Any brand that markets to parents knows that there's no "one-size-fits-all" marketing campaign. They could
be millennial parents who are just starting a family or Gen X parents who tend to be more traditional and
are watching their children turn into young adults. Whatever the case may be, parenting brands can all agree
on one thing: The competition is growing.
In some ways, marketing to parents has never been easier. With digital marketing, you can drill down your target demographics so that you reach exactly the person you want — down to where they live, whether they're a mother or father, if they went to college, if they own a home, and so much more. These laser-specific targeting capabilities give brands incredible power.
When you set up your campaigns correctly, you'll have the confidence of knowing that your ads are being seen by your ideal customers. Of course, there are plenty of other brands making use of these targeting abilities, too. So, how does your brand stand out? Will you be perpetually pouring money into paid ads? If you choose content marketing, you'll find that growth happens naturally.
What Is Content Marketing?
If you're not familiar with content marketing, it's a concept that has withstood the test of time. While
we often hear it talked about in the digital sense, it actually dates back well over 100 years and we
often credit the earliest effective example to John Deere, who released The Furrow magazine in 1895.
They sent this magazine out to farmers, educating them with growing advice and emerging technology they could use to increase their harvests. In and amongst all of that valuable information, John Deere also educated consumers on their farming equipment and, of course, the magazine had John Deere's name all over it. Case studies of farmers who were doing better thanks to John Deere equipment, among other information, turned The Furrow into one of the most quoted early examples of content marketing on the planet.
As this magazine demonstrated, content marketing can use any medium (online and offline) and often combines multiple mediums to be effective — think your website, Facebook page, and product packaging working together to reinforce your brand's values. The other thing we can derive from the magazine is that content marketing focuses specifically on offering value to readers.
Had The Furrow read like an advertising brochure, it wouldn't have been successful. John Deere made a smart marketing move and positioned the brand as a niche authority. By offering unique, innovative advice to farmers about their tools and techniques, while naturally talking about John Deere equipment where it was relevant, the brand ultimately made a name for itself that we still recognize nearly 150 years later.
Benefits of Investing in Content Marketing for Your Parenting Brand
Wondering what benefits your parenting brand can expect to receive from content marketing? The list is
long and widespread.
When parents choose a brand to buy from, two things come to mind: value and beliefs. In other words,
parents often prioritize buying the product that balances affordability with quality (i.e., value),
but parents also care about supporting companies that are trustworthy, people-oriented, and actively
taking part in making the world a better place for future generations.
Through content marketing, your brand can make a name for itself by expressing your values, talking about how you service your community, and showcasing the faces behind your company. With authentic content, your brand will shine as a trusted, feel-good brand that people associate with doing the right thing instead of the most profitable thing.
Maybe your brand is offering a miraculous 12-in-1 baby carriage that's a car seat, playpen, stroller,
and everything else a parent could ever need all-in-one. That's something the market has never seen
before, and it's up to your brand to educate consumers about your offering so they know what it does,
how it works, and, most importantly, why they need it.
This same concept applies no matter what you're selling, even if it's not necessarily "miraculous." Every brand needs to find their unique selling proposition (USP) and emphasize it so they can distinguish themselves from the competition. Content marketing can enable you to do just that by allowing you to give context to your offerings, show that you understand customer pain points, and present your offerings naturally in a way that truly showcases what your brand can do.
As a parenting brand, it's easy to work under the misconception that your customers are going to quite
literally grow out of your offerings. However, just because parents' needs change as their children get
older, it doesn't mean you should ignore customer loyalty. In fact, parenting brands like Gerber have
long thrived on instilling this loyalty in their customers because, if you do it right, you'll have the
chance to turn one customer into generations of customers.
Being a "Gerber baby" is quite a well-known trait, and with Gerber Life policies, among other products, the company has managed to breed loyalty into parents and little ones alike, leading to generations of families turning to the company for baby food and other offerings. Your parenting company should focus on breeding loyalty for similar reasons. Not only is there a chance the children will grow up and come back to you one day, but there's also more immediate gratification.
Parents know other parents, and they also know teachers, babysitters, caregivers, and pediatricians. These people play a role in influencing the decisions of new parents when those new parents are wondering where to go, what to buy, and who to trust. By leaving a lasting impression on the parents who patron your brand, you'll gain the incredible opportunity to enjoy word-of-mouth marketing that spreads your brand's name to these potential customers.
Content marketing is something you can online or offline, or in combination. However, with online
content marketing efforts, easily one of the most popular and effective ways to measure its impact is
by looking at how your website traffic changes overtime. For most online content marketing campaigns,
a primary goal is to increase organic traffic.
While it will take time, a content marketing strategy that's built around search terms and topics your audience cares about is sure to increase organic traffic. These direct factors, combined with indirect factors like social shares and word-of-mouth marketing, will all help you cut back on your advertising dollars and enjoy new leads who come to you organically. This is powerful and extremely profitable, and it's something your brand will see happen within the months following your strategy's implementation.
Tips for Creating a Winning Parenting Content Strategy
Now that you've gone through these examples and you have a solid understanding of what content marketing
looks like, specifically as it pertains to the parenting industry, here are the steps you need to follow
to actually create a strategy and put it into action.
Before you put an ounce of effort into building a content strategy, you have to lay out a strong foundation. This means having an in-depth understanding of who your audience is, who your brand is, and why your brand is suited to serve your target customers. This requires you to answer questions like:
- Who are you selling to and why do they want your products?
