Influencer Marketing 101: Deadlines, Commitments and Best Practices to Make Sure All Goes According to Plan

It’s a scenario no marketer wants to encounter: You’re working on a campaign with a group of influencers, and someone goes radio silent — they’ve missed the deadline for publishing their coverage and are unresponsive to emails. It does happen once in a while in influencer marketing, as in all industries and in life, especially if the influencer might be facing an unexpected personal crisis or challenge.

Influencers with a high degree of professionalism and reliability often remain communicative and take the time to alert you about the situation with a quick email, which allows you to plan accordingly. Others get caught up and don’t think about the business implications of their failure to come through for the campaign. Below, we’ve shared a few best practices from our own experience for making plans and taking action around that possibility.

  • Set expectations up front. When you invite an influencer to participate in campaign you’re leading, include clear deadlines for all pieces of content. Be specific; if you’re expecting to see content published by a certain time of day, for example, be sure to lay out those details to avoid confusion.
  • Be prepared. Expect the best, but assume that an issue will come up for at least one influencer on your campaign team, and engage one or two extra participants to account for that scenario. If everyone comes through, you’ll have some bonus blog posts to help improve your brand’s SEO and grow your digital bookshelf. If not, you are covered.
  • Think through Plans B, C and D. Usually it’s possible to stretch the budget or exceed it by just a bit to bring on an extra influencer in case of emergency. But if you’re limited by other factors — the amount of product you have on hand to send to influencers to sample, for instance, or the fact that you can only facilitate influencer-hosted events in a certain number of markets — you might not be able to give yourself a cushion. In that case, think about where you would stand if an influencer did not honor her commitment to your campaign. Could you go out and purchase additional product to send to a backup influencer in her place? Use the budget allotted for the influencer event and engage a larger group to drive additional traffic to your client’s website? Redistribute the stipend to engage a blogger you’re already working with to publish additional content? Thinking through the possibilities and having backup ideas prepared will help you feel more in control and allow you to offer quick, smart solutions to your client or team.
  • Consider expectations around deliverables and deadlines. If your boss or client expects to see coverage from your influencer marketing efforts on a Friday, ask the influencers on your campaign team to publish content by that Wednesday. It will give you a little extra time to follow up with anyone who might not have her post live right on deadline, or who needs to make small edits before you share her work with your client or executive team. Or, if the campaign content is not extremely time-sensitive, offer a blogger who is dealing with a personal issue a few extra days beyond the stated deadline to complete the requirements. That small extension may mean the difference between a blogger who comes through 100% versus not at all.
  • Follow up with reminders, more than once, if needed. As deadlines approach, send quick reminder emails to influencers about the due date for their blog coverage, the event they agreed to attend (whether virtual or on the ground), and anything else they committed to handle. This will help ensure that their assignments on behalf of your brand or client are top of mind at the right time.
  • Know the difference between true emergencies and patterns of behavior. Influencers are independent operators, and everyone reacts differently to given situations. If you’ve worked with someone consistently in the past who was responsive and reliable, and she has a family emergency and misses her deadline (especially if she’s been communicative), it’s worth keeping her on your list for future work. On the other hand, if you notice that an influencer is consistently late, unresponsive and doesn’t always follow through with all campaign requirements, it might be time to move on.
Working with a large number of individuals can always come with unexpected issues, and influencer marketing is no exception. Life happens, but open and clear communication from all parties can help to mitigate issues throughout the campaign process. With the proper planning and preparation, you can remain flexible, be ready for anything and pivot to a solution that will ensure your campaign is still a success.

The Motherhood is Headed to Influencer Marketing Days

On September 26, industry pioneer and The Motherhood’s fearless leader, CEO Cooper Munroe, is off to this year’s Influencer Marketing Days Conference to share her insights on the advantages of working with micro-influencers, and what to expect by incorporating them into marketing strategy and planning.

Influencer Marketing Days is an annual conference held in New York City for anyone interested in learning more about running marketing campaigns with online influencers. This year’s conference will include some expert speakers alongside Cooper who will cover the industry’s challenges and best practices.

Cooper recently participated in a Q&A with the conference coordination team, where she shares more about The Motherhood, challenges within the influencer marketing industry and a sneak peek of her session: “Micro-Influencers, Major Impact.” Take a look at the full interview here, and here’s what she had to say about why interested marketers should take note of her presentation:

“Reach and influence aren’t always closely correlated; influence can happen at any level. A micro-influencer may influence a larger portion of his or her followers than a celebrity influencer. Because they are working hard to provide engaging content and grow their reach, micro-influencers generally put forth greater effort on behalf of a brand project as they build a community of followers and gain their trust. That translates to a strong degree of influence and meaningful engagement with a targeted audience. We have real-world examples of how micro-influencers made a huge impact on behalf of a brand, which is some of what marketers can expect to learn during my session.”

