Here are 3 guidelines that will serve you well in any kind of marketing writing you do for your center, whether you’re sending out a press release, writing a blog post, or creating a new brochure:
1. It ain’t all about you. This is a classic mistake people tend to make over and over, in all types of writing.
- “We’re looking for new families who live in the downtown area…”
- “Our center focuses on…”
- “We offer care for children ages six weeks through five years…”
Your readers – your current families and potential new families – don’t care all that much about your center; they’re looking at you instead from a WIIFM (“what’s in it for me?”) perspective.
Focus not on what you do, but on what you can offer them: a magnificent new play area, peace of mind in the form of a highly credentialed, long-tenured staff, and so on.
2. Don’t get all fancypants. Most of us, in an effort to look “legitimate,” have an unfortunate tendency to write in circles, to use big words when little ones would do, and to try to come across as educated and important.
The most effective marketing messages are written in clear, unpretentious, conversational language. Sometimes it’s not even grammatically correct, which goes against everything we’re taught in school. But it works.
3. Remember to hit the benefits. Copywriters often talk about features (what a product/service has, is, or does) and benefits (why the features are a good thing). The rest of us tend to focus on the features to the exclusion of the benefits, which is a mistake because the benefits are what really get people excited and involved.
To take a simple example, some of the features of your center could include weekend hours, a new facility, and a location right off the highway. Some of the accompanying benefits would be:
- Weekend hours – drop off your kids for a few hours to take care of your errands, or just get a little much-needed “me time.”
- Brand-new facility offers large, sunny classrooms and lots of space to play, explore, and learn.
- Easy-t0-get-to location means no wasted time on the road; it’s child care that works with your commute instead of against it.
The benefits are harder to write about because they require an additional level of thinking, which is why they can get overlooked. But if you don’t do this work for your readers (and explain it clearly – refer back to #2 above), it’s going to be harder to get them on board with what you’re offering.