Back-to-School Shopping Trends and Insights

back-to-school shopping trends

It’s August, and for many families, that means it’s back-to-school time! Did you know that back-to-school is the second-largest shopping season of the year? According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), shopping trends indicate that back-to-school and back-to-college spending are projected to reach $83.6 billion this year, with the average seasonal shopper expected to spend $688 this year.

The Motherhood explored back-to-school shopping trends, including how consumers research, where they are buying and how social media habits come into play for this year’s popular shopping season. Here’s what we found:

When are People Shopping?

According to an NRF back-to-college spending survey, nearly half of those surveyed (46.7 percent) plan to start their back-to-college shopping between three weeks and one month before school starts. The same timing applies to elementary school students, according to School Family Media’s TeacherLists.com*, a service that gives parents a one-click system to order their child’s exact school supply list from online retailers.

Southern states account for 44 percent of all school enrollments, and the majority of these shoppers (70 percent) begin before August. This group also spends more than those in other regions of the country — an average of $554.

Research and Social Inform Purchasing Decisions

Google Trends indicates that searches for back-to-school start to increase as early as June, and peak in August. What’s more is that three out of five searches on the topic occur on mobile devices, which is a 35 percent increase in mobile back-to-school searches from the 2015-2016 school year.

When it comes to mobile, a survey by Deloitte indicated that shoppers use computers and smartphones during the shopping journey. Furthermore, 27 percent said they plan to use social media for transactional reasons (to find coupons and to browse items), and 77 percent said they would try new digital in-store technologies that offer value/convenience.

Online vs. Brick-and-Mortar

Small Business Trends reports that last year, 70 percent of back-to-school sales took place in brick-and-mortar stores. eMarketer projects that online sales will grow by 14.8 percent compared to last year — but will only account for a little more than eight percent of all back-to-school retail sales. One reason behind the preference for in-store shopping could be because of tax-free shopping days, which many states hold in August.

What’s on Shopping Lists?

Deloitte indicated that traditional school supplies (think folders and paper notebooks) are less in-demand since there has been a shift to technology-based learning in schools. Another reason could be that parents are using pre-made school supply kits, which are offered in some places. This year, the majority of shoppers’ budgets (55 percent) is expected to go to clothing and accessories, which is 10 percentage points higher than 2016 back-to-school shopping.

eMarketer predicts that the most popular products purchased during this season include: apparel and accessories, books, music and videos, computers and consumer electronics, office equipment and supplies, and toys, hobbies and sporting goods.

Do any of these back-to-school shopping trends surprise you? Where do you do most of your shopping, and does social media inform your purchasing decisions? Tell us in the comments!

*Teacherlists.com is a partner of the motherhood, but this post is not sponsored and All opinions are our own.

Case Study: Influencer Marketing Campaign Creates Buzz for Delicious and Convenient Treats

On behalf of the new Perfect Size for 1 products from Duncan Hines, The Motherhood organized and executed a three-month influencer marketing campaign to amplify awareness, maximize purchase consideration and create buzz around the delicious and convenient treats.

To kick off the program, 53 influencers each received samples of the Perfect Size for 1 products to experience and enjoy for themselves. Using the brand’s key messages, the influencers created strategic and compelling content, highlighting their favorite times and ways to enjoy the treats, along with suggestions for add-ins when taking a Perfect Size for 1 break. Each influencer developed a blog post that featured key brand messaging tied into their own authentic thoughts about the product and beautiful, high-end personal photos. They then cross-promoted the content on key social channels to round out their participation in the blog and social media tour. 

To drive more awareness and engagement during the influencer marketing campaign, The Motherhood also worked with the participating bloggers to produce a Twitter party, two Instagram loop giveaways and a promoted Pinterest pin campaign. Furthermore, as a content development value-add, the brand re-purposed blogger-created photos and content on its Facebook page for months after the campaign’s conclusion.

