A Quick Guide to Online Marketing to Children

Marissa Heckman
By Marissa Heckman

Marketing to children requires a bit of knowledge on laws such as COPA, CIPPA, and COPPA. Moreover, you should ask yourself the question of what the true benefit is in marketing to children rather than their parents. For the most part, the majority of brands will find more value in speaking to parents instead of children when considering who will ultimately be purchasing a product.

This post will quickly dive into one major mistake made by a big name brand, a few takeaways from the privacy acts, and the best practice for marketing to children. One example of a mistake was made by Ring Pops, as they ran a campaign known as #RockThatRock.

Related: Why Online Reputation Management Matters More Now Than Ever

Teens and minors were encouraged to post photos with their Ring Pops, whereby the brand reposted some of those images with usernames included. This goes against the children’s privacy act because the brand collected data from minors without the permission of their parents.

They also went even further by reposting the images and including some of them in a music video as well. Although this might have been unintentional, a brand must be very wary of their contests/promotions and ensure that they are not collecting information from minors.

ringpop

Similarly, you must not collect any email addresses from people under the age of 18. This could cause of fine of $10,000 for each email address provided by a minor. Basically, the COPA, CIPPA, and COPPA outline that a brand cannot collect or use any data from a minor. When it comes to marketing to children, the more cautious you are the better. That’s why you’ll hear, “Ask your parents before logging on,” in commercials aimed at children.

When creating content for social media accounts that promote children’s toys, it’s best to offer a mixture of content for both parents and children. Colorful, engaging content that will speak to children will gain their interest in your product and cause them to confront their parents about making a purchase.

Related: Are My Target Customers on Social Media?

Moreover, showing the toy or product in action and being loved by a child will grow that desire to purchase even further for both children and parents. In the image below, Barbie incorporates both demographics within a post to maximize engagement from children, mothers, and potentially even fathers.

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When posting promotional offers, sales, or when incorporating a CTA, always address the parents. Not only is this the smarter, safer move, but it will also appeal to the parent buy involving them in the process.

 When posting engaging content for the younger demographic, keep it short. With shorter attention spans, it’s wise to keep captions and image texts as short as possible. Moreover, you’ll want to respond to their comments quickly before they move on within this highly competitive field.

Lastly, fun or humorous videos work best for this demographic as they are highly visual, engaging, and easy to follow. Although social platforms restrict all users to be over 13, there’s a high chance there will be even younger users on your page using a false age.

Consider the bottom line of your business and who your brand should really speak to, the parents. In order to reach this audience outside of your current following, you’ll want to boost your promotional content to this interest group, similar to the audience target shown below.

targetaudience

You’ll also want to add specific interests, such as children’s toys, children’s clothing, or whatever else your product resonates with.

A great way to appeal to parents is to point out not only what makes your product unique, but how it can actually enhance a child’s life or experience, whether that be through creative thinking, holding their attention for long periods of time, creating lasting fun, or more.

Related: Why Understanding Search Intent is Key to Engaging Your Target Customers

Today, Social Media is noticeably influential to all ages. Whether your audience is children, millennials, or an older demographic, your branding must be on-point and precise.

After ensuring the legalities of what you’re posting and asking for, tailor your content to appeal to your split audience of parents and children. Post with intention and keep track of your engagement per post, as well as clicks to your site.

Based on these metrics, continue to test and perfect your copy to be irresistible to children & parents. By being active on social media within both age groups, you will increasingly become more accessible to your consumers and grow your social presence, voice, and following.

 

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Marissa is an Organic Social Media Specialist at Power Digital. Born and raised in California, she enjoys working in the digital space to practice and enhance her strategic and creative thinking. Having graduated top of her class at SDSU, she finds enjoyment in the ever-changing and challenging world of marketing.