- How do your products address the pain points of your customers?
- Who is your brand and how should it be represented?
It requires detailed research to answer these questions in full. It will take time, but in order to perform the rest of these steps with confidence, you must invest the effort into researching the answers. From there, you can layout some key customer personas and create a brand book. Both of these resources will be referenced again and again as you continue building and executing your marketing strategy.
The next step of formulating your content strategy requires you look at your customer personas and
understand their media preferences. Ask yourself:
- What platforms do my target customers like spending their time on?
- What type of media do my target customers prefer to consume?
- When are my target customers most likely to engage with my content?
While some answers may be a little fuzzy to begin with, there is data available that will help you
answer these things with research instead of guesses. When considering what platforms your audience
is on, think about social networks, parenting forums, and other communities. When considering what
type of media they prefer to consume, ask yourself if they watch short or long videos, listen to
podcasts, read blog posts and eBooks, and so on.
The key is to focus on just 1-3 social platforms and a few types of media to start — don't commit to doing more than you can. Once you have answers to these questions, you're ready to start assembling your content strategy.
With answers to the previous three questions, your brand is now prepared to lay out your content
calendar. This is when your content strategy will begin coming together and all of your prior research
will truly pay off.
Your content calendar should be laid out for a full year, January through December. This may seem daunting, but you aren't plugging in any topics just yet — you're only noting when you'll post to which platforms, and how often. Take it one month at a time. The key is to schedule things so that you understand how much content you need for the next step and to help you keep it consistent.
When determining how often you should post to each platform, consider when your audience is online and how often they're likely to engage with your content. Also, remember that you've got a budget that will imply its own limitations. Focus on quality over quantity and don't stretch yourself too thin.
Ready to bring your content strategy to life? Adding topics to all those empty slots in your content
calendar can feel overwhelming, but it's another step that's made a lot easier by simply conducting
If you think back to how content marketing can increase organic traffic, you'll remember the notion that you build a content strategy around search terms and topics your audience cares about. That simply means that you need to conduct some keyword research to see what your audience is searching for.
The keywords you target will depend on the market you serve. For instance, a parenting brand offering a 12-in-1 baby carriage may target these keywords:
- how to travel with an infant
- best baby carriers
- baby car safety
Your keyword research will help you plug ideas into your content calendar right away. However, not
everything you publish will be keyword-driven.
Your content strategy needs to offer value while also building up your brand. So, some of your content writing efforts may focus on behind-the-scenes style posts. For example, you can introduce your team members or talk about your company's history. You should also consider Q&A style content that engages your community. Case studies and blog posts on a variety of topics will surely find their way into your plan.
The fifth and final step of executing a content marketing strategy is putting the plan you've created
into action. Of course, this is often easier said than done. As a brand, you have limited resources,
and that means you need to make the most of the tools available to you.
Here at Scripted, we're excited to have some of the best parenting writers in the business, and they're easily accessible thanks to our various membership options. Whether you choose a self-service tier where you can pace your content strategy as you wish, or our Cruise Control option, which takes care of everything for you, Scripted's got a plan to suit your needs.
Successful Parenting Brands (and how they did it!)
So, John Deere had success with content marketing, but farming equipment is a far cry from your niche
in the parenting industry. Fortunately, there are countless examples of content marketing at work in
the parenting industry using the modern, digital platforms available to us today. In fact, about
70% of marketers
actively invest in content marketing thanks to its ability to generate new leads.
Every company needs to stay on top of changing consumer trends, but these changing trends directly
affect the parenting industry. Your company markets directly and specifically to various generations
of parents, and that means you need a solid understanding of the generation you're talking to.
Gerber does an exceptional job.
The iconic Gerber baby logo remains front-and-center as the brand continues growing their digital presence. On their website, you'll find child nutrition and parenting advice. They even offer access to 24/7 baby experts who can give tips on sleeping habits, meal planning, lactation coaching, and more. As another example of how Gerber has adapted to changing shopping habits, they even offer Gerber subscription boxes.
The learning center offers information for parents of all aged children, while mixing in content that builds authority for the company. They naturally offer information about Gerber's products and history, with one of the best examples being, "How We Make Healthy Foods for Baby".
Parents.com and the associated magazine keep
information in the spotlight. While driven by sponsorships and ads, this magazine does a good job
of keeping information unbiased and they continue to build authority by bringing in expert authors
with backgrounds in child psychology, pediatrics, and other specialties.
When any brand is looking for inspiration on where to begin with content marketing, keeping abreast of what niche magazines like Parents publishes is a great jumping-off point for coming up with new ideas and topics. After all, Parents.com has its finger on the pulse of parenting new and old alike, and they know exactly what content they want to see.
Examples of great content include the "Age-by-Age Guide of Doing Good," which is content that any parent can reference. Meanwhile, they also publish content targeted at parents of children of specific age groups, like Potty Training for Toddlers.
Looking for Premium Parenting Writers?
When your brand partners with Scripted, you'll enjoy access to the best parenting writers
in the business. Our talented professionals are familiar with your industry and know how to adopt your
brand's voice and bring your company to life. Plus, they know the ins-and-outs of SEO and they're committed
to writing content that will help your website outrank the competition.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to the Scripted team today for additional information on our membership plans and to get answers to any of your questions.