When I was a Director and my center was small, I did everything in my power to help it grow. I put up fliers around town, talked with the local schools, and asked around with our current families. I managed to grow the After School portion of our program from 20 to over 160 in only a few years.
I find marketing very interesting because it’s always changing. My friend and coworker at Sandbox is well versed in marketing, and he says, “marketing trends are constantly evolving, and you continuously need to adopt new strategies.”
A significant part of my role at Sandbox includes the creation of content. I work to provide helpful content for both Sandbox Customers and anyone with questions in the child care space. I have never studied marketing in school, however, with many years of experience in the child care business and by speaking with our customers, I know what would benefit them.
Today I want to share with you my vision for using content marketing for your child care center. I believe in the impact that content marketing can have on your business and think that all centers should at least give it a try.
Customer: First, before I give you my ideas on ways to develop content marketing for your center, we need to define who your targeting. In the child care, preschool, and after school market, parents are your customers. The parents aren’t the ones in our care, but they are the ones paying for our service; therefore they will be our main focus when creating content.
Here are 3 ways you can use content marketing in your center:
Start a Blog
Hosting a Blog for your childcare center is relatively easy to do and can draw families into your center. The focus of this blog should be a mix of what would benefit current families at your center and also families who don’t attend your center at all. The key is to build out content that will provide value to both.
A Few Blog Ideas:
- Separation Anxiety, how to encourage your child to drop off without a fuss
- 10 Ways to promote learning in the home
- How to balance child care and being a mom
- 5 Ways to get involved at our center this year
- How to build a relationship with your child’s teacher
- Sensory for toddlers
As you can see, there are numerous topics you can cover, and the list could go on forever. When thinking about what to write, there are two great questions to ask yourself. “Does it provide value?” and “Would I read it?” If your answer to both is yes, then you are ready to get started!
When you are thinking about starting a blog, you may be thinking, “I am so busy, how would I ever have time to write a blog for our center?” My answer is, “don’t do it alone!” Ask your team to help you; it’s an excellent way for teachers to get involved in your program. Have fun with it, and don’t limit yourself by doing it all alone.
Do you already have a blog? Check out this article – HubSpot’s Blog Team on How to Be a Better Blogger.
Create Video Content
For the nonreaders and visual learners, video is HUGE! Video is undoubtedly more time consuming, however, it is a great way to step up your content game. We have found that our videos have significantly increased the amount of interaction our content has received. Maybe you start by posting a short clip introducing your blog post as I did, and then build from there. Video content doesn’t have to be scary, have fun with it.
Here at Sandbox, we like to develop a video for our blog posts. Honestly, this helps me stay focused when creating video content. When I go in for filming, I simply pull up the blog I have written, and we film each section of that blog for the video. This strategy has worked great for me so far.
Tips to help you create quality videos:
- Build a video structure to organize content
- Use a coach
- Practice makes perfect
- Don’t be hard on yourself, you have to start somewhere
Host a Parent Forum
A Parent Forum provides a place for parents to communicate with each other openly. When hosting this as a center, you learn more about your customers and their concerns. Then you can periodically share content that you have created to provide value.
Keep in mind; this doesn’t have to be exclusive to parents from your center. Add in your prospects and anybody else who may be interested.
Utilizing a forum in this way provides a great learning opportunity, increased communication, and a great way to distribute the content you have been working so hard on.
Things to remember when hosting a parent forum:
- Keep it an open group
- Limit the number of times your using it for marketing
- Remember the key is value for families
- Sharing other valuable posts from other organizations is also great
I hope that reading this post help make you less intimidated by content marketing. It doesn’t need to be complicated, keep it simple, and give it a shot. When trying to find a place to start, let your imagination do the work.
I find that creating content can be an excellent outlet for me. When you’re passionate about your work, it is always ten times better.