If there’s one thing that new parents crave (besides a decent night’s sleep), it’s information. And that’s why parent-focused brands and organizations that cleverly use content marketing can become a trusted, go-to resource for moms and dads who are seeking advice, how-to information, or simply an affirmation that they are doing the job of raising their little ones right.
Here are 7 parent-focused companies who are putting their best content forward, and reaping the rewards of a loyal following…
Kids and toys go hand-in-hand, and that’s why Fisher-Price makes sure the lines of communications stay open with parents. Registering at the site signs you up for an email newsletter that discusses developmental and play milestones as your child ages (perfectly timed as each birthday rolls around and you have shopping on the brain). There are even tips and guidance offered for parents of special needs children, and a whole part of the site is dedicated to sharing ideas with the other big toy-buying segment — grandparents! The site itself also offers online games for kids from infant through preschool, a savvy move for getting in front of those pint-sized holiday wishlist-makers.
If you’re a parent, you no doubt know how to “do the (clap, clap) potty dance.” That’s because Pull-Ups, the Huggies product geared toward potty-training aged toddlers, has built out a whole content marketing plan around making potty training fun. Whether you’re reading through the website’s many tips and strategies for getting through the process, joining in on the conversation on the site’s Facebook page or during a sponsored Twitter chat, or printing out the site’s reward charts, Pull-Ups gives parents plenty of free information minus the heavy product promotion. In short, Pull-Ups gets a gold star for its effective content marketing.
MomCorps is a unique professional staffing firm that aims to match parents looking for flexible working hours with companies in search of experienced professionals. Its website, however, goes way beyond just providing job listings. It features an engaging blog with expert career advice. “Our content strikes a balance between empowering working parents with information and perspectives on the 21st century workplace and providing them practical advice and best practices for navigating work-life balance and their career paths,” explains Kelsey Berry, who’s in charge of marketing and content at Mom Corps NYC. “Our goal is to build the MomCorps brand as experts, and become a trusted resource for work-flex and work-life issues.”
Parenting Press is a publisher of parenting books, and the company has no problem with giving readers a little free information. From free downloads and activity ideas, the content-rich site is chock full of advice from parenting experts, the books’ authors, and seasoned moms and dads. “The primary commitment of company founder Elizabeth Crary is to disseminate information about parenting, and if we can sell books while doing it, that’s OK, too,” says Linda Carlson, marketing and media relations staffer for Parenting Press. For example, in conjunction with Janan Cain’s book, “The Way I Feel,” the company created a free downloadable PDF called “Expressing Emotions,” which acts as a step-by-step guide for teaching children to draw faces that express how they feel. Such guides are used in classrooms all across the nation. Parenting Press also has a free monthly email newsletter, and offers reprints of some materials by request.
As a baby grows, parents are often most concerned with milestones and how to help their child develop and transition to new things. No matter what one’s feeding preference is, most parents would agree that Gerber offers up a huge helping of great content aimed at educating parents through each stage of babyhood. And it’s not just about pureed apples and rice cereal. Want to know about what cognitive skills a crawling baby should have or how to choose a good book for your preschooler? The site’s got you covered. Consumers are also enticed to sign up for the free, content-rich newsletter with the promise of product coupons. But once they do, the Gerber brand stays in touch, offering loads of information about baby’s stages of growth and development.
P&G’s Man of the House
When it comes to finding the content marketing formula, this online magazine is often recognized among the ones that do it best. And, it’s dad-focused – bonus for tapping into this overlooked parenting segment! While the site covers everything a modern dad would be concerned with, from quick-fix meals for the kids to good grooming, there’s one thing it doesn’t do – tout that it’s a sponsored site of P&G or feed visitors obnoxious “buy this product” pop-up ads. Its rich content and smart writing makes it feel, instead, like a collection of how-tos and tales from the dad trenches, with very subtle product placements and advertising you’ll hardly notice.
Similac’s Baby + You Wellness for Two
Similac’s website already had some content, but its new stand-alone sponsored site, Baby + You Wellness for Two take the “formula” one step further as a hub of information for pregnant and new moms who are concerned with good nutrition and overall prenatal and post-delivery health. The site features Q&As with well-known parenting experts and week-by-week “what to expect” type guidance, along with healthy recipes for pregnancy, tips for new moms, and interactive polls.
Have you seen other great examples of companies targeting parents using content in an innovative way? Tell us about it in the comments below.
By Dawn Papandrea
Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor specializing in personal finance, parenting, women’s lifestyle & more.