COVID-19 changed everything, and while your pre-pandemic dance studio marketing strategy may have been great, it’s probably due a refresh at this point. Here are our tips for marketing in 2022:
1. Turn your pandemic pivot into a profitable marketing strategy
If you have a collection of pre-recorded videos, how-to clips, or resources your dancers used while studios were closed, this is the time to turn them into marketing materials. You can share these across social media and attract new dancers in the process.
Think: could you give away access to pre-recorded videos or workshops in exchange for email sign-ups on your website? Or partner with platforms like OutSchool and KidPass to offer classes as an additional income stream? Go through your video archives and virtual toolkit and start mixing and matching resources you already have–the possibilities may surprise you!
2. Invest in the community that invested in you
When the pandemic hit, communities rushed to support local businesses, purchasing gift cards, booking future services, and even making donations. Meanwhile, neighbors came together on social media to connect, volunteer, and form mutual-aid groups. With everyone more invested in their local communities, your marketing strategy should do the same. Use online community groups to connect with neighbors and offer free classes or complimentary workshops; support and partner with other local businesses; sponsor community initiatives; and gather up your dancers to volunteer on local projects.
3. Make your marketing personal
Make people feel as if your studio has the exact classes they need, at the times they prefer, and in the styles they love. More than ever, customers expect personalized interactions with businesses. That’s where The Studio Director can help: it lets you keep track of details like dancer’s names, birthdays, and class preferences so you can send targeted emails and text messages about upcoming class options, promotions, and events in a personalized way.
4. Dip into influencer marketing
We know, you’re a local studio and this feels like something only big brands would do. But we suggest trying it exactly because other studios probably aren’t. You’re not going to book a Kardashian for this, but you can find micro-influencers among the students you already have! Some of their social media followings may surprise you, and they may be delighted to post about your dance studio in exchange for a free class package or other freebies!
5. Give people something fun to talk about
If you’re already handing out flyers or postcards, why not give people something fun? For example, you could pop your business card into tiny pots of flowers or seed packets to pass out in the spring; give away small bottles of bubbles for kids to blow in the summertime; pass out tiny pumpkins or colorful pencils in the fall; and so on. Many of these are a modest investment, but are more delightful to pass out on the streets than a handful of paper. Plus, they give people something fun and memorable to remember you by!
6. Keep dancers coming back
You may offer trial classes, but do you make it easy for dancers to come back for more? Try doing what Lovely Leaps does and encourage students to take a post-class survey about their preferred class styles and times. Use this info to create new classes based on demand, and send potential dancers a discount code for upcoming classes they’re likely to love. Also, remove the friction of registering for new classes each season by setting up recurring billing and automatically enrolling dancers for the next class series.
7. Use video to show off who you are
Potential students want a glimpse of who you are and what you do, and there’s no better way to showcase it than with video. For example, one dance school created a brilliant, shareable dance recital mash-up to show off what they do at every age and level. Meanwhile, others are playing with fresh moves and fun video clips on TikTok, giving people a peek into their studio’s style, personality, and dance cred.
8. Get on the map
When people search for dance studios in their area, they’ll often go straight to Google Maps, zooming in on what’s nearby. When they do, be sure they see YOU. First, claim and verify your business listing via Google my Business, and then optimize it by adding opening hours, your website, photos, and of course custom reviews. It’s simple but powerful!