The Motherhood Reports: The Most Effective Ways to Engage Moms Online on Behalf of Brands

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For more than a year, The Motherhood has worked with the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence and the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business to research and analyze what works and what doesn’t work for brands looking to reach, engage and activate moms online.

In the study, we extensively examined more than 1,025 blog posts created by 956 bloggers in our network on behalf of 19 brand campaigns for such clients as AT&T, Clorox, Hershey’s, LISTERINE, Seventh Generation, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, McCormick Spices, and others.

Some of the questions we asked in the research were:

- Does it matter if our bloggers are exceptionally creative in developing their blog posts on behalf of brands?

- If a blog post includes photos or product giveaways, do those affect engagement or reach?

- Does blogger audience size (i.e., the number of unique monthly visitors to the blog, combined with the blogger’s number of Facebook and Twitter followers) affect engagement?

The preliminary findings of our research are being released today in New York at the Corporate Social Media Summit.  

Below is a slideshare of the preliminary results of the research:

Among the findings are key factors for:

  • Blog posts that garner the highest impressions: the bloggers’ creativity in developing their posts; and the inclusion of photos
  • Blog posts with the highest number of comments: offering readers a product giveaway; launching a new product; and the number of Twitter followers of the blog post author
  • Increasing Twitter coverage of blog posts: the authenticity of the blogger’s voice; inclusion of personal photos; coverage of an existing product (versus introducing a new product)
  • Increasing Facebook coverage of blog posts: including a meet-up; coverage of an existing product; inclusion of photos (either personal photos or stock photos)

Among the important takeaways from the research:

  • Creative expression and authentic conversation drive engagement, and conversely, tightly controlling the message by the brand hurts engagement and reach.
  • It’s all about choosing the right bloggers, and not necessarily the big-name bloggers.
  • Re-posts by bloggers of duplicate information do not improve engagement or product trials.
  • Campaigns with strategic targeting of social media platforms are more successful.

Leading the research team at the University of Pittsburgh are: Robert Stein, Interim Director, University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence; and Vanitha Swaminathan, Associate Professor of Marketing and Robert W. Murphy Faculty Fellow in Marketing, University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.  Thank you, Bob and Vanitha, for your dedication and innovative thinking in conducting this in-depth study with The Motherhood! 

 

Happy Father’s Day to ALL You Amazing Dads!

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Photo compliments of Google.com

We have many things to be thankful for at The Motherhood, and with Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, we want to give a special thanks to all the wonderful dads out there, especially ours!

And in case you still haven’t thought of the perfect gift or recipe for dad on his day, here are a few ideas from our bloggers that will make his Father’s Day extra awesome!

Prepare dad a feast fit for a king to let him how thankful you are. Grill up these tender, juicy porterhouse pork chops the whole family can enjoy.

Pork Chop Father's Day

Photo & Recipe Credit: 

Grilled Porterhouse Pork Chops from Simply Being Mommy

Don’t pair his Father’s Day meal with ANY appetizer – spice things up and try out these savory salmon sliders with a red pepper mayo!

Father's Day Salmon

Photo & Recipe Credit: 

Salmon Sliders w/ Roasted Red Pepper Mayo from Soufflé Bombay

For dessert, give dad the best of both worlds with a tasty ice cream “sam-wich” cake!

Father's Day Cake

 

Photo & Recipe Credit:

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake from Soufflé Bombay

If finding the perfect gift for dad is still on your to-do list, try this creative DIY gift that will win his heart!

Tonia at The Gunny Sack created this fun gift in a jar, which can be repurposed for any special guy’s interests or hobbies. Give him all of his favorite toiletries to make him look and feel good!

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Thank you to all the dads out there for your hard work and dedication. Happy Father’s Day!

Shot@Life and Walgreens win HALO Award for Best Health Campaign

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Congratulations to Shot@Life and Walgreens for winning a HALO Award from the Cause Marketing Forum for their “Get A Shot. Give A Shot” program!

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Walgreens partnered with the United Nations Foundation in 2013 to launch “Get a Shot. Give a Shot,” pledging to donate the value of a life-saving vaccine to the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign for every vaccine the company administered over a six-week time period at its pharmacies and Healthcare Clinics.

“This campaign not only helped benefit millions of children, but helped millions of Americans rise to the challenge of an urgent global issue,” said Aaron Sherinian, Vice President for Communications and Public Relations for the UN Foundation.

The Motherhood was thrilled to get to work with Shot@Life in 2012 and 2013, and to be working with the team again this year to help launch the “Get a Shot. Give a Shot” with Blogust 2014.

