Innovation Works’ Marketing to Women Panel: Top Advice and Takeaways

marketing to women

Last week, The Motherhood CEO Cooper Munroe had the opportunity to speak at Innovation Works’ Marketing to Women Panel in our headquarters city of Pittsburgh. There, she discussed the challenges, trends and best practices for reaching the female consumer with a room full of brilliant, local small business entrepreneurs.

Cooper was joined on stage by moderator Vanessa Jameson, the co-founder and CEO of Covey, as well as panelist Kelley Skoloda, Director of Marketing to Women and Moms at Ketchum. Read on for a few takeaways from the discussion!

Trends in Marketing to Women

As Ketchum’s trend spotter, Skoloda is always in-the-know when it comes to current trends in the marketing industry. She gave a rundown of themes and tips from successful marketing campaigns she’s seen recently, especially when it comes to marketing to women:

  • Female empowerment. Women are inspired by campaigns that are emotionally resonant and empowering. See examples from brands like Dove Love Your Curls campaign, Under Armour for women and GoldieBlox. (Full disclosure, The Motherhood has previously executed influencer campaigns for Dove and GoldieBlox.)
  • Social good and purpose. No woman is an island. Women tend to appreciate the feeling of joining a cause and being part of something much larger than just themselves and their families.
  • Influencer marketing. Skoloda said she doesn’t see one marketing proposal or strategy come through her office without an influencer component. Whether it’s a celebrity or group of niche bloggers, influencers are being incorporated into overarching brand strategies. Skoloda predicted that the use of influencers in marketing will only increase in the future.
  • Dads and family. The idea of the “traditional” family is ever-evolving. Using dads and other family themes in your marketing is appealing to moms.

The panel also addressed the question: How can a young company execute strategies on a budget?

  • Social listening was the number one suggestion from the panel, because anyone can listen and analyze existing, organic conversation about their brand or industry online. The internet is a powerful consumer insights tool that brands with any budget can — and should — lean on. Take the time to listen (and respond!) to your online community before launching a campaign.
  • Story mapping is one of Skoloda’s top pieces of advice for creating marketing strategies on a budget. Map out what makes your brand different, how it started, who manages it, etc. Determining those core elements will help shape your brand’s campaigns.
  • Showcase the story behind your brand. Women connect to stories, so highlight your brand’s story on your website and social channels to resonate with female consumers in particular.
  • Feature the women behind your brand. Women also connect with female faces. When you have a woman-led advisory board or CEO, make sure they are featured on your brand’s website and/or social pages.
  • Influence your influencers. Engage bloggers to help tell your brand story, because you can’t reach everyone on your own!

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Finally, the room wanted to know: How can brands best structure campaigns? How can a brand get a pulse on how they are doing among women? 

  • Be very clear about where you want to go. Determine your goals before launching a campaign.
  • Listen to your reviews (even your dissenting ones) and respond to them! Consumers appreciate when brands are relatable and human.
  • Build an advisory board for your brand, so that you have a broader perspective when making big decisions. The “board” can be made up of trusted friends at non-competitive companies or even your influencer partners.
  • Send surveys and invite feedback. Consumers want to be seen as people, not numbers.
  • Use Facebook for Business to get detailed demographics on your audience. Test out the different audiences (different segmentations of female consumers) to determine the best types of themes and posts that work for your brand’s target audience.

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A huge thank you to Innovation Works for hosting the Marketing to Women Panel! We look forward to connecting with this amazing group of entrepreneurs again!

Blogger Spotlight: We Know Stuff

We Know Stuff

Trust, patience and observation; Denine & Daniele of We Know Stuff share what they want to see from brands, what bloggers need to practice to achieve success and their focus throughout 2016.

Read on to learn more about We Know Stuff and the blogging duo’s thoughts on the above, as well as programs measured by click-through rates, the “numbers game” and more. Give them a shout out at @WeKnowStuff_US!

