Child care marketing and your daycare business
It’s a little difficult running a daycare center without children to take care of. Child care marketing can be frustrating and time-consuming, but it’s an important part of managing a business. It can’t be arts and crafts all the time (no matter how much you’d like that to be real). Your competitors will likely be advertising—and you should be too. That’s why we’ve put together eight practical tips to help inspire the daycare marketing ideas that might work for you.
1. Social Media Is Your Best Friend
Social media has become a must for nearly every daycare business in helping generate new clients. Parents want to make sure they’re leaving their children with someone trustworthy. Curating a strong online presence helps give prospective parents an idea of what services your daycare offers and a behind the scenes look at what happens when they drop off their kids at your center. A good Facebook page gives you a chance to interact with parents by posting fun and engaging content. The posts don’t have to be too complex—here are a few daycare posts ideas:
- A post asking parents to comment with possible future daycare activities
- Promoting a future event like an open house
- A photo of the arts and crafts project their children made that day
- Resharing a helpful parenting article
- A post updating parents with any daycare announcements
If you’re posting anything with the children in the photo, make sure that you have permission from the parents to do so.
2. You’re Never Not Networking
If you thought your networking days were over now that the majority of your day is spent with toddlers, you were wrong. Make connections with parents in your neighborhood, other nearby childcare professionals, or your local community center. You never know who is looking for your services.
Local Facebook groups are a great resource for finding prospective clients, as well as staying up to date on the news and issues that are important to your community. Sharing relevant and helpful information with parents will help cement you as someone they can trust, and therefore trust with their children. Be careful not to be overly promotional since many groups will kick you out if you’re only there to advertise your business.
You should also consider creating a business card you can hand people during those spur of the moment networking opportunities.
3. Old School Marketing Is Still Alive
Think back to your babysitting days when all you needed to find customers were a few flyers taped up around grocery stores, town halls, or other city centers—it can still be just as easy to attract customers today. Don’t underestimate the benefits of beautifully designed posters and flyers. They can have a big impact on your company’s brand recognition in your area.
If there are big events like fairs or festivals happening in your area, consider setting up a booth to advertise your services to the parents. Bring your business cards and be sure to have some fun toys and prizes for the children as well.
4. Don’t Forget About Google Reviews
Make sure to keep an eye out for online reviews of your daycare. Google reviews are a great way to get feedback on your business while also generating new customers. Many people read reviews before visiting a business. Regularly checking what reviews parents leave helps you know what aspects of your business they like, dislike, and what changes you should implement.
Many child care providers don’t realize the value in having a well-established Google Business profile. One of the great things about Google reviews is that the more reviews your company has, the higher Google ranks you when people are searching for your services. Try asking parents if they wouldn’t mind leaving a short, positive review of your business on Google. It’s easy for them to do and helps your business gain authority on Google.
In order to get these reviews, you’ll need to set up your Google My Business profile. There you can optimize your profile so potential parents and customers can find you easier.
5. Put Together a Community Open House
Never underestimate the power free food has on getting people to show up to an event. Host an informal get together with parents and other members of your community where they have the opportunity to mingle, explore your premises, and ask you any questions. Parents need to feel comfortable they’re leaving their children in a safe location—making sure they feel comfortable will go a long way in their decision to sign up with your daycare.
6. Experiment With Paid Ads
Paid ads on Google and Bing, as well as social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have an uncanny ability to target potential customers, build brand awareness, and increase your customer base. It might feel daunting to start running ads online, but the platforms have made it easier than ever to get started.
The best part is you don’t have to have a massive budget to start seeing the payoff of paid ads. You can put in as little as a few dollars every day and still get more customers and more people going to your website. The ad options depend on which search engines or social platforms you’re going to be focusing on, but this guide is a good place to start when figuring out your social ad strategy.
7. Start a Parent Referral Program
Word of mouth recommendations hold a lot of weight in the parenting community. If someone you trust feels comfortable enough to recommend a service, you’re going into that experience with trust already built up. Let parents know that if they help bring in another client, they will get a reward.
The reward could be anything you think would resonate with your customers. Some possible referral rewards could be a discount on your daycare rate, an Amazon gift certificate, gift cards to a local restaurant. Also, no parent is going to say no to straight cash as well.
8. Invest In a Parent-Friendly Management Platform
While the majority of your time will most likely be spent with children, remember that your primary customers are the parents. Keeping them happy with your business operation will make sure they continue to be a customer, as well as increases the chance of having them refer other potential customers. Child care management software like Smartcare gives parents an easy-to-use app to help them manage payments and make sure their child is safe while they are away. That peace of mind for the parents will leave them with a stellar view of your daycare and will become a selling point for future customers.