10 Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Child Care Enrollment
What is Marketing?
Marketing is the activity your child care center can do to showcase your business’ value, in an effort to increase your customer base. Marketing for child care businesses is simple: find your audience, and connect with them!
Why does my child care business need a marketing plan?
Marketing is the fastest, most efficient way to draw more business to your facility. Sure, you could walk around town, asking men and women if they have a great place to watch their children while they’re at work, but who has time for that?
That’s why childcare centers take full advantage of every marketing avenue that their budget will allow, in order to attract new business. Marketing your childcare center can put your brand in front of potential enrollees on their smartphone, computer, or even on their way to work.
Now that you know the importance of having marketing in your childcare business strategy, it’s time to think about your marketing plan. Don’t worry; we’ll walk you through it!
What is in a Child Care Marketing Plan?
A childcare marketing plan is your playbook for how you’re going to attract that new business to your childcare center. Having a marketing plan is critical for connecting with the right audience, sending the right message and ultimately, bringing in the right enrollee. Childcare marketing plans typically start with a particular, measurable goal in mind.
Next, it’s important to understand the marketing tools available to you, which we’ll explain next.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you evaluate your efforts. Once you have seen the results from your marketing, you’ll know which areas need improvement for your next marketing campaign.
As promised, here are 10 marketing must-haves for child care centers:
Website with mobile first design is one of the most important tools for increasing childcare enrollments
Giving your brand an online presence, with a website, is critical if you want potential enrollees to be able to find you, research your organization and get involved with your program. A website for your childcare services is the perfect place to let parents know what your program can offer their little ones. A website can also serve as your enrollment form.
In the digital age that we have found ourselves living in, paper is becoming a thing of the past, and offering your child care enrollment application online will not only appeal to the parents and their busy, digital lives, but it can also be extremely efficient for you and your staff.
If you already have a tech-savvy staff member, you may decide to build your own website on a platform such as GoDaddy, Wix, or Squarespace, just to name a few. Here are some of the things you’ll need to do to get started on your website:
– Purchase a Domain — A domain is usually the name of your business or something similar, but easy enough for a potential enrollee to remember.
– Add Content — Content can be anything a website visitor can engage with — text, images, videos, etc. On your website, you’ll want to make sure you let your site visitors know everything your childcare program has to offer.
– Call to Action — It’s important to direct your website visitor to one particular action. Typically, childcare centers want their call to action to be a contact method (phone, email, form) or straight to an enrollment application
2. Email Campaign
Using email as a way to communicate with current and potential parents is an effective and affordable way to connect with your audience. Emailing parents of the children already enrolled should be part of your regular routine so that you can share important updates and nurture your relationship with the parents, in order to maintain loyalty to your program. Emailing potential enrollees, or prospecting can be an effective form of new business growth.
Kicking off an email program starts with these simple steps:
– Establish an Email Address — It’s as easy as signing up on Google or Zoho, just to name a few.
– Define a Routine — How often do you plan to send out updates or newsletters? Be consistent so that parents can look forward to hearing about their child’s experience.
– Set Time Aside to Respond — Parents want to know they and their child are important to you. Ensuring that you are responding in a timely fashion will put their concerns at ease.
3. Social Media
Building your brand presence on social media is critical for networking (we’ll get to networking later), and establishing your business in the community. Setting up your social media presence is easy, and better yet, it’s free!
Once you’ve set up your profiles, be sure to stay active and engage with your page followers. Use your profile to set up events and promotions to further your appeal to new potential enrollees. When starting your social media business page, use your business name to help the community build recognition of your brand.
Here are some tips to get you started with building a social media presence for your child care center:
– Facebook (Must Have graphic)– Share information, post updates, and announce special events.
– Instagram (Should consider graphic) — Post images of your facility, learning activities and students (with permission, of course)
– Twitter (Nice to have graphic)– Simple, fast way to post updates and share industry information
4. Search Engine Optimization or SEO
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to your website by improving your rank in organic search engine results. Let’s break that down.
– Quality Visitors — These are visitors to your site that may want to sign up their child for your program.
– Quantity of Visitors — Simply attracting as many potential quality visitors as you can.
– Improving Your Rank — The rank of your website is based on an algorithm of the search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). Search engines will determine how closely the content on your website/webpage applies to the word(s) searched by the user. There are tons of factors that make up the search engine algorithm, but to make it simple, if your website is well-designed and enriched with meaningful content, the search engine will prioritize your website above the rest.
5. Local Citations/Listings
This marketing tool can also be known as Google My Business. This is a feature, best known on Google, which is shown to the right of the search engine results when someone types in a specific place of business. This placement will give the person, looking for your childcare center, all of the information about your business, including hours of operation, industry, reviews, and more.
6. Search Engine Advertising
Advertising your business on search engines is a great way to capture the interest of parents looking for a great place to enroll their child. When advertising your childcare center on a search engine, it is critical to use keywords that you know your audience will be searching for. This will help the search engine identify when to show your ad.
Paid ads can usually be found at the top of the search engine results page or at the very bottom. Typically, the more you pay, the more prominent your ad placement will be.
7. Community Engagement
Community engagement if one of the best elements of marketing your childcare center can take advantage of. One of the most common forms of community engagement is creating a blog for your child care business. A blog can be directly on your website to make it as easy as possible for parents to find it.
Post press releases, community information, or any topic your community may be interested in reading about regularly. A good cadence for blog posting could be every week or every month, depending on your audience and time availability.
Word of mouth is critical for child care centers to gain new enrollees. Asking your parents to leave a review of your business is a great way to spread the word. Reviews are extremely effective on your Facebook Business page, your local listing (Google Reviews), or you may choose to use a review company to collect reviews for you such as TrustPilot, Yotpo or, Bazaarvoice, just to name a few.
9. Other Forms of Media
Advertising your childcare center on media outlets such as television, radio, or even billboards is another effective way to spread the word about your business. A few of the most common media advertisements are centered on grand openings, open enrollments, or special events that may grab the attention of your community. Find out where your ideal audience spends the most time, and make your presence known through that channel.
Establishing your brand in the community means engaging with your target audience, the parents of young children who need excellent care. “Feet in the street” is one of the most effective ways to network with this audience. Make yourself a presence, and a face of the child care center, to the community in which your facility is located. Attend local events, talk to other child care businesses, and connect with anyone who may be able to drive more parents to your door or website.
Ready to start growing your child care enrollment?
PREto3.com can help! We offer every marketing avenue you just learned about and so much more. Our platform was built by former childcare workers, just like you, and we know it takes time, which many of us don’t have, in order to build a brand. Let us put our experience in child care marketing to work for you, and start growing your enrollment today!