February 15 2022 – Gugu Guru
Content mistakes in the parenting industry can really make or break a Creator's work. When I speak with aspiring mom influencers or mom creators who are looking to partner with brands or even just get on a brand's radar, I often hear a lot of frustration. These moms create content and it could be adorable, awesome content in so many ways - but for some reason the brands don't acknowledge or share the content. Hmmm...
Why is that? After all, here is some free content that is promoting the brand's products so why aren't they taking note and sharing the mom's content from the mountain tops? It's often because the mom fell into the trap of making content mistakes that make the content unusable, unfortunately.
Here are some common content mistakes that I see from aspiring mom influencers that are often the reasons why brands aren't engaging.
1. Ignoring Safety Guidelines
This is by far the biggest content mistake I see with mom creators. When you're dealing with life or death situations around an infant, you have to adhere ALL safety guidelines or else the brand won't use or acknowledge the content. You can create an awesome video of your "day in the life" showing you and your babe hitting Starget but if your baby's car seat is not installed correctly or has the chest clip in the wrong place - the brand cannot use the content. Have a helpful bedtime routine to share? Great! But if there are bumpers or anything in the crib (e.g., stuffed animal or blanket) - the brand cannot use the content. Sometimes things are even more subtle - for example a car seat brand typically does not want any accessories in the car, so lose the back of the seat mirror when you're taking photos or video footage.
I see a lot of influencers on social media sharing content that is unsafe, e.g., bed sharing and when called out about it, they shrug and say, "Well, it worked for me." Then when commenters point out that the situation depicted is unsafe, you have other commenters chiming in and calling them "Karens" and scolding them for shaming a new mom. Now, hear me: this is NOT about shaming. I don't judge any mom - ever - because sometimes you're in survival mode but whether or not it worked for you, if it's unsafe then sharing that content with your audience is irresponsible and you've pretty much ruined your chances of most brands wanting to work with you.
Pro tip: consult the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and its website HealthyChildren.org to get familiar with safety guidelines, especially when creating content around gear like strollers and car seats or products for sleep and feeding.
2. Not Reading Product Info
Not reading directions is another big no no. We're all rushed these days but if you really want the brand to take you seriously, take the time to read the directions and ensure you've put something together correctly. Another benefit to reading through product descriptions is that you may catch on to an angle that the brand wants to amplify - for example "great for on the go" or "ideal for twin parents" - that you can work into your content talking points (making it more irresistible for brands.)
3. Not Tagging Brand Correctly
One common mistake that is so easy to correct is not tagging the brand at all, not tagging the correct brand (can't tell you how often people have tagged @guguguru on Instagram instead of @gugu_guru) or tagging the wrong "branch" or division of a brand. For example, you tag the IG account of the European division of a brand instead of the US division. To prevent this common mistake, just be sure to tag and then click the tag to ensure it's the right brand and the right account for that brand.
4. Including Competitive Brands in Content
This is a sneaky one and one that so many make the mistake of. Many parents mix it up and are not necessarily loyal to one brand. However, if you want your content to be acknowledged, praised and shared - just do not show the Nuna Pipa car seat in the UPPAbaby VISTA stroller, for example. A workaround to this is to create separate pieces of content showcasing the brands individually.
5. Not Niching Down Enough
Some of the popular or bigger brands have LOADS of messages in their DMs. You need to stand out and here's a hint - using "Food, Fashion & Fun!" types of descriptions in your bio, will not be that interesting to a brand. Equally uninteresting is making broad stroke pitches that don't feel unique, e.g., "Baby Registry Must-haves." You need to come in with an angle. For example, if you are a frequent traveler and you're pitching a travel double stroller brand, let them know that you go on trips with your toddler and infant several times a month, that your next trip is planned on XYZ date and you'd love to document how the easy collapsible feature and travel bag make your on-the-go life easier.
6. Your Public Persona
This doesn't necessarily have to do with developing one piece of content as much as how you come across as a public persona. If you are posting "edgy" content, then certain brands (especially some with religious ties that you may not be aware of) may not want to work with you. You should stay true to yourself by all means - I personally would never recommend compromising who you are. However, you may need to acknowledge that if you post sexual content or profanity-laden posts, some brands do not want to be associated with these types of content themes.