Marketing is key to growing your childcare business, attracting new families, and retaining staff members. When you can effectively market your business and showcase your brand, you’re building trust with your families, staff and anyone your center serves.
By having an established brand, prospective and current families will find more value in your center. Once your brand is established, you can showcase it using various marketing techniques. Many marketing techniques come at little to no cost and don’t have to be time-consuming. Using free tools and platforms to improve your marketing efforts, your childcare center can reach a wide audience and garner more interest from potential families.
In this post, we’ll outline how to build a brand for your childcare center or preschool and increase enrollment by improving your marketing efforts.
Building a Brand for Your Childcare Center
Your brand ecompasses everything a potential customer will see, think and associate with your center. Using marketing techniques, you can showcase your brand to help your target audience identify your center(s).
Create Your Center’s Mission, Vision and Values
The easiest way to understand and build your brand is by outlining your center’s mission and vision.
This is where you’ll define your center’s core values and what your center aspires to be. Here, you can highlight any differentiators your center has from other centers in the area.
Your center’s or centers’ mission is what you strive to achieve on a daily basis. This is where your business is currently. It speaks to what your goals are right now and how you serve families. For example, Kangarootime’s mission is: To help childcare centers focus on what’s most important—the children. We help center owners and childcare leaders focus on investing in their employees, connecting with parents and growing their business.
Your vision should be far-reaching and speak to how you want to impact the greater community or industry. This is where you want to be in the next 3-5 years and what you strive for. Since this is a long-term achievement, it’s ok for it to be vague. Kangarootime’s vision is to redefine childcare for business owners and families to make it the very best it can be—making it easier, kinder, more connected and more joyful.
Here are some questions to think about when creating your mission and vision:
- What do you currently offer families that you excel at?
- At a high level, what do you do on a daily basis at your center?
- What do you hope to offer families?
- What are your long-term goals?
- How do you want to impact your community or the greater early childhood industry?
- Does your center have a special theme or feature?
Your core values are values that guide your business; they speak to how you interact with families and the type of behavior you expect from your employees. These will help you when you are making hiring decisions and will also help when you do employee reviews. They will also give families an idea of the type of culture to expect at your center.
Here are some questions to think about when creating your center’s core values:
- What type of work environment do you want to create?
- What’s important to you as a manager or to your managers/directors?
- How do you want your employees to feel about working at your center?
- How do you want families to feel about your directors and teachers?
These questions will help you define your core values which will serve as a blueprint for what your center stands for. As an example, Kangarootime’s core values are: kindness, thoughtfulness, resilience, relentlessness and integrity. Through these values, our team understands our company focus and knows how to present themselves everyday. Once you understand what is most important to you and your center, you can outline your values and goals. Make a conscious effort to stick to these values and goals daily at your center.
Improving Marketing Efforts at Your Childcare Center
Utilize Social Media
Social media is the easiest and most cost-effective way to connect to your audience. By using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and more, you can connect with prospective families and share everyday happenings at your center. This will help you form a connection with families and can be a great tool when promoting your brand.
To make using social media more efficient, try using a free scheduling tool like Buffer to schedule out social media posts far in advance. Buffer only allows you to schedule on one social media account for free so depending on your usage it may be worth investing in a membership.
For more insight on using social media along with specific tips for each platform, read this article from Kangarootime.
Optimize Your Website
If you haven’t already, build a website for your center on a platform like Squarespace as this will be where families go to interact with your center.
Make sure your website is optimized and up to date with your most recent offerings, contact information, tour dates, etc. To make it even easier for potential families to inquire about your center, offer multiple lead forms throughout your website.
Your website is the perfect place to highlight your brand with your vision, mission and core values. Consider making this a separate page on your website.
Finally, make sure potential families can find your site by focusing on SEO (search engine optimization). Including commonly searched words and phrases like “daycare”, “childcare center”, “early learning center”, and your location within your site will help the right people find your website. You can even ask your families what they searched when looking for a childcare center, which will help you to know what works to use on your website. For more information on SEO, click here to read Moz’ Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Utilize a CRM
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform will help you better manage leads, tours, and potential families. A CRM also gives you the tools to set up effective email marketing. Here you’ll be able to set your leads up on drip campaigns so they don’t lose sight of your business. For more information on drip campaigns, check out this blog post from ChildcareCRM. Email marketing can be an effective way to keep prospective customers engaged and convert them to actual customers for your business.
Start a Blog
A blog will help boost your website traffic and can be great for SEO which we mentioned earlier. Here you can publish resources for prospective families looking for childcare. To make it easier, post information that is well within your realm of knowledge whether that’s activities to do with children or guides on choosing the right childcare center. This helps build your brand, increase website traffic, and boost enrollment at your center.
Host and Sponsor Events
Promote your center by hosting and sponsoring events within your community. These could be fundraisers for your center, open houses, happy hours, etc. These events can be simple, low-budget and a low-pressure way for prospective families to get involved.
Reach out to your current families and staff members for referrals. To help increase results, try offering an incentive like a gift card or tuition credit. Reviews are also a great way to garner interest in your center. Encourage those within your network to promote your center through reviews, referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
By using these tips and strategies you’ll be able to build a brand for your childcare business and improve your marketing efforts.
Kangarootime is the leading all-in-one childcare management software for daycares and preschools. With billing and invoicing capabilities, parent communication and staff management tools and classroom automation, Kangarootime helps childcare centers grow and scale. To learn more about optimizing your center with Kangarootime, visit kangarootime.com