 

Dove Men+Care Research: 94% of Dads Prioritize Family Over Career

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We’ve always known dads are a dedicated bunch, and recent research released by Dove Men+Care backs that up. The research study, which surveyed 1,000 fathers, revealed the following:

  • An overwhelming majority of dads – 94 percent – prioritize their families over their careers.
  • Three out of five dads (61%) say the media portrays them negatively.
  • While three-quarters of dads say they are responsible for their child’s emotional well-being, only 20 percent of them say they see this role reflected in media.

Moms and dads alike play important roles in their children’s upbringing, and dads aren’t always fully acknowledged. We love that Dove Men+Care is working to spotlight the ways fathers care for their kids. Take a peek at the real-life dads in this new “Calls for Dad” film from Dove Men+Care, and just try to tell us it doesn’t make you a little emotional:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jpb2_YdxYM

Share your #RealDadMoments with us (@theMotherhood) and @DoveMenCare on Twitter, and send the video to your friends! Let’s celebrate dad together.

Casting for Dad

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Father’s Day is right around the corner, and we at The Motherhood would like to give a tip of our hats to the legions of hard-working, caring dads out there (including our own!).

The simplest way to express your appreciation is through a heartfelt greeting card, and the folks at Cardstore (who we’re running a blog campaign for, in conjunction with Life of Dad) have you covered this year. You can visit the Cardstore site to create and send a customized card, including a photo of your kids with their dad (or you with your own dad), with just a few simple steps. 

You can get a discounted $2.49 Father’s Day card by using the code CCG4527 through June 9.

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Recognizing that fatherhood is no easy task, Cardstore has launched a “Dadmiration” campaign – and you can join in by publishing a post on one or more of your social media channels with the hashtag #WorldsToughestJob. While you’re at it, check out the fun video they’ve created to demonstrate that there’s no script for parenting.

Join us to show your “Dadmiration” for the special father in your life at a Twitter party tomorrow – Friday, June 6! We will be on Twitter between 1 and 2 p.m. ET, using the hashtag #WorldsToughestJob. Follow @theMotherhood and @lifeofdadshow and tweet in honor of dads.

Hope to see you there!

 

What does Forever Summer mean to you?

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Welcome to the month of June, everyone! We’ve finally made it through the polar vortex and unseasonable cold and snow in many areas of the country. In just a few weeks, we’ll be enjoying the first official day of summer – and in most parts of the country, we’re already enjoying the hallmarks of the season: sunshine, warmer days and plenty of kids excited to leave their classrooms behind for a few months.

At The Motherhood, we’re celebrating summer with beloved kids’ clothing retailer OshKosh B’gosh, which has created an adorable Forever Summer website that will feature a different blogger every week through mid-July. You can visit this week to see a video and other content from Kelli and Kristi at Lolly Jane, a gorgeous DIY and craft blog.

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Photo from foreversummer.oshkosh.com.

Previous weeks have featured videos from Kristyn at Lil’ Luna and Kayla at Kayla Aimee, and you can view those in the site archive. They are truly adorable, so check them out!

In upcoming weeks, you also can look forward to seeing a few other fantastic ladies share what “Forever Summer” means to them and their families.

This Thursday, June 5, our new featured blogger will be Hanan at EAT.CRAFT.PARENT., showcasing a nice setup for a backyard movie (we love that idea for a nighttime summer activity).

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Photo by Hanan Webster, EAT.CRAFT.PARENT.

Next week, watch for Meagan at Sunshine and Sippy Cups and check out the site for advice and ideas on road trips with the kids. The team through the rest of the summer will feature Caryn at Rockin’ Mama for fun at the beach, Monica at Marino Bambinos with thoughts on staycations, and Betsy and Kristin at The Little Style File to celebrate July 4th.

Visit the OshKosh B’gosh website to take a peek at the cute summer styles and find a store near you.

Make a Huggable Heroes Nomination to Champion Young People Doing Good

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If any young people in your life have impressed you with their community service (or other good deeds) recently, you can do them a service in return: Nominate them for the Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Huggable Heroes program, which will enter them to win a $5,000 educational scholarship and $2,500 donated to the cause of their choice.

The Motherhood is currently supporting the Huggable Heroes program with a blog campaign and 30-minute Twitter party, which you can join this Thursday, May 29, at 3 p.m. ET. Visit the Twtvite to learn more and RSVP.

