Once you have started your daycare and developed your curriculum, you are going to need to start bringing in revenue. Unlike many other small businesses, your daycare only has one way of doing that. You need to start filling your daycare with children, and you need to do it now. What better way to fill those empty slots with an inventive and creative advertising campaign?
Seven marketing secrets of childcare advertising are developing a sound digital marketing campaign, creating drip campaigns, creating a great website, controlling your digital traffic, identifying the needs of your target market, hosting an open house, and word-of-mouth advertising.
1) Develop a Sound Digital Marketing Campaign
Approximately 45% to 50% of business advertising is done digitally, states Business2Community. This is why developing a sound digital marketing campaign is essential for your daycare to prosper and thrive. Any great digital marketing campaign starts and ends with good digital advertising.
You may find yourself asking, “Aren’t advertising and marketing the same?” The two are interrelated, but with a few differences, says the website Fabrik Brands. They define digital marketing as “an umbrella term for marketing using digital technologies,” while digital advertising is defined as “a form of marketing and advertising in which the messages are delivered to the target audience through the internet.”
So just how important is marketing to your daycare? Business2Community says that roughly 10% to 14% of a business’s total operating budget is spent on marketing. In comparison, a recent article in The Houston Chronicle revealed that on average, business owners spend anywhere from 18% to 52% on employee payroll. This fact shows that some employers spend almost as much on marketing as they do on their staff. Marketing is that important to your daycare.
2) Creating an Effective Drip Campaign
Blog Market 360 lists a drip campaign as a highly-valued branch of a good digital marketing campaign. A drip campaign is one that periodically reaches people but provides continual value to you as a daycare owner. Why is this so effective? Parents rarely, if ever, make snap decisions when it comes to child care.
A few highly effective examples of drip campaigns are email marketing, social media posts, and Facebook advertising. When meeting potential customers, one great habit you should get into is getting their email addresses. Ask them if you can send them your newsletter. This way, they aren’t getting unsolicited and unwanted emails, and you can give them a chance to learn about your daycare at their convenience.
Social media is another free avenue of advertising utilized by most businesses worldwide. Create a social media profile for your daycare, but don’t stop at Facebook. Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are also free tools of advertising and the second aspect of a good drip campaign. When using social media, please remember that you are a reflection of your business. Please keep your business posts and your posts separate. Also remember to keep posts respectful and tasteful, even if they are being posted to your profile. You never know who’s watching.
Check out our tips for engaging prospective clients HERE
3) Create a Great Website
The first aspect of your digital marketing plan should be developing a great website for your daycare, according to Himama. A great website can show prospective customers that you can offer much more than the average daycare. Now, if you only knew what parents were looking for on their daycares website.
Himama says that a daycares website should allow parents you contact you easily. It should set proper expectations about your enrollment process. Your website should also show up-to-date prices and clearly explain the services your daycare offers. Your website should also show photos of your classrooms, highlighting your curriculum. You can also set your website apart by including reviews or ratings, parent testimonials, and highlighting any software and hardware you have implemented in your classrooms.
Many parents, myself included, pay close to 100% of their bills online. A great daycare website should also offer a way to pay tuition right on the site. Your website could process credit card payments, debit card payments, and ACH bank account withdrawals. This could also be the perfect opportunity for you to get some guaranteed revenue by allowing parents to set up recurring payments. Of course, it does without saying that your website should be safe for you, the parents of your students, and the students as well.
4) Control Your Digital Traffic
Once you have a great website, it’s time to get people to see what your daycare offers. That may be easier said than done. One of the biggest challenges a digital marketing campaign faces is web traffic, warns Digital Marketer. They go on to say that the secret weapon to controlling the amount of traffic your website gets is good digital advertising. For your website to get any traffic and gain traction, people need to know that it exists.
