Top tips to market your dance or performing arts school
Consider This share their top tips to make your dance or performing arts school stand out.
There are many potential dance students out there at various stages of decision making about attending a class. Some are simply thinking about it, some are only free on certain days while others only want to attend a class for a specific genre of dance. You need to capture them with a dance marketing or performing arts marketing strategy, and here are nine ways in which to do that:
Every dance or performing arts school wants to be the first choice when it comes to attracting new students. Branding plays an enormous part in making that attainable. If you wish to strengthen the notion of your school as offering a first class package then a strong brand image is necessary. This is what will make you stand out from the competition.
Website: User experience and customer journey
Your website is your shop window and will either attract or detract – make sure it is the former. It has to captivate your audience and potential customers with great content and eye-catching photos, however it also has to be easy to navigate and make it as simple as possible for your audience to find the information they are looking for in an easy, fluid manner. Straightforward navigation and basic headers will certainly help. Clear and defined ‘calls-to-action’ are a must.
A ‘call-to-action’ can be text or an image prompting the viewer to click and be taken to registration, email link, important information, etc.
Online and Offline local partnerships
Cross-promotion is a wonderful piece of marketing and can cost very little to achieve. Find local businesses or clubs that could link with your school (such as a dancewear shop, amateur musical groups, record shops) and cross-promote with leaflets, flyers, posters, etc or even run a competition in conjunction with them, giving free classes as prizes.
Showcase your expertise (at least locally)
Use your own expertise to further promote your business. Contact your local newspaper and any local websites and interest them in your services writing for them as their Dance Expert – in turn this could drive more viewers to your SEO.
Social media and off site strategies
Never underestimate the power of social media, blogs and external links from other websites. The more you post news or update your blog, the higher you will find your website in the search engine rankings. The higher you are in the rankings, the more people you will get visiting your site. Social media is a fantastic method of communicating in a friendly, informal way with, not only current but prospective students.
Use it to promote photos and videos from classes, entice new users with competitions, post useful information and encourage feedback. Photos and videos often work particularly well on Facebook and will hopefully generate lots of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ for your page. Of course, people have to find you so put up posters in your studio, remember to put the links on flyers, posters and brochures and also as a footer or signature on all your business emails.
When thinking about your marketing strategy, put yourself in the position of someone looking for your school. Perhaps your school has a name that is easy to misspell (by accident or by intention), this can cause it to be overlooked by potential students and their parents. This can easily be taken care of by purchasing a secondary domain name (website address) through a trusted domain name company and having it redirect to your main site.
For instance: If your dance school was called ‘Dancing En Pointe’ and your web address was www.dancingenpointe.com, people might easily misspell it. So, you could purchase a secondary domain name called www.dancingonpoint.com, which is how many might misspell it and have that directed to the main website so you would not lose any potential clients. This is very easy to achieve from approx. £10 per year.
Proficient Email Marketing campaigns
Are you using your email marketing effectively? You could welcome all your new students with an email that also includes a free ‘taster’ voucher for another one of the available classes, as well as all the relevant information regarding your school and what it has to offer. Perhaps some students haven’t attended class for a while? Send them an email offering a 30% discount if they book 10 classes or more in advance within the next 10 days.
It is essential to adapt your email newsletter to your audience. If you are sending out to parents of your students, then the more information you can give, the better – however, if you are sending the email to target young dancers, then include fun quizzes and competitions to keep them interested – also, success stories about their dance ‘heroes’ are a good way to get the young motivated.
Using promotional products to market your dance studio is a great way to increase student enrolment and get word-of-mouth going. Did you know that the average promotional product is kept for seven months? For instance: hessian shopping bags with your logo on them used by parents on their weekly trip to the supermarket get attention
Get an app! This is a great way to communicate and engage with your students via their smartphone. It’s the ideal marketing tool for today’s youth and can help you with booking requests, customer referrals, push-notifications to advise about a cancelled class, an upcoming audition or fee payment date. This tool is ideal to incentivize your students to keep returning.
In conclusion, never leave anything to the chance - assess your marketing strategy to make sure you’re educating, answering questions and sharing useful, interesting information at each stage in the decision process of prospective clients/students.