Competition is growing rapidly
There has been a “baby boom” of new baby and kid product companies over the last several years. If your company caters to this market, you’ve likely seen numerous new competitors in the space come about each year. For example, we have seen this trend in the carrier and baby wrap space over the last three year:
Not only have major competitors come from existing businesses already in the baby space (Cybex, Chicco, and Boppy for example), but there has also been a large influx from competitors in seemingly unrelated industries like Osprey, Thule and Kelty.
This is not an actual depiction of the industry but it should paint a picture of how competition online has exploded over the last several years. You have likely experienced a similar trend within your niche and are looking for ways to drive down your cost per acquisition (CPA), improve repeat purchases, increase new customer orders, grow your brand awareness, market to parents, and positively impact a host of other KPIs.
If you’re looking to start an eCommerce business that sells these kinds of items, you should be aware of these trends. Understand that competition is growing each year, and take this into account prior to launching your business.
With this in mind, how do you go about marketing to parents in today’s competitive landscape? Let’s dive in and offer some suggestions based on the brands we’ve had the opportunity to work within this space.
Consumer audience data
While this isn’t a marketing tip, we feel like we need to cover this, especially because technology and social media are constantly changing.
Since your ideal customers are likely new parents or maybe even seasoned parents who have a few kids, chances are they have grown up using the internet, cell phones, and social media, which makes digital marketing a key component of your overall business strategy.
Knowing that, you need to leverage tools to help you collect some data on who your audience is and what they care about. Tools and tracking you should look at if you don’t have them set up already include:
- Facebook Conversion API (If using Shopify or another preferred Facebook platform this is really easy to set up).
- Pinterest Conversion Tag
- Google Analytics
- Hotjar or CrazyEgg
These tools (for now) can help you start to better understand your audience’s interests and behavior to make your advertising much more effective.
Now that you have the tools in place to understand your audience better, let’s talk about how to actually market to these individuals. We have outlined 20 marketing tactics that you should consider when planning your marketing strategy for kidswear. You’ll need to focus on how to reach, engage and convert these parents. Not only do we provide tips and ideas but also resources to help you put your plan into action. Let’s dive in.
Tips for Marketing To Parents
- Create & Share Instagram Reels
- Make good use of Rich Pins on Pinterest
- Connect with like-minded moms
- Post appetizers on Amazon
- Leverage TikTok
- Intentionally use email workflows
- Build your site with conversions in mind
- Make sure your packaging is optimized
- Do joint collabs with similar brands
- Send emails…lots of them
- Get active in forums
- Learn how to use Facebook Ads
- Build your brand through quality photos and copy
- Create awesome product catalogs
- Leverage content marketing
- Create products your market is looking for
- Prioritizing optimizing for mobile
- Highlight user-generated content
- Focus on keyword research and site optimizations
- Take advantage of YouTube
#1: Use influential moms to create Instagram Reels
Instagram has over a billion active users and counting, and its focus on visual content is great for marketing products. One of the best ways to showcase your baby and children’s products currently is with Instagram Reels. Instagram introduced Reels back in August of 2020. On average, reels are seeing 2-3 times the engagement more than organic. This is one way to regain views and engagement since one study suggests that organic engagement has dropped to 1.22%.
Businesses have jumped on the trend and are using reels to gain visibility with their followers. For example, Kyte Baby gets between 100k and 200k views on their reels, driving an incredible amount of both engagement and traffic.
Reels can be shared to your Stories, Explore Feed, and Reels tab, which will appear at the top of the homepage—prime real estate.
Instagram Reels, similar to TikTok, are video clips (15 to 30-seconds) designed to be a quick snippet of content that people can share with their followers. As organic content keeps declining on Instagram, this provides additional leverage to get your brand in front of different audiences.
Parents love to show their kids off on Instagram, so you can get really good content from individuals that have larger audiences to post for you just by sending them product(s). The key here is to make sure you know exactly what you are wanting the influencer to create for you.
