How to Promote Dance Classes: Dance Studio Marketing Ideas
Whether it's ballet, hip hop, salsa, or ballroom, dance classes are a fantastic way for people of all ages to learn a new skill and improve their fitness level. Dance schools also provide an invaluable opportunity to socialize and connect with others who share a passion for dance.
Effectively promoting your class will be the foundation for its success. Marketing and promotion are fundamental in generating new customers, a larger class attendance, and ensuring the success of the class and the dance studio.
However, promoting a class can be challenging, especially if you're just starting.
In this article, we'll discuss the key steps to developing a dance studio marketing plan, including knowing your target audience, building an online presence through social media, email marketing, website, using paid ads, word of mouth, localised marketing and special promotion.
1. Get To Know Your Target Audience
The first step in your dance studio marketing is identifying your target audience. Who are the people you want to attract to your dance school? Are they children, adults, seniors, or a mix of all ages? What level of experience do they have? Are they beginners or advanced dancers?
These are questions you need to answer! Customer-focused marketing will have the highest-yielding results and help you attract more students.
Your potential students want to feel understood and know they can count on you to deliver a class reflective of their abilities and desires. Understanding your target audience and their needs will help you to tailor your marketing efforts and focus your promotion directly on their interests.
So, how do we put this into practice?
Focus your marketing efforts on where your potential customers will see it. Let’s say you define your target audience as school-age children. You will want to focus on promoting your class through schools, community centers, and children's programmes. If adults are your target audience, you will focus on promoting your class through local gyms, studios, and on social media platforms.
2. Build a Strong Online Presence: Master Digital Marketing
Today's digital market requires a recognisable, consistent, and effective online presence to be at the heart of your dance studio marketing. In this instance, your online presence refers to your social media platforms and website.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are great tools for reaching a wider audience. To effectively utilise these platforms, it is vital to understand their differences, what benefits each platform offers, and how it connects you with your target audience.
Creating a Facebook page is the ideal platform if your target audience is children. School-age children are unlikely to be on social media. By default, your online marketing should focus on the child’s parents or guardians. The most commonly used social media platform by adults in this demographic is Facebook.
You can use this Facebook page to post schedule updates, photos, or videos. This group can be private if you plan to share photographs of the children.
Instagram and TikTok
Instagram and TikTok are ideal platforms for dance studio marketing focused on teenage students and the 20-30 age range.
Instagram is perfect for sharing photos and videos of your class in action and will connect you with new customers. Instagram can provide a more localised approach as you will use location tags to assign the post to your area.
TikTok has a broader reach and the highest potential, of all the platforms, for producing viral content. This opportunity to generate a viral video will improve the dance studio's marketing and give unrivaled exposure to your class.
YouTube is the ultimate platform for sharing videos. You can create a YouTube channel and post videos of your class performing, of you teaching dance moves, and generally promoting the dance studio. We recommend repurposing TikTok videos as YouTube Shorts, a fast-paced and easy-to-digest form of content.
Email marketing can be an incredibly effective way for dance studios to reach out to current and prospective clients. By creating a targeted email list and crafting compelling email campaigns, you can keep your students informed about your class schedule, special offers, events, and performances.
One of the main benefits of email marketing is that it is highly personalised and allows you to tailor your message to the specific interests and needs of your audience. You can segment your email list based on factors such as age, experience, and interests, and send targeted messages that resonate with each group. This information can often be easily exported from the dance studio management software.
Another advantage of email marketing is that it is highly cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising. You can create and send emails using free or low-cost tools, and reach a large number of people with just a few clicks. Plus, you can track the success of your email campaigns in real-time, allowing you to make adjustments and improve your results over time.
The hardest thing about email is getting someone to open it, so when you’re typing your email out, make sure that you give a lot of thought to your subject line. Check out our blog post on email marketing if you’d like to learn more.
Do I need a website?!
Again, this depends on your target audience. A younger demographic will use Instagram as their primary search engine, while an older demographic will use Google. However, whichever age range your class is aimed at, a website remains the foundation for your online presence.
A website should be the central hub for promoting your dance school, providing information including the dance class schedule, its price, and the studio’s location. Additionally, we recommend including testimonials, blog posts, photos, and videos on your website. An active blog is a necessary part of dance studio marketing as it can improve your SEO optimisation, allowing you to generate organic leads for your class.
A link to your website can be added to your social media bios, making it easy for new customers to sign-up!
As your studio expands, you can also link your website with dance studio management software or an online booking system, such as Pembee.
3. Leverage Local Marketing Strategies
Local marketing strategies can be used as an effective way to promote your class and reach new customers within the surrounding community.
