5 Key Takeaways From the Smiley Mommy Advisory Board
May 2nd marked the first ever Smiley360 Mommy Influencer Advisory Board meeting. Some of the most highly connected and vocal moms from our Smiley community were carefully selected to join our new Advisory Board and to speak to us about all things related to our consumer influencer platform, Smiley360.
The goal of our Advisory Board is to gain insight into how our most influential moms perceive brand marketing messages, as well as to help us understand what delivers the greatest word-of-mouth and social media advocacy for brands. The board is made up of fifteen of our top members and bloggers, who have children across various ages.
Marketers are trying to understand moms but they haven’t quite got it. A recent study reported that almost 75% of moms think that online marketers don’t understand what it’s like to be a mom (she-conomy). After much discussion, our board came to the conclusion that while marketers oftentimes do not know, they do believe they are getting increasingly better. Here are some of the key takeaways we got from the call.
- Moms like sharing about brands across numerous social networks.
A large portion of our conversation focused on what can be done to enhance the brand experience– from the missions to the way they share. In a study by Pew Research, 42% of consumers use multiple social networking sites. The influential moms among our community exemplified this behavior and more. On the topic of sharing – they gladly welcomed increasing the number of social media platforms in their sharing tools and agreed it would enhance their Smiley Mission experience. Even if you don’t have a “brand page” in every social network, with a large amount of activity on sites like Pinterest and Instagram, brands shouldn’t be afraid to encourage content creation across these sites in addition to Facebook and Twitter posts.
- A richer brand experience will lead to a more comprehensive and engaged review.
An important component that goes into a successful Smiley mission is what is included in the Smiley kit – the experience sent by the brand. As you can imagine, ‘product!’ was a big theme echoed by our mom board members. Moms want to get the most out of their brand experience so they can share their most honest review with their fellow mom friends and followers. Specifically, our board members felt as though the amount of product received should be dependent on its usefulness. Does your brand need to be used for a specific period of time before seeing its effects? Does your product’s benefits shine after it’s third or fourth use? Make sure you allow moms to fully test your product, and you will help ensure an in-depth and robust conversation about your product or service.
“It can be difficult to receive a small sample and be asked to do a full review. If a brand can send a full size product, it help us to give the best opinion, so it helps us be the best representative for marketing purposes.” – Erin, Smiley member
- What category is a hot topic with moms? All natural/healthy products are more than welcome!
Many of the board members were happy with the increasing number of missions involving all natural or healthy products, especially those geared toward children. Moms are more willing to try and share their experiences with these products if they know they are safe for the environment and their little ones. Our moms also love bringing new information and education to their friends. Sharing information, facts and other interesting talking points helps facilitate conversation among social moms.
- Coupons are one of the top ways to encourage and prompt sharing among moms.
In addition to product experiences, all of our board members agreed that physical coupons encourage sharing with their friends face-to-face. Our board members encouraged marketers to remember that they do talk and recommend products and services to their offline networks of friends in addition to online audiences. They agreed that things like high-value coupons to hand out, extra product samples, sweepstakes and giveaways for both the members on the mission and their friends help incentivize more sharing.
“If I’m going to my book group or my playgroup, I love to give out a coupons to them. I can immediately get them interested.” – Zoe, Smiley member
- Creating video reviews are becoming increasingly popular, but there has to be a value exchange.
Our conversation wrapped up with a discussion of video reviews. Brand engagement rises by 28% when consumers are exposed to both professional content and user-generated product video (comScore). Video reviews have become a huge marketing tool. We aimed to see how the everyday consumer feels about them. The consensus from our board members seemed to be that they were open to recording a video, and most often enticed to create a video that included multiple products. Brands can also encourage moms to create videos by providing clear educational talking points, such as a tutorial of how the product works, a product demonstration or a product comparison. Additionally, sites like Instagram and Vine also arose as a popular medium for mom to create videos as they are only 15 seconds long and can be recorded right from your phone.
“I absolutely love the idea of video reviews. I even set up a little studio in my house because I started doing so many.” – Zoe, Smiley member
“With the time it takes to set up a video, do the editing, etc. For me to do a video review, I have to really feel like I’m getting something out of it. I wouldn’t do it just for anything. My time is valuable and I put so much of myself into making quality content” – Shauna, Smiley member