Want to start marketing your baby class but don’t know where to start?
So you’re starting a new class for pre-schoolers in your area and now you need to get the word out! You’re on a limited budget, so how do you reach new parents effectively without breaking the bank?
Here’s our step-by-step practical guide on how to approach advertising your classes and work out what you should be spending (if anything), where to spend it and when.
1) How much should I spend on my marketing?
Answer: It depends!
The more important question is how much will a new customer spend on you?
The aim of marketing is to bring in new customers who spend more on you than you did on marketing. So before you go any further, ask yourself the following:
How much is a new customer is worth to you?
Things are never as straight forward as the sound. You’ll need think about not just what they spend with you that first time, but how much they’ll spend with you for the whole time that they remain a customer.
You might want to think about:
- Is your class progressive? For example, dance classes and musical lessons are often progressive. A child starting at the age of 2 might stay with you until they’re 7.
- How many first-time parents do you have? They may bring along younger siblings in future or refer antenatal friends too. So a single customer may be worth much more than you think.
- If you only run drop-in classes, can you estimate with a regular register and understand which customers are coming back, how often and for what period.
- Can you spot a ‘type’ of customer that especially likes your classes and who’ll come back regularly for years?
There are more questions to consider, but as a starting point this will give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend on marketing. Even if the answer is “very little”, at least you now know.
If you’re starting out your business, the budget for your marketing is possibly quite low. But, if £37.50 (+VAT) a year sounds like it’s in your range, perhaps a Happity membership is the ideal option for you!
2) Who do I need to reach? And why?
Have a look at the local competition and consider how far parents are likely to travel for your class. This could be quite different for say a music and movement class compared to something like a bring your baby photography class or parent’s choir.
This tells you how localised your advertising needs to be. There’s no point paying for marketing to people who live 20 miles away from your class! (Tip: Search by location on Happity to find out what is close to your classes.)
Secondly, is this something parents are likely to be actively searching for, or is it something new they might not have heard of before?
For things like language playgroups, football classes, baby swimming and baby massage, these are all popular keywords that parents might be searching online for. These parents already have an intention to buy your service, but they’ll be comparing you to your competitors, so when you market to this audience you need to show them why they should go to your class rather than someone else’s (and this could be just as much down to being at the right place or time, as it is something unique and special about your class).
If your class is something unusual (like bring your baby knitting classes for mums!), then more of your marketing effort might need to go towards building awareness of your brand and the fact that you even exist!
3) So now I know my audience, where do I find them?
Localised Facebook groups for parents.
Pros: Free! This is a great way to promote a new business just starting out – especially if you’ve got a one-time promo offer to launch. But always remember to check the group admin’s policy on promoting your business, or you risk getting banned! Also be aware of the time of day you’re posting as that will affect the number of views.
Cons: Often new parents don’t know about these groups or it takes months to get approved, so you could be missing the people who are most valuable to your business. Other groups have low engagement, so you might be spending time posting in them and not being seen by anyone. It also takes a certain dedication to do this week in, week out.
Posters & flyers
If your audience is very localised, and / or the age range you cater for is narrow, then flyering and marketing your baby class in person near your venue can be effective since you can choose exactly who to give them to. It’s also a good way for raising brand awareness in your local area compared to digital channels. However, physical marketing does tend to be expensive. Especially once you factor in the cost of designing your materials, printing them and the time it takes to hand them out. Posters in popular venues and cafes have potential to give you a better return than giving out flyers, because you won’t have to hand out hundreds to get a result.
Free listing sites (like Happity!)
What are your customers searching for? Try typing your keywords into Google and see what comes up. These are the places that your customers are most likely to land, so if any of those are class listings sites then get listed with them. It’s worth checking their stats and seeing if your target audience is actively using them (see number 4 in our list!). Some of the results might also be message boards. You can also try posting a reply on these to mention your class, though the moderator might delete them!).
It’s free to list on Happity and quick and easy too. So why not list your classes on Happity today?
Once you know how to use Google Ads, they can be incredibly cost-effective and offer a great return for your money. Google also gives you a £75 credit to spend on advertising in order to learn how to use the tool! You can choose your own daily budget, and only pay for each click of your advert. But it does take some time and money to learn it. Especially as you’ll need to test different ad messages and wait for Google to learn who to show your advert to. It works best when marketing as a larger organisations that have a lot of baby classes and have a good class-finder tool on their own website.
Parents clicking on these adverts often can’t find a class at just the right time and place for them, and that’s where Happity’s promoted listings service comes in. A budget-friendly version of Google Ads that will boost your business to your target audience (parents and guardians of 0-5 year olds!) The perfect way to be marketing your baby class
Facebook paid Ads
These are great for generating awareness amongst local parents, but again takes some research to learn how to get the best out of them properly. You also need to be prepared to invest in giving the Facebook algorithms some time to learn about your audience. To get the best out of them, choose posts that already have been liked by your target audience read up on how to set your target audience. What about local magazines?
4) How do I know which listings sites to stay on and which is best to market my baby class?
With so many new listings sites springing up, it’s impossible to keep up with where your information is being published. Many sites are using data scraping techniques to get your information from other listings sites.
So how do you know which ones to stay listed with? Well, aside from picking the top results on Google, you need to check their stats.
Here’s what to look for:
- Number of users – this is the number of different people visiting the site (preferably each month rather than by year!)
- Number of sessions – this means the number of times the site has been visited; a user may visit more than once
- Number of pageviews – take this with a pinch of salt. It tends to be a way for sites to overinflate and exaggerate their success(!) as it’s literally a count of every page that’s been viewed on the site in a month, even if that view lasted 1 second.
- Who are their users – are these users actually anywhere near you? And do they have children of the right age for your classes?
You can independently check how they’re doing on traffic by typing their URL into tools like SEMRush and SimilarWeb, instead of relying on what’s published on their website. (NB – both SEMRush and SimilarWeb show numbers which are indicative. Only use them for comparing between sites rather than taking them at face value!)
Happity: Created by parents, for parents
If you are looking for ease and a listing/booking service that’s catered specifically to you (busy parents and small business owners) then you are on the right blog page.
It’s free to list with Happity, though we also offer cost-effective promoted listings for when your baby class needs an extra boost in its marketing. It’s similar to how Google ads work – you’ll only pay when your class matches the user’s search requirements (which is based on distance, the age of their child and the day of the week), and you can set a monthly budget to suit your needs. If you’d like to find out more, please contact us on [email protected] and we’d be happy to help!
What did you think of this article? Did it help you? What else would you like to know?
Ask your questions and join the active discussions that happen with like-minded individuals on our Facebook class providers group.