I grew up watching my mother build a successful dance studio in the 80s and 90s. All that was needed those days was a listing in the yellow pages, flyers stuffed through the mailboxes of the new housing development on the outskirts of town, and some positive word of mouth.
Word of mouth is still key. But pretty much everything else has changed. These days, with multiple dance studios, competing for students in one geographical area, and with parents of potential students going to Google and social media first for dance school recommendations, it is compulsory for a dance studio to have an online presence.
The pupil turnover at a dance studio is continuous. Pupils age out and go to college, or drop out as they get older and homework gets too demanding. Luckily there’s always a new supply of toddlers and school-aged children who are ready to start learning the fundamentals of dance.
And where are these children’s parents looking for their recommendations?
How To Implement Social Media Marketing for Dance Schools
- Get to grips with your social media accounts. Find out the best avenue to use for your social media depending on the demographic you’re trying to reach. Get a glut of ideas on what to post and how to create posts that users want to read and share. Find out about tools that help you automate your calendar of posts so you can spend a couple of hours on social media once a month and be done.
- Create your own social media ads. Get tips for creating a consistent brand for your studio that sticks. Learn how to send your ads to a select and targeted audience to get better results. See how to go backstage on Facebook and test which of your ads work, and which don’t, so you can make the most of your advertising budget.
- Get a customizable mobile-first Facebook ad for your dance studio. Try out different software to help you create easily customizable video advertisements.
- Discover live video for social media. Live video gets more comments and engagement than pre-recorded video and is watched for much longer. You already go “live” in front of your students every day – live video will be a breeze for you! Create visual, shareable videos so you’ll be streets ahead of your competition.
- Learn how to extinguish social media drama. Find out the most effective way to handle negative online comments. Also, get information on how to find out exactly where you and your studio are being talked about online so you can dive in and manage the conversation or follow up with potential leads as appropriate.
Secret Key to Dance Studio Marketing on Social Media
So you have a few marketing methods that you know are working to bring new students into your dance school. What do you do next to make sure you are squeezing the maximum number of new student inquiries out of every penny of your marketing investment.
The secret is split testing.
You may not have used split testing before, so let’s look at an example: Suppose you have been running a small advert in a local weekly paper that is bringing in some new inquiries for you each week.
What you do is you change just one thing in the advert – for example, you might try a different headline. You can then see if the new version brings in a higher number of inquiries than the previous version. If this new version increased response by a couple of percents, this now becomes your standard advert. You then move on to split test another variation again, always keeping the best performer of the two.
In this way over time, you can gradually increase the effectiveness of your marketing.
Now, this might sound a little tedious, but over time, if you are going through this split testing and optimizing process in all of your marketing efforts, you will begin to see some dramatic increases in the results you get and the number of new students your marketing brings into your dance school.
Here are a few ideas of what to split test in your marketing material (and this can be applied to any kind of marketing that you do for your dance school from your sales letters, adverts, flyers, and posters to your website pages, emails, Facebook adverts or Google AdWords advertising)
Title / Headline.
The idea with the headline is to get the reader’s attention, spark their interest and persuade them to stop whatever they are doing, and pay attention to your marketing material. Small changes in a headline can make a BIG difference in how many people stop to read your marketing piece.
So you’ve grabbed the reader’s attention with an intriguing headline… the next few lines of copy below your headline will be crucial in persuading your potential new customer that it’s worth reading on! You could try posing a question to get the reader thinking, you could highlight a common problem, then lead on to reveal your answers to the problem or link into the benefits that you can offer the reader.
Often the first thing the reader’s eye will go to is the picture on the page. You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words… Well, I take this one with a pinch of salt – often, a well-written copy can be a much better use of the large amount of space that the picture takes up in most advertising.
However, if you are including a picture on your flyer, poster, website landing page, Facebook advert, or any other form of advertising, you must, must, must split test to find which picture gets the best response as one picture will always outperform the other, sometimes by a long, long way.
Call to action.
Every piece of marketing material should have a call to action – clearly telling the reader what you want them to do next, and you can split test your call to action to see which one gets you more inquiries. “Call this phone number today” might outperform “fill out this form” or “visit this website page” or “cut out and return this coupon”.
You can hazard a guess as to which might get the best response, but guessing is not a good way to get more customers! Split test different calls to action and let the market tell you which they respond better too!
With our own websites, through split testing and optimization, we have seen the response rates on important web pages improving from a start of 3,4 or 5% right up to 25% and higher.
Jane Evseeva is an enthusiastic marketing manager at Dance Studio Management Software. She is passionate about all things social and eager to learn new effective approaches and implement new out-of-the-box strategies to reach maximum results.