Nav: Home

'Mommy bloggers' study reveals factors that drive success in social influencer marketing

July 29, 2019

Influencer marketing is extremely widespread, yet ineffective. Eighty-six percent of companies use it as part of their social media strategy, but effectiveness remains low. For an influencer on Facebook, the average engagement rate per post is 0.37 percent; on Twitter, it is even lower at 0.05 percent.

New research from the University of Notre Dame provides a framework of strategies to help managers yield larger returns on engagement.

"Driving Brand Engagement Through Online Social Influencers: An Empirical Investigation of Sponsored Blogging Campaigns" is forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing from lead author Christian Hughes, assistant professor of marketing in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

Hughes, along with her co-authors Vanitha Swaminathan of the University of Pittsburgh and Gillian Brooks from the University of Oxford, collected a data set of 57 sponsored blogging campaigns run by companies including AT&T, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Chick-fil-A, Listerine, OshKosh B'Gosh, Chef Boyardee and Walmart, between 2012 and 2016. The data came from The Motherhood, a social media influencer marketing agency focused on "mommy bloggers," and involved 600 blogs and 1,800 posts. The researchers followed up the data analysis with an experiment to replicate their findings.

They noticed multiple factors affected success in generating online engagement (posting comments, liking a brand), depending on the type of platform, blog post content and the goals of the campaign -- whether trying to generate awareness for a brand or prompt consumer purchase.

"On Facebook, attention-grabbing, creative content is more effective when the campaign goal is to win the purchase versus simply raise awareness," Hughes says. "And interestingly, including giveaways increases engagement on blogs, but the opposite happens on Facebook."

In addition, the research finds that posting on a weekend rather than a weekday results in higher engagement on Facebook, but not on blogs, and the type of content influencers are posting also impacts engagement depending on the platform and goals.

They also focused on the expertise of the blogger, which they determined matters on blogs, but not in higher-distraction environments such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

"The biography of a high-expertise blogger may read something like 'professional marketing and content creator, brand ambassador, social media influencer, freelancer, etc.," Hughes says. "While a low-expertise blogger bio might boast 'loves family, travel, bad jokes and good coffee.' Though both are sponsored bloggers, they portray themselves very differently, and our research shows for a campaign trying to raise awareness on the blog platform, a high-expertise blogger can generate greater engagement."

The findings highlight the critical interplay of platform type, campaign intent, source, campaign incentives and content in driving engagement.

"Running a successful influencer marketing campaign is about more than picking an influencer with the most followers and posting across platforms," Hughes says. It involves designing a cohesive strategy, selecting influencers and encouraging content that is going to have the biggest impact for the company's specific campaign goals."

Hughes teaches social media marketing at Notre Dame and researches in the areas of digital and social media, with a focus on influencer marketing and social influence. She formerly worked as a marketing research analyst for Management Science Associates Inc. and consulted for companies such as Avon, Danone, Georgia-Pacific and R.J. Reynolds.

University of Notre Dame

Related Science Articles:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.
Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.
Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.
World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
More Science News and Science Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Warped Reality
False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what's true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

How to Win Friends and Influence Baboons
Baboon troops. We all know they're hierarchical. There's the big brutish alpha male who rules with a hairy iron fist, and then there's everybody else. Which is what Meg Crofoot thought too, before she used GPS collars to track the movements of a troop of baboons for a whole month. What she and her team learned from this data gave them a whole new understanding of baboon troop dynamics, and, moment to moment, who really has the power.  This episode was reported and produced by Annie McEwen. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at