Creating a Marketing Strategy
Marketing is a key component to ensuring your enrollment is consistent, you have a healthy waitlist, and your center climbs to the top of every family’s “must-see” child care list. These marketing musts will help cut out any confusion about marketing and help you grow your center!
Understand Your Audience
Make sure you know who your child care marketing efforts need to reach. Naturally, parents are who you think of first; but sometimes you need to think about expanding your audience to those that influence parents. This could be child care workers, grandparents, and other caregivers.
Question: Do you know where your audience is most likely to be engaged?
Four out of five prospective parents that check out your center will now be millennials. Reach millennials where they are most likely to be: Online, using social media, and looking at reviews of local child care centers.
Question: Where in your community can you reach your audience? Do these places offer advertising spaces or opportunities?
Are millennials with school aged children at the YMCA, fitness centers, community events, churches, or local restaurants? Are they reading news online, watching tv or listening to the radio? Ask current parents how they learned about your center. Chances are you will get new ideas from asking your families.
Question: What other organizations in your community are interacting with your audience? Can you partner with them to host events or otherwise support each other?
Be Consistent in Your Messaging
It’s important to deliver consistent tone, style, and branding to your prospects. This means you should have a logo and standard colors and type font that you always use in advertising.
- Does your website, marketing materials, emails, and other promotional materials have consistent fonts, colors, and images?
- Do you have a mission statement for your center? If so, is it reflected throughout your external messaging?
- Do you have access to engaging pictures or stock photos to enliven your marketing materials? If not, try a royalty-free stock image service like Pixabay.
Choose your Marketing Methods Wisely
Understanding both inbound and outbound marketing methods will help you determine which type to use in various efforts.
Do you use any inbound marketing? Inbound marketing focuses on the prospect and their needs, challenges, and goals instead of on your center. Try offering your prospects information they will find truly valuable. Maybe create a checklist on how to choose the best child care center, or a document that will help them rate the different child care centers they tour.
Does your outbound marketing work? Outbound marketing is product-oriented, relies on sales incentives, and keeps the focus on you, the business, and your products and services. Track when these offers work, and when they don’t so you can continue to increase your return on investment.
Great marketing is never a one-and-done deal. Perhaps the most important marketing must for your child care center is to keep your marketing efforts rolling. Keep asking new families how they heard about you. With your creative ideas flowing, chances are you’ll have great marketing and more families coming to you.
At Smartcare, we are committed to helping ease the burden of your administrative tasks to give you more time to promote your business.