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected, released last year and my second book will come out in 2018. My blog is a wonderful way to introduce potential readers to my writing and allow me to connect with readers on a more personal level. Publishers expect authors to have an established platform these days, so I focus on using my blog to develop my writing skills and complement the marketing for my book. Blogging is seeing a life-long dream of being a writer come to fruition.

The secondary focus of my blog is to help provide monetarily so that I can pursue writing as a career while staying home with my children. I love the flexibility it provides while allowing me to stretch myself creatively.

What’s your greatest challenge when working with brands?
Convincing them to drop traditional marketing language in favor of a narrative that is true to my voice.

Favorite program you’ve done with The Motherhood?
I loved working on the March of Dimes campaign because it was a cause close to my heart as my daughter was born at 25 weeks. I loved being able to partner with The Motherhood and the March of Dimes to spread more social awareness and amplify a message that I feel so passionate about.

But my very favorite program was the OshKosh B’Gosh Forever Summer campaign. OshKosh is one of our go-to brands for kids’ clothing, so it was a great fit, and the creativity of the campaign was really fantastic. We put a GoPro camera on my three-year-old to make a video of summertime from her perspective and it was such a fun, unique concept to get to execute. I really loved capturing that vision.

What are your thoughts on Snapchat?
My little sister is constantly sending me snaps that crack me up, but other than that, I am just not at all into Snapchat. I think it’s easy for bloggers to get spread too thin by trying to master every social platform, so I have scaled back and decided to focus my efforts more heavily on the platforms in which I have the most engagement and that I enjoy. While I’ve seen Snapchat done very well by other people … it’s an area that I’ve consciously decided not to invest in for now.

Where do you see the most engagement with your content?
Pinterest is still one of my top referrers, and posts that are designed to be pin-friendly still generate a lot of traffic and re-pins across the platform. I invest heavily in re-sharing high-performing pins seasonally. After that, Facebook is still the best place for conversation happening around my content and where I spend most of my time chatting with readers.

What’s the #1 question you’re asked by brands, and what’s your answer?
It’s usually “How big is your audience?” which is unfortunate because while I am blessed to have a fairly large readership, I think the more important question is “WHO is your audience?”

What are brands doing right when working with bloggers?
In recent years I’ve noticed there is more of a conversation happening between brands and bloggers that allows for more of an individualized collaboration rather than a standard set of campaign requirements across the board. I love this approach and think it is a win-win for not only brands and bloggers but for the audience they are serving.

What should brands start doing (better) when working with influencers?
Creating a sponsored post is more than just the analytics of audience engagement. For me, the enjoyment is in the creative process but executing that well is time-consuming! It involves not only conceptualizing but constructing a unique narrative, styling a well-shot photo shoot, and creating supporting social media spots. I prefer to work with brands that negotiate a program based on what I can create for them as opposed to audience size metrics.

Additionally, certain topics lend themselves better to different social platforms, so I appreciate being able to focus on what will perform well, such as a targeted Pinterest campaign, rather than being conscripted into sharing something on every social platform when I know it won’t translate as well on Twitter as it would on Instagram.

I love working with brands that give me a lot of creative autonomy to design something with my audience in mind. I’m always wanting to serve my readers well, and I think it’s important for brands to remember that the reason people like to read certain blogs is for their voice and authenticity, so imposing specific marketing language actually doesn’t translate well.

You can learn more about Kayla Aimee by visiting her blog, or check her out on Facebook or Instagram!


More about The Motherhood’s Spotlight Blogger Series

Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top influencers. It’s not about numbers, but rather, the quality, authentic content they’re delivering consistently. It’s about reliability, professionalism and partnership. We discuss our nominations for the month and ultimately decide on just one blogger to feature.

Check out our previous featured influencers here, and stop by in April for the next Spotlight Blogger!

Kayla Aimee

This Is Us and Why We Want to Hold Hands

This Is Us

On Tuesday nights my family and I pile onto the couch to watch This Is Us, and millions of others do too.

(Thank you to Brittnee, who, the day after the pilot aired, said “You HAVE to watch this show!” That’s WOM, at its best. Added bonus: It’s set in THE BURGH!)

Not since the heyday of American Idol have the Munroes gathered together with this level of dedication and regularity to watch scheduled, non-Netflix, “community event” television. Mandy Moore, the “mom” on This Is Us, sees that too and talked about the phenomenon in the New York Times. “This Is Us was gaining real steam after a couple of unusual things happened: There were raves from people who usually watch ‘the cool show on Amazon,’ not over-the-air TV.”

