Are you all pumped up for the 4th of July holiday? The sun's shining (here, at least), your work week is punctuated by a much needed respite, and ... oh yeah, the kids are loose.
By now you might be starting to rediscover the stress of having those little rugrats around when all you want is some peace and quiet. When does school start up again? Should you have shelled out for summer camp? Can't you just enjoy one day off of work already? Don't they ever just calm down ?
You've got this, guys. You're a marketer. Believe it or not, that experience is transferable to parenting, too. Here's how you can use the marketing tactics you use every day to get yourself some much needed relaxation this 4th of July.
Note: This post's photo and many of the tips are courtesy of HubSpot Inbound Marketing Specialist and father of 4, "though it feels like 8," Dan Sally.
20 Marketing Tactics to Get Your Kids to Simmer Down Now
1) Create an offer. When you create lead gen offers , you don't just give them away for free. No, you need something in exchange -- lead intelligence! Or what your prospects know as filling out a form. Use that tactic with your kids, too; you give them something they want, and in exchange, they'll give you some peace and quiet.
2) Newsjack. Take something that's going on -- seemingly unrelated to children's activities -- and find a spin on it that would interest them! Talking about your 401(k) at your friend's barbecue? Tell your kids to go around the lawn and look for loose change. Hey, that's good financial planning.
3) Distract them with a puppy. We've written all about shameless marketing tactics that work on leads (and us). And one of the timeless classics is using cute animals to make your audience oooh and aaah. If you're stuck with a kid that's bugging you (or heck, an adult), just throw the puppy their way. It'll probably work.
4) Engage with promoters of your brand. Part of effective word-of-mouth marketing is identifying and engaging with your promoters. Who are the good influences on your kids? Find them, and segment out the bad influencers so your children model good behavior on July 4th, rather than get into trouble.
5) Throw an awesome event. We throw live events like INBOUND 2012 to meet new leads, forge new relationships with the community, and strengthen customer relationships. Take a cue from the networking superpower of in-person events, and stage a kid-friendly event for other kids to attend to so they can keep each other company.
6) Make your content reader-friendly. You know, use short chunks of text, bold headings, bulleted lists, remove navigation on your landing pages -- all the things that distract visitors instead of draw them in. Well, make your 4th of July kid-friendly, too, and give them content that's appropriate for their age and aligns with their interests so they don't get bored and click -- ahem, wander -- away looking for trouble.
7) Give them a game. Gamification's all the rage with marketers and consumers alike, because it gives people a purpose that's directly related to the action marketers are trying to drive. For example, when we want to trend on Twitter for a live webinar, we create a hashtag, and incentivize attendee use of that hashtag by giving away a prize, like tickets to INBOUND 2012 . Apply that principle to your kids, and give them a little distraction from the adults with a game to keep them entertained. First prize? Ice cream!
8) Share other people's content. Run out of ideas to keep the kids entertained? If you're boring them, do what you do with your social media following -- share someone else's content! A little variety is good for everyone.
9) Throw money at the problem. You've probably leaned on PPC for a quick lead-gen boost, or invested in top-notch marketing talent to solve a huge marketing problem. Why not hire a babysitter or an experienced nanny to give you a break?
10) Use visual content. Kids love pretty pictures. So do adults. That's why we keep talking about investing in visual content and visual social networks , like Pinterest and Instagram! Use coloring books, picture books, sidewalk chalk, or anything else visual to keep them entertained.
11) Invest in multimedia content. Plop them in front of the TV. Or YouTube. Who doesn't love a good YouTube video or hilarious podcast? We don't record HubSpot TV every Friday for nothing.
12) Yell at them. We've talked about how berating your audience actually helps drive traffic -- our blog posts with headlines like, " 10 Sloppy Social Media Mistakes to Fix NOW " have received well over 10,000 views, in fact. Don't berate, of course, but don't be afraid of a little discipline, either!
13) Leverage scarcity. There's nothing like scarcity to drive a hard bargain. Need your kids to do something? Find something they want, and tell them it's almost gone. They'll hop to it in a jiffy. Now that's how you create an effective call-to-action .
14) Establish authority as a thought leader. Your kids might not think of you as a "thought leader" per se, but they certainly know who's boss. Just like your stellar content creation establishes you as an industry thought leader -- why else would leads download your offers? -- your reputation most likely precedes you with your children. So remind them who's boss when you need them to behave more responsibly!
15) Engage in the conversation. You engage with your social media fans so they know you're listening, and that you care what they have to say. Similarly, sometimes kids just need a little dose of attention to keep them satiated.
16) Forge a partnership with a related business. Just like you lean on your partners for help with content creation, co-marketing, and lead generation, you need an ally to help shoulder some of the burden of taking care of kids. See if grandma wants some time with her grandchildren, or if there's an expectant mom that would like some quality time with a few kids.
17) Schedule content in advance. Just like you schedule your social media content in advance, your day will go much more smoothly if you schedule all of your kid-friendly activities in advance so you don't find yourself hurting for supplies, ideas, or entertainment.
18) Monitor social activity. But just because your content -- or activities -- are all set up, doesn't mean you should turn a blind eye! Keep an eye on what's going on to ensure there are no disasters. And when there are disasters -- Timmy is not sharing his toys like you told him to -- you'll be able to respond quickly before anything gets out of hand and really ruins the day.
19) Reward good behavior. You give referral bonuses and implement loyalty programs with your customers. Incentivize good behavior with your kids, too! The other children will take notice and start to mimic that positive behavior, and make your day much easier.
20) Just give them what they want. You spend your whole day trying to figure out what your customers want based on lead intelligence and marketing analytics . Use all that historical intel you have on your kids to give them the content that you know calms them down, entertains them, and distracts them so you can enjoy your day off. You know your kids better than anyone (probably better than they know themselves) ;-)
Obviously, this post is a bit of fun before the mid-week holiday, so share your silly suggestions (don't forget the marketing tie-in!) in the comments below. Or better yet, let us know if any of these actually worked!