You’ve decided it’s time to invest in digital ads. You sit down, create a profile, and the platform asks, “What’s your budget?”
Here’s some advice: No one should run digital ads before they’re ready. Before you start, it’s important to lay some foundational work. There are several steps you need to take to position paid ads for success — make sure you do these first before moving forward.
That being said, child care center owners ask us all the time, “How much should I spend on paid ads? What should my budget be?”
One hundred percent of the time, our answer is, “It depends.”
Why It Depends
So, what does your child care advertising budget “depend” on?
Very simply, it depends on the specifics of your child care center. Each marketing budget we create is highly individualized and takes into account a myriad of factors, including geography, target market, local competition, etc. What’s right for one company may be completely wrong for another.
So what does the “it depends” process look like? Here’s a step-by-step guide for what to consider, when to consider it, and why.
What’s Your Location?
This is perhaps the most important factor. Local demographics, including average household income, make a big difference in the size of your child care advertising budget.
Also consider the presence of any brand competitors in your area, specifically large companies and corporations, who are bidding a healthy advertising budget. These may include hospitals, manufacturing plants, or tech companies.
What’s Your Target Area?
Once you’ve considered your physical location, decide how wide of a net you’d like to cast. The size of your advertising area will greatly influence your budget — a 20-mile radius around your school requires much more ad spend than a 10-mile radius — but depending on your target audiences’ preferences, your budget can stretch. For example, if your parents aren’t willing to drive more than 10 miles, a 20-mile radius won’t do you much good.
Only advertise in as large an area as needed, and budget wisely.
Who Are Your Competitors?
It’s important to know what other child care centers you’re competing with inside your advertising area. Find out what keywords your competitors target and which platforms they use to advertise.
What Programs Do You Want to Advertise?
Do you offer extracurriculars? What about summer camps? Do you have several different age groups of programs?
The more programs you want to advertise, the higher your budget needs to be. However, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to advertise every program and service you offer simply because they exist.
Be choosy about which services you’d like to promote, and be sure to take capacity into this equation — you don’t want to run ads for programs that already have a waitlist.
What About Your Ad Placement?
For your ads to appear at the top of Google’s search results frequently, you’ll have to pay more. So if you want your ads to show up at the top and stay at the top, you’ll need to factor that into your budget.
What Type of Campaign Will You Run?
There are many types of ad campaigns, such as search keyword campaigns on Google, which are the most expensive when it comes to cost per click. But keep in mind that the cost of an ad campaign is not indicative of how it will perform. There are many variables that affect ad cost and performance, and it’s for these reasons that we recommend seeking professional help.
Which Platform Will You Use?
The two most popular ad platforms are Facebook and Google. The choice between the two, or to advertise on both platforms simultaneously, is a big one. Your child care advertising budget is a big part of that decision, but there are other factors to consider as well.
We discussed these and more in our recent blog post, Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Which Is Right For Your Child Care Company? Dig in to better gauge your readiness for paid ads and learn the pros and cons of each platform.
What Is Your Paid Ads History?
Not your first foray into paid ads? Your history with child care advertising should influence the size of your future budget. Consider the more granular, nuanced details of your advertising past, such as your ad quality (of your headlines, descriptions, and images), your ad ranking (which takes time to build), and your ad assets like extensions.
As you can see, there are many moving parts in the world of paid ads and even more when you explore the specific niche of child care advertising. It really does pay to have a professional on your side.
Our Penny-Pinching Philosophy for Child Care Advertising
Irrelevant ad spend and overspend is rampant in child care advertising. That’s why our strategy at Rose Marketing Solutions is to eliminate unnecessary spending. We comb our accounts every week, making sure every penny of our clients’ budgets goes toward their return on ad spend.
Not many other companies do that, but we’re proud to be penny pinchers!
Most of our child care centers don’t have 2,000 extra dollars lying around each month to spend on ads, so we go out of our way to make every penny count. If you’d like to see what we can do for your center, we’d love to have a conversation with you!
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