Influencer Marketing Stats to Demonstrate the Power of Moms Online

influencer marketing stats

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


The Power of Moms & Women Online

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

The effectiveness of Influencer Marketing

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

path to purchase: Blogs

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

path to purchase: Social Media

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

Industry metrics & MEASUREMENT

  • Marketers that used influencer marketing saw a $7.65 return of earned media value (EMV) on average for every dollar of paid media spend. (Influencer Marketing Hub)

 

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

Influencer Marketing in 2017: Mom Influencers Identify Trends

Influencer Marketing trends 2017

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

Here are a few key takeaways!

Influencers choose Instagram Stories over Snapchat.

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

influencer marketing in 2017

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

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

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

best social media platforms for influencers

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Motherhood’s Most-Viewed Blog Posts from 2016

influencer marketing blog posts

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

#8: Measurement Monday: Defining Your Campaign Success Metrics

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

#7: Snapchat for Brands?

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

#6: Measurement Monday: Going Beyond the Impression

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

#5: Advantages of Using an Influencer Marketing Agency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Influencer Marketing Research in Partnership with the University of Pittsburgh

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

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

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

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

influencer marketing research

A few interesting findings from our current research include:

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

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

Favorite Holiday Traditions from The Motherhood

The Motherhood team shares their favorite holiday traditions.

As 2016 comes to a close and the holidays draw near, The Motherhood team has been talking about our favorite holiday traditions and pastimes, swapping stories and ideas. We’d love to hear yours, too!

The Motherhood CEO Cooper Munroe told us, “Every year since I can remember, our family has celebrated Christmas with a big, beautiful dinner of Beef Bourguignon (aka Beef Burgundy). This recipe on Beef It’s What’s For Dinner is very similar to my grandmother’s version, and I highly recommend it for a wonderfully delicious and festive dinner!”

Other team members shared the following holiday stories:

Brittnee 

“My husband and I have always picked a night in December to grab a coffee and drive around to all the nearby neighborhoods to check out Christmas lights. Over the years, we’ve established our own driving tour of must-see neighborhoods. This year, we get to share our tradition with our little man. Lucky for us, he’s currently infatuated with Christmas lights, so we think he’ll enjoy the evening just as much as we do!”

Kahlianne

“Every year before Christmas, all of my cousins get together to bake and decorate Christmas-themed sugar cookies! Our decorating skills have improved significantly since we started doing this when I was five.”

Brittney

“The Italian side of my family celebrates the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. This is a Roman Catholic tradition rooted in the idea of Christmas Eve being a day of abstaining from red meat — hence the menu filled with seafood. Our exact roster of fishes changes a little bit each year, but it always includes baccala, which is a salted cod. It’s a lot of fun to help prepare, and I’ve picked up some of my best cooking secrets from our family’s multi-generational kitchen crew!”

Erin

“When I was a kid and my family went on vacation or experienced a milestone (such as adopting our dog into the family), my parents would buy my brother and me each a Christmas ornament for the tree — something to represent that trip or experience, like a snowman dressed as the Statue of Liberty from a trip to New York City. We would unwrap them on Christmas morning, which was a special way to remember that particular trip and the time we had spent together, and then every year after that, we got to unwrap them again as we took our ornaments out of storage and hung them on the tree. As a result, when I left home and started buying Christmas trees of my own, I already had a box of unique ornaments filled with family memories that I could use to decorate. I’ve continued that tradition with my husband, and my favorite part of the season is getting out that box of ornaments and taking a trip down memory lane.”

Nicole

“When I was younger, my family would watch It’s a Wonderful Life every year (my dad’s favorite movie!) from our sleeping bags on the living room floor. It was always so fun to then sleep next to the lit Christmas tree.”