We Know Stuff

Want to see more? Check out our most recent blogger spotlights, as well as our 2015 Blogger Spotlight Series.

How does the Blogger Spotlight Series work? Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top-performing 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 invite as our featured blogger. Stop back December 1 for the final blogger spotlight of 2016.

Five Tips to Maximize Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

influencer marketing

The popularity of influencer marketing has skyrocketed: check out how the search volume for “influencer marketing” has increased over the past five years!

More and more brands are recognizing that it’s one of the most important pieces of the overall marketing/PR pie. So, how can you ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment?

Read on for tips on how you can maximize your influencer marketing campaign.

Tip 1: Keep Them Coming Back with Evergreen Content

The internet never forgets, and that can be a great thing for brands, assuming it’s content they want to be seen over and over again. By encouraging influencers to publish evergreen content — that is, content that is not tied to one particular promotion or timeframe — brands reap the benefits of a one-time influencer marketing campaign indefinitely. That’s because the influencers’ content continues to gain visibility over time, improving the brand’s search rankings and providing potential customers with resources and information about the brand from a credible source, the influencer, when they’re on the path to purchase.

Tip 2: Foster Relationships with Brand Aficionados and Star Performers

Once you’ve identified and worked with influencers who have a passion for your brand, fostering those relationships can yield long-term benefits. Launching a new product? Tap influencers who know your brand well to serve as a mini focus group to offer valuable insights. Diving in to your next influencer campaign? Make sure you include a few influencers who have historically performed well for you.

Not only do influencers become a part of the brand’s evolution this way, but also, it boosts an influencer’s authenticity when it’s evident that she uses the product or service in her daily life. Cultivating relationships in this way can result in content that demonstrates a deep understanding of a brand’s objectives and can garner brand trust and loyalty in the long run.

Tip 3: Use an Agency That Specializes in Finding Targeted Influencers

The most successful influencer campaigns are those that involve hyper-targeted, carefully vetted influencers that align with the brand’s values and campaign goals.

Whether it’s finding five moms with highly engaged communities to attend an event in Austin, or seeking out 50 millennial moms with kids under age five to try out a new product, it can be extremely time-consuming to identify and manage these target-right influencers on your own. Working with an agency like The Motherhood creates both budget and time efficiencies because we’ve gathered data and insights from thousands of trusted influencers over several years, and our senior-level staff takes a hands-on approach to managing each and every program.

This goes hand-in-hand with the tip above, too: an influencer marketing agency can help nurture long-term relationships on behalf of your brand.

Tip 4: Your Content Has Legs – Exercise Them!

An undeniable benefit to an influencer campaign is that once it has ended, the content lives on and continues to deliver value over time. Brands have the opportunity to get additional eyeballs on the content generated during the campaign by cross-promoting it on their website, blog and/or social media channels (using proper attribution and crediting the influencer, of course).

Another great and cost-efficient option for boosting the visibility of influencer content comes from promoting it with paid Facebook posts. Boosted posts appear higher and more frequently in the News Feed, increasing the reach and engagement levels beyond those of a standard Facebook post.

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Example boosted post from a campaign with Walmart and The Motherhood. Facebook post courtesy of Valerie, Mom Knows It All.

Tip 5: Trust Your Influencers to Do It Right

70 percent of bloggers feel that there is a gap between what type of content works with their audience and what brands think works.*

Giving influencers an understanding of your campaign’s objectives and an idea of your intended messaging is crucial to shaping any influencer campaign. However, overly prescriptive messaging and strict brand guidelines can detract from the human aspect of an influencer marketing campaign, and it simply won’t perform well.

There’s a reason influencers have clout: their opinions, lifestyles and values resonate with their communities, which keeps them coming back for more. To have that influence carry over to your brand, it’s important that influencers have creative liberties when working on your campaign.

Contact us for additional ways to get the most out of your influencer campaign: contact@themotherhood.com.

 

*As revealed by an online survey conducted by Smith Brothers Agency and The Motherhood of 600 women within The Motherhood blogger network and approximately 50 brands that use influencer programs as part of their marketing mix. 