Quick look:

influencer case study

 

Breakdown of results:

The campaign generated more than 121 million blog and social media impressions from 53 blog posts and more than 3,200 social media posts. These posts led to more than 28,000 unique social engagements (likes, comments, shares) with branded content, and 29% of comments on posts indicated purchase intent.

The influencer team reached more than 211,000 targeted individuals through the boosted pin campaign, which exceeded the overall Pinterest engagement average, and exceeded the food/beverage pin engagement rate average by 13%. The Instagram loop giveaways led to 1.18 times more engagement on loop giveaway posts, as compared to general Instagram posts for the campaign.

At the time of completion, the influencer marketing campaign generated an earned media value of more than $1 million, resulting in a significant return on investment.

Coverage highlights:

Christie, Raising Whasians, published this fun Instagram post that received more than 450 likes and more than 30 comments:

Mary Beth, Cupcakes and Crinoline, pinned her own image of the Perfect Size for 1 treats, and it received more than double the average lifetime number of re-pins for a typical Pinterest pin:

Marisa,ThePennyWiseMama’s visual content performed well across all social channels, garnering a large number of comments and shares:

JeeYoung, Simply + Every, uniquely tied in the branded product with an important life event – her pregnancy – which led to engaging and relevant content:

AnnMarie, AnnMarie John, included beautiful product photography in her posts, and her consistently high engagement rates helped boost the Instagram loop giveaway entries:

Featured image at the top of the post courtesy of: Michelle, Our Three Peas.

Influencer Tactic: Extend the Value of Campaigns with Influencer-Executed Promoted Social Posts

influencer social ads

The influencer marketing landscape has grown more competitive in past years, and it has become increasingly important to work with experienced influencer marketers to develop well-thought-out and expertly executed campaigns that employ more than one influencer tactic.

As a full-service influencer marketing agency, The Motherhood is often tasked with coming up with fresh ideas for tactics that can integrate seamlessly into an overall campaign strategy. When it fits into campaign parameters and goals, a beneficial yet often-overlooked, tactical add-on to influencer campaigns is paid social ads and boosted posts executed by the influencers themselves. 

Simply put, influencers receive a social media ad budget to promote their own branded posts on priority social media outlets. This helps reach a highly targeted group of individuals, as well as expanding organic reach and increasing engagements and actions on posts. Not only does this approach provide value to the brand by reaching more eyeballs through an authentic source, it also provides value to influencers, as their channels get higher visibility.

Why is this more successful than a brand simply boosting their own social media posts with ad dollars? Because the influencers’ ad content is written and posted by relatable individuals who align with the message, it resonates with the target demographic more effectively, and it looks less like an ad and adds more value to the consumer buying journey than a simple ad. The combination of authentic content and effective distribution strengthens the campaign for both parties.

how to increase return on influencer marketing

Of course, it is important to execute the tactic strategically, using findings from your own brands’ advertising successes as well as letting the influencers use their knowledge of content and community to optimize the ad and boosted post parameters. Getting to know influencers prior to the campaign, determining their level of experience with social ads and clearly conveying the goals, will help increase the probability of success.

In getting to know our network of influencers, we’ve found that over 75 percent have executed a boosted Facebook post while only 36 percent have experience with Instagram ads. Most often Facebook boosted posts are mentioned as the most successful social ad tactic for their content and emphasize that quality authentic images and call to action are key. Our influencers cite increase in reach, heightened engagement and link click throughs as the primary reasons they’ve executed paid social on their channels.


Below are examples of successful paid social post campaigns that The Motherhood has implemented as an influencer tactic in tandem with broader influencer marketing programs.

Boosted Facebook posts led to increased click-through rates.

In our headquarters city of Pittsburgh, we worked with a quick-service restaurant to feature a lightly branded, shareable infographic of crowd-sourced tips for local summertime family activities. A group of local influencers targeted their boosted Facebook posts to reach key individuals, which resulted in a click-through rate 78% higher than industry average

Boosted Facebook posts integral in influencer campaign ROI of 16X.

