Need new ways to market your afterschool program? While flyers and newspaper ads have proven effective at reaching specific audiences, digital marketing tools like social media and email can
expand your reach at a fraction of the cost.

Need new ways to market your afterschool program? While flyers and newspaper ads have proven effective at reaching specific audiences, digital marketing tools like social media and email can expand your reach at a fraction of the cost.

Almost half of the world’s population is online and 2.8 billion people are active on social media, according to the Digital in 2017 Global Overview report. Digital marketing is a cost-effective way to target and communicate with prospective and current families right where they are - online. Depending on your budget, consider the following digital marketing tools and tactics to help grow your afterschool program:

Social media: Social media advertising, particularly on Facebook, provides a huge opportunity to reach targeted audiences and boost your social media presence. Facebook’s Ads Manager allows users to segment audiences based on location, age, interests and behaviors, and run targeted ads for as little as $1 a day. Use these resources and step-by-step guides to get started with Facebook advertising.

Marketing automation: These tools are designed to boost productivity and lead to higher conversions (i.e., more program registrations). For example, an email marketing automation system like MailChimp can automatically send a steady flow of emails to prospective families with program updates, program fees, success stories and other information to influence their decision to join your program.

Video: One-third of all online activity is spent watching video. Incorporating it into your digital marketing efforts can significantly increase user actions, such as conversions and click-throughs. Video is also a great tool for providing a firsthand look into your program and how it impacts students, families and the community - attracting more families into your program.

Search engine optimization (SEO): If you have a program website or publish content online about your program, SEO can help it rank higher in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Why is that important? If a parent searches online for afterschool programs in your area, your program’s website could be the first result they find, which increases the chances of her child joining your program. Check out these simple SEO tips and strategies to get started.

Mobile marketing: Connect with prospective and current families on the devices they use most: smartphones and tablets. Using text messages, apps, mobile-friendly emails and other mobile marketing solutions to send special discounts, announcements and other information can help increase and retain student participation in your program.

Use this brief overview to start thinking of ways to incorporate digital marketing into your overall marketing plan. Results will vary based on different factors, including budget, content and quality of execution. For an in-depth look at these tactics, check out Digital Marketing Trends for 2017.