by Allan Hopkins, Digital Marketing Designer, Truth Tree Consulting
Parents make major sacrifices to ensure a bright future for their children. More than half of parents spend more than $1,000 each year just in extracurricular activities alone.
When marketing to parents, you have to think like a parent. Children are at the center of their decision making.
Create a marketing strategy that appeals to child-oriented values to ensure a successful campaign. Here are 5 great ways to connect with parents.
5. Focus on Millenials
More than 1 million Millenials become moms each year making them the largest demographic of parents in the world. It's important to understand the Millenial mindset to understand how to connect to their family values.
Most of them are social media savvy which opens the door to a potentially strong social campaign. Millennial parents are not against sharing their lives and information online with brands they trust.
Consider launching a social media contest asking parents to share specific family stories or experiences. For example, photos of the best family Halloween costume.
This is an image most Millenial parents would likely share anyway. By connecting with their personal interests you open the door to future conversations.
Use hashtags and paid ad placement to boost your posts. If you already have a following, spread your message across channels.
4. Tell Your Story
If you're a parent, include your story in your marketing strategy. Parents feel comfortable connecting with like-minded parents.
Express your family values openly to attract parents that share your same worldview. Stray away from politics or divisive religious statements unless related to your brand.
There are exceptions to this rule. Major brands like Chick Fil A and Hobby Lobby are successful in spite of their religious values.
Still, both brands have marketing campaigns that focus on the family and not recruiting individuals to a specific religion. Hire a blogger to help you share family anecdotes that other parents can relate to.
Share them on social media and through your email campaign. As other parents begin to connect, they will grow more trusting of the products you have to sell.
3. Kid of the Month
Parents love the opportunity to show off their kids. If your business caters to children, offer a feature story in your newsletter featuring one of your customers.
Many local parent magazines accept photo submissions from parents who want their children to make the cover. Each month features a new child.
This increases the shares of that magazine which draws more readers to the publication. Follow this strategy with the Kid of the Month feature.
Think photo, drawing contests, writing contests or STEM-related challenges. Children can submit monthly for a chance to win.
Parents will share the child's accomplishments and invariably share your company information as well.
2. Validate Your Claims
Nowadays everyone online is an expert. Community forums and comments sections allow everyone to voice opinions and advice.
To help your brand emerge as a thought leader, use data to validate your marketing claims. Conduct a study by surveying current parents.
Research wider demographics in your local area to compare how your parent customers measure up. Release studies that reveal your findings and what it means for your brand.
This research is what will set your opinion apart from the millions of comments online. It also transforms your website and advertising copy from selling to informing.
Informing your target audience allows meaningful engagement. Selling to your audience turns off the opportunity for a conversation.
Brands who engage with customers over time establish more brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is extremely important because it means customers begin to think of you as the best in the industry.
Loyalists will follow your brand even when cheaper or more convenient options arise. Aim to establish yourself as a trusted thought leader by giving the best possible information to parents on a regular basis.
1. Offer Free Experiences
Parents love free family events. It takes the burden off them to entertain children plagued with cabin fever.
Offer free experiences for families to draw them to your business. Live events and festivals provide something for families to do on lazy weekends that does not require spending money.
The event being free doesn't tie parents into another commitment after a busy week. Events with lots of activities for kids that allow them to play and learn are ideal.
Think of interactive experiences for children like a chance to learn computer coding or playing an exotic instrument. Take the burden off parents to navigate your event.
Keep the priorities simple and straightforward. A bouncy house, learning stations, and crafts are usually enough to keep families entertained for hours.
Include a booth with information about your business as well as adequate signage to show off your brand.
Marketing to Parents with Advertising
Paid advertising brings brand recognition. Engagement is good for building relationships with customers, but advertising builds familiarity.
It is impossible to reach every parent in your area through your social media channels or newsletter. Advertising broads your reach by allowing you to get visibility on a variety of fronts.
Out-of-home marketing campaigns target parents in the grocery store while driving down the street or while at a kid's soccer game. These campaigns are just as important when you cover as many demographics as possible.
The more parents see your brand the more they will begin to feel a connection. Combined with strong parent engagement and a great personal story, your brand is more likely to become a household name in your area.
For more information on meaningful ways to connect with parents, please check our blog for updates.