Article taken from Forbes.com
Written by Christine Michel Carter
There is nothing new under the sun, and what once was old is new again. Indeed, 60 years later the Tupperware business model has resurged into a 'digital' house party for the 21st century mom.
It has been widely reported that mothers control 85% of household purchases and have a U.S. spending power of $2.4 trillion. Within this segment are tens of millions of millennial moms. In fact 83% of new moms are millennials, according to a study conducted by BabyCenter- they give birth to about 9,000 generation Alpha babies each day.
These new moms spend over eight hours online primarily searching or browsing for parenting advice. And less than one third look for this advice from parenting or baby apps; instead they turn to social media, reading product recommendations from other moms. Forty-six percent of millennial moms trust the recommendations of other parents, compared to 39% of generation X moms. These younger moms are happy providing their opinions and recommendations, and are more likely to do so, citing themselves as key advisors among their circle of friends.
74% of millennial moms report they are sought out more often than other friends as advisors on a wide range of topics, and have an average of 24 close friends in which to share product recommendations. Aware of the power millennial mothers have in affecting each other’s thinking, companies often connect with those who have a strong digital influence to promote their services or sell their products. Nick Soukas, Director of Marketing for Unilever brand Dove, explains how their company takes the influencing relationship with mothers one step further:
For the last 60 years, Dove has been committed to listening to real women and engaging them with meaningful conversations that matter . We’ve been fortunate to develop a partnership with parenting influencers that enables the brand to have a pulse on what beauty, confidence, and self-esteem means to real women and moms. Whether it is helping us launch a new product line like Baby Dove or annually listening to trends that matter most at Mom 2.0 or having moms join us to make an impact with the Dove Self-Esteem Project, we are humbled to be part of this powerful community of women who champion our shared mission in supporting issues important to women and girls everywhere.
One young mother leveraging her influential power is Dayna Bolden, a millennial mom and wife who in 2014, became a social media influencer. Her social media following grew organically; Bolden initially wanted to encourage Black women to embrace their natural hair in style. She started sharing a few hair and beauty products and fashions she personally loved. As her audience grew, she did so more consistently, sharing professional videos and high-quality image tutorials with her followers.
Now, her mission is motivating and inspiring women to be their best selves, via sharing her love for all things related to fashion, hair and beauty. Via Bolden’s website and social media accounts she also features her lifestyle as a mother, wife, businesswoman and entrepreneur. Bolden branded herself as an influencer and has made a business of advertising on behalf of companies within a variety of industries, including health and beauty (Revlon: Creme of Nature, E.T. Browne Drug Co., Inc.: Palmer’s, Aveda, EDEN BodyWorks and Christian Dior Makeup), apparel (Saks Fifth Avenue) and tech (Google).
Bolden enjoys using both her website and social media accounts to influence consumers. Her website is her 'own little space in the digital universe' where she can share more images and content about products and services and can be more creative with personal branding. Yet she favors her social media accounts due to their organic and immediate connection to consumers. A fan of microblogging, Bolden appreciates the easy, short nature of updates, allowing her to post information quickly and reach her audience in seconds. 'I like that with my website I can house all of my work, and I can expand upon the content that I share on my social media outlets.'
Bolden loves her social media accounts because she can grow her following at a much faster rate and there are more brand partnership opportunities, but she also admits there is more pressure to engage with her followers via likes and comments. As a result, Bolden is meticulous about creating engaging content via her brand aesthetic: her photo shoots are hours long, she does her own hair and makeup, she styles her own looks and she carefully reviews photos of each pose to ensure consistency. Bolden even takes the extra measure to hire photographers specializing in influencer photography like Eliza Romero. A photographer and style blogger, Romero understands the perspectives of both companies and influencers, Ultimately, both parties want to convey a specific message without sacrificing their brand equity.
Bolden’s efforts have paid off thus far, her Instagram account has a following of engaged millennial moms averaging 900 likes per post. Bolden has a Facebook page as well, but Instagram is her primary social media site as it tends to be used more by millennial moms than generation X. (On average, Millennial moms have over three different social media accounts, according to a Weber Shandwick study, with Facebook being the most popular.)
In just the first half of 2017, Bolden doubled her revenue from all of 2016, accumulating $50,000 in strategic partnerships and influencer deals. She has participated in global 360 marketing campaigns lasting anywhere from one day to three months, and is on track to making well over six figures in 2017 from her brand and business. What’s more, Bolden has done so without receiving any revenue from traditional display ads on her website or social media accounts. 'I like it better this way because it shows my audience exactly how I use the product,' Bolden adds.
Bolden also serves as creative director for the companies with which she partners, overseeing the creative process from idea to execution:
I start by reviewing the campaign details and then I brainstorm on how I can tell the brand story through my lens- literally. Conceptualizing a story is my favorite part. I like telling a story with my content, which is why I created my company Bolden Creative Media. Bolden Creative Media is the parent company to my site as well as my creative directing, styling and social media work. Through Bolden Creative Media I help brands tell a story through engaging and impactful content. Whether it be that I am the face of the campaign as Dayna Bolden, or behind the scenes as the creative director, storytelling is something I love to do, and it helps me express my creativity.
Some brands have even requested Bolden include her husband and child in the campaign; she has demonstrated how to style her daughter’s hair using certain products and included her husband in a Valentine’s Day themed video campaign. 'I think it is a great way to get my family involved because they are a major piece of me,' Bolden mentions. She also validates her creative choices through quantitative data, providing each organization with campaign analytics to illustrate the ROI they’re receiving from working with her.
Bolden adds there are challenges in being a millennial mom influencer: 'There are so many influencers and bloggers out there, and a brand can literally have so many options.' However, Bolden considers her value proposition her drive and determination. 'I want to create content that sets me apart from the rest so that brands WANT to work with me. It can be hard and exhausting at times but it is totally worth it because I get to do what I love as my career.'
Christine Michel Carter is a global marketing strategist for innovative, category leading companies. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @cmichelcarter.