If you’d like to learn more from Cooper and others, we have a special discount code you can use to attend Influencer Marketing Days and hear Cooper’s presentation live! Use the code IMDMunroe to save 15 percent on your registration. Don’t forget to say hi to Cooper while you’re there!

Spotlight Blogger: Ari with Love, Peace and Tiny Feet

This month, we’re shining a light on one of our favorite influencers, Ari with Love, Peace and Tiny Feet. Ari is a mom to two girls, an entrepreneur, author, holistic health advocate and, of course, a top influencer!

Take a look below for our Q&A with Ari.

What do you feel is the #1 trend in influencer marketing in 2017? 
I believe influencer marketing is once again embracing the art of storytelling. Influencers are starting to move away from simply reviews and relaying the brand’s story, to sharing with readers how the brands authentically fit into their lifestyles. 

What content do you feel your readers find most valuable?
I would say my “insider” tips that they can’t easily find on their own, and my holistic health articles. 

Tell us why you blog.
Blogging has given me a chance to connect with people from all over the world, from different walks of life and backgrounds. They find comfort in reading my stories and thoughts on my blog and will often reach out to me to share their personal stories, struggles and accomplishments.  

Where do you find inspiration for new blog posts?
My blog posts come from my everyday life encounters, eye-opening experiences in my parenting journey and incredible travel experiences. 

What is your favorite space to engage with your readers?
We engage via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) at times for lighter topics, but I also have readers email me for more personal conversations. 

Where do you see the most engagement with your content?
Other than my blog itself, I find a lot of engagement on Instagram.

What’s the #1 question you’re asked by your readers, and what’s your answer?
“How did you find the courage to start blogging full time?” I tell them I just finally made the decision to follow my passion and determined that it was time to work on my own dream. The next question is always, “How do I start a blog?” The latter was my inspiration for starting a free blog series helping those people get started blogging. 

What are your thoughts on programs measured by initial click-through rates?
I don’t think they’re realistic. I have blog posts that get even more traction months or years after posting. A long-standing SEO strategy is the purpose of a good blog post. 

What are your thoughts on working with a brand on multiple occasions (vs. one-off programs)?
I would much rather a long-term partnership with a brand over a one-off. My readers begin to associate me with that particular brand and feel as though they can better trust my opinions at that point. 

What are your thoughts on online coupons?
Since I started blogging in the couponing space, I still believe there is a demand for these.  

Influencer marketing is ________.
Here to stay.

What trend or platform is on its way out?
Snapchat.

Favorite program you’ve done with The Motherhood?
If I had to choose, I’d say the Bertolli Mangia campaign. I was introduced to some new products I could easily incorporate into my lifestyle. The meals were so easy to prepare and my family genuinely had a great time together as I worked on constructing the post. 

What’s your greatest challenge when working with brands?
Unfortunately, I find that some brands still don’t quite understand how influencer marketing works and will either undervalue the work of influencers or try to approach campaigns with the same strategy and metrics as traditional media.

What are brands doing right when working with bloggers?
Providing relevant details of the campaign while allowing bloggers to express those in their own voices. 

What should brands start doing (better) when working with bloggers?
I think brands should put more effort into forming longer-term partnerships and ambassadorship programs with those bloggers whose style and content fit well with the brand’s mission.  

Read more about Ari and her musings on her blog!


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 October for the next Spotlight Blogger!

Want to Publish a Book? 8 Tips from Published Authors

The Motherhood’s network is comprised of influencers with amazing capabilities, and this month, as part of our The Other-hoods of The Motherhood series, we’re celebrating a unique niche within our network: influencers who are also published authors! Influencers often do more than their fair share of writing to maintain their blogs and social media channels, so we’re always so impressed with those who take the time and talent to share their writing with us in even more ways!

influencer authors

 

Tips from Published Authors

We asked a few influencers in our network to share their advice, and here’s what they said:

