Ten years ago, Facebook was just entering mainstream consciousness, and Twitter was a brand-new platform. Instagram and Pinterest were years away from conception, and most brands hadn’t yet grasped the potential of social media as a marketing tool and influencers as brand ambassadors.

In the grand scheme of the advertising and marketing world, influencer marketing is still the new kid in town. While more brands than ever before are recognizing the need to include it in the marketing mix – 86 percent of marketers used influencer marketing in 2016, and 94 percent found it effective – most are still using it on a tactical basis rather than truly integrating it into brand strategy.

We anticipate that will change over time, and brands who are early adopters of a comprehensive, long-term influencer marketing strategy will have an advantage over their competition in online share of voice and sentiment.

Influential moms in particular are a trusted source for consumers seeking information on brands, products and trends. They have developed thriving communities of mom readers and followers who trust their opinions and visit their blogs and social channels regularly. Tapping into this audience matters because:

  • Women own the Internet. They make 85 percent of all consumer purchases and use social media at a rate of 600 percent more than men.
  • It helps the bottom line. Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing channel for customer acquisition, with businesses making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, on average.

At The Motherhood, we typically recommend evaluating results from an influencer marketing campaign over the long term, knowing that only 10 percent of consumers make a purchase within 24 hours of learning about a new product or service, and the lifespan of an average blog post is almost 24 times as long as the standard 30-day reporting metric of unique monthly views. It helps to choose platforms relevant to the brand and topics, and set benchmarks for success in advance of beginning a campaign, too.

A recent research report noted that, while 71 percent of brand marketers rate influencer marketing as “strategic” or “highly strategic,” half report small budgets in comparison to the rest of the marketing mix – indicating that influence is “still practiced at the tactical level and thus it’s difficult to prove as a strategic priority.”

The report also points out that using influencer marketing as a one-off tactic rather than a broader, year-long strategy is incongruous with the customer experience: “Customer journeys are ‘always on,’ while campaigns come and go.” It recommends, “Make influencer relations a priority now. If you continue to approach influencer marketing as usual, you are readying to be left behind, losing control of your brand and the ability to compete in a world where customers are in control.”