Without daycare marketing and promotion, no one will know what makes your family daycare special. It’ll be much harder to fill empty spots.
And even though there are multiple ways to promote your daycare, today we’re going to list the most effective ones that you can start using immediately.
Local In-Home Daycare Marketing and Promotion
One big advantage to owning an in-home daycare is the fact that you’re local. Even though eCommerce is all the hype today, you have a lot more means of reaching customers.
The main thing to understand is who your audience is.
This means understanding what your (future) customers need, and what your daycare has to offer.
Additionally, understanding and targeting your audience also consists of factors such as:
- Age range of the parents
- Average incomes and careers
- Physical places they visit (e.g. which supermarket, public or private transport)
Understanding these factors about your audience can help you a lot. For example, if a lot of parents in your neighborhood buy in one supermarket, you want to advertise there – just like we did (and with a neat ad, too).
When it comes to local in-home daycare marketing and promotions, you have options such as:
- Eye-catching flyers
- Brochures with great photos
- Organizing or participating in events
- Teaming up with other local businesses to cross-promote
- Putting up lawn signs and sandwich boards
- Having open house days
- Make daycare merchandise
One of the biggest advantages of local marketing is that it feels more real than digital, and gives a bigger sense of security than seeing an ad on Facebook. This is especially true when it comes to daycares, where parents want their kids to be both safe and happy.
Your location can also be beneficial for your advertising and other marketing methods.
Digital In-Home Daycare Marketing and Promotion
Forget about Facebook for a second, and let’s stay on the topic of local.
You can do a lot by combining digital with local promotion.
The first most affordable thing you can do is search engine optimization (SEO) of your home daycare website.
Search Engine Optimization
If you have a website, make sure your customers can find it.
One of the easiest ways you can do this is by adding relevant keywords.
For example, if you’re using keywords like “home daycare” and “family daycare” on your website (as you probably are), mention your location more frequently than just in the “Where are we?” section.
So instead of just repeating “home daycare” across your website, mention:
- Your city, your area or your neighborhood (depending on the range of clients you can get)
- Notable locations around you
This will help Google index your site properly so if your daycare is in Manhattan and you mention it, parents in Manhattan who look for “daycares near me” or “home daycares in Manhattan” will be more likely to find you.
This is another instance of accurately targeting your customers, instead of targeting everyone who’s looking for home daycares across the world.
A great way to boost your SEO efforts is by blogging, so if you’ve got an opinion on popular topics related to (in-home) daycares, make sure you get your voice heard. And mention your location!
SEO is a low-cost method. In fact, you can even do it for free if you’ve got the time to set everything up and write your website content. You can expect results (a lot of parents looking for home daycares in your area) in a matter of months, especially if you’re doing your keyword research right.
If you want to fast-track your enrollments and you have an in-home daycare marketing and promotion budget, Google AdWords is a good advertising solution.
It relies on the same SEO methods, but your ads will always be displayed at the top of the page for the keywords you choose. So where you’d once have to wait a few months to appear highly in the results for “home daycare in Manhattan,” Google AdWords can get you there right away.
We’ve written a step-by-step Google AdWords guide for daycare promotion, so you can check it out and see how to optimize your ads for the best results.
Use Social Media for In-Home Daycare Marketing and Promotion
By now you’re probably realizing that even if you want to promote your family daycare digitally, you can still use your location to target your audience even more accurately (meaning you’ll get better results because you’re speaking to directly interested parents).
The same goes for social media. Most sites like Facebook and Instagram have geo-targeting features.
This means that you can show your ad just to people in your area. There’s no use showing it to people two towns over, and you’ll just have to pay a lot more for advertising. This way you’re making sure that your ad is only visible to people who are directly interested in home daycares in your area.
You can also use these geo-targeting features for free, and we’ll cover that right away with the most popular social networks.
The first thing you want to do is make a page for your home daycare on Facebook.
Most of the time you can’t use the pictures of children without the approval of parents, but you can still use great photos to show the atmosphere of your family daycare and promote it through that.
This is completely free, and so is participating in local parents’ Facebook groups.
Facebook groups can be a major resource for in-home daycare marketing and promotion, as well as audience research. It’s best not to start off to promotional in the beginning, and focus on offering value (answering questions, posting useful and informative content).
Later on, you can use these groups to announce any special offers, open house days, events or enrollment periods in your home daycare.
When it comes to social media, it’s important to show who you are as a person, and what you and your daycare stand for. That’s the best way to attract like-minded parents who’ll become your happy customers.