Introducing Our New Program Management Platform: The Mometer!

Exciting things have been happening for The Motherhood this year, including winning Social Media Team of the Year (awarded by PR News) and Agency of the Year (awarded by PRSA Pittsburgh). We have been working on some big things behind the scenes, as well.

The Motherhood is thrilled to announce that we have launched our new program management platform, The Mometer!

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We could not do what we do without our wonderful network of influencers and clients, so with them in mind, we developed this platform for seamless collaboration and community. The Mometer is a robust campaign management and insights and analytics system that will enable us to work with influencers and clients easily and efficiently, providing 24/7 access to campaign metrics.

The Mometer

High-Tech + High-Touch

At The Motherhood, we take the time to really get to know our influencers. Human-centered data drives everything we do, because we know that influencers are real people with individual interests, not just buckets of topics or monthly views. We strongly believe that when marketers take the time to understand the influencer, that is when campaigns will perform at their best. The Mometer allows us to collect smarter, useful data that informs our influencer marketing strategy and reporting.

We’ve found that many automated influencer marketing platforms are automated to a fault. At a minimum, you lose the human element that creates valuable relationships that lead to powerful results. However, some worst-case scenarios involve hundreds of hours of damage control because an automated system led to a mistake that cost a brand dearly — not just in dollars, but in reputation as well.

The Mometer is the perfect mix of human interaction and streamlined dashboards. While The Mometer will simplify many aspects of the campaign process for both brands and influencers, our hands-on approach will remain, and as always, we will continue to provide personal support from The Motherhood’s senior staff throughout all of our campaigns.

The Mometer

For influencers, The Mometer serves as a central base for our campaigns together, clearly laying out deadlines and campaign to-dos, and providing easy opt-in for participation. Unlike other platforms, influencers do not apply for or bid on opportunities through The Mometer. Instead, we hand-select, vet and invite each influencer for each campaign, based on our relationships with them and self-provided data within their profile, which is why it’s important for influencers to keep their profiles completely filled out and up to date!

We are actively extending invitations for The Motherhood’s network of influencers to gain access to The Mometer! If you are not yet a part of our network, gain access to The Mometer by filling out this registration form.

The Mometer

The Mometer

Our client portal is currently in its final stages of development. When it launches, clients will receive 24/7 access to campaign performance during the program timeframe and beyond. Metrics will be just a mouse-click away, making reporting quicker and easier than ever before!

In the meantime, brands and agencies can email us to learn how we can work together to leverage our expertise and The Mometer to build authentic and effective influencer marketing campaigns.

Why a Boutique Agency is the Best Choice for Influencer Marketing

The Motherhood: an award-winning boutique agency

With brands of all sizes exploring influencer marketing as a way to seed authentic, searchable content that drives purchase over time, one of the first decisions is whether to manage it in-house or through a network or agency. We’ve discussed the benefits of using an influencer marketing agency, but the decision doesn’t end there.

When it comes to selecting a partner for influencer marketing efforts, brands are faced with the prospect of evaluating dozens of organizations: large influencer marketplaces, boutique networks, blogger-run collectives and numerous other operations. As a social media marketing agency that has pioneered and executed hundreds of award-winning influencer marketing campaigns, The Motherhood understands the unique benefits of engaging a boutique agency.

High-Tech vs. High-Touch

Many large influencer networks tout their marketplace of tens of thousands of influencers who are available to brands at the click of a mouse. Campaigns are run through slick-looking automated dashboards.

While on the surface a high degree of hands-off automation may seem like a benefit, the reality is that a high-tech approach will fall flat without a high-touch element, for a number of reasons.

Blogger Vetting Requires a Human Touch

The Motherhood: an award-winning boutique agency
We know that 75 percent of professionals consider identifying the right influencers to be the biggest challenge of a sponsored content campaign. Reviewing thousands of prospective influencers within a database — even after extensive filtering, sorting and filing — doesn’t take into account the very necessary human element to the selection process.

