5 tips for marketing childcare businesses
Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of frazzled parents hoping to catch a bit of a break every now and then.
Even for a few hours, it’s “Thank you very much, please care for my children.” That’s the reality of childcare.
We all love our kids, but they do give parents a trying time every now and then. On a pure sanity-retaining level, childcare allows parents to get some respite, repair the furniture, wipe the crayon off the walls and find the cat.
On a more holistic level, childcare offers the chance to get kids interacting with other kids on a regular basis. It also opens new doors for kids to learn skills parents may not have the capacity or technology to teach them at home.
So where does that leave you and your childcare business?
Well, let’s face it; you won’t be the only childcare business out there, even in your local area. Childcare is a growing industry (no pun intended). The internet has expanded our career horizons and made us all more aware and informed about less mainstream opportunities. Childcare is enjoying a boom as a result.
So how do you devise a marketing plan for your childcare business and make your business care more in the eyes of the parental masses?
One: Build a website
There’s no escaping it; this is the digital age and the only way to get customers is online.
By all means, potter about in your local papers with classified ads and distribute home-produced letterbox drops. After all, you’re targeting all the right people.
But remember, these are people who do most, if not all their shopping online in a glossy, interactive and instantaneous world. There's no knowing how they’ll react to your quaint A4 folded flyer in Times New Roman? There’s no getting past it and yes, it seems crazy, but no prospects one house away or one block away will take you seriously unless you say 'hi' in cyberspace first.
And that means a professional website. It doesn’t have to be costly, there are plenty of cheap but professional templates to create the right look without enlisting far from cheap web designers.
A few tips for your site: Keep it clean and engaging with bold, catchy headlines, appealing images, snappy copy and clear calls to action. List all your services and facilities in short, sharp bullet points.
Two: Crank up your search engines
Your what? Basically, that means getting your childcare site searchable on Google. You want to be smiling wide and welcoming on the first page of any Google search. For that, you’ll need an SEO specialist.
Three: Spread the net
To really get noticed online and crank up your Google rankings, you need to join all the relevant local business directories – True Local, Yelp, Whereis, Yellow Pages. That’s where a lot of people will look for childcare.
Four: Get noticed on social media
Facebook and LinkedIn will be your main priorities, but you can add Twitter if you’re already active. Facebook will be your biggest source of potential business, particularly amongst your existing network of friends.
But don’t just use your personal page to promote your new business. Set up a professional business page and then invite friends to like your page and share it. You can then run highly targeted ad campaigns on Facebook to promote your business to Facebook users in your surrounding suburbs. It’s cheap and it works.
Five: Create a point of difference
Research your competitors; find out what they offer in the way of care, surroundings, amenities, amusements, education, timing and pricing. If you’ve got a larger than average play area, sell it. If you’ve got special child-friendly features in place, sell it. If you’re able to offer the same as everyone else for less, sell it.
For more childcare marketing tips, read this article about ‘5 Child Care Marketing Strategies to Set You Apart from the Competition.’