Chances are, if you’ve been in the daycare business for many years, you’ve a couple of generations of parents enrolling their children. Nowadays in particular, you’re likely to be encountering more parents who are “Millennials”. As most of us know when it comes to Millennials, typically the best way to reach them is through the power of the internet. Some of the best practices for marketing your child care center will go beyond word-of-mouth. You’ll see that leveraging digital marketing methods will be your best bet to most effectively reach your target audience.
There are plenty of things to consider when it comes to showcasing the value of your child care center. Whether you own a daycare, a learning center, or a center with a more specialized curriculum (like a Montessori or Reggio-Emilia-based approach), you’re going to want to utilize a strategy that makes your center different from the rest, and seek out audiences that most closely identify with your center’s core values.
Let’s go over the best ways to attract ideal parents to your center:
Is your website up-to-date?
Every business, including child care centers, needs to have a current website. Keeping in mind that many of the parents you’re going to see are Millennials, the first place where they will begin their search for a child care center is usually a search engine like Google or any other popular search engine. Your website will be the first impression a parent gets of your center. If your core values and the things that make your center unique aren’t the first things they see in their search, they’ll just click out and move on to the next search result.
This brings us to our next point – SEO (or Search Engine Optimization). If your center isn’t popping up on one of the first pages of a Google search, it’s much less likely that parents will ever see your center’s website, as the second pages of search results and beyond are not visited nearly as often. In the age of instant gratification and increasing competition, you’ll need to make use of a keyword strategy that increases your website’s visibility on search engines.
Citations tie in with the SEO strategy mentioned above. Business citations are essentially a listing of your center’s business information, including your center’s name, address, and phone number. You can list this information on various directories, or set up a Google My Business account, so that when parents are searching for specific keywords, your center’s information will be one of the first results that pop up. Not only does this increase your center’s overall visibility, but it also legitimizes your business in the eyes of prospective parent leads.
As part of comprehensive social media marketing strategy, Facebook groups are excellent for networking and establishing yourself as a trusted member in your community. One rule of thumb, however, is that you don’t want to try to “sell” the parent members of a group on enrolling at your center. Instead, try to take a “thought leader” stance, and provide parents with resources and knowledge in order to gain trust and credibility with your audience. It seems like there’s a Facebook group for everything nowadays, so the best practice is to type into Facebook’s search bar “[Your location] parents”, and request to join the resulting groups. Not only is this a great way to increase awareness for your center, but you’ll also gain valuable insights from parents in your area when it comes to their child care preferences and concerns.
Last but not least… Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms tend to be geared toward specific age groups as well as interests, but the two biggest platforms for child care centers are Facebook and Instagram. With the ability to create sponsored posts and digital advertisements, these platforms are not only great for sharing insights about the day-to-day activities at your center, but also when it comes to reaching new audiences that may not have otherwise come across your center. In fact, Facebook and Instagram can run your ads simultaneously and you’ll be able to track their results on one platform. While running digital ad campaigns can take a little bit of extra marketing knowledge and upleveling of your skills, the time and budget that you dedicate to these initiatives will give you measurable results and play an important role in scaling your center overall.
You can partner with us at Local Child Care Marketing for more child care marketing best practices! The only marketing agency that helps increase your enrollment. Get in touch with us.