While free (organic) web traffic should always be your daycare’s top priority, you can also pay for web traffic. With free (organic) web traffic, you have no control over when, or even if, your website will get traffic. You have no control over the consistency or the duration of your traffic either. When it comes to paid traffic, your daycare will have complete control over the direction, the amount, and the duration of traffic your website is getting.
So, what will work better for your daycare center, paid or organic trafficking? Nobody is better prepared to answer that question than yourself. However, while paid traffic may not be in your daycare’s current budget, you may want to plan for it shortly. Sure, organic traffic is free. However, there’s an old saying that says, “You get what you pay for.” A small investment in paid web traffic today could yield big returns in the future.
5) Identify the Needs of Your Target Market
The Empowered Educator suggests identifying the needs of your target market as a critical element in advertising your daycare center. “How do you do this, “you may be asking. Empowered Educator recommends giving some thought to your local community’s needs, or the needs of any family members you may have currently using daycare services.
There are several aspects to identifying the needs of your community by using your family. For example, what are the family’s dynamics? How many children do they have, and what are their ages? Why do they need daycare, and how often do they use it? What kind of Hours do the parents work, and what is their average income? Finally, but perhaps most importantly, what do they value in a daycare center?
Being armed with this knowledge can not only afford you the luxury of knowing what kind of daycare you should open, but it can also give you invaluable insight into the kind of advertising and marketing you can use in your community. If knowledge truly is power, this kind of insight can make you a business superhero.
6) Host an Open House
Not all marketing for your daycare needs to be done digitally. Geteduca suggests hosting an open house as a good way to advertise your daycare. What better way to promote your daycare center than by getting people in the actual building. One way to accomplish this is through promoting your business and inviting potential customers to your open house any chance you can, everywhere you go.
The goal of your open house is to get parents into your daycare center, giving you a chance to explain what you’re all about while showing them the facility. this helps parents to see their children in your classrooms, and it can give them the chance to meet your teachers and your staff. You can provide music, food, and games to help encourage attendance.
Getdeuca makes a great point by stating that parents are everywhere. This is why promoting your open house any (and every) chance you get is not just a great idea. It’s necessary. You want your daycare full of smiling faces, with satisfied parents giving you glowing recommendations. All of this can start by making an impeccable first impression at your highly successful open house.
7) Word-of-Mouth Advertising
Another suggestion that never goes out of style is good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. Many business owners still believe that word-of-mouth advertising is still the best, and the least expensive, the form of advertising. Just how essential is word-of-mouth marketing? It can be the lifeblood of your daycare. Word-of-mouth marketing is so vital to the success of your small business that Taggbox hails it as the best way to attract, connect with, and engage with new customers on a completely organic level.
What is word-of-mouth marketing, exactly? Taggbox defines word-of-mouth marketing as “free-of-cost marketing where the users of a brand are encouraged to share their experiences with their friends, family, peers, etc. about a product/service or a brand.” Perhaps the best aspect of this form of marketing is that it is completely free. However, it can also work to your detriment. Remember, a happy customer will tell one person. A dissatisfied customer will tell everyone they know.
Is it a good idea to pass out fliers for my daycare?
Fliers can be a useful tool for any business. They can be passed out practically anywhere you go. You can also talk to other local businesses and make arrangements where you leave fliers at each others’ businesses. However, with the advancement of our lives taking a digital turn, approximately half of all marketing and advertising is done digitally. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for old-fashioned fliers. They just aren’t as relevant as they used to be.
Should I hire a firm to do my marketing?
The answer to this question is entirely dependent on your budget. With most businesses allotting anywhere from ten to fourteen percent of their operating costs to marketing, hiring a marketing firm can be a time-saving necessity. Eventige cites two of the major benefits to hiring a full-service marketing agency as it being more cost-efficient to your business than hiring a dedicated in-house marketing employee, and they usually offer an outside perspective, which generally leads to fresh and exciting ideas.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
To learn more on how to start your own daycare checkout my startup course and documents here.