7 Little Known Ways to Market Toys Outside of the Holiday Season
My favorite quote is, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten,” by unknown. I often apply it to marketing particularly when I see a constant cycle of seasonal and tactical campaigns churn year over year. Yes, most of them produce the expected sales return but what if you could be the next Zhu Zhu Pet or L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls by doing something you’ve never done? After all, that’s what made those brands homeruns- their creators did something that was never done before.
I was fortunate to be Russ Hornsby’s marketing partner when he launched Zhu Zhu Pets so I know firsthand the power of thinking outside the box. Today BSM Media is fortunate to work with many other innovative brands such as MGAE, Solid Roots and Just Play. Based on experience, consumer insights and years of success, here’s BSM Media’s list of lesser known ways to sell toys outside of the holidays and during a pandemic.
1. Zoom Parties
The most powerful way to market toys has always been creating situations where multiple children enjoy and discover the fun of the product together. It creates desire to own the toy and reassures MOM that the toy won’t end up at the end of a closet. Sometimes it’s necessary to create gatherings of children and toys. BSM Media recently partnered with PlayMonster to host Zoom Parties with SnapShips. We engaged with moms influencers and their children to host the parties with 10 of their friends. The parties included product favor bags that were delivered by the host to driveways and front doors and then unboxing activities allowed all the virtual guests to participate in the excitement of product reveals. Together the kids were able to build and share in real time. The parties created great social content that was posted by both mom and child. Zoom parties is the 2021 version of BSM Media’s popular MommyParties.
2. Social Spotters
Brands often focus on getting the word out about a new product but forget to tell moms where to buy it. Moms are busy people and it’s not enough to introduce a new toy, you have to make it easy for her to find it. This is particularly important in the toy industry where Walmart or Target will often only give brands a limited number of test stores. BSM Media’s Social Spotters tactic sends influencers into the retail location to post a photo of the product in store. This allows a mom to not only see the product but where to buy it when she’s quickly scrolling thru Instagram. Social Spotters then purchase the product and posts again at home while her child is enjoying the toy. Best of all, sales teams have social media photos to show the retailer the marketing support directed at their stores. Social Spotters can be geo-targeted to retailers or limited markets and makes the perfect launch campaign.
3. Sidewalk Sharing
It’s difficult to sample products in the middle of a pandemic but not if you do it differently. Influencers have influence offline as well as online and that’s why BSM Media has an army of Social Samplers. Social Samplers are mom influencers who will share your products with other moms in their groups, schools and neighborhood. It’s a great way to generate buzz about your toy and receive social posts as well.
Ninety percent of moms read a review before buying a product yet very few marketing plans include reviews. Now that online purchases have surged, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have plenty of great reviews available when mom go searching. The off-holiday season is the best time to focus on building reviews but remember NEVER purchase reviews. Authenticity is key in building those reviews. For an example of tactics to help generated those reviews, I invite you to read these case studies.
It’s likely that you don’t even know what Clubhouse is and if that’s the case I invite you to read my recent post on it. Clubhouse is the perfect platform to establish your expertise in the world of play. For instance a brand like Little Tikes can share their play expertise with Moms in a room about the importance of play. Crayola can host a room about developing creativity and inspire moms to try new products. It’s a free forum to develop a deeper relationship with your customer- Moms.
6. Pinterest Pinning Parties
Pinterest is the most overlooked social platform when it comes to brands and marketing. Few realize that it’s a search engine where Millennial Moms go to find solutions. They need to entertain their toddler for three hours, they search, “toys that entertain for endless hours” or if they are buying for a birthday they search, “best boy birthday toys”. Pinning parties engage with mom influencers to help build your exposure on this very important platform.
7. Remote Playdates
Last year faced with shutdowns, Little Tikes partnered with BSM Media to execute their annual World’s Greatest Playdate remotely. Hundreds of families took part in remote playdates united thru technology and online content. The event generated millions of online impressions and thousands of socially shared imaged of families enjoying Little Tike Toys. We call the tactic MommyParties and it was these small but scalable gatherings of toys and kids that launched Zhu Zhu Pets. Today they still prove to be effective.
If you are ready to think outside of your box, BSM Media is ready to strategize with you. Shoot us an email about your next product launch and let’s create the next big toy product today. Reach me at Maria@bsmmedia.com
BSM Media, Inc. is an award-winning and internationally recognized Marketing to Moms agency specializing in strategic outreach, influencer engagement, and content creation. BSM Media also owns and operates MomSelect Influencer Network, MillennialInfluencers.com, GenZInfluencers.com, and Mommyparties.com.
Maria Bailey is the CEO of BSM Media and the author of “Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Share of the Trillion Dollar Market,” “Power Moms,” “Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales,” and the soon to be released “Marketing to Gen Z Moms.” She is a frequent keynote speaker and media expert. She can be reached at Maria@bsmmedia.com. Learn more about Maria Bailey at www.MariaBailey.com.