Did you know that 8 out of 10 consumers use the Internet to research local businesses and that 72% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?[i] Web results have tremendous influence on most people’s buying decisions, especially moms with young children. This means that for child care providers and preschool directors like you, using online marketing to create a great online presence is more important than ever.
What is online marketing? Online marketing refers to a set of tools and strategies used for promoting your services on the Internet to get people to learn about your child care program and convert those “leads” into “sales”. Unlike print (offline) marketing, which can be very costly, online marketing is by far the most cost-effective way to reach a wide audience and spread the word about you.
Does your child care program have a good online presence? If not, don’t despair! To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of the must-have online child care marketing strategies:
- Get a well-designed website. Your website is your image and can say a lot about you and your child care program. First impressions are always key, and in today’s world, it’s likely that parents’ first impression of you will be your website. Be sure to have an easy to navigate design and up to date website with a clear call to action. Images, particularly photos of children, are a great way to attract prospective new parents, but be sure to get written permission from parents before posting photos on the web. Note that poor design and bad grammar can do a lot of harm to your image, so be sure to carefully craft your content.
- Create a profile in an online directory. If you don’t have a website yet (or even if you do), use a website like CareLuLu to create a beautiful professional profile for your child care center or family child care. It’s very easy and it’s completely free! Listing your child care in a business directory offers you greater online exposure, but keep in mind that not all directories are free. As mentioned earlier, spend time writing a nice description of your home daycare or preschool as well as the services you offer, since poorly written profiles can reflect badly on your program.
- Use social media to promote your business. A recent study revealed that the most active social media users are mothers with young children. Moms with children under 5 are twice as likely as the general population to use social media.[ii] They’re also very receptive to online advertising and Facebook is overwhelmingly their preferred social-media network. In light of this, it’s critical for child care providers to have a Facebook page in order to engage with your target audience. It’s quick and simple to create one, just follow Facebook’s instructions.
- Start (and regularly contribute to) a blog. As an alternative to a website (or ideally in addition to a website), you should create a blog for your child care business. A blog allows you to more actively engage with your audience since visitors can leave comments that you can reply to. To be worthwhile, however, it’s important to update your blog regularly with fresh new content. Tumblr and Blogger are two of the top rated free websites for creating a blog.
- Use email marketing. Email marketing is terrific for small budgets and allows you to maintain contact with your current as well as prospective parents. Email marketing allows you to keep your network of contacts up to date on your business and child care activities, including upcoming events and promotions you may be offering. Be sure to keep your email blasts concise, relevant to your audience, and to the point. Mailchimp and ConstantContact are some of the top rated services for email marketing and newsletters.
Having an online presence not only helps prospective parents find you, but also shows them that you are a serious and professional child care business. If you’re not yet marketing your childcare online, you are losing out on potential new clients and revenue. If you’re ready, feel free to reach out to the CareLuLu team and we’ll be happy to help you get started!
What is CareLuLu?
CareLuLu helps child care providers and preschools fill their openings while helping parents find the perfect early learning environment for their children. Founded by parents with experience in marketing & technology, CareLuLu is an interactive platform that makes it easy for both parents and child care providers to find each other. Click here to list your child care program for free and get enrollments!