It feels like every month another one of Violet’s friends is having a birthday party. Of course that means my wife and I are constantly shopping for toy gifts. Well, mostly my wife goes shopping, but I think I went with her once or twice. :)
If you’ve ever attempted to buy a present for a child, then you know you can’t just walk into a store, grab any cool-looking toy off the shelf, and ring it up at the register. Trust me, do not make this mistake! You’ll most likely end up with a toy that is not age appropriate, which basically means your gift will be stored away and forgotten, or re-gifted.
For example, even though you would love to buy the Barbie playhouse (because you always wanted it as a kid), it’s not an age appropriate gift for your friend’s infant. And unless you’re looking to cut ties with your friend, you should not buy his toddler any permanent markers for coloring.
I think you get the point. In fact, most toy packages do a good job highlighting the appropriate age ranges for any particular gift. So just read the package and you’ll be fine.
Unfortunately, selecting “age appropriate” marketing tactics is not that easy. There’s no packaging for SEO, search advertising, display advertising, retargeting, email marketing, social media, or any other digital marketing tactic to tell us whether or not it’s appropriate/effective for our current situation (or age).
Let’s take a look at some of the common age groups to see which marketing tactics are appropriate and most effective.
Infant toys are designed to stimulate the 5 senses and lay the foundation for future growth. For example, the popular play mats for “tummy time” encourage babies to stretch their limbs and pull their heads up, which are basic movements required for crawling.
“Infant” marketing tactics serve a similar purpose to prepare your business for more advanced tactics in the future. For example, if you’re just getting started with digital marketing, then you’re in the infant stage. Appropriate tactics include:
- Set up your website properly for search engine optimization (SEO). If your website is not structured properly, then you’ll stunt the growth of any future SEO campaigns.
- Add a compelling offer and strong call to action throughout your website. This will ensure you maximize the number of leads and sales generated from all of your digital marketing campaigns.
- Set up Google Analytics and conversion tracking so you can track the performance of all of your marketing and advertising.
Once you have the foundation set, then your marketing will mature to the toddler stage…
Toddlers by definition are just learning how to walk. It’s amazing how easy it is for adults to walk, run and jump, yet when you break down the movements they are incredibly complex! Think about how many different parts of your body have to move in rhythm for you to walk correctly.
That’s why there are so many toys, like walkers, to help toddlers walk.
With digital marketing,tactics in this stage include:
- Local SEO. For local businesses, there is no easier tactic to get your marketing moving in the right direction than local SEO. Set up your Google+, Bing, and Yahoo local business pages ASAP to take advantage of this opportunity.
- Lead magnets. A lead magnet is a free offer on your website (report, video, or tool) designed to collect contact information from prospects so you can follow up, nurture, and close the deal. Without a lead magnet, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of your traffic that visits your website and leaves without contacting you.
- Email newsletter. An email newsletter is one of the best tactics to stay top of mind, nurture, educate, and convert your prospects and customers. Plus, if you set this up as a “Toddler” then you’ll be ready for more advanced email marketing tactics later.
For the sake of simplicity, Children will be the final stage. Toys for early to late childhood are geared toward developing more advanced motor skills and problem solving. The 5 piece puzzles get replaced with 1,000 pieces, and the walkers get replaced with bikes, scooters, skies, and snowboards.
Similarly, your digital marketing will become more complex. For example, you may start to use tactics including:
- Search, display, and video advertising
- Website, social, and video retargeting advertising
- Email autoresponders and more advanced automated follow-up sequences
- Content marketing and social media marketing
- Website conversion optimization and split testing
- And the list goes on and on…
Again, the key takeaway here is to make sure your marketing is “age appropriate.” If you’re just getting started with digital marketing, then make sure you’re focused on the tactics listed in the Infant stage. Don’t try to dive right into advanced tactics like email autoresponders if you don’t have your website set up properly with a compelling offer and strong call to action. That’s like buying an infant a 1,000 piece puzzle. :)
Need Help Identifying The Best Tactics For Your Business?
I know it’s not easy to navigate all the different digital marketing options out there. If you need help and want to talk to an expert, then click here to contact us. We’ll point you in the right direction based on your current situation and marketing budget.