The power of family: how to get mum-fluencers working for you
The rise of mum-fluencers demonstrates that consumers are crying out for more relatable, real-time content, and are looking to brands to promote realistic parenting instead of the idea of the “perfect mum”.
How should brands communicate with this incredibly engaged audience group and use influencers as part of their PR and marketing mix?
Good Relations had the pleasure of hosting a morning with Siobhan Freegard, founder of Channel Mum,Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet, and Katie Ellison, influencer @mummydaddyme. The all-star panel gave us a whistle-stop tour of the evolution of influencing, from its genesis in simple first-person perspective blogs to the current day mum madness across dedicated YouTube channels and always on Instagram content, and of course lots of hints for how brands can stand out in a competitive arena.
We have distilled the insight session into some tips for how brands should be maximising the opportunities in influencer and content PR, and also included some future-gazing on how mum-fluencing is set to evolve.
Think influence before influencer
As Carrie Longton put it, “we must think influence before influencer”. Brands must select influencers as part of the overall brand story to ensure that firstly, influencers are the right tool for the job, and secondly, they are right for the brand and product. It is easy to forget that influencers rose to power in the first place because they emulate the holy grail of marketing more effectively than any other media channel; word of mouth. Mums trust other mums, and once they have made an emotional connection with a particular mum-fluencer, they will consume their content more intimately than other #sponsored brand sources.
The view from the table was unanimous that when used correctly, Mum’s can influence a powerful audience group which are highly responsive to brand messaging.
Put simply, Mums trust other Mums. Mums are your ideal word-of-mouth marketing tool because they are stereotypically (but not always) the main budget holders, socially active and family decision makers. 95% of Mumsnet users trust product recommendations they see on the site. Mums are also the lynch-pin across many different family demographics – often being the central point for grandparents, children, spouses, and friends.
“No-one has to like everyone”
Siobhan Freegard pointed out that working with 8 micro-influencers instead of 1 mega-influencer can sometimes be far more effective because it gives brands a greater stab at reaching a wider audience – or of an audience seeing a brand in more than one place. Using ten influencers that speak to 5,000 people, as opposed to one speaking to 50,000 is more work, but is brand safe and can be effective in terms of reaching different audiences, widening reach and appeal, and increasing dwell time and engagement. Working with Good Relations, Villa Plus recently reaped the rewards for adopting a blended approach, utilising 3 tiers of influencers, 25 partnerships in total, and generating over 1.3million views. Specific, smaller, and more dedicated is a trend that is set to sky rocket in 2018.
Mum influencers are most successful when they are a little bit aspirational, but not unattainable. “Think more Jennifer Aniston than Angelina Jolie”, said Siobhan. After leaving her job in travel marketing, Katie Ellison @mummydaddyme started her blog as a hobby. She attributes her success with staying true to her passions – travel, writing, and photography, and also retaining her ‘down-to-earth’ approachability, despite amassing nearly 40,000 followers on Instagram.
Be more video
Our world is now ruled by visual currency. The average person now touches, swipes or taps their phone 2,617 times a day (Source: Dscout) Everyone is distracted. All of the time. To cut through this noise and win eyeballs; we must all use more dynamic video.
Siobhan commented that “a 1 minute video is worth 1.8 million words”, which made her shift her entire business plan from the written word based ‘Netmums’ to video only ‘Channel Mum’. Siobhan found video to be a far more compelling tool which helped her evolve her business to a YouTube channel in its own right. Not only is video a much more instantaneous way to communicate, it also suits busy mums who are often dealing with young children and multi-tasking responsibilities.
The top tips for brands when working with mum-fluencers:
- When selecting a Mum-fluencer, think more Jennifer Aniston than Angelina Jolie (source: Siobhan Freegard).
- Trust the influencer with some creative license to speak about the brand through their own eyes.
- Make sure to call out your sponsored content as an #ad. Consumers like transparency, openness, and authenticity, as do the ASA.
- If you receive criticism online, respond immediately. Don’t ignore.
- Listen to your audience, and don’t be afraid to evolve.