In our recent fall planning webinar, we discussed how children’s educational businesses can provide flexibility and extend their services to include private lessons and small group registration options for pods. The ultimate goal? To support families as they face the overwhelming decision making ahead, and inspire a love of learning in the process.
In 1989, the film ‘Field of Dreams’ made famous the old adage that says, “If you build it, they will come.” Behind this statement is the idea that if you build a product — such as a business or tool — your audience will find it. Although in reality that statement may skip over a few steps, a great business always begins with a building process. If you’ve built and launched a schedule for fall, you’re one step ahead of the game! Now, you need to spread the word about your activities. While some of your loyal customers will register on their own, most families need an extra nudge and friendly reminder.
When it comes to promoting your business, start with free marketing channels, such as social media platforms, email, online business listings, and most importantly, your website. Looking to grow your customer list? Check out our article on leveraging your existing marketing channels to increase your customer list.
If you’re testing options for the upcoming season, updating your policies, or overhauling your existing business to offer online programs, you’ll want to revisit your marketing materials and website to put your best foot forward for fall.
Let’s get digital! If you’re already a Sawyer provider, you have our widget on your website which makes finding and booking activities easy for parents. Consider going above and beyond by creating a digital booklet, brochure, or menu of services for families so they can see how you fit into their options for fall. Supplemental brochures can help provide an extra layer of detail for premium services like small group classes and private lessons. Use low cost design tools like Canva, Creative Market and Stencil to get inspiration and access easy to edit design templates. Creating digital materials allows you to easily share with customers through email links, downloadable PDFs, and on your marketing channels.
Your supplemental marketing materials are a tangible way for customers to quickly browse and find what they are looking for. You’ll want to give context to brand new customers and include a little about who you are, what your company offers, and why they should choose you. For existing customers, you’ll want an easy way for them to navigate through the options such as a table of contents to help them go directly to services by category or age group.
Here are some additional tips to keep
- Highlight new activities and offerings by putting them front and center
- Keep pricing and policy information accurate and up-to-date
- Create a narrative using imagery and clear CTAs (call to action)
- Incorporate customer testimonials and quotes from reviews
- Use hyperlinks to direct customers to key pages on your website
- Showcase your team by adding in photos and bios
- Target your audience - if you want to attract specific customers, make sure your materials speak to the way your business meets their needs.
- Promote how you support pods - from space rental, private group classes, and more
- Offer schedules that work with local school hybrid learning
- Feature options for larger companies looking to support their employees and their families
- Looking to work with PTAs, school boards, or other parent groups - show how your offerings would benefit their families and school
The key to smart marketing is efficiency! Once you’ve gathered all of the materials to create your digital booklet or menu of services, you can easily apply the same process to make strategic updates to your website. No need to reinvent the wheel - a few small changes can improve the overall customer experience and help you spread the word about the exciting changes you’ve made for your business.
When someone first arrives on your website, what do they see? Is it clear what you offer and the audience you serve? Are you clear on the age groups you specialize in, location, category of offerings? Your homepage is prime digital real estate - keep it simple! You only get one chance to make a great first impression - avoid using too many colors, fonts, or text heavy explanations which can overwhelm a customer at first glance. The function of your homepage is to articulate a little bit about your business and entice a potential customer to go deeper into your offerings. The overall goal of your website is to create clear paths and actions for customers to take - whether they make a purchase, add themselves to your mailing list, or request more information.
Your website should be kept as up-to-date as possible to help with SEO. New customers are searching for businesses like yours so be sure to claim your Google My Business page and keep online listings accurate with any updates you’ve made since Covid-19.
Here are some additional tips to give your website a boost this fall:
- Keep customers in the loop using your widget banner
- Maintain a Covid-19 updates page to include policies and safety measures
- Feature new offerings on your homepage with quick links to learn more
- Highlight search words that are top of mind for parents - private lessons, pod learning, virtual classes, in-person classes, and outdoor classes (to name a few)
- Grow your marketing list by adding email collection opportunities on site
- Merchandise offerings by popular ages, locations, or service types using widgets
- Audit your activity listings to make sure they are titled appropriately and include enough context for new customers
We hope you’ve been inspired to take steps forward this fall! Whether you’re offering private lessons, supporting pods through space rental or extracurricular options, safely reopening in-person classes, testing outdoor learning, or revamping your pricing strategy, remember that anything new relies on a thoughtful plan to activate your customer base.