Though Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, you can choose to keep select stories up permanently on your profile page, which is a great way to showcase product categories to visitors. There are plenty of tools and filters right on Instagram to make your stories look awesome, including hashtag stickers that will give your products more visibility to parents searching for baby and children’s products.
In 2016, there were 150 million users using Instagram Stories every day. Now there are over 500 million stories created every day. If Reels grow as much as Instagram stories, it is likely that in a few years Reels will see a similar growth trend.
Here is a huge resource from Later on how to get started with Instagram Reels.
#2: Make good use of Rich Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest is one online venue with a staggering number of users who are young moms (the exact demographic you want). Though Pinterest is officially a social media platform, it’s best to think of it as a gigantic bulletin board—one where favorite recipes, clothes, and home decor are pinned in curated collections. Consider making use of rich pins in your business Pinterest strategy. A rich pin is a pin that has a little extra information attached to it. For example, instead of just pinning an image of one of your products, a rich pin gives you the ability to showcase the price of the product, your business name, a short description of the product, and even gives people the ability to follow you right from the rich pin.
Here is a great resource from Simple Pin Media on how to set up rich pins.
#3: Connect with like-minded moms
While it can be difficult to reach celebrities to help promote your products, finding influencers in the parenting sphere is far easier. Most parents love to get free baby and children’s products and would be happy to supply a post and/or picture in return. All you need to do is put a post on Facebook that you’re giving away your product. Alternatively, you can go onto Instagram and search parenting-related hashtags, locate active and popular Instagram parents, and reach out to them with a direct message. Influencer marketing is the main marketing tool that many start-up companies are using today, and you should take advantage of it as well for your baby and children’s products.
If influencer marketing is something that you’re interested in, we have an amazing partner to refer you to. Please contact us and we can make the introduction.
#4: Post appetizers on Amazon
It’s no secret that the number one spot to sell anything is Amazon. Unfortunately, there is lots of competition, and even worse, intellectual theft. While the Fulfillment by Amazon program eliminates the need for managing inventory, the fees can add up. That said, you can still use Amazon as a way to direct users to your online store. Sell one or two products on Amazon, even if you’re selling them at a loss. The point is to get people intrigued by what you’re selling, then clicking over to your website to see more. Make sure your Amazon postings are optimized to look as professional as possible, with excellent photographs and sales copy.
If Amazon account management is something that you’re interested in, we have an amazing partner to refer you to. Please contact us and we can make the introduction.
#5: Leverage TikTok
TikTok has made a major splash in the world of digital marketing in the last few years, and if your target market is on this platform, you’ll definitely want to look into using it to your advantage. TikTok gives you the ability to create short videos (up to 60 seconds long), and is a fantastic way to showcase your products as well as your creativity. Consider what kind of content you can create that allows you to show what your company has to offer, as well as content that speaks to your target audience. For example, if you sell baby bedding, it’s a good idea to create a video around your muslin blankets as well as one about motherhood with a toddler.
Check out this guide on how to use TikTok in your business’s digital marketing strategy.
#6: Intentionally Use Email Workflows
We’ve seen time and time again that email marketing is an extremely effective way to get in touch with your target market. Consider what kind of information you can gather from your site visitors to make your email workflows more personal. For example, you could include a box asking for their child’s age and birthday. This opens up opportunities for things like birthday discounts, or curated newsletters with tips around certain ages or developmental stages. Creating email content that both serves your target audience and drives them to your website can make a huge difference in your digital marketing efforts.
Here’s a great post detailing what kinds of email workflows you should consider setting up for your eCommerce business.
#7: Build Your Site with Conversions in Mind
This one should go without saying, but it bears repeating. Many eCommerce business owners put loads of time and money into bringing in digital foot traffic, only to have them arrive at a less-than-optimized website. If web design is not your strong suit, you should hire someone else to help you out with it—even if you’re using a drag-and-drop platform. Web designers know how to create an aesthetically pleasing arrangement, using the right colors, pictures, font, and layout. Additionally, you want your website to be optimized to collect emails (perhaps in return for a coupon or discount code) and upsell quicker shipping, gift wrap, and additional odds and ends.
