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How to Market Your Early Years Setting Using A Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a vital tool to help organise your marketing efforts and make sure you’re working towards your goals but, if you’re new to marketing your Early Years setting, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, That Nursery Life has written a simple guide to your first social media marketing plan!

Let’s start with the basic idea. A marketing plan is nothing more than setting targets that you want to achieve and writing down what you need to do to achieve them. While sitting down and making a plan might sound like time wasted when you could just jump on Instagram right now, time invested in a clear approach to achieving your goals will pay dividends in the long run.

Photographer: Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk | Source: Unsplash

Some things to include on your marketing plan (with examples):

Goals:

  • 1 month – To launch Townsville Nursery social accounts and have gained 30 new followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and post three times a week.
  • 3 months – To have gained 100 new followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and post once a day.
  • 6 months – To consistently get an average of 50 likes/retweets/shares on social posts and for follower counts to be steadily increasing across all platforms.

Marketing Plan:

  • Target Market – Families within 30 minutes’ drive of Townsville Nursery with children aged between three and five.
  • Offering to followers – Informative posts about Townsville Nursery and childcare in general.
  • Distribution – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Promotion Strategy – Paid ads across all platforms for top-performing posts from that week, as well as community engagement.
  • Marketing Research – Following nurseries in the local area with higher follower counts and noting what posts work best for their audience, as well as tracking analytics on Townsville Nursery’s posts to refine content.
  • Budget - £200 per month for paid social ads for first two months, £100 for 3rd month, then £50 allocated for ads as and when needed.
Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

Alongside your marketing plan, a social media calendar will help organise your content and reduce the panic of “I don’t know what to post today!”.

Content Pillars

Content pillars are a way of structuring different topics or themes of content into groups that appeal to specific segments of your audience. For example, content that will appeal to families of children not yet at your setting won’t necessarily appeal to families of children already attending, and vice versa.

Content can vary from tweets, Instagram reels, photos or video, but the pillar is used to focus the purpose and theme of each different post. Once you’ve identified why you’re posting (to encourage attendance at an event/promote the name of your setting to new followers/educate new and existing attendees’ families about how your setting operates, etc.), you can identify your content pillars to support each of those purposes. This way, you can present a consistent approach and message with very post.

Make sure you plan using these six types of need-based content:

  1. Entertainment - engaging content that is enjoyable for followers to consume.
  2. Inspiration - Unusual and motivating content that sparks something new.
  3. Education - “how to” content that teaches followers.
  4. Conviction - Persuasive content that presents compelling ideas.
  5. Information- Sharing knowledge and leading thought.
  6. Support- Demonstrating care/providing a helping hand.

Social media calendar example:

Monday

  • Facebook – no post
  • Twitter – Retweet community content
  • Instagram – #MotivationMonday inspirational quote

Tuesday

  • Facebook – post link to blog with short summary and “in case you missed it” message
  • Twitter – no post
  • Instagram – Image of activity plan set-up before activity starts. Can include end results in same, or a later, post

Wednesday

  • Facebook – Post an interesting question to the Early Years community
  • Twitter – Post an interesting question to the Early Years community
  • Instagram – no post

Thursday

  • Facebook – Share results of question yesterday
  • Twitter – post link to blog with short summary and “in case you missed it” message
  • Instagram – Image/video of setting – weather, activities, etc.

Friday

  • Facebook – share fun content with #Friyay
  • Twitter – no post
  • Instagram – ‘meet the team’ Instagram reel

Saturday

  • Facebook – share reminders of upcoming events
  • Twitter – retweet community content
  • Instagram – no post

Sunday

  • Blog – new blog post
  • Facebook – Link to new blog post
  • Twitter – Link to new blog post
  • Instagram – Link to new blog post

Every day

  • Check for and respond to @Mentions, replies, comments and messages

Once a week

  • Check for new followers on each platform. Choose and add those you want to follow
Photo by Pexels

Your plan doesn’t have to stick to the same format every week. For example, you may want to utilise UK and national events to theme your content around, such as World Book Day or World Kindness Day.

The main reason for a social marketing plan is so you can see exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals and have a record of results, to be used in order to improve and refine your content. Use TNL’s examples as a starting point, but you need to work out what works best for your team and setting to make sure you’re getting the best results.