The data doesn’t show that the mummy blogger era is ending anytime soon

Lorraine MurphyMia Freedman this week sparked debate within the Australia blogosphere after questioning if the end of the era of the mummy blogger may be near. Lorraine Murphy argues the data shows this isn’t the case.

Great marketing campaigns come from great listening.

Using our ears is an often under-rated tool and can be the bedrock in creating content that truly engages, educates, entertains and inspires.

But in order to do that, we need to really hear what the customer has to say.

Beyond any ad-world bubble, the people who really matter are the end consumers of the content our industry is creating.

They will tell us very quickly what’s working, what’s not – and in the increasingly transient digital world, they vote quickly with their clicks.

I can only speak with authority for the 25 influencers we represent, but overall there has been growth of 37 per cent in their audiences year-on-year and some have grown by as much as 271 per cent. From our perspective, the blogging space is alive and thriving.

It’s very easy to make sweeping assumptions on what is and isn’t working, however the fact is that only solid data can inform us as marketers as to how well a particular medium is performing.

When a claim is made, it is only reasonable that it should be backed up with specific examples or data on why it is being made.

Getting to know the communities a brand is trying to reach is imperative to the resulting content being both relevant to the audience and delivering on the brand’s objectives.

In order for a key message to fly, marketers should have a solid picture of the specific audiences the brand is aligning with.

In an effort to listen to the consumers of our influencers’ content, we conduct a broad survey on the followers of our influencers each year.

There are a few reasons we do it. Firstly, it gives us a temperature check on the audiences’ relationships with the influencers.

Secondly, it allows us to paint the picture of who the followers are, given Google Analytics can only provide so much information.

The questions cover areas including demographics, shopping habits, food, travel, home and interests.

The survey is shared by each individual influencer with a personalised landing page and it takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

It’s incentivised with a $100 voucher for the online store of the influencer’s choice.

This year we had 11,000 completed surveys, meaning readers spent the equivalent of 115 days on Survey Monkey.

We believe this is more due to the relationship between the blogger and reader than the pretty paltry (let’s be fair) incentive.

Snapshot of key stats

The overall demographics were very much in line with last year’s findings:

  • Very heavily skewed female (92 per cent are women)
  • 25-44 year olds are the biggest proportion of the audiences (70 per cent)
  • The top reason for reading again this year was “it feels like catching up with a friend”. This held true regardless of the content vertical (e.g: food, style, travel). Even if the blog is very advice-driven, the main reason readers are there is for that personal connection with the influencer
  • Over half of readers have been reading for more than a year
  • 63 per cent of readers would like to meet the influencer in “real life”
  • 78 per cent have used a tip or piece of advice shared by the influencer
  • 30 per cent have purchased something recommended by the blogger

The top five insights

1. Mobile continues to dominate*

We saw another significant jump in audiences accessing the blogs via mobile in the last twelve months.

Smartphone and tablet access combined is now sitting at 71 per cent. Tablet has held steady year-on-year and the growth in mobile is coming from smartphones.

This rapid growth has meant that we have been advising our influencers to move to response site designs since early 2014, and now all are fully mobile-optimised.

As an added bonus some have seen increases of up to 25% in their traffic since doing so.

2. Instagram is the fastest-growing social platform*

The combined Instagram audience of our influencers jumped by 73 per cent year-on- year, with some increasing as much as five-fold.

In comparison, Facebook grew by 43 per cent. Instagram is still in a phase of rapid growth of course and as such was starting from a lower base: a combined audience in the group of 2 million on

Facebook versus 500,000 on Instagram. We expect this to level out over time.

3. Audiences continue to consume branded content

This is the first question I jump to in Survey Monkey as the completed surveys start to roll in!

Readers actually reading the branded content our influencers create with brands is essential for the success of campaigns, but also – speaking frankly – to our business model.

We asked readers: “Do you read branded content?”. I should note here that all branded content is fully disclosed as such – so readers know upfront if a brand has been involved in its creation. The results were as follows:

  • “Yes as I trust [influencer name] to bring me information I’ll be interested in” – 48 per cent
  • “I don’t differentiate between branded and non-branded content” – 39 per cent
  • “I don’t read it” – 7 per cent
  • “Other” – 5 per cent

These results are almost exactly the same as they were last year, which to us says two things.

One, that the influencers are continuing to only work with brands that are relevant to their audiences (between them they turned down $300,000 of potential campaigns this year).

And two, that when they do the content is punching at a similar weight to their standard content – this is backed up by the fact that traffic on branded content is the same as non-branded.

4. Social media is the primary channel for followers

We asked followers: “If you could only access one channel a day, what would it be?”. They responded:

  • Social media – 56 per cent
  • Blogs – 26 per cent
  • News/lifestyle sites – 8 per cent
  • Newspapers – 8 per cent
  • Magazines – 1 per cent
  • Other – 1 per cent

Over half of readers are using social media as their primary media channel and a simultaneous analysis of the influencers’ Google Analytics shows that Facebook in particular is a strong traffic driver to the blogs.

For us, this means that all brand campaigns need to have a touchpoint across these channels that works for that specific medium – e.g: a heavily branded image is not going to fly on Instagram.

Note: we chose not to include broadcast media due to the prevalence of multi- screen consumption, however client feedback indicates that TV and radio should be included next year.

5. Blog and Facebook demographics exactly mirror each other*

We have been guilty in the past of running with a lofty assumption that Facebook audiences differ somewhat from the blog audiences – maybe that they run younger, or have a bigger male skew.

When we compared both sets of audiences, we were amazed to find that the demographics were nigh-on identical. In fact, the male/female split and age brackets on Facebook were within 1% of that on the blogs.

The most significant insight we believe is the growth again in mobile – this will impact everything about influencer campaigns and as such is a key focus for our business. At the rate mobile is growing, we predict that desktop access to blogs and social will be extinct by the end of 2018.

For example, we’re in the process of launching our display offer at the moment and a slick mobile execution is our first priority as we do that.

Checking out ad units on our laptops sitting around a meeting room table comes from force of habit; now we need to constantly remind ourselves to pull out our phones and prioritise the user experience there instead.

Getting to know the communities a brand is trying to reach is imperative to the resulting content being both relevant to the audience and delivering on the brand’s objectives.

Lorraine Murphy is the founder & head of relationships – The Remarkables Group

*Insights based on Google Analytics and Facebook Insights


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