During the pandemic, it’s often difficult to know what is going to happen next. And these are challenging times for most businesses – especially childcare centers. There are a few marketing strategies you can use to make it easier for your business. These include ways to help ensure parents of safety precautions. Such as rebranding your childcare center, and how to reach out to undecided parents and guardians.
Here are COVID-19 marketing strategies for your childcare center.
Making Parents Feel Secure
The first crucial aspect of your marketing strategy is to be sure that parents know what you are doing. And that means everything possible to keep them and their child safe. Do remember that if you closed since the pandemic, you are now in the position of recruiting your own previous clients. You want them to come back and bring others with them.
As we mentioned before in What Parents Are Looking For in Childcare Centers During COVID-19:
One of the most important things that parents and guardians will look for is the cleanliness of the center. This means proper disinfection procedures need to be in place. Including cleaning all high-contact surfaces such as tables, chairs, highchairs, and mats. Make these efforts happen as often as it takes before and after each use. Of course, the rest of the facility gets disinfected too. And special attention should be on kitchen areas. This includes eating utensils, drinking containers, and food preparation surfaces.
Another area to consider is paperless billing. This allows parents to pay their child’s tuition without human contact. It puts a spotlight on the fact that your childcare center is making every move possible to stop the spread. There are many options to do this such as billing software or no-contact credit card machines. Best of all, it’s convenient to use.
This encompasses more than what we mention here, but you get the idea. Parents need validation. To know that you dedicate your childcare center to stopping the spread of the virus. But how do you make that possible?
A few ideas include:
For those clients who get your newsletter, and we hope you are doing newsletters as part of your business model, include your plans inside . Showcase exactly the steps you are taking to keep things safer. Make it your dominant story and list the steps you are taking. Even if some don’t read it, others will take notice.
If you release a brochure or flyer for your program, include information about the steps that your center is taking to protect the community. This includes physical or digital means. Include a section named something like “New Coronavirus Prevention Measures.” Let guardians and parents know about your upgraded cleaning program. Teach them about changes to staff hygiene policies. And educate them on other measures to help build their confidence in your childcare center.
Remember all the emails you received at the start of the pandemic? Every store you have contact with (and some you don’t) sent you an email with what they are doing during the pandemic. It may have gotten overwhelming but parents will pay attention when it comes to their child’s health.
It also keeps your center in the back of their mind. Regardless if they are ready to have their child join again, you’re still on their radar. All it takes is a simple email once in a while. Don’t bombard them with tons of spam but do keep them in touch with what the daycare center is doing.
For current members of your daycare center, signage is an excellent way to post the cleaning methods. It should be easily seen and near the front entrance door if possible. This will be one of the first things parents or guardians see when they drop off their child. This reminds them you focus on the concerns of the child’s health. Not to mention the health of the staff and administration.
Rebranding and the Prospect’s Perspective
Look at any childcare center during this time, and what do you see? You probably see those shouting from the rooftops their caring environment. You may hear that a certain daycare states they have the best teachers or staff. Some may go a step further and claim they are the cleanest. While these factors are ones parents are interested in, they are the same things that most childcare centers offer.
Look at it from your customer or prospective customer’s point of view. What do you see at your own childcare center? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- How sanitary is your school?
- What can you do different that makes a big difference?
- What kind of social distancing measures are in place?
- How do children play and interact with these measures of staying apart?
- Most important, what do you offer that not every else has?
For rebranding, there are also things you can do to bring new life to your existing childcare center. One such thing is to revamp your website. Make it up to date with new things going on and include what you’re doing to help keep COVID-19 at bay. If you cannot afford a whole new website, consider making minor changes that stand out. Change out the photos or the color palette. Make sure your SEO keywords are current with relevant new ones added.
A great idea is to have documentation on your website such as a parents resources area. This may include anything from paperwork needed for intake to learning materials that parents find helpful.
Make sure every page has a call to action, so it is easy for potential clients to tap the button and contact you. If you can add review videos – go for it. Even a video from you may set their mind at ease. It allows them to know you take this pandemic seriously and will do everything you can to ensure the health of your students.
What you must do is make your presence known. You do not have to repaint the building or rename your childcare center. But you do need to bring a fresh outlook so that there is that one thing that prospects like and want to hear more about.
Reaching Out to Prospective Clients
Reaching out to potential new clients may seem daunting but there are a few rules to help you navigate these uncharted waters. For example, as mentioned above, change up your marketing plan and create a fresh look.
Engage with your local community. Having the back of a business may mean that business has your back too. Not only that, but seen as part of the community keeps your business in the client’s immediate space. And that is always a good thing.
Don’t constantly focus on the pandemic. Yes, you want everyone to know that you are aware of what needs to be done for a safe place but too much can be a downer. People know what’s going on in the world right now. So, as long as you have the basics in signage, marketing materials, and your website – it doesn’t have to be in their face. And use humor sparingly. We all need a friendly laugh about right now but keep in mind that people have lost loved ones, have sick family members, or have lost their job. You don’t want to come across as blase or uncaring.
Last But Not Least
The pandemic is a global situation so there are many others just like you. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Because your clients probably are feeling quite overwhelmed themselves. As long as you follow these tips and create an atmosphere of your childcare center being on top of things, this will help you in gaining new clients and keeping your current ones.
A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. Michael LeBoeuf, American Business Person
Whether you are reopening your childcare center or want to make the right changes, these are game-changing tips. If you need help with the accounting part of your childcare business, we are here for you. Schedule a call with us today and let us make your business better equipped to handle the new normal.