Parents Remain Unconvinced When it Comes to Online Influencers

parents and display advertising

It’s no secret that advertisers are always looking for the latest and greatest innovative ways to attract consumers to their products. With the dawn of social media in the early 2010s, we saw a subsequent rise of social media marketing and then more targeted influencer marketing. Though the technology that has led to its enablement has made influencer marketing seem like something new and groundbreaking, it’s really just an evolved, cheaper, niche-based and more targeted form of traditional celebrity endorsement.

But does it actually work? Our research would suggest not really… at least where parents are concerned. Read on to find out more.

parents and display advertising

Would you like tailored insights for your brand? Use our trusted panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help your decision making and activate customers. Contact us now to find how we can help

How do parents respond to display advertising and influencer marketing?

We recently undertook a study with our community of parents on the topic of advertising. It shows that display advertising is not what this valuable consumer segment engages with, or pays attention to. Specifically, we asked parents to share their views on advertising, digital advertising, formats, and also how this affected their perceptions of the brands and businesses behind the marketing.

Parents gave their thoughts and feedback on types of ads they liked or disliked, what their thoughts were on brands and sponsored content, whether or not influencers did actually influence them to buy, and what ads did make a parent go find out more about the product or service.  

However, when it comes to advertising and parents, the biggest surprise to come out of the survey is the lack of influence that “influencers” have with influencer sponsored posts coming 11th out of 14 on a ranking of what would make a parent find out more or seek out a new product.

Influencer marketing is certainly big business now, trending towards a whopping global spend of $15B by 2022 according to TechJury, with the Instagram influencer market expected to hit $2.3 billion this year. However, parents have been telling ParentsandBrands that this type of advertising doesn’t matter to them when it comes to influencing their purchase of a new product. 

And despite large budgets being spent annually on display advertising formats including website and popup ads, with 367M euros spent on digital advertising in 2019 according to Statista, the new research shows that certainly when it comes to parents, this may be a waste. (Note that we are using 2019 ad spend data because 2020 spends are anomalous due to COVID.)

“We are flooded with ads everywhere, it’s hard to choose a brand of anything, I tend to stick with products my friends or family use regularly.”

Parents and Influencer Advertising

Drilling down into influencer advertising specifically, it turned out that these didn’t perform that well with only 12% of parents saying they are positively influenced, only 4% saying they would share an Influencer Ad with their network, and 33% of parents said they don’t care about influencers.  

Influencer sponsored posts came 11th on a ranking of types of ads that would encourage parents to go find out more or even seek the product in store. 

What parents seem to be saying in this research is that they might pay attention to an influencer at the awareness stage of purchase. But seeing or hearing about a product, even if that influencer is credible and they trust them, and even if it’s correctly tagged, that’s not what influences parents to buy or to try new products. 

This mirrors previous research we carried out in January 2021 on the hair and beauty category, where influencers also came 11th on a list of influences for trying a new product. Parents are savvy shoppers, they like to hear from other people, but knowing someone has been paid to promote a product doesn’t necessarily convince them to buy it

“I cannot stand influencers posting up “reviews” of products/weekends away, pretending to be a normal Joe Soap just posting a review, when in reality everything has been paid for them by the brand…”

RECOMMENDED READING: Bite-Sized Insights: Overly Repetitive Video Advertising Instant Brand Turn-Off for Parents

More Traditional Forms of Advertising are Still Key for this Segment

When it comes to what types of advertising would have an influence on parents going to seek out a product or service, either to find out more on the brand website or look for it in the shops or online, perhaps surprisingly, more traditional forms of advertising are influencing parents more than digital or social media ads

61% of parents said they were influenced by reading reviews or testimonials. TV and Radio ads still have a big part to play with 58% and 53% of parents referencing these for influence. Out of home and magazine ads came fourth and fifth on the list with 43% of parents saying they made an impact. Bottom of the pile again came Banner ads and Popup Ads.

“Advertising is fine in a passive environment i.e. billboards, radio ads etc. but in an interactive medium such as the Internet they are intrusive and infuriating, especially when the ad loads slowly resulting in me clicking on it accidentally.”

What does this mean for brands? 

  • If you are spending on digital advertising formats that include display and pop up ads, it might be time for a rethink. Reconsider influencer ad budget as this may not be hitting the mark in terms of activating parents.
  • Get feedback on any planned advertising – both creative and comms – before the spend so that you can make sure the advertising resonates with parents
  • Keep more passive ad formats in your marketing mix as parents prefer these. Don’t saturate social media with ads as this actively turns parents off.
  • Sponsored content combined with honest reviews can build brand trust with parents. Reviews and testimonials should be forming a core part of your marketing and comms.
  • Ultimately word of mouth marketing is the best form of marketing, so understanding how to tap into how parents recommend to each other and to their network is key.

The bottom line is, as our co-founder Jill Holtz put itThere’s an opportunity for brands to really help this segment by understanding more about what parents need and want, and to ultimately help them make good decisions for their family.” The good news is, this is something that ParentsandBrands can help with. 

Find Out How to Attract Parents to Your Product

Looking for ways to connect your brand or product with Irish parents? Contact us directly to find out how ParentsandBrands can help you with valuable in-depth parent-specific insights concentrated on your business/product sector.

Would you like business-transforming insights from parents for your business? Use our tailored panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help influence consumers to deliver long term profitability. Contact us now to find how we can help.

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