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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about The Motherhood’s Spotlight Blogger Series

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

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

Kayla Aimee