When NBC had Must See TV seriously EVERYONE watched the Thursday night line up, and the next day at work, or wherever we were, we talked about it (I see you, Gen X-ers).

Image: NBC

Image: NBC

This Is Us is starting to feel like that, but now we have the joy of social media. Yes, a lot of talk online and off is about Jack (sidenote: usually pronounced with a sigh, “Jaaaack” – can you blame us?):

THIS IS US — “Kyle” Episode 103 — Pictured: Milo Ventimiglia as Jack — (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC)

But the conversation is also around how much people love the show, how much it makes them cry or how they identify with the characters. This comment on the This Is Us Facebook page pretty much sums it up.

“This show speaks to ‘us’ as a family, as humans, on sooooo many levels. We are so amazed by what the cast and crew do each and every week. WOW! Thank you – with huge gratitude!!! Love, Love, LOVE.”

Dan Fogelman, creator of This Is Us, shares an interesting theory about why This Is Us is connecting with the audience saying, “They’re looking to hold hands with a TV show, and something about the show has done that.”

Mandy Moore also pointed out, “The uncertainty is in the air, and nobody knows what to expect in the next couple months, coming weeks and year ahead.” But the show gives us a cathartic moment to experience together.

Together. The fact is, This Is Us tackles everyday challenges, struggles, pain, joy, love, caring and connection, and is the number one breakout hit on network TV. We, the audience, are showing up every Tuesday at the same time to watch it. Why?

What can we pull from that?

  • More than ever, community matters. Neighboring, kindness and connection matter. This Is Us covers topics of common ground and is a reminder we all have things in our lives we’re working on or dealing with and compassion is what we need.

  • The show clearly is built on a philosophy of authenticity and relatability – from the heart. It feels, from a viewer standpoint, like the writers and cast are there fully. This magic is only possible when culturally relevant, often moving themes (especially when the theme or message goes beyond a “category”), like celebrating what makes us each unique or embracing family, whatever form it takes are addressed and lifted up in thoroughly real, authentic – and even uncomfortable – ways.
  • We are the product of our experiences and the people around us. Elizabeth Berger, co-executive producer and writer of This Is Us, said in an interview, “We really liked the idea that life throws you curve balls, and what you do with those curve balls ultimately determines the life that you live.” Isn’t that what we all want for ourselves and our kids, and what we all are most proud of: How we got through – stronger and wiser, and the people who were – and are – there for us through the good and the bad?

  • Ultimately, and I’ve always believed this to be true, life-affirming moments, experiences and unexpected reminders make the world go around and we need them as much as possible, most especially today. Those instances of affirmation reinforce to us why we are here and that we have love, community, support and each other.

This, for me, is what This Is Us is all about:

What’s Happening in Social Media News This Week

social media news

Each week, The Motherhood team pores over industry news, noting what’s new, trending and on the way out. Take a look at what we have been reading recently:

Enough About Millennials! You Can Use Influencer Marketing To Target Older Audiences, Too

Take note, brands: Older generations are online and on social media. In fact, baby boomers are19 percent more likely to share content than other generations.

Seventy-one percent of adults who are digitally active use Facebook, and usage among seniors continues to increase, according to Pew Research Center’s findings. Facebook usage breaks down by age range as follows:

  • Adults 30 to 49 years old: 73%
  • Adults 50 to 64 years old: 63%
  • Adults 65 and older: 56%

Takeaway: Don’t limit your influencer marketing campaigns to millennials and younger crowds. 

 

The Secret Sauce for Top-Tweeted Ads: Easy to Understand, with a Smile

Nielsen examined the relationship between engagement metrics and the most- and least-tweeted ads that aired during last year’s Super Bowl and found that top-tweeted ads were easier to process, had strong memory activation during final branding and generated more smiles overall. Viewers were also able to recall the top-tweeted ads more and were more likely to link them correctly to the brand than the least-tweeted ads after the game.

In contrast, low-tweeted ads showed a pattern consistent with confusion early on, suggesting the ads were more complex to process and had fewer intuitive moments.

Takeaway: When it comes to social posts, keep things simple for better message penetration.

 

New Report Links Social Media Engagement to Consumer Spending

New research shows that there is a correlation between high engagement on social media posts and consumer spending. The study looked at several large retailers’ social media engagement data, then cross-referenced it to in-store purchases. The data indicated that social media posts with the highest level of engagement (e.g., likes, comments and shares) had the greatest impact on consumer spending, as retailers that published highly engaging posts on social media reaped the benefits of more in-store sales.

