On Brand and On Budget
Marketing your Daycare to a New Generation of Parents
Running your daycare center takes time, energy and lots of creative budgeting. If you haven’t got the know-how, how will you know if you’re managing your daycare’s marketing in the most brand-effective and cost-effective way–or even where to begin?
The following list provides you with more than a roadmap–it offers specific tools and initiatives that include tried-and-true marketing practices and swipe-savvy strategies for engaging the new generation of parents and caregivers. Take a little time to browse, select and implement because these days, a little time goes a long way in taking your daycare’s marketing to the next level of success.
It’s imperative to get your team’s creative juices flowing with regular brainstorming sessions related to marketing your child care center. This is the only way to increase awareness and see enrollment.
– Ivy Newman, The Viney Group
Host an Event
Still the reigning champ of marketing, “showing off” puts you in control of what potential clients see, hear and experience. Online galleries and active social channels are great ways to invite parents to the party, but nothing beats experiencing your center live, in real time. Creative info-sessions and meet and greets – where you can offer parents face-to-face answers to meaningful questions, while allowing them to walk around and enjoy the physical space – let parents get to know your center in an informal, inviting atmosphere.
Pro Tip: Choose events and activities that both engage the children you care for, and resonate with the parents you serve:
- Open House
- Parents Meet & Greet
- Parents Bring a Friend Day
Quick check list: Leave a sign-in sheet at the entrance of each event and make sure you have plenty of business cards, flyers and registration forms readily available. Having ample staff on hand, when possible, to assist parents with questions and accommodations enhances your center’s overall presentation and amps up professionalism.
Grow and Refine your Social Media Presence
Creating active and engaged social media channels is one of the best ways for your daycare center to reach millennial clients. The new generation of parents and guardians increasingly looks to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter when researching products and services for their families.
These research trends focus on deep dives, not just scans and quick browses. Parents carefully research daycare facilities and seek out reviews so they can feel more comfortable leaving their children in someone else’s care. Work that trend to your advantage. By participating in conversation threads, responding to reviews and regularly posting content, you’ll increase your center’s organic discoverability and let parents know you’ve mastered the art of anywhere-engagement.
Encourage Parents to Spread the Word
- Encourage your parents to spread the word
- Equip them with flyers
- Create an incentivize them with special offers. “For every new parent, you get” your child gest aftercare twice a week”
Loud, happy parents are perhaps the most effective child care marketing strategy. Referrals not only bring in business, they build trust–which is the number-one make-or-break feature of the successful child care center.
Since word of mouth can transform your enrollment figures, why not reward parents for speaking out on your behalf? Referral rewards can be a great tool to get parents talking up all the unique features and benefits your daycare center offers. Incentivize referrals with special offers for each new signup, and equip your most enthusiastic parents with flyers to post and pass out around the neighborhood. To encourage word-of-mouth marketing, make sure you have a highly effective communication plan in place so parents feel they’re kept in the loop. Engaged parents are happy parents!
Pro Tip: Child care providers require training and professional development in order to adopt and implement best practices for keeping children healthy, safe and thriving. Ongoing training opportunities also help spark creativity among providers and boost center-wide morale.
Dust Off Your Brand
It’s 2019–time to revisit that logo from 1996. A fresh look at your logo, graphic themes, parent-facing copy and photos can give you insight into what you may want to rework before the next season of registration. Have a website? Revamp it. Need a website? A number of programs offer easy drag-and-drop builders for free or a low-cost fee. Make sure you’re showcasing your best features both visually–with photos and videos–and through sharp, pithy webcopy. Need a little help with the handiwork? Budget for an affordable designer, developer or copywriter, and find one who fits that budget by browsing Upwork, Fiverr and other freelance gig depositories.
Pro Tip: The most effective branding includes a logo and graphic theme that’s consistent across platforms, and one that’s attractive and eye-catching. Play around with slogans and taglines to increase brand resonance.
Get Wise: Advertise
The bread and butter of marketing campaigns always has been smart, effective advertising. Your center may benefit more from online ads or community message board engagement, or you may want to go the traditional route of posting flyers around town–in churches, grocery stores, community centers and mail rooms–or taking out an ad in your neighborhood newsletter.
Pro Tip: Whatever format and platform you choose for advertising your daycare center, keep those benefits at the forefront of the ad copy. Don’t force parents to search for the critical information they need and want.
by Ivy Newman
As a marketing consultant, Ivy concentrates on strategically working with executives and business owners on solutions for structuring and creatively implementing the right marketing plan to increase business. The brainstorming process is her favorite activity when engaging clients.