Just like the food industry, the childcare industry is one that will be here for years to come. As kids are always being born working parents will require a home away from home for their little ones
A daycare center is a place where supervision is given to kids during the day while their parents are at work. Just like any other business , it is important for daycare centers to have an online presence and a digital marketing strategy that will help them with the growth of their business.
Here is a guide on how to create a digital marketing plan for your daycare business.
1.Conduct a situation analysis
When conducting a situation analysis the SWOT analysis framework is used. This allows businesses to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Once a business has done this, they will be able to find their competitive advantage , business opportunities and think about ways to reduce the impact of their threats.
When it comes to daycare centers it is essentially important to conduct a SWOT analysis to identify the current state of the business and identify where change can be made. Below are what a SWOT analysis of a daycare center business could look like.
- A strength could be having qualified and skilled educators.
- A weakness could be not offering lunch to kids or having shorter operating hours.
- An opportunity would look like expanding the business by taking on older age groups and offering after care services.
- A threat could be another daycare center in the area or the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. Identify your target audience.
Like any other business, identifying your target audience helps in understanding who your typical customer is, what they like, what they do and how they purchase. This helps you in identifying what product or service best to offer to your customer.
In the case of daycare centers the target audience here are parents, mostly busy working parents. Once you have identified your target audience it is important you understand their behavior. You know that work typically starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 17:00 p.m. and because of that as a daycare center you will have to adjust your operating hours according to that.
Other factors come into play when it comes to offering the right service for your target audience. Examples of this include
- Kids age groups
- Kids’ learning ability
- Dietary need of kids
3. Identify your goals
For any business looking to progress forward goals need to be put in place, both short term and long term. Once you have done a situation analysis on your business, setting goals are the next step. They aid business in taking actions in achieving their goals.
It is important to note that your goals need to be SMART,
- Time bound
Your short term goals should also help you in achieving your long term goals. Short terms goals are 12 months or less and a long term goal is 12 months or more. Goals for a daycare centre could look like this
- Short term : For babies in the age group 6 months to 1 years old to be able to stand and walk in the next 6 months.
- Long term : To expand the daycare center and take in babies 1 month to 6 months before December 2022.
4. Identify your competitive advantage
A competitive advantage is an attribute that your business has that has customers choosing your business over another business. This attribute that you offer is known as your unique selling point and gives you an advantage against your competitors.
In order to identify your competitive advantage, the best way to do so is by talking to your audience. Ask your current parents how they feel about your business and why they chose it in the first place. Other ways on how to identify your competitive advantage can be found here.
Once your daycare business has identified its unique selling point, all efforts need to be targeted on communicating them , this done through social media platforms and the businesses online presence.
5. Establish an online presence
And last but not least, to establish an online presence. It’s as important for a daycare center business to have an online presence as it is a clothing brand. The best mediums for such a business would be a website, listing the business on google my business as well as having social media pages.
It is important to show your audience what your business is all about.By creating an online presence the business will be able to attract prospective parents who spend their time online. Having a website as a daycare can show your audience the services you offer, give a virtual tour of the facility and have an enrollment option which makes the process of registering easier.
Social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram can help to show the daily activities that happen in the day care center, a great feature for parents who would like to experience the business.
Here is an analysis and digital marketing plan for a local daycare business in South Africa.
Grow with Mayazi Educare
- Qualified and experienced educators.
- Well known in the community
- No active online presence.
- Offer after care services.
- The risk of closing down because of lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic
- New daycares are opening in the community.
- Females , Mothers
- Age 25 to 40 years old
- Middle class income
- Works 9am – 5pm
- Family orientated.
- Have 25 kids each enrolled in both 3-4 years and 4-5 year old class by January 2022
- Get 4-5 year olds ready for primary school before December 2021
- Expand the business to accommodate Grade R learns ages 6 years old by 2023.
Here is a step by step plan on how Grow with Mayazi can implement a good digital marketing strategy and grow their business
- Update Website
Grow with Mayazi Educare already has a website but it does not provide much. It would be best to update the website , by incorporating the brand colors and ensuring that the site is user friendly. The about page could be updated to tell the history of the business and what it offers, there should be a services tab where prospects can browse through the services offered and what they entail.
For such a business, an enrollment call to action button would be great , with prospects given the option to apply online or request for an online application.
- Start a blog linked to the website
Starting a blog linked to the business website would be beneficial for current and prospect parents of the business as well as increasing the business SEO ranking .This blog will give information to parents on how to look after their kids, identify signs in their kids, share tutorials on how to do certain activities at home and so much more.
- Update Google my Business
Grow with Mayazi already has a presence on google with google my business , but like the website it needs to be updated. The business would need to update their operating times, add a working landline number as well upload pictures onto google my business so that people searching the business are able to get a look at what the business is like. This will help them with bringing traffic to their website as well.
- Create a social media presence
The business has a Facebook page , but the last time it was used was in April 2020. Facebook is great platform to target their older audience, so this is where most of their promotional efforts would take place.
It is recommended that the business post regularly on their Facebook page. Instagram can also be used to target their audience and share their daily activities on their feed or their stories.
Following a guide and doing research on digital marketing plans will help you create one that is just right for your business.
By Safiatou Guisse
Digital Marketing Analyst Intern at the International Institute of Digital Marketing