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Mums turn to online video

News, 16 February 2016

LONDON: Mothers have always valued the advice of other mothers, whether face-to-face or via online forums, but millennial mums in the UK are increasingly turning to video as a source of such parenting knowledge.

According to a new survey – an omnibus poll of 2,000 mums aged 30 and under – they are now more likely to trust online videos (35%) than television (31%) or the government (28%).

Information on company or brand websites (20%) was only slightly more trusted than information that comes directly from brands.

And, perhaps most surprisingly, only 4% of mothers under 30 were found to still have faith in information on conventional website forums, which often allow users to hide their identity behind nicknames.

This reflects a more general shift away from text to images. The survey reported that 60% of young mums and 44% of older parents were watching more online videos now than even 12 months ago.

Those findings underpin the decision of Siobhan Freegard, one of the co-founders of UK parenting site Netmums (not to be confused with Mumsnet which covers the same area), to launch a new video-parenting site ChannelMum.com.

Freegard highlighted another of the survey findings – that 63% of mothers believe information passed on by their peer group – and described video as "the modern-day equivalent of gossiping over the garden fence. Young mums trust it as they can see the person's face and decide if they believe what they are saying".

As a result, the vertical marketing approach where brands talk to or at parents is being replaced by "horizontal marketing, where ideas and trust in brands is relayed mum-to-mum".

Vloggers will inevitably play an important role in the new channel, which has grown out of an existing YouTube network and which will enable existing creators to plug in their YouTube channels, while new talent will also be mentored. Already the website has 100 vloggers signed up.

In the first phase of its launch, ChannelMum.com, which is backed by commercial broadcaster ITV, has also set up deals with several brands, including Ikea, Argos, Mattel and Pampers, plus information partnerships with the NHS to reach young mums.

Data sourced from ChannelMum, Guardian, Marketing; additional content by Warc staff