The Motherhood worked on a consumer product campaign featuring an on-the-ground experiential marketing program and hyper-local influencer team. Influencers in each of the target locations geo-targeted their boosted Facebook posts to promote on-the-ground branded events, driving high engagement rates and successful event attendance. Moreover, the return on investment for this campaign, calculated based on earned media value, was more than 16 times the initial investment

Boosted pin team targets easy desserts, generating 13% higher than industry average engagement rate.

As part of a new product launch for a quick dessert product from a well-known brand, a team of influencers created content showcasing unique product preparations. A select set of those influencers were given an ad budget to promote their pins on Pinterest to targeted individuals interested in the category of easy desserts. Within 30 days of posting, the pins had received an average of 1.5X higher number of re-pins than a standard pin in its lifetime. Furthermore, the higher engagement rate of those pins was 13% higher than average for promoted pins in the food and beverage product category.


Another quick tip about promotion: With proper attribution and links, sharing an influencer’s branded content on your brand’s own social channels, or re-engaging influencers to promote their content again during key timeframes, is a cost-efficient and easy way to extend the value of an influencer marketing campaign.

Interested in executing a creative strategic influencer marketing campaign? Let’s talk!

New Influencer Opportunity in the Food Vertical with Amazon

This week, Amazon announced a new meal prep service, shortly after news of their registered trademark for “We do the prep. You be the chef,” started to circulate.

The meal delivery service closely resembles the ingredient-and-recipe offerings (such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh) that many are already very familiar with, indicating a potentially massive shift in the industry. To date, Amazon offers 17 meal options only to customers in Seattle, but given Amazon’s global scale (including Amazon Fresh, which offers grocery delivery to your doorstep), we wouldn’t be surprised if this new service expands quickly. To make the shift happen and elevate this prep service offering, positioning it as accessible and the preferred choice, the role and buy-in of influencers will be critical.

This all comes after Amazon’s big move to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in June, which reinforces the ongoing trend of the company gaining incredible momentum within the food space.

We’re excited to watch Amazon’s next big move, as we are certain that influencers will play an important part in its success!

Benefits of an Influencer Marketing Agency for Content Creators

influencer marketing agency

We often hear new influencers asking about the benefits of working with an influencer marketing agency, and while we’ve addressed this from the brand point of view, there are numerous benefits to bloggers as well.

Many newcomers who are just getting their feet wet in terms of brand partnerships and sponsored content have inquired as to how agencies can benefit an influencer marketer’s career — both at the beginning and years into growing your business. The Motherhood serves as an entry into brand work for many, but also as a long-term partner with some of the most experienced content creators out there.

We’re deeply invested in the success of our bloggers, which is why we believe in the value of deep-rooted partnerships with our influencers. Here are some of the top benefits for content creators when it comes to working with an influencer marketing agency:

Changing the Industry, Together

We represent the voices, concerns and insights of our influencers to the industry, and we help change it (for the better) together. We go to bat for the influencers we represent to ensure content is produced authentically, creatively and fairly. As one example of this, when influencer marketing was still foreign to most marketers, The Motherhood was one of the very first to establish ethical payment standards for bloggers, compensating them for their time.

We know that blogger compensation is still not a given for all brands interested in executing an influencer campaign, but for us, it’s standard. Of course there are special exceptions or pro-bono campaigns that we donate our time to and invite select influencers to lend their voices to, but we aim to provide influencers with a competitive and fair compensation for their time, efforts and of course, valuable influence.

We Cut Through the Clutter

Members of The Motherhood team hail from the country’s top PR and marketing agencies. We understand agency/client dynamics, and we know details can change at a moment’s notice.

The benefit to influencers: The Motherhood team is skilled at condensing changing requirements, messaging and many other details that go into creating a campaign. We minimize the back-and-forth for influencers, ensuring participants receive complete and final campaign information to the extent that we’re able.