The Motherhood takes a personal, detailed approach to blogger vetting, considering things like:

  • past, present or future relationships with competitors
  • responsiveness of an individual influencer (critical for quick-turnaround campaigns)
  • strengths or talents on certain platforms (performance goes beyond numbers)
  • existing affinity for the brand
  • other special circumstances that aren’t able to be captured in a database (For example, if a blogger’s child was just diagnosed with lactose intolerance, that may exclude her from a dairy campaign; or if a blogger just announced a pregnancy, that could impact a recommendation for an OTC product campaign)

Additionally, we often recommend an up-and-coming blogger who loves the brand we’re vetting for and who has proven to deliver gorgeous content. While those types of influencers are often overlooked or overshadowed in a large database, the boutique agency approach allows us to present some true rising stars in the blogosphere who will generate significant conversion for the brand.

With The Motherhood campaigns, brands always have the opportunity to review a large selection of influencers and select their top choices for their campaign. The difference is that a boutique agency offers tremendous efficiency by delivering a carefully curated list of influencers who are excellent fits for the individual campaign and brand, taking into account many intangibles that a dashboard can’t. Working with a boutique agency to identify bloggers is like receiving a beautifully packaged gift selected just for you.

With Automation Comes Risk

The Motherhood: an award-winning boutique agency
Large networks often promote automation as a way to achieve scale. While that can sound attractive to busy marketers, we’ve observed within the industry at large more than a few scenarios in which automation caused (or could have caused) detriment to the brand. Consider the following:

  • An influencer marketplace employed an automated system in which it would identify high-performing blogger content and launch an amplification campaign. However, the content the system identified as a top post included the wrong campaign hashtag and inaccurate campaign messaging, which was not caught until days later. The result? Many, many hours of re-work from the account team, leading to lost momentum and an over-budget campaign.
  • On the flip side, a large team of influencers was working to publish content according to a very specific, immoveable deadline. However, just before the content was to go live, the brand’s landing page was inexplicably removed, resulting in a broken link. The Motherhood’s dedicated account team identified this in a way that an automated dashboard could not. By flagging the issue to the client and obtaining a tracking link to a new landing page within the hour, all coverage was still published on deadline without any of the re-work that would have been required if the dead link had made it into 75 blog posts and several hundred social media posts.

Better Engagement — But Not in the Way You Think

The Motherhood: an award-winning boutique agency
The debate on why engagement matters is alive and well, but we’re talking about a different kind of engagement. In this instance, the engagement we’re referring to relates to how invested an influencer is in a brand’s campaign, which we know to be much more easily and genuinely achieved with a boutique agency.

In any given influencer marketing campaign, there are dozens of touch points with prospective and confirmed bloggers. The journey could include any or all of the following:

  • The initial program ask
  • One or more rounds of negotiation
  • Contract signature or request for tax-related documents
  • Briefing the participants on the messaging, theme and approach
  • Copy review and approval
  • Coverage monitoring and reminders
  • Follow-up to request corrections
  • Results collection and reporting
  • Post-program wrap-up

With a boutique agency, influencers also receive on-call access to senior account directors who can answer their questions and provide quick-turnaround insights that help them deliver accurate, timely and creative content.

At The Motherhood, we view influencer marketing as a very human, very personal discipline. Each communications touch point is an opportunity — person to person, not person to dashboard — to endear an influencer to your brand and generate long-term affinity. By creating a human connection and putting a face behind the network and the brand, the influencer knows they are heard, valued and appreciated. We know this to be a powerful incentivize to bring their best selves and to produce high-quality content that moves the needle.

The Motherhood: A Boutique Agency Achieving Big Things

The Motherhood is the gold standard in influencer marketing, founded and run by seasoned PR professionals who, for more than a decade, have consistently produced exceptional, award-winning online content. We’ve been named the PR News Social Media Team of the Year, AMA Marketer of the Year, PRSA Agency of the Year and Best in Show and one of Pittsburgh’s fastest-growing marketing agencies. We’re also one of Pittsburgh’s coolest offices to boot!

