One of the tricky things about this is the fact that parents are such a diverse group. Forty percent of US households have at least one child under the age of 18, and that large group includes people from all walks of life.
The USDA estimates that raising a child by age 17 would cost $ 284,570 (including inflation).
To successfully target parents with paid ads, you need to fully understand your target audience and use that knowledge to educate your marketing strategy.
7 ways to reach parents through paid ads
Parents spend a lot of time online, which means they will likely see your paid ads.
For the first time ever, women in the United States are more likely to have babies in their thirties than in their twenties. This means that you are targeting an audience with lots of millennials who spend a lot of time on social media. This is also the case with younger parents, and both groups use search engines to find answers to everyday questions.
The difficulty is in not reaching the parents. It targets the right people with the right message at the right time. For example, there is no point in reaching a teen’s parents with an ad for baby food.
You may have a rough idea of who your target audience is, but you need to drill down further and find out what’s important for parents when targeting them through paid ads.
1. Include life events
When we look back on our childhood or that of our children, it is often the major life events that stand out. There’s nothing wrong with turning 31 or 63, but it’s not quite as exciting as your eighth birthday.
Events like birthdays, holidays, vacations, and graduations are important to children, and they are equally important to parents. Even when money is tight, most parents are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their children have amazing memories of great moments.
For marketers, this is an opportunity to connect with parents. Knowing what kids want isn’t always easy, but paid ads can help your business lead parents on the hottest gifts.
This should play an important role in your paid ads, especially during key times of the year like late spring when kids graduate from high school frequently. Often times, parents want to mark those special days with the right gift or a wonderful party, and your business should try to make sure that happens through paid ads.
Paid advertising is about tuning users’ intent. So make sure you know what products parents need.
2. Keep the priorities of your target audience in focus
What does your target group look like and what are their priorities?
Parents are increasingly becoming millennials. To be effective in targeting parents, many brands need to understand how to target millennials.
Some key points advertisers need to understand about millennials in general are:
- strongly connected
- seek instant gratification
- Concern for authenticity
These qualities are compounded by the fact that the parents are busy. They want to use technology to solve problems and when they buy products they need the experience to be quick and effective.
This means that the experience you give parents with your ads needs to be optimized to perfection. Modern parents don’t waste their time on poorly optimized mobile websites or those with long checkouts.
Paid ads should be backed up by a good user experience. When you understand this correctly, you can focus on solving your target audience’s weaknesses. While parents have different needs, they can often be broken down into three categories:
- to save time
- save money
- Make things more effective
If your website experience and products can come together to help parents achieve this, you may have success with your paid ads.
3. Back up your products with a guarantee
Parents are usually very protective of their children, and your product or service needs to fit into that narrative.
When we buy products for ourselves, we make a complicated buying decision. When parents buy for their children it is amplified. They want to know that the products are safe, can benefit their children and will last a long time. If your products don’t demonstrate this, they won’t be as attractive to parents.
One of the things you can do to help parents insure your products is by offering a guarantee. If you believe in your products and services, you should be willing to give assurances to your customers that you can include in your advertisements.
In my article, “5 Simple Tips to Create an Unbeatable Facebook Ad Campaign”, my first tip was “Your offer will make or break your campaign” and your guarantee is part of that. Without the guarantee, your offer is likely not that attractive to parents.
Parents need to trust you and your products if they are to incorporate your brand into their children’s lives.
4. Develop confidence
As I mentioned earlier, many parents are now millennials who are very tech-savvy, connected, and collaborative. When it comes to making sales, it means you need to be able to create a brand that people can trust. One of the most important aspects of this is social proof.
The statistics behind online reviews are impressive:
- 93 percent of people read online reviews before buying a product.
- 91 percent of 18 to 34 year olds trust online reviews as well as personal recommendations.
- Customers are likely to spend 31 percent more on a company with great reviews.
Reviews play a huge role in modern consumer decisions. Hence, there needs to be a process in place to make sure you get them. Once you do, you can use the social evidence to show parents that other parents bought your product and had great experiences.
Parenting can be challenging, and there are many products out there that make promises but don’t deliver. Of course, parents are eager to avoid such products, so getting a good review by another parent can go a long way.
Building that trust is, of course, based on you adding value to the parents. If you do, you should take every opportunity to showcase it.
5. Be informative
Children don’t come with a manual, and even if they did, it would be almost impossible to follow. Of course, parents look to authoritative sources to help them with parenting. 59 percent of parents say they found useful parenting information on social media in the past 30 days. Your company may be perfectly positioned to offer this information.
Parent targeting through paid ads doesn’t have to be all about your products. It can also use your knowledge.
Instead of just offering a quick fix to a problem, you can use your expertise to explain the reasons for the problem and provide advice.
For example, if a child is struggling to organize their homework schedule, instead of pushing your timing app forward, you can give parents tips on how to help their child get better organized. You can of course incorporate your product into your resources, creating a relationship with the reader.
Millennial consumers grew up with internet marketing and are skeptical of advertising. Using gimmicks doesn’t work with this demographic. It’s about providing value. You can do this by showing your expertise and helping your target audience solve problems.
Your paid ads should have a collaborative feel in which you work together to make parenting easier, more affordable, and more effective.
6. Go deeper with your targeting
What does a parent look like? It is impossible to answer this question as they seldom look the same. There are so many different demographics in this audience:
- Parents of newborn babies
- Parents of teenagers
- First parents
- Parents of several children
- Two parent families
- single parent
- young parents
- older parents
The list is endless and this is a good thing for marketers. If you can narrow down your audience and understand who is most likely to buy your products, you can target parents with relevant content.
For example, being a mother for the first time is very different from being a second time. First-time mothers look for products in a different way than second-time mothers and look for different things.
You can reach specific target groups through Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. Make the most of it by working on your buyer personalities.
7. Reach out to parents if they are looking
Parents are exceptionally busy people. Often times, they balance raising a child with full-time employment and everything else that comes with life.
For example, parents can search for products late at night based on work and the schedule of the day.
Knowing when parents look online can help you target them better and make your campaigns more effective.
Browse through Google Analytics and find out when people are using your website and making purchases. Another important step is to ask parents how they shop in surveys. People are often ready to answer quick questions and give you great insights into how to target parents through paid ads.
It can be difficult to target parents through paid ads because they are such a diverse group. Parents of teenagers look for very different things than parents of newborns, and your advertising needs to recognize this.
However, there is one thing that parents share: a desire to do what is best for their children. To successfully advertise to parents, you need to understand how your company is helping them do it.
By being there for parents on important days, ensuring the safety of your products, and helping them with quality information, you can build relationships that generate sales. The better you understand your target audience, the easier it should be.
Are parents an important demographic for your company? How do you get there?
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