  1. Start with a Great Outline. “Your book’s outline can be like a road map to writing your book. For me, my outline becomes my table of contents, my book proposal, and finally, my to-do list. Of course, it changes along the way as the whole thing comes together, but that original scribbling of ideas helps keep me focused throughout the entire process of book-writing.” – Mary Helen with Mary Makes Good 
  2. Team Up with a Great Agent. “My greatest source of support has come from my book agent, Sally Ekus of The Ekus Group. Sally and I have worked on three book proposals together, two of which have been made into real-life books! Having Sally by my side helps me feel confident while navigating the world of book deals and publishing – a world that I knew next to nothing about. She has been my negotiator, cheerleader, sounding board and ally from day one – and I can’t imagine having gotten this far without her. If you think you need to be a world-famous blogger or celebrity to work with an agent, you are wrong. I was (and still am) neither of those things, but I AM an author!” – Mary Helen with Mary Makes Good 
  3. Set Realistic Goals and Stick to Them. “Since most book deals don’t offer large enough advances to quit your day job, most first-time authors have to figure out how they will balance book writing with the rest of their everyday life. Whether that’s childcare, a day job, a small business, a busy blog (or in my case, all of these things), cramming time for your book into your schedule can be a challenge. Go easy on yourself by setting goals that suit your lifestyle. If you start to fall behind, talk to your agent and your publisher about what’s happening BEFORE you miss a deadline or run out of steam. One big advantage to publishing your book with the help of an agent and a publisher is that you aren’t doing this alone. You are a team, so communication and mutual support is key.” – Mary Helen with Mary Makes Good 
  4. Plan Ahead to Create a Following. “First, be sure you’ve set up all social media platforms and your website early. This is important, even if you don’t have a following or a book out, so you can start to gain an audience. I would definitely hire a PR company that can help with a cover reveal, blog tours and a release blitz.” – Anissa with Life, Books, & Loves 
  5. Network with Other Authors in your Genre. “…that way they can share when your book is released. They can also help you out with any questions or concerns you may have. When it comes to promotions, relationships with others are key. Being prepared ahead of time with these aspects helps tremendously in getting the word out and launching your book.” – Anissa with Life, Books, & Loves    
  6. Tease Your Launch. “In the weeks leading up to your book’s release, write articles, blog posts, and social media posts that support the messaging of your book to whet your audience’s appetite to hear more from you on that topic.” – Kayla Aimee with Kayla Aimee Writes 
  7. Use Digital Word of Mouth. “Even in this digital age, book sales happen through word of mouth! People buy books because someone recommended the book to them. Reach out to your network and ask them to share information about your book with their friends and family, both in person and on their personal social media site(s).” – Kayla Aimee with Kayla Aimee Writes 
  8. Make It Easy to Share. “Pre-write messages that are easy to share on social media, and that have lots of pre-made images for sharing, too. Giving your team a collection of messaging to share makes it easy on them. While it’s always best to get a personal endorsement, it can be really helpful for people to see your messaging ideas and use them as a jumping off point for what they’d like to write.” – Kayla Aimee with Kayla Aimee Writes 

Thank you for sharing these tips with us and our readers, Mary Helen, Anissa and Kayla Aimee!

book sales influencers


Are you looking to execute a social media and blog influencer marketing campaign highlighting influencers who are also authors? Contact us! We can create strategic, scalable, unique and engaging influencer marketing campaigns that fit your needs and deliver quality content and meaningful results.

Spotlight Blogger: Heather with Brie Brie Blooms

We recently caught up with Heather, mom of two (and don’t forget her hedgehog, dog and two cats!), crafter extraordinaire and the woman behind top lifestyle blog Brie Brie Blooms! Below, Heather shares her insights on the influencer marketing industry and social media trends as part of our Spotlight Blogger series:

What do you feel is the #1 trend in influencer marketing in 2017? Ambassadorships! We have been aware of great partnerships, including long-term ambassador opportunities with brands, but with marketing teams seeing value in maintaining relationships with influencers, those ambassador opportunities are continuing to grow. Sure that means we have more exclusivity contracts and guidelines, but that also means we can negotiate better rates and terms that make sense for the partnerships that actually fit our blogs and social channels instead of brands coming to us with one-time opportunities.

Tell us why you blog.
Blogging brings me so much joy and gives the ability to work at my own pace, although that is 99% flying through the day on coffee and very little sleep. I was laid off from a corporate career while on maternity leave with my first daughter almost nine years ago. I started blogging as a way to connect and share crafting ideas. That led to wanting to learn about blogging and how I really could turn it into a career path. That led to a full-time position as a campaign manager and learning invaluable experience in influencer marketing. I’m back to working on my own blog full time, and the full circle path it has taken me on has been extremely rewarding.

Where do you find inspiration for new blog posts?
I find inspiration in everything around me. I’m a visual learner and tend to spark up my best ideas when I’m strolling the aisles of Target, or chasing my two-year-old daughter through the grocery store, silently begging for her to let us get our list purchased without any major meltdowns, or when I’m feeding ducks at our neighborhood lake. Inspiration is everywhere, and I’m always thinking, “I should write about this experience.”