To discuss ways our boutique agency can deliver value and impact for your influencer marketing campaigns, please email contact@themotherhood.com.

The Motherhood: an award-winning boutique agency

 

DIY Project Inspiration from Olympic Paints and Stains

Many of us have home or design projects we think about, plan for, visualize, but never actually bring to fruition. The year comes and goes, and projects are left unfinished.

2016 was not that year.

In fact, it was quite the opposite for a team of DIY-loving bloggers. In early April, The Motherhood connected with a team of inspired men and women and asked them to show us their vision, starting with a trip to the Olympic Paints and Stains Color Center.

Each created a vision board to illustrate what they wanted to make happen in 2016, and from there they got to work! Bathroom makeovers, office overhauls, refinished furniture and more; the team brought their vision boards to life using their favorite colors from Olympic Paints and Stains.

Olympic Paints

Photo: Mom Favorites

Yet as we round out the end of the year, there’s no shortage of inspiration, as the team has recently pulled together another round of incredible vision boards to showcase their next projects. Let the creativity flow!

Olympic Paints

Photo: Mom Favorites

Olympic Paints

Photo: Remaking June

Case Study: The Motherhood reaches 7.6 million people with Savings Challenge campaign

savings challenge

The Motherhood and a financial client shared easy ways to save $500 in seven days.

Recently, a financial non-profit organization approached The Motherhood to help amplify the conversation about the company, particularly around a promotional savings challenge it was launching: a free program featuring expert tips and tricks, advice, and daily challenges to help users save $500 in just one week.

The Motherhood organized, implemented and managed a five-person blog tour and social media campaign on behalf of the client with bloggers who expressed interest in personal savings and financial success.

In order to create engaging and authentic content, each blogger signed up for and completed the savings challenge, which provided them with daily emails containing vital information and tips for financial success that they could share with their readers.

All five bloggers were proud of their success with the program and encouraged their readers to check out the challenge to start saving. The bloggers’ communities, in turn, were highly engaged, as many shared their personal savings goals.
Overall, the five-blogger campaign garnered more than 7.6 million impressions and more than 1,150 social engagements (likes, comments, shares). The campaign also generated a 19.2x return on investment. The client reported that The Motherhood’s influencers drove roughly 3,000 clicks directly from the campaign, with nearly a 40 percent conversion rate during the promotional period alone.
With a recent study from The Halverson Group reporting that the lifespan of a blog post is approximately 24 times longer than the standard 30-day unique monthly view reporting metric, this campaign still has plenty of life left!

Create a #BrighterDifference with Neutrogena Naturals

Neutrogena Naturals

What are you doing to make a #brighterdifference in your life or the lives of those around you?

This is the question the Neutrogena brand posed when introducing Neutrogena® Naturals Brightening Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 25, and an incredible team of moms has responded by sharing how their families inspire others through eco-friendly practices both big and small, the earth-friendly habits they are instilling in their children, and surprising gestures that truly make a #brighterdifference.

Allison of All for the Boys shared her family’s plan to make a #brighterdifference – starting with their neighborhood.

Neutrogena Naturals

Photo Courtesy: All for the Boys

Allison created beautiful cards that she and her boys left with small gifts or treats for friends in their neighborhood.

Neutrogena Naturals

Photo Courtesy: All for the Boys

On the environmental front, Crystal of Surviving a Teacher’s Salary shared eco-friendly things she is doing personally to create a #brighterdifference – from conserving utilities (and using that effort as a teaching tool for her children) to using products such as Neutrogena Naturals, which offers a lightweight formula with 94 percent naturally derived ingredients.

Being earth-friendly can be fun for the whole family, too, as Carlee of Fun Learning Life demonstrated through a DIY project for a headband holder. She emphasized the importance of upcycling used objects to create practical yet creative projects, driving home the value of recycling while also spending quality time as a family.