If you are looking for a website development agency, we have an amazing Shopify and Magento partner that we can refer you to. Please contact us and we can make the introduction.
#8: Make sure your packaging is optimized
Your web presence is not the only thing that should be optimized. You’ll also want to optimize your packaging by facilitating user-generated content (UCG). Every item that ships from your store should have a card inside with a call to post pictures and comments on social media, along with following your store. Of course, the better your packaging looks, the better the product will seem. Packaging creates a certain feeling around a customer getting your item, which can, in turn, translate to continued sales and brand loyalty. To that end, the packaging around your baby and children’s products is also an important marketing tool. Even if it’s disposable, the memory of opening it can last a while…if not forever.
Here’s a good resource from Sticker Mule on how to create package inserts that work.
#9: Do Joint Collabs with Similar Brands
Collaborations are a great way to get your brand and products in front of new eyes. When you collaborate with similar brands, you’re more likely to gain more followers and customers who are in your target market, making this a great use of your marketing energy. You’ll want to be sure to do your research and get together for collaborations with trusted brands. This will help your company to gain more trust and reliability in addition to the higher traffic on your website! Do giveaways, Q&A’s, or even create products specific to the partnership you’re establishing.
Here’s a great resource from Ampjar on collaborative marketing.
#10: Send emails…lots of them
Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing type. Platforms like MailChimp and ConstantContact make it easy to create email templates and schedule them to go out regularly. They also give you stats about who is reading them and clicking links to your site, helping you finetune your email marketing efforts. Email content can include articles, parenting tips, and behind-the-scenes material about your business. With all the competition for attention on social media, email can be a great way to connect directly with clients. You can build an email list by collecting emails from visitors to your store or running ads to a landing page where emails are collected.
#11: Get Active in Forums
Wouldn’t you know it, but there are tons of places online where parents are venting to one another, giving each other support, and sharing ideas…which includes ideas about products they love. While Facebook is a great starting point with many well-trafficked groups, there are several other active parent blogs and forums online, each of which could be a valuable place to leave some links to your site. Keep in mind that name-dropping with no previous involvement will not work to your advantage. You need to be actively involved in chats and forums before pushing products. To that end, you might consider finding an influential member of the forum, or getting active on as many forums as you can handle to build some rapport.
While social media giants like Facebook and Instagram should play a role in your digital marketing strategy, it’s important that you not overlook the power of forums. Forums provide an easy way for individuals to find information on specific topics and encourages communication between users. Use this wealth of knowledge to better understand and connect with your audience.
Here’s a great resource for pregnancy and parenting forums for you to check out!
#12: Learn how to use Facebook Ads
While Google Ads are certainly a must, Facebook Ads are an equally invaluable tool. Facebook has become a vast repository of personal information (for better or worse) and you can use that information to fine-tune your ad marketing. Facebook advertising allows advertisers to supply a few targeting guidelines–demographics and/or lookalike audiences based off of your customer data–and they will find the people within those broad audiences who are interested in your products. Despite the awesome tools Facebook puts at the disposal of business owners, many retailers fail at properly executing an ad campaign, so it’s important to have someone competent at the helm.
#13: Build your brand through quality photos and copy
There are enough product photos floating around the internet already, so getting good-quality shots of your product (while necessary) is not enough to make it stand out. The same thing goes for your product descriptions. Instead, take a cue from major brand-name retailers are doing and create narratives around your marketing efforts. While this can be challenging with certain products, baby and kid products lend themselves especially well to this type of marketing—and it can be fun on top of it. Take creative photos, write creative copy, and perhaps even create content that is purely meant to be entertaining—and also just happens to have your products in the story. This content can come in the form of blog posts, emails, or videos.
