Another session is coming up and you are going to open enrollment at your facility. Do you have a plan to market your business?
It’s probably not a best practice to open enrollment and just trust that parents will show up to turn their children into your students. Unfortunately, there are no Field of Dream moments in business. Business requires marketing.
This blog post isn’t about whether you should market – or not. It’s about how you should do it.
Why marketing your business in important
There may be more reasons to market your business but here are 2 good ones:
- You want to be the first of your kind to introduce yourself to your area’s parents.
- You want to show parents that you are the best choice for providing activities for their children.
We’ve put together some considerations for you that we gathered from Jackrabbit clients and resources from Jackrabbit partners. Paired with our own experiences as marketing professionals who are familiar with the benefits of cloud-based management software, these tips are sure to help you create a successful marketing strategy for your business.
What you should market your business
The easy answer is ‘because it’s your business.’ Well, yes. You market your business, but there are things about your business that will appeal to prospects and solidify relationships with current customers – and you should include them in your marketing strategy, too.
How great your program is. You have integrated your organization’s personality into your program and that will set it apart from others in your market – if you promote it.
How impressive your instructors are. You hire good instructors who may have impressive resumes that would impact parents’ decisions for their child’s activities – if your promote them.
How affordable your classes are. More than 50 percent of parents say they would consider more activities if they were more affordable.
How much value what you teach brings to their children. Parents want affordability, but they also want to get the best for their investment.
How fun and fantastic your program is. Social media is a great way to share what is amazing about your program and facility.
9 ways you should market yourself
- Email – According to Neilpatel, email marketing technology is used by more than 80 percent of B2B and B2C companies.
- Newsletters – Because of the substantial amount of information that newsletters can deliver, they are considered to be one of the easiest ways to create awareness around products and services.
- Social media advertising (especially Facebook and Instagram) – 77.6 percent of small businesses use social media to promote their business and Facebook is far and away the top platform used, as far as digital ads go. Those advertising locally on Facebook see an average ROI of 152 percent.
- Word of mouth – Most businesses use word of mouth marketing and don’t even realize that it is part of their marketing strategy. A recommendation from someone who has had a positive experience with a business is the best marketing tool available to them. About 62 percent of consumers search online for reviews and information before making a purchase and 90 percent believe brand recommendations from friends.
- Ads in local publications – People perceive your business differently when they see you in print ads than they do when they see you in online ads.
- Printed brochures – There is credibility in the tactile format of printed marketing materials that online components cannot accomplish.
- Tools offered in cloud-based class management software – Because you can integrate and automate with software, it is a no-brainer for marketing small business.
- Competitors – Relationships with your market competitors can provide you with valuable information for positioning your business and can also yield referral students.
- Partners – Building partnerships gives you the opportunity to work with others who target your project base to deliver a combined greater value.
Who should you market to?
Prospects – This list comes from those you collect from birthday party attendance, open classes and community event participation. Jackrabbit Technologies’ lead file provides a place for you to collect leads from various sources so that you can easily market to them.
Past customers – This list should be easy to obtain from your cloud-based class management software. In fact, you can use the previously mentioned lead file to move past customers to after you feel relatively certain they aren’t coming back for the next session. You may want to version marketing components directed to past customers since they are already familiar with your organization.
Current customers – You should continue to market to your families – even if they are active. Be sure to version your marketing components so the message fits their relationship with you and doesn’t make them feel as though the email, newsletter, mailed brochure or personal Facebook message – was a mistake.
Moms – Remember that mom is the #1 influence in the household choice of enrolling a child in an activity.
Considerations to make when marketing your business
Prospective family profile – If you know what the families that could be your customers are like, you can tailor your marketing strategy to their necessities, likes and dislikes, habits and routines.
Market demographics – Knowing the ethnic, professional and financial breakdown of those you’re potentially providing services to is critical to your marketing strategy in determining how you market and message to them.
Fit your resources – Look at the list of how you should market as options, not requirements. You don’t have to do them all! It’s better for you to do fewer of them well than to attempt more than you have the resources (human or financial) to accomplish.
Marketing is more than a few shots in the dark
Marketing will help you get the attention of your target market if you think about what your business needs, create and execute on a realistic plan and track your results so you know where tweaks need to be made.
Marketing is your catalyst for growth
Looking back on your marketing results will show you how your efforts spark interest in your business, establish your brand, bring new students in and retain existing ones. And these growth components are definitely what fuels your business growth.