Child care directors are sometimes left feeling overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities that come with running and maintaining a successful business. As a result, they often have little time to market their centers effectively. With so many competitors in each community, child care providers must constantly look for ways to stand out among others in the crowd. Attracting families, not only new ones but the best matches for your center can take a lot of time and money. Sadly, smaller-scale child care providers are often short on these two resources.
With traditional marketing approaches becoming less and less effective, you need to find more current and stronger methods in order to keep your center on the map. Despite having limited resources, you can still make an enormous impact by leveraging the power of content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing offers child care providers a huge opportunity to boost their enrollment and attract parents who are the right match for your center. By creating and delivering valuable, relevant, and consistent content to your audience, you can increase your brand awareness, improve your online reputation, grow advocates for your brand, and build a community of like-minded people.
Content marketing is defined as the strategic marketing approach of… “Organizing, creating, distributing, publishing, and sharing high-quality content to reach and attract your target audience”. The goal here is to build a strong relationship and loyalty with your target audience, which ultimately can lead to profitable customer action.
The reason why content marketing is more effective than your more traditional or usual sales post is that instead of directly pitching your services to potential families, you are giving them truly relevant and useful content that addresses their concerns and answers their questions.
Types of Content Marketing
There are many ways you can incorporate content marketing into your existing marketing efforts. Here are a few of them:
One of the most powerful types of inbound marketing, which also allows for a tremendous amount of creativity in terms of topic and purpose, is blogs. With compelling blog content, you can do a lot of things like promoting your services and including other internal or external content such as blog articles via links. You can also incorporate product information and add social shares.
2. Social Media
With about 3.6 billion users globally, it’s no surprise that so many businesses, including child care centers, invest in social media marketing. These platforms are mostly free of charge, and there are a number of platforms with which you can work, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. Through these platforms, you can create and share content in several ways like live videos, photos, stories, pre-recorded videos, or curated content.
Surveys show that about 49% of 12-32-year-olds in the country have listened to a podcast, with an average of six listening hours per week. Given this number, many businesses and media outlets have started creating and distributing their own podcasts. You can be as creative as you want with a podcast since you can tailor it to just about any topic related to your business. Additionally, you can also control other factors related to your podcast, such as the flow of episodes, guests on your podcast, the length of each episode, and where you want to advertise your podcast.
4. Paid Ads
When paired with inbound marketing, paid advertising can especially be beneficial for your child care business. Paid ads can help you reach a wider audience, as they allow you to position your business in all of the places where you want to be seen. You can share paid ads on many platforms, including landing pages, social media, sponsored content, and banners.
According to research done by Wyzowl, more than half (about 69%) of consumers say they prefer learning about a brand’s product or service by watching a video. Another benefit of video content marketing is that it can help boost brand awareness, increase conversions, help you build customer relationships, and improve ROI.
Importance of Content Marketing for your Child Care Business
As we all know, content marketing is all about developing high-quality content, such as videos, infographics, social media posts, and blog posts, meant to engage your target audience. They offer valuable and meaningful content to the user or reader and include a “soft-sell” of your service.
For example, within the child care industry, an ad that simply indicates an “Opening for toddlers” may go ignored. However, a video or a blog post that highlights the importance of something like open-ended play for toddlers is not only likely to be watched or read but also more likely to be shared.
Think about these numbers:
- 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach their audience
- 96% of most successful content marketers confirmed that content marketing has tremendously helped them build credibility and loyalty with their audience
- 71% of consumers review a business blog before making a purchase
- 61% of B2B consumers have also admitted to having bought something or availed of a service recommended in a blog post
- Costs in investing in content marketing are 62% less than other digital and traditional marketing campaigns but could generate 3x the leads
With all of that in mind, how can you not take advantage of having such a powerful marketing strategy for your child care center?
So, how can content marketing help your business?
1. Establish Trust with Families
Compelling, relevant, and consistent content helps your center build trust and loyalty with your audience. Through your content, you can answer your audience members’ questions, while also engaging and interacting with your prospects and existing families. Creating content without asking for anything in return shows that you can be trusted. Additionally, when your content shows up at the right place at the right time with the right audience, it will help improve your center’s reputation. The more high-quality content that families see, the more likely they are to have a positive connection with your center.
