7 Fundamentals for Marketing to Parents Online

Before we can really talk about how to market specifically to moms, parents, and caregivers, we need to make sure some foundational pillars are in place.

Nitty-gritty marketing data won’t help you much if you’ve neglected your digital marketing foundation.

I’m finding that a lot of my clients need to circle back to these seven fundamental principles so they can actually get traction and results from their content marketing efforts.

1) Evaluate your online presence.

Many tourist sites and shopping malls have a map of their facility that is often marked with a red star and the words “you are here”.

People need to figure out where they are before they can see what path(s) will take them where they want to go. 

You probably already have some sort of business presence online.

It’s time to find your red star.

Take some time to review the copy, formatting, and images on your website.

Assess your SEO keyword plan and how well it’s implemented on your website. 

Look over your business’s social media pages. 

Look up your business listings and reviews. (Don’t skip this one! One lousy Yelp page with some bad reviews can go a long way in the wrong direction!)

See where you’re at, where you have holes in your online marketing strategy, where you’re implementing the plan well, and where you need to tighten up. 

2) Know your audience.

“Parents” is too hazy to be a target audience. 

One of the most common mistakes I see clients make is not taking the time to research and iron out the specifics of their ideal client(s), and trying to do marketing activities without aiming at a clear target audience. 

Are you marketing to millennial parents? Marketing to moms? Marketing to new parents? 

How about to parents looking for a specific method of private education?

Moms who babywear, keep their home chemical-free, and believe play-based learning with minimal toys is best for kids under age 7?

Describe your ideal audience as specifically as you can.

It is SO worthwhile to create one or more personas or ideal customer avatars so you have someone concrete and specific to speak to though your marketing.

3) Be where they hang out.

Your ideal customer will have online habits. Some people are on Twitter all day. Some camp out in Facebook groups. Others on Instagram. Still others only Google what they want and check email once a day. 

Your online presence needs to be where your ideal customer is. Focusing your content marketing on Twitter doesn’t make much sense if your ideal customer isn’t there. 

4) Publish and send content worth their time.

Another common mistake I see small businesses make on social media is posting lots of content for the sake of posting content, even though most of it isn’t really worth reading or engaging with. 

If you want your audience’s attention, post and send things that help them out, solve a problem for them, encourage them, inspire them, entertain them…

Add value to the few seconds or minutes of their life that they give to reading your post. Which leads me to:

5) Post more than business updates and promotions.

Digital media is way more social and interactive than traditional media ever was. Think in terms of building a relationship with your prospects, not simply announcing sales. 

In other words, post mostly content that is not directly promotional.

I’ve seen different recommendations for different industries, but I think for most small businesses marketing to moms or parents a good rule of thumb is no more than 10-20% of your posts be directly promotional content.

Not only is this one way to increase your authenticity (to use the millennial buzzword), it’s also just downright friendlier and more appealing.

6) Think people, humans, relationship.

Hopefully marketing your product or service isn’t only about getting the sale, or enrollment, or whatever outcome. 

Hopefully you see value in your prospects as people, first of all. People you can help. People to build a relationship with.

Remember it takes at least 7 touch points before someone who is exposed to your brand is willing to take the plunge.

It’s worth your while to be a brand that people want to get to know.

And if you keep that up, you’ll collect raving fans who keep coming back and who refer you to their friends. Don’t leave that lifetime value on the table just to push a quick one-time transaction.

7) Plan.

Repeat after me: 

No more flying by the seat of my pants. Period.

Take the time to tighten up or create your content marketing plan. Take the time to list specific, measurable goals for every piece of content you put out. 

Plan out at least six months. 

Also, make sure to include your business’s promotions and events in your plan. 

(No more throwing together social media promotions a day or two before an event! That’s better than nothing, yes, but you can do so much better if you just plan ahead a little bit.)

Challenge yourself for at least 90 days not to post or email anything that doesn’t serve one of your clear and measurable goals. 

Devoting time and energy to this can completely transform your online marketing. 

If you need help making a digital marketing plan for your business, shoot me an email and I’d be happy to give you one free virtual strategy session via phone or video call. 

If you need help getting content written so you can execute your marketing plan, I’m here to help! Tell me about your project and I’ll get your scheduled for a free consultation to see whether my writing services would be a good fit for you.

Jenni Burks is a web content and copywriter who loves to help small businesses that market to parents. Content marketing has been her side hustle and passion project for almost 20 years.

She lives in Virginia with her husband and the three of their children still at home.

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