Serena

“My husband and I both have large families, so our Christmas Day is jam-packed: we typically travel to four Christmas celebrations around town. One of my favorite traditions that we’ve had for years is having our own low-key celebration the day after Christmas. We make brunch, exchange our own gifts by the fire and spend the day in pajamas (a screening of Home Alone is also often involved). This year, I’m excited to introduce our little one to this relaxing tradition!”

holiday traditionsThe Motherhood wishes you and your families a warm, safe and happy holiday season!

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Share with us in the comments!

The Motherhood’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guide

Need some inspiration for your holiday shopping this year? Take a look at what our team members have on their lists for their loved ones in our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide!

On Britt H.’s List: The Eco-Conscious Fashionista

More than ever, people are seeking ways to spread positivity in our country. One easy way to do that is to make sure every purchase you make and every gift you give has a positive impact on our planet.

This year, I’m gifting one of my favorite people a beautiful sweater from prAna. The company offers organic, hemp, sustainable, and fair trade clothing items so that consumers feel great about the things they wear and the items they give. Their clothing not only looks good, but it’s versatile enough for any lifestyle and any adventure, too!

Now through December 19, you can get 15% off your entire prAna order by using this discount code: TMHF16TMC

the-sweeter-side-of-mommyhood

Photo courtesy of Jacquie, The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood (featuring the prAna Mariette Dress)

On Serena’s List: The New Dad

Earlier this year, my husband (Jimmy) and I welcomed our first baby, Luca. It’s been incredible watching Jimmy adapt to fatherhood: he’s become a pro at learning how to make Luca laugh uncontrollably and soothe him when he’s fussy, and he’s always equipped with a burp cloth in his pocket (which I call his “dad rag”) for cleaning up the inevitable baby-made messes.

This year, I’m excited to get Jimmy a holiday gift that’s especially made for dads from Father Figure. The new company is devoted to the issue of responsible fatherhood, which encourages present and caring parenting.

father-figure

Photo courtesy of Father Figure

Their clothing line includes a long-sleeved denim shirt, a t-shirt and bandana print burp rags. What makes them unique is that they have features like loops to store burp rags or attach toys, and they’re made with extra soft material where babies are most often held. Their t-shirt is even called “The Luca,” which makes it extra fitting (pun intended!) for the new dad in my life this Christmas.

On Erin’s List: The Nostalgic Friend

Know someone who has amassed dozens of t-shirts in their life but can’t part ways with those memories? Consider giving them the gift of a t-shirt quilt as a way to preserve those memories in a functional – and cute – way.

Project Repat creates beautiful keepsake blankets out of t-shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys and more. They can also create stroller blankets out of outgrown baby clothing! Blankets start at $74.99, and you can purchase a gift card here.

Last year, I created a blanket of my own using college and high school shirts. Read more about my experience and the process here. If you’re interested in learning more, join us for a Twitter party with Project Repat on Wed., December 7 at 1:00 p.m. ET (follow along using #ProjectRepat).

project-repat

On Nicole’s List: Giving Back to the Community

If you’re looking for a gift to do double duty, look no further than The Giving Keys. The company helps transition homeless people off of the streets and into jobs, by creating and selling jewelry made out of repurposed keys. Each key necklace has a unique, inspiring word engraved on it like Hope, Courage or Dream (you can also make custom words!).

The idea behind The Giving Keys is that the wearer embraces that word on their key necklace until they meet someone who needs the message of that word more than they do — and that’s when they give the key away. It’s a gift that will continue to spread hope to people who need it!

I have a Brave key myself (I wear it just about every day), and am excited to be able to give it away to my friend as she heads into the New Year facing some unknowns and new obstacles.

On Britt C.’s List: The Mom on the Move

One of the most important items in anyone’s travel arsenal is a reliably sturdy and spacious piece of luggage – especially when it comes to traveling with little ones.

My sister is planning a trip with her new baby next year, so I’m giving her a Luggage Online gift card. She’ll be able to pick out the exact travel gear that her family needs since Luggage Online carries a huge variety of brands and products. What’s also great is that Luggage Online also offers its customers a 110% low-price guarantee.