Takeaway: Examine ways to increase social media engagement to ultimately drive sales. 

 

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Periscope?

YouTube recently expanded its live video capabilities, and the platform is now paying influencers with more than 10,000 followers a portion of the ad revenue they generate. With almost every large social network providing live streaming now, what is the difference and which one is best for your brand? The linked USA Today article weighs the pros and cons of the various live video offerings available.

Takeaway: Do the research to discover where your target audience is already active and know which capabilities your brand wants in a video – before you hit “live.”

 

Facebook is Making its Biggest Push Yet to Grab Ad Dollars from TV

Facebook recently announced a new app for smart TVs. The app will serve as a destination for all Facebook videos – similar to the video tab at the bottom of the main app – and will combine videos shared by friends or pages you follow, top live videos from around the world and videos the app recommends based on your interests. Facebook users will be able to save videos from their regular Facebook app to watch when they’re sitting in front of their TV later.

Takeaway: Social media platforms are well on their way to competing for television ad dollars. 

 

Why Snapchat Misses the Influencer Mark (For Now)

Although it is improving, Snapchat still leaves something to be desired in the influencer marketing space. The platform’s policy is, “Everyone is an influencer,” allowing social stars to use it like everyday users. While other platforms, like YouTube and Instagram, monetize influencers for creating and producing content within their platforms, there is currently no similar setup within Snapchat. Influencers are unable to see their follower count and aren’t as easy to discover as they are on other platforms.

Takeaway: Be on the lookout for Snapchat to begin to make changes to allow increased opportunities for influencers. 

 

Which social media updates caught your attention this week?

Influencer Marketing: Make the Leap from Tactic to Brand Strategy

influencer brand strategy

Ten years ago, Facebook was just entering mainstream consciousness, and Twitter was a brand-new platform. Instagram and Pinterest were years away from conception, and most brands hadn’t yet grasped the potential of social media as a marketing tool and influencers as brand ambassadors.

In the grand scheme of the advertising and marketing world, influencer marketing is still the new kid in town. While more brands than ever before are recognizing the need to include it in the marketing mix – 86 percent of marketers used influencer marketing in 2016, and 94 percent found it effective – most are still using it on a tactical basis rather than truly integrating it into brand strategy.

We anticipate that will change over time, and brands who are early adopters of a comprehensive, long-term influencer marketing strategy will have an advantage over their competition in online share of voice and sentiment.

Influential moms in particular are a trusted source for consumers seeking information on brands, products and trends. They have developed thriving communities of mom readers and followers who trust their opinions and visit their blogs and social channels regularly. Tapping into this audience matters because:

  • Women own the Internet. They make 85 percent of all consumer purchases and use social media at a rate of 600 percent more than men.
  • It helps the bottom line. Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing channel for customer acquisition, with businesses making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, on average.

At The Motherhood, we typically recommend evaluating results from an influencer marketing campaign over the long term, knowing that only 10 percent of consumers make a purchase within 24 hours of learning about a new product or service, and the lifespan of an average blog post is almost 24 times as long as the standard 30-day reporting metric of unique monthly views. It helps to choose platforms relevant to the brand and topics, and set benchmarks for success in advance of beginning a campaign, too.

A recent research report noted that, while 71 percent of brand marketers rate influencer marketing as “strategic” or “highly strategic,” half report small budgets in comparison to the rest of the marketing mix – indicating that influence is “still practiced at the tactical level and thus it’s difficult to prove as a strategic priority.”

The report also points out that using influencer marketing as a one-off tactic rather than a broader, year-long strategy is incongruous with the customer experience: “Customer journeys are ‘always on,’ while campaigns come and go.” It recommends, “Make influencer relations a priority now. If you continue to approach influencer marketing as usual, you are readying to be left behind, losing control of your brand and the ability to compete in a world where customers are in control.”

Spotlight Blogger: Chaton’s World

Chaton, the blogger behind Chaton’s World, is a lawyer, public speaker, runner, writer, mom of two – and as a top influencer, she’s The Motherhood’s Spotlight Blogger this month! Below, she shares with us what inspires her, the challenges bloggers face when working with brands and much more.


What content do you feel your readers find most valuable?

