Holiday season is approaching and selling products to Millennial Moms is on most marketer’s minds. Word-of-mouth marketing has long been a tactic for marketing to moms. The name may have more recently changed to influencer marketing, but it still remains an effective strategy if executed properly.
Unfortunately, in the search for the silver bullet to drive sales, many brands are throwing caution to the winds when engaging with mom influencers. I’ve identified common mistakes we see marketers making in hopes of helping you avoid them as you market to moms this season.
1. Using the same mom influencers everyone else is using.
The most effective use of influence is when a mom speaks passionately about a product or brand. It’s impossible for a mom to be passionate about every product or every brand. If you base your selection on the “popularity” of a mom influencer, you will fall short on the sincerity in her post. Believe me, her followers know whether she shops at Walmart or Target or eats beef over chicken. Find moms who align with your brand and values and may already be a loyal customer. At BSM Media, we have over 10K moms and spend a lot of time to match the right moms with the right brands. The outcome can increase your ROI and product authentic content.
2. Not measuring engagement as a KPI.
This is where the power of the micro-influencer shines. Effectiveness should not be measured by reach and impressions alone. The power of influence comes from engagement between the influencer and her followers. If a top-tier influencer has 100K followers but is only getting 300 likes and 10 comments, that is not good engagement, it’s a one-way conversation. Brands should want engagement, which means the message was powerful enough to have another mom share, comment or like it.
3. Accepting Instagram Stories alone.
There are three challenges with Instagram Story posts: they aren’t permanent, they are difficult to measure and many moms are swiping past the #AD posts. Unfortunately, many mom influencers are getting lazy and simply posting to Instagram Stories when working with a brand. A sure sign to her followers that she isn’t 100% in on a product is that she throws it into a non-permanent story instead of on her Instagram feed. It’s okay to accept Instagram Stories, but also require that she posts to her feed or posts her Story as a visible Highlight that she keeps up for at least two weeks.
4. Sending the influencer’s post to the legal department for approval.
I realize this one has just caused some brands to pause, but here’s my reasoning: The reason brands use mom influencers in the first place is to generate genuine, organic, authentic, firsthand conversations about their products. This cannot be achieved by inserting the legal department into the process. To ensure your brand standards are upheld, hire an agency that knows its influencers well and can educate them on brand messaging prior to the launch of a campaign.
5. Not holding your agency accountable.
Just the other day I had a rep from one of the largest global public relations agency tell me that her client didn’t really care what our moms produced for them in engagement and impressions. I would beg to differ that her client DOES care about the content mom influencers are producing with the brand’s budget. When was the last time you asked your agency about the influencers they are using? Peel back the onion and determine if working with mom influencers is just a new service they are offering or if the agency has rich relationships with influencers. The latter can go a long way to helping increase ROI and producing relevant, authentic, engaging content.
6. Ignoring the influencer’s history and past posts.
This is probably the biggest mistake of all. Just this month I’ve seen a top mom influencer I follow post about her love for both Costco and BJ’s. So which is it? As a follower, I’m confused and questioning the authenticity of this mom. This is easily avoided by looking at an influencer’s feed to see what other brands she has worked with in the past six months.
7. Believing you don’t have to compensate influencers.
No one would like to believe that influence comes thru authentic use of your product than me but unfortunately times have changed. If you intend to engage with moms who use “influence” as a job title, you will have to pay for their posts. If paying influencers is something you refuse to do, word of mouth recommendations are still a viable marketing tactic for you. Reach out to your best customers and engage them with extra product and exclusive deals. The surprise and delight of their favorite brand reaching out to them goes a long way in motivating them to share.
As we approach the holidays, it’s important to empower yourself with the tools to help you engage with the right influencers for your brand.
BSM Media, Inc. is an award-winning and internationally recognized Marketing to Moms agency specializing in influencer engagement and outreach programs. Their MommyParties, and Social Spotters, services are proven activation tactics used by Fortune 100 to Start Up companies. BSM Media also owns and operates MillennialInfluencers.com and GenZInfluencers.com which connects brands to Millennial Influencers and Gen Z Influencers.
Maria Bailey is the CEO of BSM Media and the author of “Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Share of the Trillion Dollar Market,” “Power Moms,” “Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales,” and the soon to be released “Marketing to Gen Z Moms.” She is a frequent keynote speaker and media expert. She can be reached at Maria@bsmmedia.com. Learn more about Maria Bailey at www.MariaBailey.com.