According to Catalyst, a global nonprofit focused on building workplaces that work for women, women made up more than half of management, professional and related occupations in 2018 but are still underrepresented at the executive level. The need for empowerment and change continues to grow as our female workforce strives to fill an increasing number of these positions.
Organizations like SHE Media recognized that this rise of women in the workplace (along with their domination in the influencer industry) should be nurtured and celebrated. To bring these like-minded individuals together, fifteen years ago, SHE Media introduced their conference, #BlogHer, that welcomes over 1,500 bloggers, social media influencers and entrepreneurs to discuss, educate, and inspire each year.
From the moment you walk through the doors at Brooklyn Expo Center, you feel the excitement. Professional women from across the nation gather to be a part of this vibrant community. As Solomon McCown’s Social Media Specialist and a lifestyle blogger & influencer on my own, I was excited to attend #BlogHer for the second time with the hopes of leaving with even more inspiration, new skills, and connections.
Some of the speakers included company founders and “girl bosses” like Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat, Gail Becker of CAULIPOWER and the sensational Sarah Jessica Parker (you know the one!). The sessions from which I took the most away included panels on influencer campaigns, industry inclusion, and digital marketing essentials.
As a professional in the influencer and social media space, my day-to-day includes staying up to date on what’s new, who’s trending, and how our clients should take advantage of change. The clicks don’t lie influencer marketing has been gaining the trust of coveted audiences. If you can believe it, 70% of teens trust influencers more than more traditional celebrities. For a fraction of the cost of hiring, say, an actor or singer to endorse your products/services, you could partner with persuasive influencers who care about your company AND who are more relatable to the communities you are trying to reach.
While many have preconceived notions about social media influencers, many marcomms professionals have been won over by the ROI when they’ve put the effort into identifying influencers who are a good, authentic fit for their brand. And by approaching influencers with the same level of respect you would other colleagues or consultants and by having clear guidelines and deliverables, you are more likely to get the results you’re hoping for.
Influencers can be a great asset to your brand when, and only when, you know who your audience is and how to reach them. It’s crucial to know where they can be found, what they really want to see, and what sort of content resonates with them. For more information on building your influencer campaign, read my recent blog HERE.
The women who spoke at #BlogHer have incredible backgrounds navigating their industries. With that comes lessons learned and a whole slew of both positive and negative interactions, observations, and experiences. For Ofunne Amaka, blogger and entrepreneur, the beauty industry has been one with many ups and downs.
With demand from consumers, companies are introducing more diversity into their advertisements and are beginning to create targeted products to represent inclusion. Brands like Cocoa Swatches, Hude and Fenty, have made a tremendous push to expand their product lines and adjust their online presence to reach a more diverse audience. However, according to Amaka, when it comes to diversity, it won’t be perceived as authentic unless brands “embody it within every single thing that [they] do.”
To build that authenticity and trust, companies should create more emotional equity with their desired clients and influencers by coordinating carefully targeted campaigns and including messages they will relate to. They need to have their finger on the pulse of their consumers and think about what will resonate with them or turn them away. With influencer marketing on the rise, it’s important to choose those who are the best fit for your brand and to approach your audiences in the right way.
Last, but not least: digital marketing, which covers much more than just social media. In order to really stand out online, you must optimize your website AND social profiles. With so many brands and individuals trying to make a splash, there are best practices you can follow to ensure you maximize your virtual presence. As Jenna Shaffer from Constant Contact put it, “If you are not on all of these channels and cohesively bringing them together… then your customers are not going to find you and your business will lose visibility.”
The key learnings from the #BlogHer digital panels included: expand beyond what your business or brand is all about to find terms your consumers might be using, always include press features and articles on your “About” page to boost your perceived legitimacy with visitors as well as search (you can find ours HERE), carefully select imagery that aligns with your aesthetic to present yourself as a professional brand, and remember that 60% of people who visit websites are on mobile devices.
My favorite takeaway and a point I emphasize to everyone I speak to about social media is to engage with your community. Whether you have a huge following or are just starting to grow your audience, use those channels to continually push engagement, sales, and brand activity.
If you would like to read more about #BlogHer19, click HERE.