My readers tend to be like me. They are busy working moms. So, taking the time to read my blog is a luxury. Providing them with content that helps them make their lives easier is always the goal. When I don’t do that, I try to make them smile.

What are your thoughts on programs measured by initial click-through rates?

I used to be in marketing in a former life, so I understand the need for determining the return on investment for blogger programs. That said, blogs are different and infinitely more personal. I think that if brands are thoughtful in the selection of the blogger and the blogger delivers, then the click-through rate isn’t always relevant.

2017 is the year of:

Change.

Influencer marketing is:

The wave of the future. Social media is like a Tupperware party on steroids. People are searching for connections and what’s hot. Influencers play a tremendous role in that. We portray our lifestyles to the world and people buy into that. It’s much more personal than traditional [marketing] campaigns. I think brands get more bang for the buck.

What is your favorite space to engage with your readers, and where does your content get the most engagement?

I am having a lot of fun on Twitter lately. I like the broad reach. Also, communicating in 140 characters is a challenge for me. I was voted “Most Talkative” in my high school class. Words have always been my thing! I also love the flexibility and the ability to easily promote posts on Twitter. Facebook is a close second.

Where do you find inspiration for new blog posts?

I have been at this long enough that I literally find inspiration everywhere. My challenge is finding time to write them. I need to invest in Dragon [transcription software] so that I can dictate posts because I often write them in my head while in traffic and then forget them!

Tell us why you blog.

I blog because there is a community of women out there, like me, who are trying to do it all. I try to help them balance their responsibilities. By helping them, I also help myself. Also, I LOVE it! I really enjoy connecting with people on social media. I find it cathartic.

Favorite influencer program you’ve done with The Motherhood?

The Chick-Fil-A campaign, hands down. I loved the product and the company. It was an honor to be included. Also, they hosted really cool events!

What are you thoughts on online coupons?

I like them conceptually. I’m not a heavy user, though. I do think that they’re a draw in blog posts and promote traffic.

What should brands start doing better when working with mom bloggers?

They should provide bloggers with their campaign goals, be honest about their expectations and deliverables, and provide a reasonable calendar with as much notice as possible. Too many brands say things like, “Be creative! Use your judgment!” That is overwhelmingly unhelpful.

To find out more about Chaton and her quest for balance in stilettos, visit Chaton’s World, or give her a shout on Twitter (@ChatonsWorld) or her Facebook page: Chaton’s World Page.


More about The Motherhood’s Spotlight Blogger Series

Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top influencers. It’s not about numbers, but rather, the quality, authentic content they’re delivering consistently. It’s about reliability, professionalism and partnership. We discuss our nominations for the month and ultimately decide on just one blogger to feature.

Check out our previous featured influencers from 2015 and 2016 here, and stop by on March 1 for the next Spotlight Blogger!

Influencer Marketing Stats to Demonstrate the Power of Moms Online

influencer marketing stats

Below, The Motherhood has compiled a list of powerful influencer marketing stats to help share context around the benefits of including influencers in brand marketing strategy. The list provides data on everything from the power of moms and women online to baseline industry performance metrics. Stats are updated regularly, so be sure to bookmark this post to reference later!


The Power of Moms & Women Online

  • 25.1 million females in the U.S. are between the ages of 18 and 49 and have one or more child under the age of 12, and almost three-quarters of them are in the workforce. (Nielsen)
  • Mothers are worth more than $2 trillion to U.S. brands. (Marketing to Moms Coalition)
  • Mothers account for up to 80% of household purchase decisions. (Forbes)
  • 44% of women online are influenced by trusted bloggers. (Net Imperative)

The effectiveness of Influencer Marketing

  • Influencer marketing is the fastest growing channel for customer acquisition, with businesses making on average $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. (Net Imperative)
  • Influencer marketing campaigns can capture up to 16 times the engagement of owned or paid media. (SocialChorus)
  • In 2016, 86% of marketers used influencer marketing, and 94% found it effective. (Net Imperative)
  • 53% of women made purchases due to influencer posts, as reported in this survey. (Bloglovin)
  • Word of mouth is 50x more likely to trigger a purchase than an ad. (Net Imperative)

path to purchase: Blogs

  • Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines. (Optimind Technology)
  • 84% of consumers make purchases after reading about a product or service on a blog. (Research Now)
  • 80% of blog readers are more likely to purchase from a brand that they’ve read about in a blog post. (The Motherhood Research)
  • 86% of readers talk to others offline about topics they’ve seen in blogs and on social media. (The Motherhood Research)

path to purchase: Social Media

  • 74% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions. (Net Imperative)
  • 81% of women say they frequently buy items they’ve seen on social media, and 72% say the ability to check social recommendations takes the guesswork out of buying a new product. (MediaPost)
  • 88% of consumers have purchased a product they pinned on Pinterest, and 49% have purchased 5 or more products they’ve pinned. (JeffBullas.com)
  • 62% of modern moms say Instagram is a place to learn about products and services. (Facebook IQ)
  • Twitter says 47% of people have bought an item based on an influencer’s recommendation. (Twitter)
  • 64% of millennials recommend a product at least once a month through social media. (Marketing Dive)

