If you run a sports club, music studio, or another enrichment program for youth, make sure you have these critical marketing practices.

The most successful youth-oriented businesses use all three marketing strategies. Each strategy includes various elements related to the buyer’s journey.

  1. Do specific marketing to acquire new customers.
  2. Market to your current customers so that stay with your program.
  3. Leverage the power of “word-of-mouth” by asking for reviews and recommendations.

Marketing Strategies for Customer Acquisition

Potential customers typically go through three phases before enrolling in your business.

First, they become aware of your business.

Second, they understand how and why your program will improve their child’s life.

Third, they decide 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 one program is different from other enrichment options. Ads that link to, or include, content (articles, videos, webinars, testimonials) can guide 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 high 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 the first phase to the third phase rapidly.
  • Informing the community using content marketing. Content marketing works best in conjunction with other marketing strategies. Some pieces of content should be designed to attract new students. Other content pieces should be aimed towards retaining students.
  • 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 enable 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 your program. Even one impatient staff member can lead to an increase in attrition. Some program owners and directors use our writing services for 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.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

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 CuttlefishInk, 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 is an important element with all three marketing strategies.

We would like to hear from you. What marketing elements are you already using? Are you marketing in a way not mentioned in this article? How do you want to improve your marketing? Leave a comment or follow me on social media.