Today’s prospects seeking early care and education services are looking in ways you may not realize. And you may be trying to reach them by marketing in all the wrong places. Though attracting qualified prospects is still most successful by layering your marketing activities amongst several methods of marketing communications, knowing where you customers go to find you is crucial to generating a high rate of inquiries for your efforts.
There’s more investigation online, you say. That’s an understatement. It’s not just about searching. It’s about what brand they follow and ultimately buy. Research firm, Digital Surgeons, reports via i-librarian that of the nearly 500 million users of FaceBook worldwide, 29% of 18 to 25 year olds and 23% of 26- 34 year olds use it. Of all ages on Facebook, 41% log in daily, 40% follow a brand, and 51% will purchase the brand they follow over another brand. Interestingly, some 30% log in via a mobile device.
So prospects are not only using key words to search for websites, they are significantly influenced by the public opinion they find online. Though face to face referrals are still very powerful, this kind of information gives the term, “word-of-mouth” a whole new meaning.
What are important action steps for you to take to connect with your key target audiences?
Have a good website. Make it easy to find, easy to navigate, and full of opportunities for prospects to learn about your unique attributes and to contact you.
Maximize your ranking on search engines. Search Engine Optimization is critical for your site, since most web visitors will not look past the first several listings. One technique to help increase your ranking is to use very specific keywords on every page of your website. Programs such as Google Analytics are a good place to start.
Explore social media. This wave is not going away anytime soon. If you are not riding it, you are missing an opportunity to engage with potential and existing customers. For professional assistance in this arena, I recommend a firm I use called New Media Fluent. Check them out at http://www.newmediafluent.com.
Track online mentions of your company name. This is one way to remain aware of what’s being said about you, to rapidly respond to any negative comments, and to help shape public opinion into what you want your prospects, customers, and opinion influencers to have.
Train your directors and managers in successful conversion skills. Of course, I am biased on this one, but it’s true. If you use superb marketing to generate qualified inquiries, but your managers do not have the skills and confidence to convert them, you have not succeeded in maximizing the return on your marketing investment. Whether it’s my on-site seminars, teleseminars, forthcoming webinars, or resources from myEnrollment Building Success Library, the training IS available to you for the taking. Do it.
Knowing who your customers are, where they look for child care choices, how to find you, and how they make the decision to put you on the list of programs they contact are all important steps in building enrollment. Base your marketing action plan on this knowledge and you will be off to a year of maximizing your enrollment.