We also manage the campaign timeline, ensuring that influencers receive a project brief with adequate time to produce creative, high-quality content. We enable you to produce your best work by giving you the right information and the right amount of time and eliminating time-consuming email exchanges.

influencer marketing agency

We’re Your Biggest Cheerleaders

No one knows your audiences better than you, and we help communicate that – and your value – to brands. When you deliver content that’s fresh, creative and exciting, we can’t wait to showcase that to our brand clients, calling out the phenomenal job you’ve done on their behalf. When an influencer goes above and beyond during the course of a campaign, that extra effort doesn’t go unnoticed; we make sure the brand is aware of those standout performances.

Plus, as measurement of influencer marketing and social media continues to evolve, we keep up with the current standards and help translate the work of our influencers into meaningful and impactful metrics that our clients can showcase both internally and externally. That, in turn, may mean longer-term relationships between brands and influencers versus one-off programs.

We Provide Consistent Opportunities 

Whether you’re new to blogging or a veteran, it’s common to have business ebbs and flows throughout the course of a year, especially when you may not have as much time to proactively identify and pitch potential brand partners.

Another one of the key benefits of an influencer marketing agency like The Motherhood is that we have a pipeline of campaign opportunities throughout the year, and influencers don’t have to spend time pitching The Motherhood for the program. We pitch you to the brand sponsor, so when we invite you to join a campaign, it’s because we’ve identified, vetted and selected you personally for a program we believe aligns well with you and your readers.

We Provide Tools for Tracking and Handle Reporting

The influencer marketing industry has greatly evolved as of late, clients are always looking for results and proof of return on investment. We know the value of what you do as an influencer, so its important to us to make sure clients are getting the full picture. It is extremely important to well document your sponsored blog and social media posts, tracking reach, engagement and results generated as well as reporting them to the client in a frame that is most beneficial.

Our team of analytics experts, combined with our tracking tools in The Mometer, ensure that results are accurately and effectively reported to the client. We gleam insights into campaigns that prove how impactful your work is. In turn, clients are more likely to continue influencer marketing efforts and hire you again.

Work with The Motherhood

We love to maintain ongoing, two-way communication with our influencers — whether that’s by meeting face-to-face at blogging conferences, by asking for your opinion on our surveys, chatting with you via social media or elsewhere. This dialogue helps strengthen our relationship so that we can provide you with even more opportunities.

Whether you’re looking for tips on how to start blogging professionally, or if you’re a veteran in the industry, The Motherhood is your partner in making opportunities happen. We’ll grow and evolve with you, we’ll continue to shape the industry together, and we’ll help you achieve your goals as an influencer.

The Motherhood is the original influencer marketing agency, bridging the gap between influential voices online and brands and organizations for more than a decade. To experience the benefits of working with an influencer marketing agency, join The Motherhood: http://www.themotherhood.com/network/join-our-network/.

Top 10 Influencer Tips at #BlogHer17

The Motherhood recently attended BlogHer17, an annual gathering of social media mavens, content creators, influencers, brands and more. We had a phenomenal time reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones and hearing from some incredible speakers — and given the amount of invaluable information presented during the time we were on site, we couldn’t resist sharing some of the top tips we heard from (and for) influencers!

Influencer Tips from #BlogHer17

Tip 1: Never Give Up!

Designer Gabi Gregg shared personal details of how she transitioned from a style blogger to a recognized swimwear designer, GabiFresh. Early in her career, she didn’t know how to negotiate with or get feedback from brands, but she knew there was a need for trendier, younger styles for women sizes 14 and up. Despite those challenges, she turned her vision into a reality. Her advice to the audience was simple: find where there is a need and focus on meeting that need.

Tip 2: Protect Content Rights 

As part of a panel discussion sharing influencer tips for fostering relationships with brands, Julie Deily, food photographer and blogger at The Little Kitchen, emphasized the need for fellow bloggers to be aware of content ownership issues. The panel recommended reading through all elements of influencer agreements, as well as working with an influencer agency to help ensure bloggers retain rights to their content.

