If your small business has used traditional marketing methods since its start up, it may be time to freshen your approach. While there is plenty of merit in the tried-and-true strategies, the future success of your nanny agency will require new efforts in order to stay competitive.
In an article designed to help entrepreneurs with their businesses, Forbes contributing writer Dave Lavinsky discusses traditional marketing efforts. “[These] methods of marketing typically involve advertising through newspapers, magazines, telephone books, radio, and TV. These ads are placed for a fee which corresponds to the size of the ad, as well as the medium in which it is published.” While it’s fair to say that some success results from marketing dollars allocated to these media, it’s important to recognize the Internet as today’s most cost effective means to advertise your product or service.
Here are some tips for targeting the Web as a key tool in your marketing program:
Define your audience
First, identify your customer and use marketing tools that attract your most lucrative prospects. Traditional marketing casts a wide net; staying focused on the audience that is most likely to need what your business provides will help you reach your goals faster.
Align your Nanny Agency with another business that complements, not competes, with yours. Referrals back and forth between businesses will help drive sales.
Think about local opportunities that attract people who would benefit from knowing about your nanny agency: sponsor a Little League team, reach out to local news outlets or ask to be interviewed about part-time jobs by a local college newspaper.
Social media channels allow you to position your nanny agency to a vertical audience . This is where social media and the power of the Internet can really benefit your agency. The key to social media is consistency- you want to deliver relevant, interesting information on a regular basis. Create content that takes a broader approach; become an expert by weighing in on topics related to your industry- not just in your industry– and you instantly become a meaningful voice that others listen to. Introduce your business to other industry bloggers and ask to be reviewed; this will establish instant credibility to interested consumers.
Which social media platforms are the best for your business? If your business provides a service, Twitter and Facebook are ideal for information sharing. A product-driven business will also benefit from Pinterest and Instagram by delivering instant gratification (i.e. photos and samples) to customers that are researching that specific product.
Blogging as a marketing tool
Blogging can serve to add additional pages to your blog or website; and the more articles you have on your platform, the easier it is for search engines like Google to find your site and your business. Start out by committing yourself to one post a week. Once you get the hang of it, try to add a second post each week- or ask a trusted employee if they would like the opportunity to become a thought leader. Research has shown that the more you post, the better results you get. Avoid being promotional; there’s plenty of time to show your customer why your product or service is the best choice.
Your online community
Another way to cyber-partner with businesses who may be talking to the same target is to join in the conversations they’re having on their own blogs and forums. For example, if there is a popular mommy blog in your area, join in on discussions about child-rearing, the best nursery school and the best prices on baby food as an interested community participant. Be sure not to sell your products or the blog owner can kick you out forever. Just having your name, followed by your email (which includes your nanny agency name, of course) can secure a position as an objective adviser, and build confidence in the perspective you provide.
If your business gets mentioned by a writer or another business, re-post it. It’s a small way to show appreciation, but more importantly it adds to your reputation as a formidable industry thought leader. Respond to any critiques or problems that you’re hearing from your consumers and address them directly. All businesses encounter problems from time to time; addressing and correcting the concerns of your customers in a public forum offers transparency and builds trust.
What we’ve learned is that spending your marketing dollars on traditional means is not enough. In order to keep up with (and beat!) your competitors, you must incorporate the best tools that the Internet provides. If you would like to read more about the best marketing strategies you implement immediately, download our INA Agency Marketing Toolkit.