Claim your business on Google: Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to create a profile on Google, which can appear in Google Search and Google Maps. The profile includes information such as the business name, address, website link, phone numbers, hours/days of operation, reviews, and photos. This increases your chance of being shown or Google search results when customers search your business name or business type, especially in a specific location.
Partner with local businesses
You can also partner with local businesses or organizations, such as gyms, schools or community centers, to offer promotional discounts or flyers and attract prospects. Additionally, we recommend looking into local publications, such as newspapers or magazines, which provide a valuable advertising channel that directly connects you to your local community.
Be present in your community
Another way to use local marketing is to participate in community events or festivals. Get involved and showcase the dance studio through live performances and demos! You can even host a free group class or open house days and get passersby involved. If they enjoy this spontaneous class, they will be encouraged to seek out the dance studio’s upcoming events and timetable.
4. Use Paid Advertising
We have summarised the key steps below but if you are interested in a more detailed step-by-step guide, check this blog post on how to advertise a dance studio on Google Ads. Other platforms have more or less similar settings.
Define your target audience
Defining your target audience was our first step for a reason!
Before creating your paid ad, define your target audience based on age, location, interests, and other relevant factors. This definition will ensure your paid ad is customised to reach the right people.
Knowing your target audience will determine the form your ad takes. You may choose an image-based ad, a video ad, or a carousel ad. Assess the format and platform for your paid ads once you know who your students are.
Set a budget
We recommend setting a budget for your ad campaign and choosing an effective bidding strategy. This budget should reflect what works best for you and your class! You can choose to pay per click (PPC), per impression, or conversion.
Monitor your results
Monitor your ad campaign regularly to see how it's performing. Use the data to adjust your targeting, ad format, and budget. These results will impact how you use paid ads in the future.
5. Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word of mouth is a powerful form of marketing that can help you promote your dance class without spending a penny!
When your students enjoy your dance class, they pass this on to their friends and family and increase enrollment. To encourage this word-of-mouth marketing, you can consider offering incentives based on the results.
6. Offer Special Promotions or Souvenirs
To encourage word-of-mouth marketing for your dance class, offers and incentives can be an effective strategy. There are a variety of approaches you can take. These include, but are not limited to, free trials, referral programmes, testimonial incentives, loyalty programmes and merchandise.
On-the-house free trials
Free trials can come in two forms and are a great addition to dance studio marketing. You can make the irresistible offer of a free class to any potential new students. Ask current students to invite their family and friends, or share the event on their social media, to generate new customers and increase enrollment.
Alternatively, you can host a free event at the dance studio with a live performance to create a buzz around the class.
Using a referral programme as a part of the dance studio marketing will encourage existing customers to refer their friends and family to your dance school. For each successful referral, consider offering a discounted or free class to your current students and prospective students.
Testimonial incentives are another great way to promote your class. Why not consider offering a discounted or free dance class to students who provide a testimonial about their positive experience?
Testimonials make great additions to your website or social media channels and can help to attract new customers. Additionally, reviews left on Google or online bulletin boards will enhance your google listing and support you in generating more organic leads.
Creating a loyalty programmes is another way to reward your existing customers for their continued loyalty.
Loyalty to the dance studio is defined in two ways: the number of repeat classes the student attends and the increase in enrollment and the number of new customers they bring to the sessions.
Rewarding students based on these definitions will help you to retain your current customers and encourage them to continue promoting your class by word-of-mouth.
The benefits of using merchandise as a marketing tool are numerous. For starters, merchandise is a tangible item that your dance community members can take with them and use in their everyday life, serving as a constant reminder of your dance studio. It also helps build brand recognition and loyalty, as people are more likely to remember your studio if they see your logo or brand on a regular basis.
Merchandise also has the added benefit of being a walking advertisement for your studio, as your students will be wearing your branded items out in public, potentially attracting the attention of others who may be interested in taking your classes.
Moreover, merchandise is a relatively inexpensive way to promote your dance studio compared to other forms of advertising. While advertising in local newspapers or on radio can be costly, merchandise can be produced in bulk at a low cost and given away or sold at a markup, providing a source of additional income for your studio. With these benefits in mind, incorporating merchandise into your marketing strategy can be a smart move for any studio owner looking to promote their classes and increase their student base.
How to Promote Dance Classes: Summary
The successful promotion of your class relies on understanding the target market for your dance studio. Determine their age, location, fitness levels, and experience. After you have created your customer persona, tailor your marketing efforts to reflect their needs.
Your marketing efforts should include the maintenance of a consistent online presence through social media and a website, using localised marketing, paid ads, and experimenting with offers and incentives.
The final, fundamental step is reflection. You need to reflect, honestly, on your marketing efforts. Which have seen a high ROI, and which have been unsuccessful? This reflection will help direct your marketing efforts in the future, increasing enrollment and your dance class's chances of success.