Industry metrics & MEASUREMENT


 

Want to see the results of influencer marketing at your own company? We’d love to work with you! Contact us!

Influencer Marketing in 2017: Mom Influencers Identify Trends

Influencer Marketing trends 2017

This year stands to be one of the biggest years in influencer marketing history, as more brands continue adopt the highly effective marketing practice. Nobody knows the industry quite like the influencers on the front line, which is why we asked our network of mom influencers, who reach more than 250 million on social media every day, what trends they’ve noticed over the last year and what predictions they have for influencer marketing in 2017.

Here are a few key takeaways!

Influencers choose Instagram Stories over Snapchat.

Approximately 54 percent of our influencers say that video was the top trend that emerged in 2016. This includes Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Live video.

influencer marketing in 2017

According to our survey, influencers are more likely to choose Instagram over Snapchat for posting Stories. This is because on Instagram, they’ve already developed a following, making it easier to engage with a built-in audience. Now that Instagram Stories feature nearly all of the capabilities that Snapchat offers, influencers have little reason to put energy into building a following on Snapchat. Some, however, admit to using Snapchat for personal use only. As one influencer put it, “I like Snapchat, but I have not figured out how to use it for the betterment of my blog. Personally, it’s great, but professionally, it doesn’t really hit the mark.”

For influencers, Instagram is the preferred platform platform to engage with followers, while Facebook remains a great way to interact with friends and promote content.

If you’re on multiple social platforms, you may find yourself going to different social channels for different reasons. That’s why we wanted to know our influencers’ thoughts on the best ways to use each platform. They reported that they find Facebook is the best platform for promoting blog posts, sharing live correspondence, video and keeping in touch with friends and family. But when it comes to engaging with followers, 31 percent listed Instagram as the top choice. Pinterest rose to the top as the best platform for sharing food- and recipe-related content, and Twitter was considered the most effective platform for engaging with brands.

best social media platforms for influencers

Online platforms help streamline project management, but they shouldn’t take the place of working with a direct contact — an influencer’s preferred method of participation. 

Online platforms create value when they give influencers a central location to find all campaign-related information and see deadlines and their requirements, but fully automated platforms aren’t their preferred method of campaign management. Authentic relationships between influencers and agency/brands are still key to helping influencer marketing campaigns thrive.

Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents said a central dashboard or platform with an agency or brand direct contact providing hands-on management of the program is their favorite way to participate in campaigns, as compared to only 12 percent who prefer a fully automated platform.

Our network of influencers mentioned that they loved working with hands-on agencies and brands because they have developed great relationships over time,  which strengthens their investment in the campaigns. This relationship creates a feeling of working as a team, and influencers often noted they would spend more time on these campaigns. Each approach can have its place, depending on the campaign type, but influencers want to work with people and brands and get to know them — not automated systems.

They also noted that a benefit of online platforms is that all information is accessible at your fingertips. However, drawbacks of platforms included too much focus on numbers, which can lead to influencers with high-quality engaging content being overlooked, and platforms may not do as great of a job of finding influencers that align well with brands and their missions. Many noted that there needs to be a mix of both in influencer marketing in 2017.

As always, authenticity is key.
Influencer marketing authenticity 2017
One thing that has not changed in influencer marketing in 2017 is that authenticity is still a very important factor. The influencers in our network reported that their personal and authentic content receives the highest engagement, because readers want real-life anecdotes and insights more than ‘expert tips.’ They also reported that readers love it when there is a personal touch to a post with or without a brand tied in.
Do you have any thoughts to add on influencer marketing in 2017?

