Writing content for your website can be challenging sometimes, now throw in writing for children and you may feel at a loss. What children like, need, or want may seem like a foreign concept especially if you’ve never had children, or your children are all grown up.
Creating and marketing your articles towards children isn’t too hard when you keep these content creation tips in mind:
Kids Think Differently
Before even starting to write you need to understand that children process information differently than adults do. This may seem like a no-brainer, after all, they’re “kids”, but you actually need to write as you’re addressing “mini-adults” and that they comprehend a lot more than they show..
Of course, we know that children are definitely not ready to be “mini-adults” and take care of themselves and make major decisions, but I state this only for writing content geared towards them.
Marketing research has shown that children as young as 7 have figured out that advertising is deceptive and can also determine if a product is valuable and beneficial for them.
Some tips to remember when addressing your juvenile audience:
- Don’t “baby” them – They can understand a lot more than you think.
- Keep it relatable – Address topics that affect them personally.
- Forget “Pop Culture” – Avoid using pop culture references, you’ll start sounding desperate and out of touch.
- Be credible – Children appreciate keeping things honest and real
Children have most of the mental capabilities of adults by the time they’re 11 years old, the only difference is that they do not have the experience of adulthood to know what’s the right decision.
Include the Adults
An important fact to remember is that you’re not just marketing to children, but also to the parents and guardians that monitor what their children view as well as buy things for these children.
This can be a hard tightrope to walk – addressing what kids want to hear and still appeal to adult reasoning.
To include the adults in your content you should address topics that:
- Boost Learning – Products to foster learning, imagination and curiosity are ideal
- Encourage Responsibility – Encouraging kids to be safe and responsible while being happy can make parents loyal customers.
- Develop Bonding Skills – Products for family togetherness and group activities
- Fosters Unplugging – Products and activities that don’t require electronics are gaining momentum among parents and guardians.
Marketers should aim content on children’s intellect and not their emotions, make use of parents’ fears and insecurities, and promise happiness for everyone.
Keep it Brief
Write just enough to hold their attention span. Children are over-saturated with various media and electronic simulation already.
Experts agree that a reasonable attention span is 2 – 3 minutes times their age. So, it’s about 20 – 30 minutes for a 10 year old, and up to 32 – 48 minutes for a 16 year old.
Along with keeping your content brief, you can also implement:
- Infographics – Offer a clear explanation in images instead
- Videos – Hold their attention longer with videos
- Case studies – Show how other children (and parents) used your products and its benefits
- Interactive element – Have an interactive element that kids can engage with and use
Whatever method you use should be brief, consistent, fun, and relatable for all your readers, not just the young ones.
I mentioned that children can detect deception in advertising and marketing, but these kids also tend to dismiss their reasoning if the appeal is strong enough.
One way to influence your young readers is to use a bit of psychology in your writing by using cognitive bias.
Cognitive bias is an inconsistency in our thinking where we recollect things wrong, or we view topics in the wrong frame of mind that are different from what really happened.
Some cognitive bias include:
- Personification – Giving human characteristics to animals or objects
- Attribute substitution – Substituting a simple or “knee jerk” response to an emotional complex question. This includes stereotypes, simple analogies, and illusions
- Availability bias – Recalling immediate examples when evaluating topics, concepts or decisions. Such as toy crazes, popular movies, pop culture celebrities
- Bandwagon effect – Where people tend to do something because others are doing it despite their own beliefs. Such as wanting a game because “all their friends have it”.
How can you use these biases in your marketing content? By staying on top of current events and popular topics in your focused age group, repeating popular topics and images for more exposure, and appealing to kids excitement and psychological need to “fit in”.
What’s important though, is to keep your persuasions positive and ethical, otherwise it will all backfire on you.
Hire Parents to Write
No, really, parents writing for children and other parents will add so much more value to your content.
Parents who’ve “been there, done that” are more valid and believable by other parents than a business copywriter. Parents know how to speak to kids and hold their attention longer and usually know what’s popular – due to their own kids screaming for the same stuff too.
- Appeal to kids as trusted figures
- Provide unfiltered experiences to other parents
- Attract more organic traffic
- Able to consistently produce specific keywords and popular search terms
So let the parents be your brand ambassadors, your “experts”, your product testers, and your content writer.
Creating content for children isn’t about dumbing things down, emotional hype, or even exclusively about toys.
Secondly your content should focus on parents and guardians – solving their parental issues, making their lives easier, and making their kids happy too.
Remember that children will be your future consumers and helping them to become informed shoppers instead of playing off their emotions often leads to higher sales, happier parents, and a brighter future for everyone.