At Little Ones Preschool, we are a privately owned, rural Christian preschool. We started 10 years ago, and then added a Nursery three years later. We are licenced for 62, but have just 30- 40 children attending each day.
The Ministry of Education state that the number one reason that people select a preschool, is it’s location. So previously we have basically done little or no marketing of our centre.
This year, we set up a company Facebook page. We can post for free. Usually if we post a photo of a pet lamb visiting the centre, we would get about 70 views. This is nice, as we only have 45 families on our roll, and it’s for free. We also put a link on our website, to the Facebook page, allowing people to access our latest photos and posts.
Then about three months ago we started Facebook Advertising. I had been to a marketing seminar and it sounded easy enough (and really cheap), so we gave it a go.
I am certainly not an expert and actually asked my youngest teacher to sit with me while we worked our way through the ‘Ads Manager’ bit.
To set up Facebook Advertising you:
- Log in to your Facebook and find the ‘Ad Manager’ part.
- Follow their prompts. You type in key search words (like: ‘preschool, toddler, baby, Christian, bible, kindergarten, child, education etc)
- You type in the age and demographic that you wish to advertise to. We set 18- 45 year olds. Men and women. Within 12 kilometres of our Preschool.
- Then choose how much you want to spend. We chose $3/day. Ongoing campaign until we stop it. You can set $2/day and stop after we have spent $40 (or whatever you want). The charges just come through on your company credit card.
- Then you build a ‘Slideshow’. Again, just follow the prompts. We chose seven photos which change every two seconds, for a total slideshow length of 15 seconds. You can make up several different slideshows and see which ones generate the most interest and interaction, but at the moment we just have the one.
It took about one hour the first time, much of which was choosing cute photos of smiling children!
We have also changed our enrolment forms, to include a permission to be on Facebook part. We caught up with the parents/ caregivers of the featured children, letting them know that they were going to have a Facebook star!
In the last 60 days we have had 6,448 of our targeted people reached with our advert. An amazing 2,416 have engaged with the advert (like clicking on the Slideshow to see the photos). 25 people have clicked the link to go through to our website. The total cost for all this has been $97.56!
That is unbelievably good value!
And I’m pleased to say that yesterday I got an email of a new mum with a two year old and a baby. She saw our advert pop up on her Facebook and showed off our beautiful spacious centre, and is wanting to enrol her children.
So give it a go, and if you get stuck… ask your youngest teacher!
Philip Graydon is the Centre Manager at Little Ones Preschool in North Canterbury.