The Motherhood’s Most-Viewed Blog Posts from 2016

influencer marketing blog posts

The Motherhood is already off to an amazing start in the New Year! We are excited about the current direction of influencer marketing, and we can’t wait to explore ways to continue building relationships with new and old partners alike. As we move forward into 2017, we’ve been reflecting on how much we’ve learned in the last year, much of which we shared in previous posts. In case you missed them, we’ve recapped some of our most-viewed influencer marketing blog posts from 2016 here:

#8: Measurement Monday: Defining Your Campaign Success Metrics

We launched our Measurement Monday series last year to uncover how best to measure the success of influencer marketing. The first step? Defining your goals! Because if you don’t know exactly what you should be measuring, then how can you measure it accurately?

#7: Snapchat for Brands?

At the beginning of 2016, many were asking whether Snapchat was worth the investment for brands. While there are new advertising options within the platform, we still don’t see a huge opportunity when it comes to influencer marketing – yet. Based on a recent influencer survey from The Motherhood network, however, the trend seems to be away from Snapchat. In the survey, our influencers said they prefer Instagram Stories over Snapchat, due to the fact that their follower base is already established on Instagram’s platform.

#6: Measurement Monday: Going Beyond the Impression

The long-standing impressions metric does not always communicate the value of influencer marketing. So what should you be looking for? In this post, we dive deeper into a few valuable metrics for influencer marketing campaigns.

#5: Advantages of Using an Influencer Marketing Agency

The Motherhood is founded on trusted relationships between our brand and blogger partners. While there are different approaches to influencer marketing, working with an agency offers many advantages. In our recent influencer survey, nearly half of respondents said they prefer being part of campaigns that include both a dashboard or platform and a direct contact at an agency or brand. Building strong relationships with partner brands and agencies over time is something influencers prefer, and they say those relationships make them feel more invested in a campaign.  

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

Take a look and let us know what you think: how did our predictions for this past year pan out? Our influencer network would agree that video was the top trend that emerged in 2016. This includes Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Live video.

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

For Super Bowl 50, we were especially interested in Twitter’s new advertising option for brands: a $1 million branded emoji. We followed the four brands that partnered with Twitter to create these emojis and listed the results in this blog post. We can’t wait to see what new marketing trends arise during this year’s big game!

#2: The Motherhood Research Reveals How Sponsored Content Leads to Purchase

We conducted a survey to uncover just how much online sponsored content affects purchase decisions. We found that 79 percent of blog readers will seek out brands they’ve seen on social media, and 98 percent see a product in a store and recall reading about it in a blog post or on social media. Check out our full blog post, including an infographic, for complete results of this survey.

#1: What the Facebook Branded Content Tool Means for Bloggers and Blogger Marketing Networks

And finally, our top-read blog post for 2016 was about the Facebook Branded Content Tool released in April that caused much confusion and concern among influencers. Our team, with the help of one of our amazing influencers, got to the bottom of it!

Thank you for following along with our INFLUENCER MARKETING BLOG POSTS! You can stay up to date with our posts by subscribing at the right side of the page.

Influencer Marketing Research in Partnership with the University of Pittsburgh

For several years, The Motherhood has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh to conduct influencer marketing research, putting the young medium of social media under the microscope to uncover valuable business insights. Marketing Professor Vanitha Swaminathan, PhD, who is the director of the Katz Center for Branding in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, has guided our work together since 2013.

The Katz Center for Branding has filmed and shared a new video that explains the work they do and briefly outlines some of our research efforts (beginning at 1:30):

As noted by PhD student Christian Hughes in the video, we’ve most recently explored the factors that make a blogger most successful – specifically, examining the type of content posted and the makeup of influencers’ follower networks.

Out of our previous influencer marketing research, in 2014, we shared the most effective ways to engage moms online on behalf of brands. We followed up in 2015 with research-based practical tips on how to reach influential moms online.

influencer marketing research

A few interesting findings from our current research include:

  • Staying on topic matters. A blog post with higher relevancy can increase engagement on a blog post by 20 percent.
  • Engagement rate and posting frequency are correlated. Bloggers with high Facebook engagement generally post eight percent more often than bloggers with low Facebook engagement. Bloggers with high blog post engagement generally post 35 percent more than bloggers with low blog post engagement.
  • Readers love visuals. Blog posts that receive high engagement are 12 percent more likely to include a photo than blog posts with low engagement.
  • A new product release presents a strategic opportunity for a blog campaign. Campaigns featuring new versus existing products are 38 percent more likely to receive high Facebook and blog engagement.

Many thanks to Vanitha Swaminathan, Christian Hughes and Bob Stein at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business for their work and partnership over the years!

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