Do’s and don’ts of video marketing to children

By Indiana Lee

Advertising to children can be as tricky as advertising to adults. Just because they are younger doesn’t mean they’re any less perceptive or that you can put less work into researching their interests.

In fact, kids are generally more emotional and pickier than adults. This means getting your video advertising just right can be challenging. There’s also the safety of children to consider. Something that is okay for adults is not necessarily safe and appropriate for children.

So, if you want to learn to craft video ads and content that children will actually watch and parents will approve of, keep reading.

The importance of ethical marketing when targeting children

First, let’s talk about the ethics of marketing to children. Young minds, though still preceptive, are more impressionable and vulnerable to outside influence. This means you can very easily teach a child bad habits, inappropriate information, or even manipulate them more easily.

As such, it’s crucial that marketers avoid lying to, tricking, or misleading kids with their content. You also want to make sure you aren’t using content that isn’t appropriate for their age level.

For example, you can tell an adult that you sell the best coffee in the world, but they will likely still use their advanced reasoning skills to determine whether that is true or not and whether they want to buy into what you’re selling. But if you tell a kid something along the same lines, they are more likely to believe you and take what you say at face value. So it’s important to be more cautious about the claims you make when advertising to children.

It’s also essential to be very upfront and honest when targeting kids. Adults, for instance, are better at spotting and reading the fine print when buying into something, so they know what they are getting into. But children can more easily be duped and miss the “fine print” or any hidden intentions or messages.

And though some marketers might see this as meaning children are an easy sell, it’s highly unethical and could end up getting your company in trouble. If a parent realizes you are misleading or tricking their child, you could have a tarnished brand reputation and a legal issue on your hands.

Federal regulations concerning video marketing to children

The Children’s Television Act doesn’t just regulate what programs can be targeted toward children, but also what television ads can run during children’s programs. There is also the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which sets regulations for what type of information websites and online marketers can collect from children.

So, before you run an ad on TV or collect data from children online, make sure your marketing is compliant with these federal regulations.

Considerations when creating video marketing for kids

So, what are some of the specific do’s and don’ts of video marketing to children? Let’s take a look.

-Make sure you’re targeting the right age group

Target your ads and content to the appropriate audience and age group. Take social media, for example. Many social apps have age restrictions, and some of these apps can even be dangerous for kids. Yes, social media videos are some of the best ways to target consumers today, but this doesn’t hold true for children.

-Make it fun and educational

Make your video content both fun and educational. Making funny or entertaining video content is great for the kids, but if you also make it smart and educational, you’ll please parents as well. And parents are often the ones who ultimately decide whether their child can buy your product.

-Appeal to their interests and emotions

Just as you would research what would appeal most to an adult audience, you should also research to understand your younger audience as well. Children have wants, needs, interests, and emotions. And the more you appeal to those things, the more you will grab their attention.

-Keep it safe

Safety is paramount when it comes to children. If it’s not safe, don’t use it.

Identity theft, for instance, isn’t just a problem for adults. Children can also have their identities stolen if you aren’t careful about the data you’re collecting.

In fact, children are more susceptible to identity theft in many ways because they are less capable of knowing how to keep their data safe. So when collecting data using marketing for children, it’s important to think from the perspective of a parent trying to keep their child safe.

This also means ensuring the data you collect is protected using quality cybersecurity measures. As a company, you’re also a potential target for cybercriminals, and any data that’s stolen could put your customers at risk.

Ensure you’re mindful of the data you collect, have quality security measures in place, and even have a recovery plan for when your data is lost or stolen.

Final thoughts

Children are an important demographic because they make up a significant percentage of consumers. But marketing to them is not the same as marketing to adults. So it’s crucial to understand the distinction and the different methods or processes to use when targeting kids vs. adults. Primarily, you should make sure you are creating age-appropriate content, posting your content in the right places, and being extra cautious when it comes to data security.


Indiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. An expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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