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Mums2Gather: " Influencers are becoming real confidants or advisors"

Covering some of the most sensitive and personal experiences in a person’s life, running influence campaigns in the baby/children/family sector is fraught with acute cha llenges. From ongoing and time-intensive influencer recruitment, to audience pressure for perfection and a complicated regulatory environment, founder of digital marketing agency MUMS2GATHER and online community Christel Niquille explains outlines what it takes to succeed.  

Christel Niquille portrait
Christel Niquille portrait

How does running influence campaigns in the baby/family sector differ from other sectors? 

We’re dealing with very specific targets so the selection criteria depends on what stage the influencer is in life. You might want to reach someone during pregnancy or postpartum, a parent with a very young child who's just beginning to eat solids, or a child who's already a bit independent. You need to reach the right age group depending on the brand’s needs.  

You have to be really aware [of what’s happening in their lives] because someone may have an idea of parenthood, but the reality is different. Perhaps someone wanted to breastfeed, but the breastfeeding doesn’t take. There is a lot of instantaneity in our selection process for influencers. You have to be very interested in the person. You can’t put your foot in it because this period of life is ultra-sensitive, and very personal. There are a lot of restrictions [on what you can do]. You have to make sure that, when you deliver a message, it's totally credible and the product is perfectly suited to the baby. To someone who’s not a parent, a baby’s bottle is just a bottle, but there are a lot of things that will determine whether it is compatible with the child and their development. 

Is it possible to work long-term with influencers when often the time-frame a child needs a particular product is limited? 

It’s a big challenge. Brands in this sector need a fairly substantial budget, because recruitment is always ongoing. We're always on the lookout for new talent. There's a lot of competition [for KOLs]. The second point is that there aren't many profiles, and from the profiles there are, you add another layer of selection depending on the product you’re promoting. 

The more brands are present on social networks, the more they will develop a good reputation for how they set up their campaigns, by treating people well, whether they are professional etc. This is important and can mean the difference between whether the influencer accepts your campaign quickly or not. It's very challenging, because you have to find the right profiles within a given period of time. We do manage to build loyalty and work over the medium term, because perhaps some become pregnant with their second child. It also depends on the depth of the brand's range, and if the brand itself has several products in its portfolio. 

Are some platforms more suited to others for this sector?

TikTok has been a revelation. We launched our account @mumtobeparty three years ago and saw it immediately take off with our target audience of mothers. When it comes to our influence campaigns, we have excellent feedback and quality content.

We’ve noticed the emergence of really interesting profiles, and a lot more conversations than we see on Instagram. There is a lot of live content on TikTok around pregnancy. It’s a very uncomplicated social network compared to Instagram. There's no filter. 

But brands are reluctant to invest in TikTok because they think they're going to reach a teenage target audience, that it’s all about dancing and entertainment. It's a misunderstanding of what TikTok is. When it comes to moms, skincare, health, very clearly there is room for hard-hitting, educational content alongside the very funny, viral content on TikTok. There's room for everyone, for all ages, subjects, and methods of communicating.

What’s your view of how influencer fees are evolving in this sector?

I think it's pretty reasonable. These people have worked hard to grow their communities. What happens on ‘dark social’ is very important. People take the time to answer their community’s questions and to offer advice. These conversations might not be visible on posts because they take place in DM, but they take a huge amount of time. As long as influencers are doing the work to grow their community and build loyalty [the prices are justified]. We can also see that the content quality is getting better, and the sector is becoming more professional. Influencers are working with talent agents, and that helps to push the price up as well.

Do conversations between influencers and their communities carry more weight in the baby/children’s sector than in others?

Instagram channels are driving the dark social trend, which is big. People are looking for conversations on very specific subjects. People like influencers because they have something in common with them. [In this sector] that might be a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, or who has colic. Influencers are becoming real confidants or advisors. These conversations provide an intimate space for discussion, a space that is a little exclusive, where the person feels listened to. It’s not public so it makes it easier [for fans] to speak up. There is a strong trend towards conversations, and that's a big challenge for brands in knowing how to measure the impact of these conversations that are neither visible nor tracked.

What has been the impact of France’s influencer marketing law on the sector?

The sector was already regulated, but who knows about it? That's the problem. The trend is for brands wanting to work with nano and micro influencers who aren't communications professionals. They’re not aware of the law, whether in terms of image rights, copyright, or that children [in France] need to be registered with modeling agencies. The law has the merit of encouraging everyone to support influencers and to make everyone aware of the legal framework, but it lacks clarity on many points. 

There’s a long way to go before people know what to do. There’s a lot of admin and influencers are often on their own. The profession needs to increase its expertise around these subjects. It's very simple to open an Instagram account, it seems simple to maintain a community, but after that, the legalities in relation to the child are less so. 

Audiences are becoming more demanding of influencers across the board; how is this playing out in the baby/children’s sector?

It’s true that pressure on influencers to continuously produce content is across the board, it’s not specific to this sector. But there are a lot of restrictions in the parenting sector. You must show that you're a good parent, or an imperfect parent. Audiences can be very benevolent and supportive, but they can also be very cruel. If a woman regains her physique very quickly postpartum, or if she doesn't, wow, she gets a lot of remarks. Influencers in this sector are constantly judged on their appearance and parental choices, which means that there's incredible pressure. It means you have to be able to anticipate controversy. You can't just say and do anything. You need to surround yourself with experts to check and anticipate. We're dealing with really touchy subjects, where people are quick to react. Caution characterizes this sector a lot, because you never really know how the users are going to react. 

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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