I had my first baby last July. She’s 7 months now.
No one who has had a baby will be surprised that I have been inundated with marketing for everything from formula and diapers to swaddles and clothes – starting long before she arrived.
The baby-products industry has content marketing down to a science, especially to new parents. They know that before you gain a share of that customer’s wallet, you need to gain mindshare. They know that if they build trust, the customer will come to them when they’re ready to buy. They do this by providing a wealth of helpful information to a customer who is desperate for anything that will help them navigate the unpredictable world that is child-rearing.
Here are four things we can learn about content marketing from the baby-products industry:
You don’t need to promote your product to be effective with content marketing.
Take a recent blog from Pampers on how children play. It’s written by an expert. And it is clearly not connected to diapers in any way. The good news: Pampers doesn’t try to connect it to diapers. Pampers is focused only on providing valuable tips to its core consumer: parents, who, as I can very much attest, spend a lot of time Googling for valuable tips. Why not be the website that a potential customer lands on when they’re looking for help? Many brands also practice this approach in their advertising online, developing helpful videos and sponsored blog posts.
Don’t be afraid to provide your potential customers with options beyond what you offer.
One baby-formula company sent me a booklet on – yes – breast feeding tips. Only a tiny percentage of said booklet was dedicated to supplementing with formula. Yes, they obviously cannot come out and market against breast feeding. But let’s think beyond the product itself for this example. This is a great example of thinking about what the customer is looking for – and not focusing on what you are selling.
They are going to research all of their options in the market. Most will do so before even reaching out to a supplier – plenty of surveys have found this to be true. So why not be a part of that research process? I received the above-mentioned booklet when I was still pregnant, which is when I was in research overdrive. I also received ongoing touches from that company, none of which I was annoyed by because they were usually helpful.
Know your potential customer’s buying cycle and market accordingly.
Building on the above, I received that formula booklet when I was still pregnant. Much of what I received when I was pregnant was resource-oriented. After I had the baby, I started getting more overt sales pitches in the form of coupons and samples.
Make sure that you are providing content on your website that considers all stages of the buying cycle, from research to vendor selection. Consider email campaigns that feed potential customers based on which content they are consuming on your website. If they are still in the research stage, for example, don’t send an overt sales pitch. Give them more resources on the topic they downloaded.
Think beyond the product.
Baby-product manufacturers are excellent at framing their products as life-savers for the parents they’re targeting (A common diaper refrain: Help your baby get through the night!). And they also provide tools that make parents’ jobs easier. Formula-maker Similac, for example, offers a Baby Journal App to track eating and sleeping habits, diaper changes and more.
Many new parents have to do that for at least the first few weeks, so why not offer something that once again ties your potential or existing customer closer to your brand? Again, you’re shifting from being seen as a product supplier to a resource – someone your customer can count on.
I continue to be amazed at the vast amounts of content coming out of the baby-products industry, and how that follows parents as their children get older. And I can personally say that it works.
It can be overwhelming with the amount of tools out there at your disposal both online and off to reach potential customers with your message. Start small by adding some simple customer-focused resources to your website, and build from there. It’s really about shifting your marketing message from you to them.
3 Aspens Media can help you build a content strategy. Give us a call at 970-581-1752 or email [email protected] to learn more.