Be honest. How fed up are you with all of the “marketing to millennials” talk you’ve been hearing the last few years? Everywhere I look – blogs, social media, conference sessions – people seem to be full of advice on how to capture the attention and enrollment of the biggest market demographic out there.
But still, I feel like there’s more we can talk about here. Something’s been missing from this conversation for too long. How should millennials actually DO the marketing? How should they view their own role in the digital marketing you are incorporating in your organizations? Our center administrative teams – directors, assistants, office managers - I’d bet most of you have teams full of millennials. Millennials are not just your current marketing demographic, they’re your marketers, too.
So let’s tackle this question today – how do you as a millennial (or a manger of them) view their roles as marketers and use it to help boost enrollment?
1. Be Authentic. Okay, so you are now wearing the label of ‘marketer’ but that doesn’t mean you need to lose your authenticity. Much of what makes you appealing to prospective parents is that you are able to relate to them and what matters most in their educational and child care searches. Be yourself, think of how you shop and buy. What are your social media behaviors? Let your digital marketing efforts match those. And yes, I am talking your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest feeds. They need to look, feel and sound like the people supplying the content and searching it out.
2. Be Picky Where You Market. You probably already have your favorite online platforms. Are you an Instagram pro? Or a Snapchat addict? You can maneuver those mediums as an expert, sure. But don’t just assume these are the same platforms your target demographic of parents are hanging out in. Sure, they may have a presence there – but really, where are they engaging the most? Survey them, and then become the expert of those outlets, too. Build your following in the place where they are already interacting, and you’ll be well on your way to successful lead generation.
3. Be Your Brand. Since you or your team are already millennials, you get this. There’s a strong trend right now of millennials pulling away from the “status quo.” Recently, I came across an article in the that read “millennials are drifting away from traditional institutions — political, religious and cultural.” As a millennial marketer, this made sense to me, but I also saw an obvious challenge for our child care clients. Why? Because your missions, vision statements and the brand you’re trying to market — they all make up an institution. That means it’s a potential turnoff to your target audience.
So what can we do? Instead of working to just build an awesome impression of your school, you and your team – I’m talking from top to bottom - need to actually become your brand. Millennials aren’t drawn to the corporate-feel child care centers or even the “exclusivity” that generations past previously sought in their child care and preschool searches. They are drawn to authentic individuals — selfie-snapping, honest, real people. In no way am I saying that the solution is to lessen your quality to improve marketing efforts. What I am saying is that it is no longer the “We’re the most exclusive! The most expensive! Look at us!” marketing techniques of years past. The solution is that all administrators, directors, teachers embrace the brand and work on the growth of your personal presence to match those mission and value statements.
So let’s wrap up. What am I trying to say in all this? Find out what your prospective clients attentions are focused on, what their impressions are of those things and follow it.
As a millennial, you already have a good idea of how your prospective and enrolled families are thinking and buying. YOU, millennial, are the best asset your organization has in marketing to other millennials. But don’t take that for granted. Don’t just rely on your gut feelings, use strategy and the data you are gathering on these customers to make the most powerful impact in closing more enrollments and keeping those families in your schools engaged.