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Teens are a potential billion-dollar market, but going about it the wrong way could be disastrous. This group is socially conscious, media-savvy, and distrustful of advertising. When you create an advertising campaign for teens, you should keep in mind that they love technology and they’re looking to be entertained. Learn how to engage and market to teens in 2023.

Trends for target marketing to teenagers can change frequently. As marketing methods become more mainstream, they tend to lose their effectiveness. It’s important to stay current on trends in niche marketing to teens.

Discover creative ways on how to engage and market to teens in 2023 to supercharge your marketing campaigns.

Do Your Market Research

Like all marketing strategies, marketing to teens traditionally began by considering the demographics of the teen audience, such as gender, race, age, religion, and location. For teens, the online market is more active than in-person markets for making purchases, so it’s important to consider grouping teens by behaviors.

Here Are Some Things To Consider:

  • Most teens are into sharing content on social media.
  • Most teens are excited about discovering information online.
  • Most teens prefer content that’s delivered in real time.
  • Most teens want to get involved and participate.
  • Many teens are egocentric.
  • Many teens care about perception.
Do Your Market Research to engage and market to teens.

These factors make teens unique in comparison to adults, which should shape your marketing strategy. All advertising and content should be centered around the needs of the teens and focus on creating interest and excitement.

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Understand How To Make Your Product A Must-Have For Teens

The foundation of effective marketing is understanding your audience’s pain points. You must understand their problems in order to deliver a product that’s a must-have for them. If you can’t solve their problems, they have no reason to want your product or service.

One of the best ways to discover your audience’s pain points is by getting the information directly from them. You can ask an unbiased third party to interview people in your target audience, or contact current and past customers to get feedback on your product or services.

Another great option is surveying. You can conduct surveys on your website or through email.

You Can Ask Questions Like:

  • What do you like about the company?
  • What could be better?
  • Why do you keep shopping here?
  • If you left, what would make you come back?
  • What motivated you to purchase a product or service initially?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Can you share some ways the product or service helped you?
  • How likely are you to recommend our product or service to relatives and friends?
Teen playing a VR game. Learn to make products a must-have for teens.
Young teenagers are broadcasting online product sales

In addition to surveys, you can find out a lot about your audience’s pain points by reading reviews and comments. Whether positive or negative, these interactions tell you a lot about the public’s opinions of your products or services.

Approach Teen Markets Differently

Marketing to teens is different than marketing to adults, but that doesn’t mean all teen markets are the same. You may need multiple campaigns to reach teens in different segments, age groups, or locations.

For example, skincare products for teens may need different marketing approaches for male and female audiences. While both groups want healthy skin, the motivations and considerations for males and females may be different.

Another example is location. If we take Zutobi as an example, we help young people get their motorcycle license and driver’s license. If you were marketing a driver’s education app with practice tests for different states, you may need to approach the marketing differently. Driving laws and permit requirements vary across states, creating unique situations and requirements for teen drivers taking their permits and road tests. 

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Test And Refine Your Campaigns

No matter how much research you do in advance, you still need to test your campaigns regularly. Think of every campaign as an experiment with an intended result. You’re testing different copies, images, and headlines to see what gets the most engagement from your audience. If something isn’t performing the way you want, you can adjust it for better results.

Testing your marketing campaigns is important because you learn more about your audience to optimize your marketing efforts. Failing to test your campaigns doesn’t necessarily hurt your strategy, but it’s a missed opportunity to improve your efforts and maximize your efforts and budget.

Fortunately, testing is easy. Most software has built-in functionality to run tests or utilize machine learning for optimization. For example, Facebook offers mix-and-match features to test ad copy and creative elements to achieve a goal you set in the platform. Many platforms are continuously learning and improving your campaigns toward your specific goal.

Most importantly, if your campaign isn’t working after multiple adjustments, don’t be afraid to scrap it.

Use Analytics To Determine What Works

As adults, you only think you know what teens would want. Your campaign decisions should be informed by hard data and analytics – not your own preconceptions.

Social media analytics is one of the best tools for teen marketing campaigns. You can gather and analyze data from social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and use that to inform your marketing decision. This data reveals how your audience engages with, views, and shares your content. You can identify high-performing content based on what your audience wants and track the overall effectiveness of your strategy.

It is a proven fact that dynamic content like videos, photo slideshows, or interactive digital flipbooks are highly effective in engaging and captivating audiences, driving higher levels of participation and conversion.

Before you track your social media analytics, you should outline your key performance indicators (KPIs). These help you understand how your efforts translate to your overall goals. Some of the vital social media KPIs include:

  • Engagement: Clicks, comments, shares, and page visits
  • Reach: Followers, impressions, and traffic data
  • Leads: People interested in your product or service
  • Customers: People who become customers after engaging with your brand
Using Analytics To Determine What Works.
Business analytics on tablet computer

With analytics, you can scale your content efforts and justify your marketing spend to ensure you’re meeting your business needs and achieving tangible results.

Know Who To Target

If your product is intended for teens, you may want to direct all your efforts at them. But what if your product or service is too expensive for teens to afford? What if it’s something that they may need a parent’s permission for? What if they don’t have the means to buy it for themselves?

Your marketing campaign should consider both the teens and the parents. Perhaps it would be best to devise two marketing campaigns – one for parents and one for teens. Consider whether your efforts would be better spent on marketing campaigns for parents, who have the ultimate deciding authority.

For example, apps intended to help teens manage money or learn investment early would be better marketed to parents. Teens aren’t able to create financial accounts on their own, and may not want to, but a parent may be interested in teaching their teen good financial sense.

Use Several Social Media Platforms

Most teens are on social media, but they don’t all use the same platforms. Younger teen audiences enjoy platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, while older teens may prefer the familiarity of Facebook and Twitter.

Sticking with one or two platforms significantly limits your audience. Use several of the most popular platforms for teen audiences and test your campaigns on each one. If you notice significant engagement on only one or two platforms, it may make sense to narrow your focus to just those platforms. If the engagement is balanced across the board, then you know that you’re hitting different segments of your audience on each platform.

Get Creative with Your Teen Marketing Campaigns

Marketing to teens is very different than marketing to adults, but these tips should help you reach this audience. Keep in mind, however, that even world-class marketing campaigns won’t help if your product doesn’t solve a problem that teens have. Focus on putting your customer – the teen – first, and you’ll be able to reach them where they spend their time.

We hope this helps you engage and market to teens in 2023 and beyond.

Author: Tim Waldenback

Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their licenses. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable and easily accessible for all.

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About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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