Since 2004, more than 12,000 kids have participated in the Huggable Heroes program, which has awarded more than $1 million and recognized more than 100 socially conscious young people. So fantastic!

This year, 10 more Huggable Heroes winners will be added to the ranks. Nominate a young leader (between the ages of 8 and 18) in your community or around the world before the entry deadline of June 12.

We hope to see you at the Twitter party later this week, and good luck to all of the nominees!

A Few Ideas for Your Memorial Day Picnic

Photo compliments of Google.com

Photo compliments of Google.com

Memorial Day is coming up, and we want to help you celebrate as you remember those who have served our country. Barbecue and picnic food is traditional Memorial Day fare, and if you need ideas, you’ve come to the right place!

Set the tone with this beautiful patriotic bandana tablecloth for your picnic table:

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Patriotic Table Cloth found on Etsy.com

You’re going to need some delicious food to put on that beautiful table! Don’t these pork tenderloin sandwiches look AH-MAY-ZING? And they’re already cut, so just grab and go! Yum yum yum:

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Pork Tenderloin Picnic Sandwich by TheRoomMom

Instead of the same pasta salad you make for every summer party, think about kicking off the meal with this gorgeous jicama slaw:

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Jicama Slaw from Mango & Tomato

This creamy feta dip with jalapeños is just screaming to be at your Memorial Day party this year!

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Creamy Feta Dip from How Sweet It Is

And you’ll need a yummy dessert! How about these super quick and easy ice cream sandwiches? HINT: You can use already-made sandwiches and add your own patriotic sprinkles! So easy, you can put your kids in charge!

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Ice Cream Sandwiches from One Hundred Dollars a Month

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with your family, and don’t forget to remember all of those who have given their lives while serving our country.

Tee Off to Fight Child Hunger in Pennsylvania on May 31!

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What comes to mind when you hear the term child hunger? Many people think of events they see on the news or people from countries far away, but the truth is that child hunger hits a lot closer to home than we realize!

In the state of Pennsylvania, where The Motherhood office is located, one in every five children are food insecure, so we are honored to team up with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to share ways that you can help. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, we invite you to take part in a family miniature golf outing to benefit local families in need!

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Held on May 31, 2014, the Putting an End to Hunger event will take place at the Fun Fore All family entertainment center in Cranberry Township. The donation is $100 for a family of four (or $50 for two golfers) and includes lunch, a t-shirt, $10 Fun Card and a discounted 2-hour fun pass!

Our friends from ‘lil BurghersPittsburgh Mommy Blog, and Play Pittsburgh will be there and they’d love if you would join them! So gather up your family and friends, and plan to attend this important event that will benefit families in need in your very own city. If you go, make sure to let us know by tweeting with the hashtag #ForetheKids!

You can reserve your family’s tee time here.

Unable to attend the event? The Kids Campaign to End Hunger offers many other ways that you can help local children who are food insecure!

How have you helped hunger in your own community? 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“The Waiting”: A Book You Won’t Regret Adding to Your Summer Reading List

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Photo by Kelly from Muddy Flowers

As you may have read on our blog previously, The Motherhood and an amazing group of bloggers recently have been enjoying the opportunity to review several new book releases from Tyndale House Publishers. We couldn’t help but share one more amazing book to add to your summer reading list!

The Waiting, written by Cathy LaGrow, is the unique and true story of a 16-year-old girl, Minka, who becomes pregnant after being sexually assaulted and makes the difficult decision to give up her child for adoption. The book follows Minka for the next 77 years as she searches for her daughter – and waits. After nearly 80 years, Minka prays one last time to lay eyes on her daughter. Just days later she gets the one thing she had waited for her entire life.

Check out this video trailer to learn more!

You can watch the three generations of ladies from The Waiting story reunited on this TODAY Show segment!

As Stephanie from Moments That Take My Breath Away shares, “The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow is one of the most touching stories that I have ever read. I am sure that if you take the time to read this true story of loss, love, and forgiveness, you won’t regret it.”

We heard over and over again from our review team of bloggers how this beautiful story enthralled them:

I read this book cover to cover in one day. Once I started…I truly could not put it down.” – Kristen, Mudpies and Tiaras

“I could not put this book down, I was hooked!” - Nicole, Mama to 5 Blessings

This non-fiction book reads like a fiction story and I got sucked in from the very beginning! I pretty much read the entire book in two days because I couldn’t put it down.” – Jami, Young Wife’s Guide

The verdict is in – if you’re looking for a great summer read, we strongly encourage you to check out The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow!

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