Tip 3: Look for Opportunities to Be Authentic

As panelists from the Brands and Bloggers Working Together in the Food Vertical breakout said best,A good campaign will let you tell a story in an organic way.” There are brands and organizations that may not understand the importance of letting an influencer’s voice shine through, instead requiring that they tell a story in a prescribed way. It’s important for influencers to stay true to their personal brand voice (after all, that’s why they have the following they do!). Influencer agencies can also help with explaining that value to brands and bridging the gap when brands’ and bloggers’ interests don’t fully align.

Tip 4: Create a Compelling Media Kit

For influencers looking for brand opportunities, keeping an up-to-date media kit is crucial. Use it to showcase your value to prospective clients. Ensure you’re showing off what makes you unique, and give examples of your top-performing content!

Tip 5: When Posting for Brands, Be Cognizant of Other Brands

Mary Beth Brault, Group Manager of Corporate Communications at Hamilton Beach, reminded the audience to always pay attention to the other brands included in your images when you’re posting on behalf of a particular brand. Stay away from competitor brands in the background! These things will help your brand partner shine, as well as increase your chances of being asked to work with them again.

Tip 6: Familiarize Yourself with Goals at the Onset of a Program

Knock your sponsored campaign out of the park and avoid having to redo work by asking your brand or influencer network contact what a “win” is for the campaign — before the campaign starts.

Tip 7: Seek Out Facebook Verification

One of our favorite bloggers, Nathan Engels at WannaBite.com, shared a ton of great tips on how to crush it on Facebook. One tip? Get verified! Here’s more on how.

Influencer tips from BlogHer '17

Tip 8: When It Comes to Video, Just Do It!

Nathan also shared that when it comes to creating compelling content on Facebook, video is a must. He admits he’s not an expert on video, but that’s never stopped him. You don’t need an expensive camera or equipment; if you have a phone, give it your best shot!

Tip 9: To Drive Views, Publish Videos Straight to Facebook

Did you know that if you cross-promote a YouTube link on Facebook, you’ll get fewer views than a video uploaded directly to Facebook? If you’re looking to drive views, always publish your video directly through Facebook.

Tip 10: Do Your Homework on SEO Keywords

SEO is hugely important when it comes to breaking out from the online clutter. When it comes to determining SEO keywords for your blog post, don’t guess — take a look at Google Trends for suggested terms.

The entire SEO session from BlogHer was so valuable, we strongly recommend taking a look at the recap from Stephan Spencer here!

Thank you to the organizers of BlogHer ’17 for orchestrating another incredible event and the speakers for sharing these great influencer tips!

Social Media Week LA: How to Create & Distribute Compelling Content

Social Media Week LA brought together dozens of industry experts to talk discuss content trends and strategy, and we’ve noted some of our key takeaways below.

Social Listening to Define Content and Strategy

Social listening – taking stock of what people are saying about your brand, competitors, a topic or industry on social media – continues to be a goldmine of information for brands. It’s a way for you to not only glean insights about your existing audience, but also to identify ways to learn about new audiences, spark new campaign ideas and get ahead of potential crises.

Stephanie Nordstrom with Fender explained that, by implementing social listening and better understanding their audience, they grew their fans by 28 percent and added more than one million new fans across social media platforms.

Mitchell Pavao with Leaf Group shared that when his team started focusing on conversations, they gathered insights that ultimately led them to create a new online property to focus on a specific niche – in this case, adorable pet content on Cuteness.com. He explained that making this move ultimately helped them improve Facebook reach, too.

Compelling Social Videos + Defining Your Visual Voice

Video continues to be a hot topic, and brands and content creators are showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to producing videos. Multiple experts discussed how mobile and social video have disrupted traditional television, and it’s no surprise: viewers want to tune in on-the-go, plus we have the ability to watch content across devices at all hours of the day (versus one specific time and on one channel).

When it comes to creating quality video content, a few speakers offered a reminder to start by figuring out who your audience is. Understand their interests and consumption habits, and determine how your brand would fit in.