Thanks for checking out our holiday gift guide! What gifts are you most excited to give this year? Tell us in the comments!

Disclosure: Project Repat, Luggage Online and prAna are clients of The Motherhood.

Understanding Consumer Behavior on Social Media | Social Media Week Chicago 2016

The Motherhood shares takeaways from Social Media Week Chicago on how brands can better understand and leverage consumer behavior on social media.

The Motherhood recently had the opportunity to participate virtually in Social Media Week Chicago 2016, where industry leaders shared trends, best practices and insights for online marketing. Read on for the final installment of our multi-part series on takeaways from the event! 

For any brand to be successful, they must key into how their consumers or target audiences are using social media – and how their brand is being discussed on social. During Social Media Week Chicago 2016, we observed a few recurring themes when it comes to understanding consumer behavior on social media.

Have one-on-one conversations: Whether brands like it or not, honest conversation happens in real time on social media. Brands can use the reciprocal nature of social media to their advantage instead of being intimidated by it.

More and more, brand content is about responding to people – not talking at them, according to Chris Kerns, VP of Research & Insights at Spredfast. Kerns shared that in a sample of 25 brands, 93 percent of content was one-to-one (with customers reaching out about questions, complaints, etc.) – and that percentage is rising every quarter as customer expectations change.

Havas Chicago made this analogy during a session: “Not answering comments is like being at a party, having everyone yelling at you and not talking back to them.” By showing that you’re listening and addressing even the most biting comments within your brand’s tone, you can change a customer’s sentiment toward the company.

What’s more, Kerns explained that customers engaged in social media spent 20-40 percent more money, and that word-of-mouth marketing drives $2 trillion in U.S. sales alone.

smw-data-8

Show how your brand’s values align with consumer values: Patrick Mulford, Chief Creative Officer of theAudience, offered an anthropological take on how we consume social media. By nature, humans are social animals, and if we hear a good story, we’ll remember it. When it comes to social media, any post we share can be considered a story. Mulford explained that posting is a selfish act: we are seeking likes, comments and shares on every post we make for validation of our ideas and values.

How does this apply to brands? When brands demonstrate that their values align with those of their consumers, that’s when they see consumers caring. Mulford stated that 74 of brands could disappear and consumers wouldn’t care, and that “the top brands sell feelings, not products.”

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-2-41-33-pm

Joshua Neckes (President of Simon Data), Dana Griffin (Chief Revenue Officer, Knotch) and Jesse St. Charles (Head of Data, frame.ai) reiterated that networks form based on shared beliefs, values, social norms, unwritten rules and rituals that guide behaviors. Categorizing people by demographics (e.g., millennials or moms) is just hype. It’s those who are most influential to us who ultimately help shape our values and ideas.
smw-data-11

Use the power of influencers: Brand ambassadors can be huge assets to a company – if that brand knows how to work with influencers. Consumers can sniff out an inauthentic partnership from miles away, so building up loyalty and trust with influencers should be a brand’s main priority when it comes to social media, according to the team at Havas Chicago.

When a brand is overly prescriptive in its guidelines for influencers, that content can come across as too corporate and will stick out like a sore thumb in the influencer’s online channels, so it’s important for brands to trust the influencers with whom they align so they can provide authentic, relatable content for their followers. Check out our post on building online consumer trust for more on this topic.

Don’t lose the human element: When it comes to marketing, Neckes, Griffin and St. Charles explained that more and more brands rely on predictive models or machine learning to help create efficiencies.

While machine-to-human tactics have their role in marketing, when it comes to relationship building, brands should maintain human-to-human interaction to help capture and understand consumer feedback, especially since a marketer’s intuition can get lost when using predictive models.

Are there any takeaways from Social Media Week Chicago 2016 that surprised you? Tell us in the comments!

