Running a childcare center can be one of the most profitable businesses due to high demand – everyone needs to enroll their kids somewhere! Back in 2017, the number of women choosing to stay in the workforce rather than stay at home grew by over 12%!
This number continues to go up as employers offer flexible working arrangements that allow parents to stay in the workforce. Add to this the support the federal government gives to the sector by spending billions in childcare subsidies, and you get the picture: more parents are choosing to both work rather than stay at home.
Now, this may sound promising to the childcare center business, but of course there’s a catch that every savvy business owner in the childcare sector should be aware of.
The boom in childcare business also caught the eyes of the major private firms. These big players joined the game putting small and medium businesses at a disadvantage. The big guys can afford to put bells and whistles in their facilities. Huge outdoor play spaces have become a norm. Some adapted a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) approach to their pre-school. There’s even a center in Victoria that offers café areas complete with barista-style coffee and food for the parents while their children attend yoga, language, technology, music and sports classes.
Small and medium-sized centers simply cannot compete with these huge, privately funded budgets. As a result, they see a decline in their enrolment.
Businesses that are operating in an area with an oversupply of childcare centers are barely hitting the breakeven point, which is not viable in operations.
How will they survive? Should they bite the bullet and play the game of the big players? Will investing in bells and whistles bring up their enrolment? This is doubtful because not only is it risky, but it also does not guarantee the parents will choose them. There are simply too many options out there for prospective parents.
Play The Game The Right Way
Enter: Digital Marketing. This secret weapon is essential for childcare businesses looking to get an edge in this highly competitive environment. There are plenty of proven digital marketing strategies that have worked in other sectors like finance, professional services, and ecommerce.
The best part (aside from a raging torrent of new leads and enrollment) however, is that you don’t need to do this by yourself. The right digital marketing agency can do the heavy lifting for you and advise on the strategies with highest return on investment. A digital marketing expert will have done this for other businesses, and you can rely on their expertise to deliver the same result for you.
In the childcare center business, we need to woo the parents. The strategy here is to let them go through a journey where they start learning about you and end up endorsing you to other parents. The journey has several steps, and a well-executed marketing program will guide them in each step until you reach your goal.
You’ll want parents to go through a journey that starts with awareness and ends with them endorsing or promoting the center to other parents.
There are several steps in this journey and the right program will guide parents along the way seamlessly and efficiently.
This is how the program looks like from the parent’s POV:
- 1Awareness – Parent sees an ad, hears about your childcare center via a referral, or finds you in a search,
- 2Engagement – Parent goes to your website, reads about you in a blog, or goes to your social media, etc.
- 3Sign-up – Parent joins your mailing list, signs up for a newsletter, downloads your promo materials, etc.
- 4Tour (Conversion) – Parent schedules a tour of your center.
- 5Excitement – Parent enjoys the tour.
- 6Advocate – Parent is pleased with your service and writes a glowing review about it/
- 7Promote – Parent talks you up with her co-parents and friends.
This type of strategy is bound to work because the journey provides the parents time and space to make small commitments and establish trust along the way. In each step, a digital marketing expert will use strategies that will provide value to parents - compelling them to continue the journey.
From the business owner’s perspective, this strategy can deliver a dramatic increase in leads (with the help of a digital marketing expert and a dedicated CRM, these leads can be delivered round the clock – even while you’re sleeping!) while saving hours of labor due to automation of your ads.
With digital marketing for your childcare center, you can & should enjoy automation of the following
- 1Enquires from the source of marketing
- 2Booking a tour email
- 3Missed tour follow up email
- 4Registration email
- 5Enrolment form
- 6Enrolment registration
In the childcare business, the goal of the marketing program is to increase enrolment and keep the enrollees happy. You want them to stay loyal to you so they will not be lured by the spanking new centers sprouting around. This can be done by building a fruitful relationship with the parents.
Get them excited about you, and once you have their attention, nurture their relationship. Show them why it is you who they should trust with their beloved children. This is how you stand strong in the tough business that is childcare services.
Setting up digital ads, whether it be social or Google to name a few, can be a time-consuming process. This doesn’t even encompass choosing the right strategy, split-tests, ongoing management and creative direction, which can all chew into your time – especially if they’re not optimized sufficiently.
This is why the best performing centers let the experts handle it! So, what are you waiting for? Contact our experienced and friendly marketing team today! Our experts here at Digital Junkies have a wealth of experience in the Childcare sector – learn how we can double & even triple your enrollment rates today!