It’s a myth that marketing needs to be overly expensive or needs to take up a lot of time or resources in your business to achieve real measurable results and add to your bottom line.
Here are some simple marketing practices that are easy to implement, cost-effective and will generate a number of high-value leads, leading to enrollments.
1. Find out who your customers are and what turns them on!
Many businesses think they know who their customers are and the reasons why they buy their product or services. More often than not, businesses don’t know the real reasons. Therefore don’t forget to ask your families or potential families:
- Why did they choose you over your competitor?
- What were/are they looking for in a child care centre?
- How do they describe your centre to friends and family?
- What services do they seek from a centre?
It is important to go back from time to time and review why families are choosing your centre. Don’t take it for granted – use their feedback to develop your marketing strategies further.
2. Take a good, hard look at your communications and marketing material!
When was the last time you looked at the information you send to people to sell your centre? Maybe it’s time to take another look.
- Do the key sales messages reflect what your customers say when you ask them why they have used your services?
- Does your corporate image and identity reflect the essence of what your centre is about?
- Do you have a short concise statement that accurately communicates to potential families what it is that you do?
- Are you providing the information that they are seeking?
3. Befriend your local media!
- Find out who your local journalists are and make them your new best friend!
- Invite them to your special events such as Open days, Grandparents days etc.
- Send them press releases, photos and announcements on a regular basis.
4. Get out and network!
Strengthen your ties with the local community and build your centre’s profile.
- Participate in local street fairs, exhibit at shopping centres etc.
- Make sure your centre information is at the local library, community centre, real estate agents, the local visitors centre and so on.
- Establish contact with the marketing person at your local shops and tap into any marketing opportunities such as open days.
- Tap into special interest groups such as women’s organisations, rotary clubs and business networks.
5. Get on the web.
The web is one of the most cost-effective and targeted methods of acquiring new customer leads.
- Develop a website as a marketing tool with dynamic content that communicates your key messages and captures visitors’ details, so you can follow them up.
- Add value to your service by providing resources for parents on your site, upload photos (can be password protected) and notices of upcoming events etc.
- List your centre on search engines and relevant directories.
6. Social Media is a must!
- Social media is a fantastic way to communicate with your current parents, keeping them up to date with events, creating galleries of children’s artwork and craft projects etc but it is also a superb platform for promoting your service. With just a small amount of paid/boosted posts to a targeted group you could reach a huge number of parents and mum’s to be.
- Tap into Facebook Parent Groups and take part in some social listening. You will not be thanked for openly advertising in this space, however, this a good way of gaining an insight into parents thoughts and requirements. It is also a great way to find out about advertising opportunities such as local events, coffee mornings etc. (Find out more from this helpful article on Why You Should Start Advertising in Facebook Groups).
7. Track and measure your marketing performance
Are you throwing your money away? Are you allocating your budget in the right areas? Are you tracking where all your leads come from and comparing them to your expenditure?
- A simple tick-sheet used by your director asking, “how did you find out about our centre?” will suffice as a way to track your marketing spend.
- Then tailor your marketing campaigns to gain results and return your investment.
You can start campaigning for your centre by following these simple steps. However, as there is no one-size-fits-all strategy in marketing child care centres, especially as your business grows, you might need to consider outsourcing. Here’s an article on how to know if your child care business needs outsourced marketing that can help you to decide.
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