Blogger Spotlight: Green & Gorgeous

Green & Gorgeous

“Blogging gives us all a voice. It’s just up to us individually to decide how to use it.” – Jennae, Green & Gorgeous

Whether you’re looking for examples of the right way to work with brand partners or just a few good style tips, Green & Gorgeous is a resource for both instructional and inspirational content. As her tagline states, Green & Gorgeous is where life, style and creativity meet substance.

We encourage you to read more in the spotlight below, and give her a shout at @jennaepetersen.

Green & Gorgeous

Want to see more? Check out our most recent blogger spotlights!

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 in 2017 to see how we’re giving a nod to our valued partners!

Social Media Week Chicago 2016: The Importance of Video

Social Media Week Chicago

The Motherhood shares takeaways from Social Media Week Chicago 2016.

The Motherhood recently had the opportunity to participate virtually in Social Media Week Chicago 2016, where industry leaders shared trends, best practices and insights for online marketing. Read on for the second installment of our multi-part series on takeaways from the event!

In 2017, it’s predicted that 74 percent of all internet traffic will be video (Syndacast). And as Heather Taylor, Director of Creative Strategy for The Economist, mentioned at Social Media Week Chicago, 53 percent of marketers are making more videos to draw in prospects and help them understand the value of marketers’ content.

Social Media Week Chicago

Maia McCann, Editor in Chief of LittleThings, delved into the science behind shareable videos. Through extensive testing of their content (which consists of 70 percent original, licensed material and 30 percent curated material), LittleThings has found a recipe for success for their site’s content.

What goes into that testing? They look at the sourcing, keywords, trend analytics (what has performed well historically) and performance metrics (shares, likes, time spent on site and engagement).

LittleThings also creates three different cuts of the same video (involving cameras at different angles), which does not cost extra, and tests these edits to see which garner the most views and shares.

Some additional tips and takeaways McCann shared include:

  • For recipe or DIY videos, get to the heart of the matter within the first 1.5 seconds of the video.
  • Video consumption on Facebook in the mobile era is different than traditional media. In fact, 85 percent of Facebook native videos are viewed without sound.

Social media week chicago

In a session on moving consumers from awareness to sale, Kyle Dardashti and David Yarus of mllnnl explained that user-generated content – including videos – is extremely effective when targeting millennials. In fact, they’ve seen incredible performance from videos that aren’t overly polished and that look like their friends or peers created them.

The mllnnl co-founders also advised marketers to use video to help consumers warm up to their brand, and then target those who have seen that video with a conversion-focused ad.

Check out our blog post on Facebook Live video tips for more video inspiration, and read our first post from Social Media Week Chicago here. Stay tuned for more Social Media Week Chicago takeaways!

Social Media Week Chicago 2016: Content and Paid Social

Social Media Week Chicago

Last week, The Motherhood had the opportunity to participate virtually in Social Media Week Chicago 2016, where industry leaders shared trends, best practices and insights for online marketing. Read on for the first installment of our multi-part series on takeaways from the event!

Two prevalent themes of Social Media Week Chicago this year included 1) recognition of the importance of creating compelling online content, and 2) emphasis on making that content shine on social media platforms via paid efforts.

Creating Effective Content: What Works?

According to Carolyn Calzavara, Partner Engagement Manager with IBM Watson, content and data are being generated at an unprecedented rate. In fact, the amount of data produced today is the equivalent of 180 newspapers delivered to every man, woman and child every day!