2. Increase Audience Retention
Quality content is a great asset — it has the potential to create a positive and lasting experience for your prospects and drive them to come back for more. Great content marketing is your ticket to capturing your target audience’s attention and continually strengthening a positive brand image and impression for your center.
3. Generate Leads
Another great benefit of content marketing is that it can also help generate leads for your child care center. When your audience reads or views your content feels a connection to it, they are more likely to come back to avail themselves of your services in the future. CTA’s (calls-to-action) that are placed directly within your content can also help generate leads and increase enrollment for your center.
Other benefits of content marketing include:
- Boosting conversion rates
- Building authority
- Enhancing SEO efforts
- Creating a sense of community
- Gaining increased social media traction
How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy for your Audience
1. Position your brand
You need to build the right image for your center as you consistently provide the best user experience for your audience. This can be done by having a clearly defined brand and product positioning across all your content marketing channels.
You can brainstorm a few ideas to help you position your brand in the market, such as:
- Who are your existing and potential families?
- Who are your competitors, and what services do they provide?
- What kind of experience is your audience looking for?
- What is your brand’s unique selling value?
- How do your competitors market their centers?
- How can you highlight your center’s unique personality?
2. Set your goals
As with all types of marketing strategies, setting “SMART Goals” is one of the key elements to a successful content marketing strategy. These goals should be specific to what your center aims to achieve, and most probably complement your more extensive marketing and company goals.
3. Determine your “KPIs”
SMART Goals will not be as effective without “KPIs” (Key Performance Indicators). KPIs are defined as “…quantifiable data or metrics that you can use to measure your performance against your SMART goals.”
SMART Goal — Revenue
Related KPI — Site traffic, daily sales
SMART Goal — Brand loyalty
Related KPI — Referrals, promoters, product reviews, returning customers
SMART Goal — Customer engagement
Relate KPI — Follows, mentions, shares, likes, backlinks
4. Decide which type of content and which content channels
In order to decide which type of content you want to use, you need to start thinking about your audience and buyer personas. Start asking these questions:
- What do they need from you?
- Why would they choose your center?
- What types of challenges or difficulties are they looking to overcome?
- How can they trust you with their children?
- How can you help them?
Once you have decided which types of content you want to incorporate, it’s time to choose which channels you want to utilize. Ask yourself, on which platform(s) is your audience spending most of their time?
5. Set a budget
Now it’s time to think about setting your budget for your content.
- Do you need to upgrade and purchase an app or other type of technology to create your content, such as a camera to shoot high-quality videos and graphics? Or a subscription to something like Adobe Photoshop or Canva Pro?
- Do you need to pay for ad space?
- Do you need to hire any professionals such as a videographer, graphic designer, or content marketer?
Carefully considering this kind of information will help you determine how much money you need to allocate for content marketing.
6. Create and distribute the content you have prepared
Once you have decided on content, which platform(s) to use, and the funds required, the next thing you need to do is to distribute the content. You can use a social media calendar or a content planner to help your team stay on top of all of the content you’ve created, which also gives you the freedom to schedule the content ahead of time.
7. Track, analyze, and measure results
Monitoring results is very important since you can make ongoing adjustments needed to improve your content marketing efforts and help you reach a wider audience. You need to be able to see which channels are generating the most traffic or leads. When a lead comes in through one of your channels, it’s important that you’re able to match them back up with their source so that you can most effectively determine which ones are working best. Analyzing data points, like revenue and conversion rates, allows you to make decisions about where your time should be spent moving forward. A low conversion rate may indicate that there’s something wrong with your service offerings — perhaps it needs more features or better content.
Some tools that can help you track your content marketing strategy analytics and results include Google Analytics, HubSpot Social Media Management Software, SharedCount, Mention, and Sprout Social, among others.
What are You Waiting For?
It’s time to engage your audience and attract more families to your center with content marketing. While the most effective methods and strategies used to deliver quality content to potential customers are constantly evolving, the main principle remains the same — create a first-rate content marketing strategy based on trustworthy data.
If you are intrigued and want to learn more about content marketing for your child care center, get in touch with us today at Local Child Care Marketing.