Chief Creative Officer of Brit + Co Anjelika Temple also explained that it’s important to define your visual voice. How can you do that? She suggested creating physical and digital mood boards, adding images that speak to you and your brand – and getting input from a variety of people in your organization.

The beauty of social media is that it invites dialogue and input from your audience. Joe Perez, the co-founder of Tastemade, explained that receiving community-provided input is key when it comes to creating a “modern media company.” (SoulPancake CEO Shabnam Mogharabi suggests even tapping these potential brand evangelists to be the subject of your video content.)

Perez also underscored that the length and format of videos must be platform-specific; what works on one channel doesn’t necessarily translate to another. For instance, Facebook’s autoplay feature calls for standout images and compelling visuals that make sense without sound.

Content Distribution + Storytelling

With a video uploaded to YouTube every .001 seconds, content distribution is just as important as creating the perfect video. Mogharabi explained: “It doesn’t matter how good the content is if no one sees it.”

Mogharabi tells her staff to “strive to be a virus, not viral,” explaining that virality is great, but once your content peaks, engagement falls off because viewers have nowhere to go from there. How can you avoid being a one-hit wonder? Create a steady drumbeat of content to give viewers something to come back to after a big moment.

She also advised that if you do focus on a hero piece of content and strive for a viral moment, then you must have hero distribution to go along with it. That means pulling out all the stops to leverage the moment: support it with media buys, PR, Facebook boosted posts and influencer distribution.

Pavao also encouraged brands to self-reflect when it comes to creating content and storytelling: What differentiates your brand from others? How are you better than other brands? How do you tell your story to your audience – are you snarky, funny, providing news or something else? Once you have those insights, you can refine your message and determine how to execute.

Thanks to the organizers of Social Media Week for putting on another great event where we learned valuable insights from industry leaders!

Spotlight Blogger: Nicole with Pretty Opinionated

Nicole with Pretty Opinionated

Nicole with Pretty Opinionated, a lifestyle blog, is an extraordinary mom to an 11-year-old boy, a passionate reader and writer – and our July Spotlight Blogger! Nicole has a way of making topics relatable and hurdles surmountable, which makes her blog such a joy to read. Take a look at our Q&A with her below!

What do you feel is the #1 trend in influencer marketing in 2017?

Live video, although I’m hoping we swing back to written content because I get way too nervous on video!

What trend or platform is on its way out?

I don’t think any platforms are particularly on the way out, I think we’ll just keep changing how we use them. Like Facebook, one day GIFs are all the rage, the next it’s those Tasty-style videos and the next it’s Live videos. As for trends, all of them! By nature, trends are short-lived. That’s why we have to constantly adapt as influencers.

Influencer marketing is ________.

Brilliant. Think about it: brands benefit from having real people share their products for a fraction of the cost of an ad during a popular show. I was telling my husband the other day, it makes more sense to pay influencers who have a strong following and KNOW that your product is making it in front of your target audience versus paying $1 million for ad space on a TV show and assuming that 50% will fast-forward the commercial, 25% will get up and get a snack during it, 10% will browse on their phones or have a conversation, and maybe 5% will actually SEE the commercial. Those are totally made-up numbers, by the way, but it’s how I imagine the majority of us watch TV!

What content do you feel your readers find most valuable?

Honest, real-life tips, insanely easy recipes and other ideas that the average, busy mom can use resonate the deepest with my readers. I am absolutely imperfect and flawed (especially when it comes to cooking!), and I think my readers appreciate the fact that I openly admit that regularly.

What is your favorite space to engage with your readers?

On my blog, because I’m a very wordy person! Social media is useful, but I have a hard time limiting myself to a set number of characters!

Where do you see the most engagement with your content?

On my blog itself and on Pinterest. I am madly in love with Pinterest!

Tell us why you blog.

Honestly, I was a broke single mom and needed to figure out a way to pay the bills when I started it. I saw other blogs talking about how much money they made and figured it would be easy. It’s SO not, at least not at first! I kept doing it, though, because I love it. I can work in my jammies, interact with other people who actually “get” me and spend more time with my son.