When it comes to a brand’s objectives, the ultimate success metric is usually sales. While there’s not always a linear correlation between the content produced and sales, consumers seek out content to help inform purchasing decisions, and ultimately, that content encourages purchase intent.

smw-dataSo when it comes to marketing, what content and strategies work well? Social Media Week Chicago presenters offered the following:

  • Above all, the content a brand produces, or that an influencer produces on the brand’s behalf, should always fit into the company’s overarching brand strategy, and should add value. Brands should be thoughtful when it comes to sharing content; they shouldn’t publish content just for the sake of doing so.
  • To stand out amidst the clutter, content should offer your audience a new opinion or difference of opinion (according to Tina Shakour, Digital and Social Media Strategist at Cisco).
  • Social media is a two-way conversation, and more and more, brand content is about responding to people – not just talking at them. Chris Kerns, VP of Research & Insights at Spredfast, explained that in an analysis of 25 brands, 93 percent of the content created by those brands was one-to-one (i.e., customers reaching out with questions, complaints, etc.). That percentage is rising every quarter, reflecting the evolution of customer expectations.
  • Social listening – hearing what your customers are saying and following trends – can also inform what types of content will resonate well with your audience. That, of course, requires dedicated staff to monitor for those conversations and interpret that data to translate it to effective content. Read more about the applications of social listening here.

Social Media Week Chicago presenters from Havas Chicago also explained that taking the exact same content and distributing it across all social platforms looks “lazy and desperate” – content should be created specifically for particular platforms.

There are instances where content can play well across multiple channels, though. Jaideep Mukerji, Head of Advertising Research, Instagram, explained that because there is so much visual inspiration on Instagram, some advertisers are intimidated and unsure about the type of collateral to create for that channel. Advertisers have been successful using a range of creativity on Instagram. And, in some cases, using existing content that has performed well on Facebook, for instance, translates well to Instagram. The bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to content creation.

Amplifying Effective Content through Paid Social

Once a brand’s content strategy is set, the next step toward visibility is distribution. With social media platforms’ algorithms changing constantly, it can be a struggle for brands to be seen organically. According to Shakour, a tweet with no engagement has a lifespan of 18 minutes or less, and on Facebook, organic posts reach just one to three percent of a brand’s page followers.

smw-tweet

Kyle Dardashti and David Yarus, Co-Founders of mllnnl, advise that paid social should be an intentional part of marketing budgets. They also explained that user-generated content is king, especially when targeting millennials, even if that content is produced inexpensively with a smartphone.

Dardashti and Yarus made a great point that you can’t just push conversion ads to people who haven’t warmed up to your brand first. In fact, they shared that they have seen better ROI come from brands who optimize their budgets toward “higher sales funnel” tactics, which are the tactics that increase awareness and strengthen brand affinity (think shareable pictures and “fluffy” brand videos).

Even after you’ve seen a conversion in your target audience, it’s still important to target them with relevant ads (e.g., a discount or evergreen content). People are more likely to share or like brand content after they have already liked, purchased or downloaded from the brand. That is just taking them one more step in being brand loyal.

smw-organic

In a Social Media Week Chicago session led by Mukerji and Ruth Arber, VP of Strategic Accounts, Adaptly, we learned about placement optimization – buying audiences across both Facebook and Instagram. When thinking about both platforms together, brands can create certain efficiencies and opportunities. For instance, the price of an outcome (i.e., an action, a conversion, generating impressions, etc.) will change over the course of a campaign. When brands are able to use the ad delivery system (via placement optimization) to allocate the budget across both Instagram and Facebook, the system tries to find the most efficient way to achieve a desired outcome.

While they still offer much greater reach over posts that are only shared organically, Instagram-only or Facebook-only paid campaigns, on average, have a slightly higher cost than one run with placement optimization. And in test campaigns for brands running placement optimized ads across both platforms, brands saw about a four percent increase in reach than standalone efforts. Placement optimization doesn’t necessarily require additional budget either, since the system automatically allocates budget across both platforms.

While paid social leads to greater visibility via impressions, it can also mean fewer engagements, according to Shakour. That speaks to the importance of establishing goals – whether that’s acquiring followers, boosting brand awareness, driving conversions or other specific actions – before deploying any paid social campaign.

Stay tuned for more highlights from Social Media Week Chicago on The Motherhood’s blog!

Page 6 of 72« First...45678...203040...Last »