What content do you feel your readers find most valuable?
The best content is real content that sparked more than just a product review or quick tip list. My most valuable content to my readers are those feel-good stories embracing the challenges of parenting and successes when we can stop and relish our children’s accomplishments. That, and chocolate.

What is your favorite space to engage with your readers?
My favorite social platform is Twitter because it’s fast-moving. Short, sweet and to the point.

Where do you see the most engagement with your content?
Personally, I see the most engagement on my posts themselves. I enjoy interacting with my audience by replying to comments and I feel brands are paying attention to the comment count. This is not an accurate depiction of the campaign success, though, as that’s only a tiny piece of the engagement.

What’s the #1 question you’re asked by your readers, and what’s your answer?
“My child loves animals too, how did your daughter become the SeaWorld guest kid blogger?” My eight-year-old daughter has been the SeaWorld kid blogger for a few years. She is the only child blogger contributing to their site, and we have had amazing learning opportunities in and out of the parks. My husband and I both grew up visiting SeaWorld. We began visiting the San Diego park with our daughter when she was just an infant and she truly loved it. More visits to SeaWorld and then me visiting for a few media events led us to her making an impact on the public relations team by her love for sea lions. She is articulate, smart, dedicated and genuinely excited to learn. Paired with her natural and organic love for the parks along with a very supportive blogging mom, her role as the SeaWorld kid blogger is a natural fit that I would consider an ambassadorship.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a blog?
Think bigger picture and not just what you are interested in today. Just because you have a super duper adorable puppy, your blog might not be named “The Super Adorable Puppy Blog” with content just about that puppy. Blogs are no longer just an online journal that you might share with your family and friends. If you want to have a blog as a marketing platform, make a plan just like you would if you said, “I’m starting a business today.”

What are your thoughts on programs measured by initial click-through rates?
Working on both sides of the equation, as an influencer and, for several years, as a campaign manager, I understand there needs to be a real measurement for brands and clients. However, the impact of a topic or piece of content cannot simply be measured by a click-through rate. Sometimes an influencer uses a very powerful image on social featuring the brand or product, and while that might not get a click-through to the post, it most definitely will seamlessly place that brand on the radar of the consumer.

What are you thoughts on online coupons?
Online coupons are a great way for brands to drive product purchases while working with influencers. It’s also a nice way for us to provide something of value to our audience.

What are your thoughts on Snapchat?
Snapchat is fun, but I feel it’s lost the engagement we were once seeing as its popularity started to soar. For marketing purposes, some brands are doing it right. Let’s just hope it’s still around when everyone else decides to jump aboard too.

My 2017 holiday predictions: _______.
Starting early. We know Halloween content begins late summer and Christmas is quick to follow. Get ahead of the game now!

Influencer marketing is ________.
Growing and gaining a better understanding from brands. This is debatable. Some get it and some don’t. In my opinion, we are starting to see many more pursuing influencer outreach with smarter, more professional approaches. Brands are hiring influencers to help them understand how to work with influencers and make it a better win-win partnership for us all.

Favorite program you’ve done with The Motherhood?
My favorite program was visiting a local food bank to learn about their community kitchen program that makes a difference for children facing food insecurity, while also providing culinary education and life skills to secure employment in the food service industry to struggling individuals.

I love feel-good campaigns, and as a parent, I feel so broken by learning about the food insecurity rates. I visited the food bank, met individuals in the program and learned about what brought them there. I met incredible people with complicated stories that I never would have been able to share otherwise. And maybe by sharing their stories, I reached someone that needed the same kind of help.

Dove Love Your Hair was also a HUGE favorite project. I cut my very long hair because my oldest daughter cut her hair over holiday break after a classmate with cancer had passed away. The day following her haircut, she was so excited to go to school and show her friends her new shorter style. She came home from first grade asking for a time machine because friends said very unkind things about her hair. I was heartbroken and told her I would cut my hair to match. Her little face lit up and I drove straight to the salon. Teaching our daughters how to have hair confidence is so important, and this was a great campaign to be involved in.

What are brands doing right when working with bloggers?
Brands are treating influencers as highly valuable resources with engaged audiences. They are asking for our insight to help them understand how to work with influencers.

What should brands start doing (better) when working with bloggers?
Our time is valuable, and we should be compensated fairly for our work. No one wants to work for free products. If it were up to my two daughters, they would happily let me fill up their rooms with toys, but then there’s that adult-paying-bills thing that has to happen, too.

Read more of Heather’s insights on her blog, here!


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 September for the next Spotlight Blogger!

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.

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://tmotherhood.wpengine.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!

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