Posted on Aug 19th 2016
When you run a membership-based child-related franchise, maintaining and increasing enrollment are always a top-of-mind concern.
Parents are careful about the services they choose when it comes to their children and spend a great deal of time researching which option will best suit their needs. Marketing not only plays a huge role in educating and engaging prospective customers, but it’s also a critical factor in increasing enrollment.
Why Marketing Matters
Although creating and executing a marketing strategy can be challenging, it oftentimes leads to the best results—even with a restricted budget. According to Michael Taylor of Menlo Park Gymnastics, after instituting a serious and consistent marketing plan, his gym was able to:
- Increase enrollment from 465 to 1,728 (372 percent)
- Raise its fees 224 percent
- Boost staff salaries on average of 216 percent
- Grow its parent satisfaction rating by two full points
As great as these results were, they did not happen overnight. They were a result of meticulous and consistent planning and follow-through.
As a Romp n’ Roll franchisee, here are two cost-effective marketing suggestions that you can incorporate into your franchise to help you increase the size of your enrollment.
Take Advantage of Social Media and Review Sites
Being active on your local social media pages is crucial as you work to increase engagement and enrollment. Parents constantly research businesses to validate the choices they make regarding their children, and the information they find on social media and review sites is critical in their decision-making process.
You should not only create a page specific to your franchise location, but you should consistently be posting and engaging with followers. This will help you develop a sense of trust and familiarity, while getting more people to look at your page. The fact that your followers will see that you are very active on social media will make them more inclined to interact with you and leave reviews.
Here are a few tips to encourage engagement on your social media pages:
- Use local hashtags so that your posts are more likely to show up in location-based searches
- Post colorful and fun pictures and tie them across all your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others)
- Ask your followers questions (For example, to rate their experience or what changes they would like to see)
Create a Website Specific to Your Location
Having a franchise website is great when parents are trying to gather general information about your brand. But, having a location-specific site is great for those wanting learn more. Citing data from Google, Search Engine Land explained that 50 percent of consumers who used their smartphones to search for a local business visited that location within a day. At the same time, 34 percent of those who did their search on a desktop visited during the same time frame.
This contributes to the reason why Romp n’ Roll helps franchisees create location-specific websites that look clean and are SEO-optimized. As a result, your business will rank well in local searches, helping you generate more in-store and online traffic. Additionally, Romp n’ Roll offers an extensive toolkit of marketing collateral, including email templates, digital advertising, postcards and window posters. This helps you build a comprehensive marketing strategy that bridges online and offline channels.
Michael Barnett is the Co-Founder and CEO of Romp n' Roll. In addition to leading the Romp n' Roll management team, Michael is an active member of the International Franchise Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and serves on the Board of Directors for Connor's Heroes and Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He and his wife, Babz, were featured on the first season of ABC-TV's Shark Tank.