Neutrogena Naturals

Photo Courtesy: Fun Learning Life

Want to know more about Neutrogena® Naturals Brightening Daily Moisturizer?

We love this product! The lightweight, fast-absorbing formula offers 94 percent naturally derived ingredients, providing moisturization while skin-brightening lemon peel, an effective bionutrient, works with your skin to even skin tone in just four weeks. It does not contain harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, dyes or phthalates, and it’s clinically proven to reduce the look of skin discoloration for visibly brighter, more even-toned skin – and no clogged pores! With 100 percent naturally derived sunscreens, the moisturizer provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection without the harsh chemicals.

And it gets better … The cartons that are used for packaging are made with 100 percent recycled paper with 60 percent post‐consumer recycled content. The recycled paperboard cartons use 75 percent less water in processing than virgin paperboard does. They also use up to 50 percent post-consumer recycled content in the bottles.

Now it’s your turn…

Tweet us at @TheMotherhood to share tips, photos and/or video using the hashtag #brighterdifference and tell us about the eco-friendly steps you’re taking to create a #brighterdifference in your life!

Featured Image Photo Credit: All for the Boys

This post was shared as part of an Influencer Activation with Neutrogena. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising.

This weekend: Yo-kai Watch special one-day movie event

For one day only, on Saturday, October 15, select theaters across the country will be showing a special screening of Yo-kai Watch: The Movie, an English-language film based on the popular Yo-kai Watch series currently airing on Disney XD.

Click here for more information about screenings in your area and to purchase tickets!

The show is about a boy named Nate Adams and his adventures with mischievous Yo-kai, invisible beings who are the source of life’s daily annoyances. After he gets a special watch (hence the name of the show, Yo-kai Watch), he is able to summon and befriend Yo-kai, working with them to solve everyday problems. In the movie, Nate and two of his Yo-kai friends time travel to the past to help his grandfather, Nathaniel, fight off evil Yo-kai and invent the Yo-kai Watch.

Yo-kai Watch: The Movie Event attendees will also have a chance to receive a limited edition Hovernyan YO-MOTION YO-KAI MEDAL, while supplies last. (Hovernyan is a new Yo-kai introduced during the movie – a heroic, floating blue cat who accompanies Nate during his travels.)

Yo-kai Watch

The Motherhood is working with a great group of bloggers on a campaign to help promote the movie. Caryn at Rockin’ Mama reported, “My kids can’t wait to see this. They are HUGE Yo-kai Watch fans!” and both Shell at Not Quite Susie Homemaker and Ashleigh at Living Off Love and Coffee have sons who are excited for the screening events.

If you need to catch up on this global phenomenon, the first season of the TV show Yo-kai Watch is currently available on Netflix, and you can also watch full episodes on the YouTube channel.

Interested in learning more? Join a Twitter party to discuss the movie on October 13 at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT / 10 a.m. PT). We’ll be using the hashtag #YoKaiWatchMovie and giving away five $50 gift cards! Click here to RSVP to the party and be eligible to win.

Blogger Spotlight: Scarlet, Family Focus Blog

“I think the focus on good content that tells a story or shares a valuable idea is still key.” 

Scarlet of Family Focus Blog shared it all with us this month, starting with why good content will always be most important, why initial click-through rates are not an ideal measurement of success and what brands are doing right now.

In our October Blogger Spotlight, Scarlet also revealed which social media platform she’s been resisting, as well as her #1 piece of advice for those looking to launch a career in blogging.

Read on to learn more about Family Focus Blog, and give Scarlet a shout at @FamilyFocusBlog.

 

Family Focus Blog

Want to see more? Check out our most recent blogger spotlights, as well as our 2015 Blogger Spotlight Series.

How does the Blogger Spotlight Series work? Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top-performing 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 invite as our featured blogger. Stop back November 1 for the next blogger spotlight!

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