#14: Create awesome product catalogs
A well-designed product catalog is a great marketing tool, and the largest, most established retailers are still using them. Though your products are going to be listed on your website, a product catalog can be sent to print. When clients order products from your store, you can periodically send them a catalog in the regular mail, which is a great way to cut through the competition and noise of digital marketing and put your proverbial foot in the door.
#15: Leverage content marketing
Blogs are the best and easiest way to drive search engine traffic to your store. While posting on social media and building your brand will certainly yield clicks from customers who are familiar with your baby and kid products, doing a little SEO can bring new shoppers into the fold. Google regularly crawls the internet and reads every little bit of text out there. If your blog contains content-rich, quality writing that addresses questions people are asking on Google, your website will be bumped up the list of search results (which means more visitors to your site). Blog posting should be done regularly (at least on a weekly or bi-weekly basis) to be effective and focus on all stages of the customer journey.
#16: Create products your market is looking for
Our final tip is all about finding your target audience (or audiences). You might think niche products are harder to sell because fewer people like or need them. This may have been true in the past…then the internet was invented. Niche products are often easier to market because you can spend less money on advertising (with the targeted ads offered by Facebook, for instance). You’ll have less competition. You’ll also have a loyal, dedicated crowd that may even need the product you’re selling.
#17: Prioritize Optimizing for Mobile
According to recent statistics, more than half of online shoppers are making their purchases off of a smartphone. While making sure that your website is set up and functioning well from a desktop computer, it’s almost more important for you to make sure that it’s optimized for the mobile experience as well. Ensuring that the site flows well when being accessed on a smartphone will help to create a more positive user experience and encourage site visitors to make a purchase. Consider what changes can be made from a mobile perspective to help perfect the flow of your site. You might even consider looking into some plugins to improve the checkout experience for your customers.
#18: Highlight User Generated Content
Whether you know it or not, your customers are generating content for you. (So thoughtful of them, right?) Wherever possible, highlight this user-generated content and use it to your advantage. This could be sharing ratings and reviews on product pages to show how others have had a positive experience with the product. You can create ad content that highlights influential social proof. It could also look like resharing an Instagram story where a follower tagged you in their own post where they’re talking about your products. Whatever it is, user-generated content is one of the best, most effective ways to show potential customers that your business and products are worth their time.
Looking for some specific examples of user-generated content? Here are some that you can consider.
#19: Focus on Keyword Research and Site Optimizations
If you’re wanting to help people find your website, one of the most efficient ways to do this is to put some time into keyword research and site optimizations. Knowing what keywords you’re ranking for and implementing them around your site is one of the best ways to help Google to know what you have to offer, and in return, Google will direct individuals to your website. You’ll want to make sure that when implementing keywords on your site, that you’re doing so in a way that looks and feels natural. Include them in the copy on your home page, category pages, and product pages. Use them to be more informative about your products and services. It will take time, but the effort is definitely worth it.
If you’re looking for more information on how to make the most out of your keyword research and site optimization efforts, check out our ultimate ecommerce SEO guide to help get you started, or you can speak with one of our consultants by requesting a proposal.
#20: Take Advantage of YouTube
Using as many platforms and mediums as you can to advertise your business and products is definitely something that you will want to prioritize with your eCommerce business. YouTube is a great way to use video content to your advantage. Create videos highlighting the different features and benefits of your products, answer common questions, and share positive experiences that previous customers have had. Share your YouTube videos on other social media platforms to generate traffic and drive more engagement from your followers.
Marketing baby and children’s products and marketing to parents requires mixing and matching of different strategies; you can’t rely on just one method. Since there are many parts to running a business, stepping into the role of a full-time marketer may not be possible for you to do effectively. To that end, you want to hire a competent company to take the helm and drive customers to your business.
While baby products (and kid products) do require creativity and strategy, it shouldn’t consume your life, it consumes ours, so we want to give you some creative ideas based on what we have learned working with some of the top brands in this space.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about how to market to new parents. You don’t even have to look too far for a children’s and baby marketing agency. Stryde has helped hundreds of businesses sell to new parents, and they can help your business as well.