Kids’ brands don’t have it easy on social video. With regulations like COPPA and the Made for Kids changes on YouTube impacting how to market to children, these companies have to create content that’s safe, compliant, and also engaging for younger audiences.
As a global kids entertainment company, Spin Master is in this situation of needing to safely grow its family of brands, including Bakugan®, Hatchimals®, and Paw Patrol®. We talked with Spin Master’s Brock McLaughlin and Talia Carr on how they approach social video in the Made for Kids era with their successful influencer marketing program.
Here are three takeaways McLaughlin and Carr had for making the most impact in the kids’ space with influencer marketing!
Discover Influencers Who Align with Your Audience & Message
For Spin Master, partnering with the right influencers can happen through multiple different channels. However, every single one must feel like they naturally mesh with the company’s goals and messaging.
“We really want to work with influencers that genuinely love the toys we’re putting out and are looking to create fun and exciting content with them,” Carr explained. “We always ask our creators how they can fit our product authentically into the content that they’re already creating on their channels.”
Practically, Spin Master suggests looking for influencers who:
- Are already talking about your brand organically
- Are top performers in specific categories (“dolls” vs. simply “toys,” for example)
- May have worked with competitors on sponsored campaigns with audiences similar to your own
- Are on the rise in terms of views
- Have high average 30-day views (V30)
As an example of out-of-the-box influencer marketing, consider appealing to the nostalgia of parents and collectors and not just kids. Spin Master’s partnership with filmmaker and comic book fan Kevin Smith, for example, drove strong awareness around Spin Master’s new Batman toys.
“[Smith] was one of the first people we reached out to,” McLaughlin said. “He was very excited and he did a whole unboxing on Twitch and YouTube. Then he put up a YouTube video. He did so much for us. I was not expecting him to just go live for two hours and talk about our Batman toys and open them.”
Partner with Influencers on a 360-Degree Approach
Spin Master doesn’t approach its influencer marketing strategy as a siloed system that works separately from its other marketing efforts. Instead, the company brings its influencers to all aspects of its campaigns in what it calls a “360-degree” approach.
For example, Spin Master often uses the same influencers from YouTube that they do in TV ads, which isn’t a typical kids’ marketing approach but ensures the same faces are consistently in front of children and parents to build recognition, trust, and brand affinity.
Spin Master also encourages its influencer partners to organically craft and deliver a message that resonates with their audience, as opposed to reading off a script.
“If a kid is watching their favorite YouTuber and within multiple videos they’re seeing a toy or a brand, like Hatchimals, for example, they’re going to remember that their favorite YouTuber loves Hatchimals and maybe they should buy that Hatchimal and get to play with it,” Carr said.
Be Flexible in Adjusting Messaging
Over the last few months, views on YouTube in the kids’ space have skyrocketed due to the effects of covid and families being at home. As such, Carr and McLaughlin suggest brands adjust their messaging in the current environment, while continuing to tell the stories kids want to hear.
For example, Spin Master’s GO GLAM nail studio and hair extension toy set shifted their messaging from doing friends’ nails and hair, to taking the product home to try on yourself or your family members.
As Carr explained, “Just thinking about our marketing and the way that we’re marketing in terms of [covid] changes a bit, but the ability to continue [our] influencer marketing strategy is strong because there’s so many more eyeballs on our content.”
“If anything, we’ve really doubled down on our kids’ content over the past few months,” McLaughlin added. “We had to take a step back and assess the situation, but really, it led to a lot more creativity on our part.”
Curious how you can use influencer marketing to appeal to kids?