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Marketing to Teens

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Yesterday we covered some recent studies to help those of you marketing to teenagers online. Today we have one more:

AdAge wrote up a survey by Alloy Media + Marketing that found that 96% of teenagers with Internet access use social networking sites at least weekly. Actually, it’s more than just teenagers: even children (okay, “tweens”) as young as nine use social networks with that frequency. Better yet, “nearly half engaged with a brand in the space in the past month.” Their time social networking is now almost on-par with their time spent with the television—and when doing both, the Internet has four times as much of their attention as the television..

So, how should you advertise on teens’ social sites? Samantha Skey, Executive VP of Strategic Marketing at Alloy, stated that the best way to appeal to teens on social sites is to meet them on their terms: don’t interrupt their activities, but, “Enhance or facilitate my social-networking experience. Offer me utilities to enhance my production process or tools to help me better able to express or engage myself.”

What works well?

  • Freebies: utilities, cool downloads, exclusive content and other items of value.
  • “Mix their music or animate their backgrounds or offer a countdown to a special day,” Ms. Skey said. [You know, widgets.]
  • An insurance company could, for example, sponsor educational content or a company could launch a cause-related campaign or a campaign that involves points and rewards for things kids are interested in. “Straight forward old-school reward systems are attractive and enable choice,” she said. [She also said that even brands without “natural youth interest” could reach them this way.]

Also of note: “Certain categories had endemic interest among kids, not surprisingly entertainment and technology. But Alloy was surprised to see a large number of respondents — mostly girls — were also interested in hearing more about categories such as personal-care products.” The survey also found that many teens communicate with their parents on social networks as well.

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About Jordan McCollum
Jordan McCollum is a staff writer for the popular marketing blog Marketing Pilgrim. She has worked in search engine optimization with clients including 3M, Little Giant Ladders and ADP. After graduating from Brigham Young University, Jordan joined the SEO copywriting team at the Internet marketing firm 10x Marketing. After 10x closed its doors in December 2006, Jordan became a freelance writer and Internet marketing consultant specializing in SEO. She also has extensive experience with web analytics, conversion rate enhancement and e-mail marketing. WebProNews Writer
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