Suppose you are a marketing team of one. Or maybe you are your team’s only marketer, but it’s only a fraction of your role.

It’s hard enough to get through daily emails and routinely produce catalogs and communications, let alone experiment with new techniques, like implementing TikTok campaigns or creating new videos for your district site. You wear many hats and have little time. What should your focus be on in a field with many strategies, plans, and initiatives?

This spring, we connected with marketers of after school programs around the country to help answer this question. We dove into many subjects, including software, data, team size, budgets, resources, and approval processes. During our discussions, marketing strategies varied a bit, but in the end, we identified four key focus areas for after school marketers this summer that we believe to be true.

Bandwidth

As discussed, many of these marketing teams in the after school industry are teams of one or two … if there is even a full position. Some have larger teams, but the general notion is that this industry is wearing many different hats. Learning how to effectively manage your time and bandwidth to help out your program the best way is so important.

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Action item: Know that you’re doing a great job. As we’ve said, you hold many different responsibilities, and it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself. We suggest just picking one or two of these categories to try and innovate this summer.

Technologies and Platforms

Summer is a great time to test and discover new technologies for your programs. Set time aside in the next few weeks to meet with your team and discuss the biggest opportunities for efficiencies and innovation across your marketing efforts.

What technologies are after school marketers exploring this summer? Adobe Creative Suite, PeachJar, Canva, YouTube, iMovie, Hootsuite, Benchmark, etc. These tools are being used by after school marketing teams to help brand and market their district's programs.

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Action item: We’ve discussed how many of these technologies can help you and your workflow. Try one out this summer that you haven’t tried before.

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Enrollment and Data

Are you collecting enrollment information? How often do you analyze it? Some districts practiced this once a year, and some pulled reports several times after significant registration pushes. Keeping up to date marketing analytics is essential to have an effective registration season and ensure you are reaching all segments of your community via email, mailers, and mailers.

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Quick tip: Keep an eye out for Eleyo’s Book of Reports, released later this summer, to learn how Eleyo can help you measure your initiatives' effectiveness.

Catalog Optimization

Marketers are continuously examining their program catalog’s frequency, medium (print vs. digital), and ability to be interactive.

There is also a variance in the design and style of print catalogs. During our discussions, how programs name courses – with numbers or class-specific names – created intrigue. Other thoughts and questions that arose —  What type of paper and style. Do you make one master catalog with all kinds of courses – adult enrichment, children, elderly, etc. or do you have individual catalogs for each grouping? There are many possibilities, but focusing on optimizing this year’s catalog from last is key.

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Research opportunity: Teams are creating catalogs through Canva. A design tool we featured in the past, Canva helps make catalogs interactive by creating links to each registration page and more. 

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The Importance of Focus

More than any other silo, marketing is a discipline where everyone is on a different playing field. Due to staffing restrictions and budgets, resources can vary drastically from district to district. However, it’s important to refine your focus regardless of your team size. Choosing one of the areas of emphasis above can help put you and your team in a better position as marketers this fall.

Additional Marketing Resources

Marketing: Awareness Metrics & Best Practices for After School Programs
With some great insight from Eleyo’s annual After School Report and thoughts from our marketing team, we dive into best practices for marketing after school programs.
Eleyo’s 2022 After School Report
Eleyo’s 2022 After School Report is here! From the hearts and minds of the after school industry, this is what programs must focus on in the coming months.
Introducing: The 2021 Registration Workbook
This interactive PDF will guide you through a strategic registration plan fit for your after school and child care programs as you prepare for your next season. Refreshed content and interactive digital elements elevate the 2021 edition, so be sure to download below!