Where do you find inspiration for new blog posts?

Everywhere! I have a whole system that includes checking out what’s trending on Pinterest, what holidays (regular and weird) are coming up and what has worked well for me in the past that I can expand on. I also read like crazy, everything from magazines to other blogs. I keep multiple notebooks and list apps handy so I can jot down things as they pop into my head. Sometimes, I even come up with them in my dreams!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a blog?

Be yourself and find your own voice. In the beginning, it’s tempting to read thousands of tips from other bloggers and try to duplicate what they’re doing, but you’ll not only be miserable, you’ll be inauthentic. Readers can spot a fake a mile away. Find your voice and let it ring out.

2017 is the year of ________.

Strong women. I think with the current political climate, women are working harder than ever to protect their rights. We’ve always been fighters, but I feel like we’re becoming more united, speaking up louder and really making sure our voices are heard.

My 2017 holiday predictions:

Double duty or functional gifts. More and more people are jumping on the minimalist bandwagon, so I think wish lists will reflect that. Storage that doubles as home decor, kitchen gadgets with multiple purposes and just plain useful gifts will be big!

What’s your greatest challenge when working with brands?

Getting clear and concise expectations up front. I don’t need a lot of hand-holding or creative direction, but if you need me to take a picture of a product in a certain way, I need to know that BEFORE I use it all up. Or, if you want me to write from a certain angle, I need to know that before I write 1,000+ words from another. Most brands are pretty good about this, but I’ve had a few that change directions late in the game and cost me hours of work.

What are your thoughts on working with a brand on multiple occasions (vs. one-off programs)?

I love it. While one-off programs are great too, I love getting to know a brand from different angles and helping my readers develop a deeper relationship with them through my posts.

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

I do not love them at all. I think that some brands assume that if they don’t get 1,000 clicks that first day, the campaign failed. That’s like saying that if a million people don’t rush out the door to buy a soda within five minutes after a commercial airs, they’re never going to buy it at all. Readers may not always click through right away, but they’ll (hopefully!) remember what I said when they are ready to buy. In an ideal world, they’ll come back to my post and click the link, but I’ve read a blog post from another blogger in the past about a product, then grabbed it when I was out and about or shopping online without going back to their post.

Favorite program you’ve done with The Motherhood?

I’ve had such a great experience with every program, but I absolutely LOVED Simple Sugars. Not only were their products insanely amazing, but the mom/daughter team behind them was just so inspiring.

What’s the #1 question you’re asked by your readers, and what’s your answer?

The biggest question I get asked is: “How do you start a blog?” For that, I send them to someone else who writes about that subject for a living! I can give basic answers – get a domain, get a host, write, write, write – but honestly, my mom did the first two for me!

What’s the #1 question you’re asked by brands, and what’s your answer?

I think the biggest question I get asked is how I plan to share their product in a unique way. Everyone wants to know that, which makes sense. My answer varies, obviously, but the heart of it is always the same: by making it personal. I don’t copy and paste key messages. I find a way to relate them to my own life, and I think readers find that a lot more authentic and engaging.

What should brands start doing (better) when working with bloggers?

Remember that, for most of us, our blogs are often our businesses and how we keep a roof over our kids’ heads. Treat us with the respect that you would treat another business person. Don’t ask us to do something for free if we don’t have that kind of relationship yet! I am often more than happy to send out a “pro bono” tweet or something to help out a brand with whom I have a relationship, but if your first message to me is asking for a freebie, it’ll end up in my delete folder. Unless of course it’s for a charitable or social good cause. Or for an indie author — I have a soft spot for them!

For more on Nicole, visit her blog or check out her brilliant ideas on Pinterest!


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.

Take a look at our other featured influencers here, and stop by in August for the next Spotlight Blogger!

