March was Women’s History Month and it made me think of the many women who have contributed to our history, society, and culture, as we see it today. It also made me reflect on the impact women have had in marketing, in particular the relatively recent rise of influencer marketing amongst my fellow moms.
What initially started as simple innocent blogs from stay-at-home moms (many of whom had spent years as successful business women prior to becoming parents) trying to connect with other moms for support on parenting, products, joys, and frustrations, suddenly grew into a network of thousands, then millions of women listening to women. Not surprisingly, brands started to take notice and recognized the value of mom bloggers and their huge online following. Many of these women were able to turn their blogging hobby into a full-time job by getting paid for affiliated advertising, banner ads, product reviews and giveaways.
Ever since the initial blog monetization, women have, in essence, become creative directors, content creators and the media vehicles behind their blogs. Women realized that they could pick and choose what brands to blog about and how to share it. What started as simple ‘mommy blogs’ morphed into niches like food, fitness, fashion, interior design, jewelry, travel and much more. In today’s world influencers now execute vast marketing campaigns by effortlessly weaving brand messages into their own reputable voices.
Today there’s an overwhelming amount of mom bloggers on the web -- 4.2 million to be exact, and they make up a powerful content marketing army. On average mom bloggers mention brands 73 times per week, making them lucrative to brands as they are harnessing influential bloggers on their corporate sites or social media sites.
Smart marketing isn’t about reaching everyone, it’s about reaching the right one. Big brands understand the trust level moms have with their fellow moms, and that their credibility and trust far exceeds what their brands can achieve through conventional channels or even celebrity endorsements in some cases. Studies have shown that 66% of moms believe word of mouth is credible and 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advise from blogs. From a brand perspective, negotiating with a mom blogger can be much more straightforward as many have menu rates for different types of engagements. Those rates would generally include the use of the product or service in question, something of value to the moms as well.
With the rise in the prevalence of mom bloggers and how companies engage with them, there is a risk that content is influenced by which companies offer the most robust compensation to the blogger. Even as a marketing agency it is not always easy to determine which bloggers we engage with will yield the best results. Of course we will look at community size, community demographics and their past work, but at the end of the day results will be determined by how much the bloggers’ constituency trusts them.
Ultimately, as a mom, there are few opinions I trust more than my ‘mom squad’, or the other women I commiserate with while raising my three kids. And that is something that no ad agency or celebrity campaign will ever be able to replicate. Happy blogging ladies!