Here are a few simple ideas that can help build awareness in your community.
1. Host an Event
If you are a new school in the area, you might try an event that is open to the public, no RSVP required. The goal here is to let folks see your facility and just know you are there. Event ideas might include an open house, a BBQ or an arts fair. The idea is a low-pressure way for families to see your school while spending quality time with their family.
If your school has been around for a while, you may want to focus on events that build your credentials in early education. That might be a workshop on some aspect of parenting or a guest speaker on some early education topic that appeals to parents — dealing with tantrums, ideas to improve eating habits, biting etc.
In all cases, be sure to have materials parents can take away, such as brochures and registration forms. Give a special gift to the children, such as playdough, flubber or a small plant. Also, you can use the events to collect emails, so that you can touch base in the future. You can use a page on a clipboard or have parents enter their own emails directly into IntelliKid Systems to save time.
2. Promote Your Business Whenever You Communicate
Parents are everywhere. And so, every communication is an opportunity. Is your school name, contact details and either logo or brief description on all of your correspondence? Your email signatures should include your school logo or description, including a link to your website.
3. Engage on Social Media
Another effective child care marketing tactic is to contribute to online conversations in social networks that reach parents.
Social media is powerful. An absolute must-have for early learning centers is a Facebook page. At a minimum, use it to keep your community informed on your key dates and events — when your school year starts, etc. It is also an easy way to be found, should one of your clients recommend you — if they have “liked” your page, they can simply share it with others.
Beyond that, social media offers a chance for you to create a brand and a voice. Communicate this through the articles you might share or like, and through how you interact on your page. For instance, it could be a professional tone, a warm and nurturing tone, or a lighthearted and cheerful tone. Your community can learn a lot about you and your school from your online presence.
4. Encourage Referrals
Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool for most child care services but how do you get parents to talk about you? A motivator can be a parent referral program. Offer a free week for referring families and a free registration fee for new families. Make sure that you are promoting your referral programs to all your enrolled families.