Facebook’s Declining Organic Reach: Tips for Publishers to Maintain Reach

Facebook's Declining Organic Reach

Algorithmic changes mean lower organic reach for publishers. Read on for tips on how to combat Facebook’s Declining Reach!

If you’re a marketer or publisher, you’ve likely tried to stay ahead of Facebook’s declining organic reach due to its ever-changing algorithm. And, despite your efforts to follow best practices for publishing, you might be seeing some subtle – but noticeable – changes to the organic reach of your Facebook posts.

For years, Facebook has been laying the groundwork for these changes – explaining that there’s an enormous amount of content being published every minute of every day: “on average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook.” So, it’s inevitable that there will be some competition to be visible in the News Feed.

In 2016, Facebook tweaked its algorithm such that content from family and friends was prioritized to appear in the News Feed over content from Pages. As Business2Community writes, at that time, “Facebook warns Pages could anticipate a dip in organic reach which could be as low as two percent or even lower in some cases. Think about that. Based on that two percent figure, for a brand with 10,000 fans, only 200 people will see its posts. If you had one million fans, only 20,000 would see your company’s posts.”

Digiday shared numerous theories on Facebook’s declining organic reach this year, too. Some believe it’s because Facebook wants publishers to spend more to promote their posts, while others think it may be that people are tired of reading about the election and subsequent coverage.

Though we’re all at the mercy of the Facebook algorithm, here are some tips on how publishers can combat Facebook’s declining organic reach:

1) Use Facebook Live: Last year, Facebook invested more than $50 million in deals with media companies and celebrities to develop content for Facebook Live, so it’s evident that they’re interested in maximizing the success of this feature. Read about best practices for going live here and here.

2) Publish Videos: Facebook reported that 100 million hours of video are watched each day on the platform, and according to Socialbakers, native Facebook videos have a greater organic reach when compared to other forms of content. (“Native” means that they should be uploaded directly to Facebook – not shared from other video platforms.)

3) Employ Social Listening and Respond Accordingly: Knowing what your audience is talking about and joining in on the conversation is crucial to staying relevant. Pay attention to trending topics and chime in!

4) Be Human and Not Overly Promotional: Businesses naturally want to promote their products and services, but to maintain interest and engagement with your community, balance those posts with interesting, interactive and authentic content.

Have you noticed Facebook’s declining organic reach on your page? How are you staying ahead of these changes? Tell us in the comments!

Happy Father’s Day to our Dad Influencers and Dads Behind the Blogs

father influencers and bloggers

One of the “other-hoods” of The Motherhood is The Fatherhood, which not only includes dad influencers who run their own individual blogs, but also those who contribute to their partner’s blog! As part of our ongoing series, The Other-hoods of The Motherhood, we want to shine a light on how dads play a role in influencer marketing. Just in time for Father’s Day, we asked our network of influencers exactly how their partners help contribute to their profession.

When it comes to the ways in which husbands or significant others are involved in our mom influencers’ blogs, more than 91 percent of respondents said their partners were involved to some degree! More than 24 percent of those surveyed said their partners were regularly involved in their blogs.

dad influencers

So, how exactly are these dads contributing?

dad bloggers
To a certain degree, in many cases, the dads in these mom blog professionals’ lives help with everything you can think of: writing, photography, finances, executing projects, providing constructive feedback, content creation – even modeling!

Here is some of the feedback they shared with us directly:

dad influencer quote

Meredith, Unoriginal Mom

father influencer quote

Lesley, The Lucky Pear

fatherhood quote

Larisha, We’re Parents

We are lucky to be able to work with some amazing dad influencers, as well. Check out our Spotlight Blogger feature on dad blogger Trey from Daddy Mojo!

To all the dad INFLUENCERS AND BLOG SUPPORTERS out there: We hope you have some time to relax this Father’s Day. Thank you for all that you do!


Are you looking to execute a social media and blog influencer marketing campaign highlighting dad influencers and blog contributors? Talk to us! We are experts in scaling strategic, unique and engaging influencer marketing campaigns that fit your needs and deliver quality content and meaningful results.

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