If you ask any childcare professionals or early educators what their top-five channels for marketing are, among that list will be word-of-mouth marketing or referrals. Word of mouth marketing may naturally be down right now due to the pandemic. Social distancing prevents parents and guardians from socializing, where many organic conversations occur about childcare and parenting. There are many ways you can maintain—and improve—word of mouth marketing right now.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you improve word of mouth marketing during the pandemic—and beyond!
Leverage third-party review websites.
Since many parents won’t be socializing in-person, they may look to review websites to hear firsthand experiences about your center. There are websites like Google and Facebook where families can leave reviews, but also childcare-specific websites like Winnie. Many families may not realize how important reviews are; consider reaching out to your families directly to ask them to write a review for you and including a request in the newsletters you send out. ChildcareCRM has a whole host of ideas about how to increase reviews for your center.
Offer an incentive program for referrals.
Offering an incentive to your families or employees for referrals can help increase the number of referrals you receive. You can consider offering a small tuition credit that can be applied to their account or even a small swag item, like a branded coffee mug or t-shirt.
Give your parents an elevator pitch about your center.
Tell your parents how important word-of-mouth marketing is for your center. Give them what to say about your center by sharing a written elevator pitch with them. An elevator pitch is a brief overview of your center and the value you deliver to families (you should be able to summarize your center, target audience and value in the time a short elevator trip would take). This will help your parents accurately speak to the important aspects of your center. If you pride your center on your personalized attention or if you have a special curriculum, mention this in your elevator pitch.
Encourage your parents to share their experiences on social media.
Millennial parents use social media more than any other parent-aged generation. Encourage parents to share their child’s artwork on their social media accounts or share special events that your center hosts. You can ask them to tag your center’s social media accounts too, which can help increase your followers.
Run a contest or game on social media.
By running a contest or game on social media, you can increase your center’s followers and engage your audience. You can run a contest and ask followers to tag a friend to be entered into a prize. You could also quiz your followers by asking a question about early education and having them guess the answer (and tag a friend who may know). You can offer a small prize to the winners or partner with a brand to offer something more substantial.
While word-of-mouth marketing and referrals from parents may be a challenge while many families are social distancing, there are ways to leverage this channel and subsequently increase your enrollment.
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.