Instagram is a highly-visual social network so if you’ve invested in great daycare photos, now’s the time to show them.
Another very important part of Instagram are Stories, and even more – geo-targeted Stories.
Let’s say you’re posting a photo from your daycare as an Instagram Story.
If you use the location sticker, parents who are in your vicinity will see it in their Explore tab under the Stories from that location.
This is a completely free feature, even though you can splurge on ads, as well. However, it’s very effective for in-home daycare marketing and promotion even as a free option.
Social Media In-Home Daycare Marketing and Promotion Tips
1. Social media can be very entertaining and chances are, you use it in your daily life, too.
However, don’t get too carried away.
Your main priority with social media is targeting the customers in your location.
While you can do a lot by just posting and hashtagging photos, geo-targeted Stories are definitely the main way to reach your audience today.
You won’t be losing time by focusing on local features, either.
So remember: photos and content for fun, geo-targeting and groups for serious in-home daycare marketing and promotion.
2. Promote your events digitally.
Just because you’re hosting or participating in a local event doesn’t mean you can’t mention it on social media. Most events today have specialized hashtags and even if they don’t, you can tag the location and the name of the event.
Additionally, any parents who haven’t been sure so far about signing the contract now know where they can get more first-hand knowledge about your home daycare.
3. Spread the word.
Referrals are incredibly powerful, and word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective in-home daycare marketing and promotion tactics.
Motivate your happy customers to share their experience, both with their friends and online. Discounts and referral offers are also a very good way to get more kids in through the door.
And this leads us to…
Using Daycare Reviews to Promote Your Home Daycare
Parents love hearing other parents’ experiences with your home daycare, and you should use that as a part of your in-home daycare marketing strategy.
You can use the following tactics to get home daycare reviews:
- Motivate parents to leave daycare reviews by going out of your way to do something nice (like a special discount or offer)
- Add reminders to your review pages to your email newsletters or social media
- Give parents suggestions on what to address in their reviews (e.g. How do you feel about our drop-in daycare option?)
- Handle negative feedback gracefully
Before motivating parents to leave reviews, check with your legal counsel to see what your state’s policies and regulations are for soliciting reviews. In some cases, you can’t explicitly ask for a review. However, you can still do something nice and tastefully mention your social media and feedback.
To take your in-home daycare marketing and promotion even further, you can also promote positive reviews on your social media, either by posting them as separate posts and thanking the parents for the feedback, or using them for ads (with the parents’ permission).
Stay in Touch with Parents
Just because you gave a great home daycare tour and someone didn’t end up signing the contract doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up with them.
Parents sometimes take more time, which is exactly why you shouldn’t forget about them immediately.
Instead, you can stay in touch with them by:
- Inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter or follow you on social media
- Sending a follow-up email post-interview
- Adding them to a house list
We always recommend email marketing and creating newsletters to keep parents updated, because it’s very easy to solicit referrals, announce special promotions, events and changes in your daycare.
It’s both practical and profitable if you want to boost your enrollment. What’s even better is that it’s free, so you don’t have to make extra room in the budget. You can absolutely DIY it.
We’ve created a step-by-step PDF email marketing guide detailing how you can set up your home daycare newsletter, and motivate your customers to spread the word about your home daycare.
Use Software to Promote Your Family Daycare
We use tech for everything, so why not use it to fill your vacant spots?
Hopping In is software that shows your daycare’s availability to parents who need extra care. If their regular daycare is crowded or if they just need some extra hours, they can browse through the list of available daycares and book a spot.
If you’re struggling with enrollment and filling your empty spots, this can also be a great way to draw in new customers and offer something new. Daycare-on-demand is very popular these days, and with Hopping In, it doesn’t even have to be a logistical challenge.
Just post your available hours, let parents book a spot, and earn extra revenue. Who knows? If they like your daycare, they may just switch to a tuition plan with you.
Hopping In is also free – you’re only paying a small commission when parents book spots.
How to Promote Your Family Daycare?
In-home daycare marketing and promotion comes down to two things:
1) Understand your audience and know where they hang out (physically and digitally)
2) Be creative and show what makes you different
While we hope we left you with a lot of ideas you can try out right away, you should also remember that any promotion tactic is good as long as it meets your customers’ needs. The golden rule is:
If your audience is there, you should promote there.
Everything else is, as they say, child’s play.
For more advice, check out our Hopping In blog on child care business advice, and learn how to make your home daycare successful from day #1.
Author: Hopping In Blog
Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.
To contact him or for media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org