As a business that markets primarily to parents, you likely have the school calendars in your area memorized. And as we are nearing the end of May, most schools are finishing up and getting ready to close down for the summer. But just because school is out doesn’t mean it’s time to rest on your laurels. In fact, this is possibly the most opportune time to target parents and gain some new customers. Here’s how to make the most of this prime marketing season.
Cut Through the Noise
So you’re convinced now is a great time to ramp up your marketing efforts. But countless other businesses that compete for your audience’s attention and dollars are sure to do the same thing. How do you stand out in the crowd of kids’ products, programs, and activities?
To start, consider your differentiators. If you’re a swim school, you might want to especially emphasize the safety factor of your curriculum, since that separates you from other available classes. If you’re a gymnastics school for kids, you could highlight the fact that your programs offer physical activity indoors (often a huge selling point in summer, especially in Arizona with our 115 degrees sweltering days). Or if you sell children’s toys, you might think about showcasing all the toys that work well in the pool and won’t get too hot in the sun.
The point is to really think through why parents should choose you over the myriad of options for children’s gear and activities this summer, and plan to focus your marketing around this main message.
Keywords are Key
Next, it’s time to zero in on keywords. Incorporating these specific words and phrases into your website copy is a free way (aside from the cost of your time) to attract parents who may have never heard of you before. If you’re relatively new to the science of SEO, the best idea is to consult an expert who can help you identify and integrate the right keywords for maximum results. But you can get the basics started on your own.
Start by brainstorming with other staff members what a parent is likely to type into Google when searching for something for their child. Be sure to remember location phrases, singular and plural versions of words, and questions a parent may ask. Basically, think and search like your ideal customer.
For example, a parent who is seeking a new program for their child may Google:
- Summer activities for children in Phoenix
- Best physical activities for kids in Arizona
- What can I do with my kids this summer?
- How to keep my child stimulated over summer break
- Best toddler programs in Phoenix, Arizona
You can also start typing a phrase and see what Google suggests as top searches. Weave these phrases (and other variations of these) into your website copy. Try your best to use phrases verbatim as they might be typed into a search engine, but work to make it all flow naturally. And when in doubt, engage a marketing agency that can make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
In addition to keywords, building up the content on your website (and in your other marketing materials) can help you close more customers during this busy season. If you don’t have a blog yet, now would be a good time to launch one. Get even more runway out of your blog posts by sharing them through your social media and email channels.
When deciding what content to create, consider three ideas initially: 1) Your buyer personas, 2) The most frequently asked questions by your customers, and 3) Topics that are timely and/or seasonal. Your first objective is to shape each piece of content for a particular buyer persona, ensuring the material is targeted and specific to the reader’s needs and goals.
For example, you might regularly hear parents ask you what benefits your program might have on the development of their child. If this is something you’ve heard multiple times, you can turn this into a compelling blog post. Do some research and include statistics from trusted medical journals or other authoritative sources, and add in some personal anecdotes from your own business as well. You can do this with nearly any question you are asked repeatedly. Turning FAQs into thoughtfully written, informative blog posts is a surefire way to preemptively answer your target customers’ most pressing questions and draw in new prospects to your website.
Then, think about what topics could be useful to a parent in this very moment. Many parents work outside the home, and summer is both an exciting and stressful time for them. They often have a lot going on and have to find new activities for their children while school is on break. Possible blog posts that could work well for this season would be on topics such as, “Help your Child Maintain their Progress, Despite the Time Away for Summer Vacations” and “Top 10 Tips to Help Every Busy Parent Manage their Kid’s Summer Schedule.” When you post these types of pieces (and include associated keywords), you give value to current customers and increase your chances of attracting new prospects.
Consider New Offerings
Finally, it could benefit you to take a page out of schools’ books and switch up your schedule for the summer. Even if you want to keep the bulk of your offerings consistent, think about ways to appeal to parents and families whose schedules have changed. Maybe you can create a weeklong “camp” for kids who would usually only attend one class per week. Or perhaps you can sell a “summer planner” in your retail store that can help moms and dads balance all the goings-on of the season. What will work for you will vary based on your business, but the idea is to be thinking of new ways to inform and assist busy families during this time.
Start identifying keywords, creating content and coming up with creative marketing efforts to draw in parents. Even though school is out, marketing is definitely in. If you have any specific questions on how to best market to parents or need help implementing a strategy, please contact us! We also have a free, downloadable ebook for you to see how we can be your advisor in this process.