Writing better marketing copy is as easy as ABC
Published on Tuesday, 05 June 2018
Last updated on Monday, 27 January 2020
Marketing is sometimes a necessary evil for early childhood services. With more competition and media savvy parents it's becoming harder for providers to stand out and be noticed, which makes marketing your service increasingly important.
While many larger services benefit from an in-house marketing/PR team, for the smaller providers, marketing campaigns, website management, newsletters and social media often fall into the hands of the director or centre manager. This is a time consuming job and for people not versed in marketing lore it can be mighty frustrating.
Learning to write quick, clean and crisp marketing copy is one of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of time you spend on promoting your business. In a nutshell, marketing copy is any wording you put together to grow your business, boost brand awareness, share news, offer deals and inform and update people about what is going on in your service.
You can apply these guidelines to the words you write for your social media feeds, website, newsletter and electronic direct mail (EDM).
Keep your audience in mind at all times, an audience for marketing purposes is the group of people you hope will read your words. For early childhood services, it's fair to assume the most important audiences are parents and carers of children currently in your centre, as well as prospective customers. Remember, parents are time poor, overloaded and are more likely to read something that is visually appealing and relevant, and you should keep this in mind as you sit down to prepare your words.
Be sure to keep lots of white space around your copy and use bullet points and formatting to draw people's attention to the most important part of the message. Taking a 'less is more' approach to writing copy will increase the likelihood of it being read. Keep punctuation such as exclamation marks to a minimum, as simple, authentic language speaks for itself and doesn't need embellishing.
Call to action
All marketing copy needs to include a call to action, a statement which urges people to do something. The call to action can be in the headline, at the bottom of the message or somewhere in the middle but should be direct and clear for example: “Learn more” or "Enrol now & receive a week free".
Your call to action will depend on the goal of your message, in an electronic direct mail to new parents it may be "Book Your Tour Now", on your website it could be "Learn More Here". It's worthwhile taking some time to work out the point of your writing before you sit down and do it to ensure you have a clear idea what the call to action should be.
Draft and delay
Good writing is a process and it's nigh on impossible to create a perfect first draft. Be sure to give yourself time to mull your writing over before you send it to your audience or load it to your website. It's often helpful to ask a trusted colleague to review your work, typos, grammatical inconsistencies and formatting issues are often easier for someone with fresh eyes to notice.
Enhance the ease of the read
The more accessible, clear and direct your marketing copy is the more likely it is to be read. Use short sentences, active language, simple vocabulary and fewer words when possible.
Find your voice
Every early childhood service is unique and has a special story to tell. Take the time to identify what makes your service interesting and different to other providers in your area and find some examples which demonstrate these points of difference. Then create a marketing voice, which reflects the unique selling points of your service, this will increase the likelihood of your marketing copy resonating with target audiences.
An important aspect of this is learning to pitch your language at the correct level, don't talk down to your audience and always assume they are engaged.
Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to writing marketing copy and you should be prepared to revisit, rework and revise your messaging regularly.
In early education high turnover of staff can be a real problem for providers so it's important to try and attract the right people for your service without breaking the bank.
It's important to make a great first impression on families and to run a professional and informative tour, which leads to touring families converting to enrolments.
Developing a marketing plan to attract new families to your services, and why this is important.