Do you run a youth sports club, music studio, or other enrichment program? If so, you will want to make sure you have these three critical marketing practices in place.
- Marketing for customer acquisition
- Marketing for customer retention
- Leveraging the power of “word-of-mouth”
Customer acquisition marketing attracts new students. Customer retention marketing encourages current students to enroll for another session. Word-of-mouth marketing increases the reach and influence of your satisfied customers. The most successful youth oriented businesses use all three marketing strategies. Each strategy is comprised of various critical elements.
Marketing Strategies for Customer Acquisition
Potential customers typically go through 3 phases before enrolling at your business.
- Gaining awareness of your business.
- Understanding how and why your program will help solve a problem.
- Deciding that the time and money they spend at your establishment is worthwhile.
Your customer acquisition strategy should guide potential customers from one phase to another. An effective customer acquisition strategy often includes several of the following elements:
- Spreading awareness using ads. Ads include everything from radio spots, social media posts and ads, Google AdWords, and magazine ads. Most ads don’t explain how program is different from other enrichment options. Ads that link to, or include, content (articles, videos, webinars, testimonials) have the ability to guide a potential customers from phase one to phase two more quickly than ads without content. That’s one reason so many small businesses use content marketing as part of their social media campaigns.
- Building the community's awareness and trust through networking and special events. Face-to-face marketing strategies can be highly effective, but they have significant costs. If you are investing in face-to-face marketing expect the people you meet to visit your website. A website with robust content gives the people you meet the opportunity to go from phase 1 to phase 3 rapidly.
- Informing the community using content marketing. Content marketing, like article from Cuttlefish Copywriting, works best in conjunction with other marketing strategies. Our articles are designed to both attract new students and keep current students longer.
- Engaging website visitors with chat boxes, dialog boxes, and quizzes. Dialog and chat boxes allow website visitors to ask questions before they call, email, or visit you. Quizzes allow website visitors to pre-qualify themselves as potential customers.
Marketing Strategies for Customer Retention
Retaining customers is easier than customer acquisition. Retaining customers is all about consistently showing your value. Parents of current students or athletes only need updates and reminders about how and why your program will continue to help improve the skills, confidence, and enthusiasm of their children.
An effective customer retention strategy often includes several, or all, of the following elements:
- Hiring and training staff to ensure that children are learning and following the your program. Even one impatient staff member can lead to an increase in attrition. Some program owners and directors use our writing services for with staff training.
- Maintaining a pleasant physical and emotional environment to assure parents they can trust you with their children.
- Providing incentives for students to attend regularly and work hard.
- Sponsoring events, like game nights and contests, for fun. Kids appreciate the fun as much, if not more, than the actual lessons.
- Communicating frequently with parents reminds parents how their lives, and their children’s lives, improve when they bring their children to your organization. Articles, newsletters, and social media are great communication tools.
In short, customer retention marketing strategies show parents of enrolled students that your program continues to enrich their child's life and is worth every penny and minute.
Successful centers harness the power of “word-of-mouth” marketing strategies. Parents and kids who love your center want opportunities to tell all their friends about you. As your biggest fans, they become influencers to new potential clients.
An effective word-of-mouth strategy often includes several, or all, of the following elements:
- Posting excellent reviews on social media.
- Providing incentives for referrals.
- Holding special events where friends and siblings are encouraged to attend.
- Asking current and past customers to forward your emails, engage with your social media posts, share your articles on their social media, and talk to their schools and PTAs about your center.
- Asking for positive reviews on Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, and other platforms.
- Encouraging current enrollees to invite friends to special events.
Content marketing, including articles from Cuttlefish Copywriting, are only one element to a comprehensive marketing plan. But with all those elements you are working on we can at least make the content marketing easier. Content are important elements with all three marketing strategies.
We would like to hear from you. What marketing elements are you already using? Are you marketing in way not mentioned in this article? How do you want to improve your marketing? Leave a comment or follow me on social media.