We have noticed an interesting trend over the past couple of years. More people are using online services to find local businesses. This has impacted our advertising budget and where we need to spend the more. If you do not have a website then it is the first thing you should add this fall to your marketing campaign. It does not have to be that expensive to create one at first. You can go online and create your own website tonight with no experience or computer knowledge. Once you get going then you can see about adding more to your website and consider hiring a web designer.
Once you are online the best bang for the buck is to use the online yellow pages. www.yellowpages.com & www.superpages.com have been working terrifically for us over the past three years. Best of all you can put your ad there almost immediately. No need to wait for the new book to come out. Here is how it works.
With yellow pages you can contact them and they will give you the run down on how much it will cost you. Keep in mind that they are trying to sell you as much as possible so you will need to do a bit of negotiating with them. It is best to go online first and determine where you want to be placed. You will need to see what is happening with other dance schools in your area. When you talk to either Yellow Pages or Super Pages try to be online at the same time. The price you pay will be the deciding factor in the placement of your ad. The more you spend the higher up the ladder you go. Typically ballroom franchises will be at the top of the heading but if you do not teach ballroom it would not be an issue to be below them. We have switched almost all of our advertising dollars from the hard book to the online pages. We have been tracking this for about two years now and have found that the number of calls we get from the book were far less than from our online ad. Last year we had over 120 calls from online yellow pages and only 14 from the yellow pages book. Here is some more great news. Online you can also see how many people have gone to Yellow Pages looking for dance in your area each month. We had a display ad in the book so it had a lot of visibility. We have changed our hard book ad to an in column add and have used the money saved on the book to get a higher ranking with our online ad.
With Super Pages it is a pay per click campaign. You set what you want to pay per click and per month. How much you spend will again determine your placement. You will need to know exactly where you want to your placement to be .The great thing about Super Pages is that you can track how many people have clicked on your ad compared to how many people have looked for dance in your area. This is very helpful especially when you know how many people are looking for dance in your area. You will see how many people have searched for dance and the ratio of how many of them clicked on your ad. You can work with your placement and text to see what gives you the best results. We have had great success with Super Pages. We have hit our budget with Super Pages for 8 out of the 12 months this past year. These results are exciting for us and we encourage you to use these same tools to boost your enrollment. The results show that people are going online more and more to do their shopping and to help save them time. This is why it is very important to have a website to go to with these services because people can get your information immediately and, as we know, no one wants to wait for the mail anymore.
I see dance schools that are on Yellow Pages and Super Pages but have no website and I think it is a big mistake. If someone is already online and can click on your ad and go to your website right there and then to read all about you and your programs, who do you think they are going to call first? Having a website is also helpful because it can be laying the ground work and be a sales tool working for you seven days a week, twenty four hours a day. This way when they do call you they are ready to buy. You just have to walk them through the registration process. In later articles we will focus on building a website that will sell you and your programs best.