Top of Mind Awareness – Or – Hey, that’s so crazy it just might work!
If you are successful in your advertising and promotional efforts, you will be the first, or at least one of the first, dance studios that come to mind when parents are looking for dance classes for their children. This is ‘Top of Mind Awareness’, and it’s crucial in order for you to grow your studio.
You have to proactively send messages into the market to get and retain top of mind awareness. Better yet are messages that create a buzz and get people talking. Traditional means of advertising and promotion are invaluable (such as a dynamic, appealing website, and periodic mailings), but to take it up a notch, find unexpected places to showcase your studio name and logo. Here are three ideas to get you started:
1) Custom Postage Stamps
Did you know you can create custom postage stamps with a photo from your studio for your mailings? These are natural conversation pieces, and can serve as excellent promotional tools. The cost is reasonable, at about 50 cents per stamp, and the price goes down if you order multiple sheets.
You likely wouldn’t use the stamps for bills and such, but for a targeted mailing, the extra expense can be worth it. PhotoStamps.com is a company sanctioned by the United States Postal Service. I have not used this service myself (nor do I have any affiliation with them), but the fact that USPS gives them a thumbs up of sorts would make me comfortable to give them a try.
A photo of the front of your studio would be a great option for a custom stamp, as would a behind-the-scenes recital picture. You could even create a series, with a different dancing staff member on each stamp. Custom postage stamps are the smallest advertisements you’re ever likely to see, but ones that are likely to get noticed.
2) Temporary Tattoos
Ok, this is a wacky idea, but your students will love it. At your next studio BBQ or Parents’ Night Out event, pass out temporary tattoos with your studio logo on them. Or add them as a costume accessory for your competitive teams — they are certain to jazz things up.
On several websites these days, you can order tattoos that are inexpensive, safe, easy to use, fun, and yes — temporary.
Here are a few such websites. Most don’t have their prices on their websites, but contacting them for pricing is made easy. Please keep in mind that I have not used any of these companies myself (no great call yet for Studio of Dance. com tattoos), and I have no affiliation with any of the companies. Please do your own research, and go with your gut and common sense.
Tip – At least one of the companies above gives a discount for first-time buyers who sign up for their newsletter. If this is not on offer, do a search for a promo code or discount before making payment. Often these codes can easily be found and will save you some moolah.
Not only do kids and teens love temporary tattoos, but they are likely to show them to their friends, who will immediately think your studio is the coolest ever. Temporary tattoos – talk about a walking billboard!
3) Yard Signs
I drove by a house the other day with a sign in its yard – “Tigard Athletic League – Softball Signup – Mon through Thurs 5-8”, which got me to thinking. Outdoor advertising yard signs are used by contractors when they remodel a home, and painting services advertise in the same way. Certainly politicians make generous use of them. Why not use these outdoor signs to your studio’s advantage?
Many companies sell yard signs through their websites, and the cost is surprisingly reasonable. To give you an idea, I quickly found an offer for 100 full color, 12 x 16 inch yard signs for $89.00 (not including wire stakes or shipping). Or you can just get one sign for $19.95, or 5 for $12.95 per. Do a Google search for ‘yard + signs’ to find a company that is a good fit for your needs.
Keep in mind that signs work best if they’re bold, consistent with your dance studio’s branding, and professionally done. They must tell the viewer your message quickly, so keep the text short and the font large. Don’t use ALL CAPS, as it is more difficult to read. And do remember to maximize the effectiveness of your sign by including your studio’s website address.
Would you like to generate enthusiasm for your summer camps and programs? Wanting to increase community interest in your Nutcracker production? Do as the painters and politicians do, and embrace the use of yard signs.
The above three ideas are meant to attract eyeballs and generate a buzz. The more buzz about your studio, the more people are aware of it. And with that, the chances are increased that your studio will achieve Top of Mind Awareness.
How do you keep your dance studio ‘top of mind’ in your community? Please share any thoughts in the comments section below.