How to Manage and Limit Children’s Exposure to Digital Advertising
We live in a world where our phones are our news, doctors, assistants, therapists, friends, etc.
So it’s normal that people will take every opportunity to advertise and make money on the big market we call: The Internet.
What’s Digital Advertising?
You’ve probably seen those giant pop-up ads while scrolling your favorite social media or been interrupted by a non-skippable ad while watching cooking recipes on YouTube (or whatever you’re into).
Well, all those advertisements belong to the giant library of digital marketing.
Importance of Managing Children’s Exposure to Digital Marketing
Like it or not, children are quite gullible. They believe almost everything they see.
So what do marketers do? Make ads that are child-friendly, fun, and colorful to persuade children.
And our children believe them and even sometimes buy the products if they know mommy or daddy’s credit card info.
Sometimes, ads can have non-child-friendly content, for example, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, etc.
That’s why we must be careful and aware of what our children see on the Internet and monitor their digital behavior.
Detailed Analysis: Digital Marketing
I briefly introduced you to digital marketing. But let’s see how the different types of digital marketing target children.
Types of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a concept divided into several groups with their characteristics.
- SEO Marketing
Its target is to make the product appear in more Google searches. It consists of writing quality content with great keywords on the web.
- PPC Marketing
Pay-per-click marketing is all those annoying ads on the top or the side of your screen while scrolling your favorite website.
They’re scattered over the Internet and used by even the largest companies and corporations.
- Social Media Marketing
Have you ever felt annoyed at how many ads you find while scrolling Facebook, Instagram, or watching YouTube videos?
Me too! Well, marketers like to call these advertisements profitable social media marketing campaigns.
- Content Marketing
All of the podcasts, digital promotions, books, and business videos that want to attract you as a customer are content marketing.
- Email Marketing
You open up your Yahoo or Gmail and see some company advertising their new top-tier revolutionary product.
Also, remember that site that you subscribed to you? Well, they’ve also sent you an email updating you about their content.
All that mail you receive from unknown or subscribed sources is email marketing.
- Mobile Marketing
You get your phone out of your pocket and see that you’ve gotten an SMS advertising some product.
You open up Facebook, Google, and Instagram, and all you can see is ad by ad.
Mobile marketing has taken a high leap lately, so we’ll keep that in mind when discussing how to keep your children aware of digital marketing.
- Affiliate Marketing
It’s a new trend featuring the world’s latest invention: influencers.
How often do you see a celebrity getting their video or post sponsored by a company? That’s what affiliate marketing is.
How does Digital Advertising Impact Children?
As we saw before, children can get their attention stolen more easily than adults.
So, it’s crucial to determine how digital advertising affects our children.
The digital world offers countless ways to avoid strict rules that prohibit exposing children to disturbing content.
For example, I’ve seen YouTube ads featuring blood, violence, and scary creatures (like zombies and vampires that scare children).
I always ask myself how those ads get shared all the time, but hungry or ill children looking for help are seldom shared with the wider audience.
Gambling, alcohol, and cigarettes are also majorly advertised to children, even though we can all agree that we don’t want our children to see those types of ads.
To make sure our children don’t stumble upon these kinds of ads, we must do everything to ensure our children have a peaceful Internet presence.
But we’ll talk more about that later on in the article.
If you want to read up on something more about the medical dangers of digital advertisement, check this link.
Effect on Buying Behavior
Nowadays, our children have insight into the family’s financial situation (especially our teens). So, we must be aware that ads can lure children into buying rather expensive products.
Often we read stories of children maxing out credit cards on some game or product that their favorite influencer sponsors.
How to Limit Exposure?
We saw the dangers of digital advertising. Because we can’t fully isolate our children from tech, we must find a way to limit their exposure to dangerous advertisements.
It’s important to have insight into your children’s searches. You can do that by regularly checking their screen-time reports.
Setting up parental control on their devices and websites is also a solution to the problem. You can do that by accessing the settings on the devices or websites they use.
With parental control, you can block sites, limit usage, limit the amount of money they spend, limit who they chat with, and much more.
Ad-blockers are programs that limit exposure to advertisements on the Internet.
Here is a list of several free ad-blockers you can install on your device.
Education and Communication
Properly educating your children is the best way to safely introduce them to the digital world.
Talk regularly, watch info-videos together, hear their thoughts on these topics, debate, and make conclusions.
Free and open communication with your children about sensitive topics like this is the key to successful parenting.
Congratulations! You’ve just reached the end of the main part of the article.
I want to add that I, as a parent of 2 beautiful children, have experienced all the dangers of digital advertisement. It’s not a thing that should be ignored and forgotten by you, parents.
Teaching your children the essentials of digital literacy (including the dangers of the Internet) is crucial for the tech-filled century we live in.
So, put your phone down, check what your child is doing, play something with them, and teach them about digital literacy along the way!