Being a long time dance student, I have been to many dance schools both in Estonia and abroad. I’m also following multiple of them on social media to see what they’re up to. I have noticed some studios are doing their social media and digital marketing much better than others, so I wanted to share some insights. So here are a few suggestions for leaving a good impression online and attracting new students.
1# Keep Your Branding Consistent
A good brand image at a minimum means you are using the same graphics, colors and fonts everywhere all the time – your website, Instagram, Facebook, physical printed posters and so on. This is key to making your studio more memorable and come off as more professional and trustworthy.
Developing and maintaining a brand is of course more thorough than that and includes setting your core values, mission, tone of voice and more, but creating brand graphics is one way to get started. If you can’t afford to hire a designer or a branding team, read this brilliant book by Laura Busche called “Lean Branding” and create a brand identity yourself.
A good example of a studio with consistent branding is Mutama dance school in Florianópolis, Brazil. They are using their signature green/gray/white palette and the same font on all their social media graphics and website, there’s even the same shade of green incorporated into their studio interior.
2# Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a wonderful way to give people a sneak peek into your studio. The schools that do it well make short clips from every class, also write the name of the class on the image, maybe even the time (eg “Our cute bachata beginners” or “Zouk class every Tue & Thu 19:00”). Newcomers will be more inclined to join your classes when they know how it looks like, meaning who are the teachers, what do the rooms look like, what kind of crowd is in the classes and so on.
They also promote their bigger events ahead of time, and show clips of the event on the day it’s happening. Even if people won’t make it this time, the stories will definitely help them feel like taking part in the future.
What’s wonderful about Instagram Stories (besides that it’s free!) is that the photos and videos only stay up for 24h, so you’re not crowding anyone’s feed even if you post often. This also means your potential clients will know that these videos are recent and not from last year, showing that your studio is active and engaged.
Brasilatino studio in Adelaide, Australia is doing it really well and sharing clips from their classes consistently.
3# Film Promotional Videos
If you want to take it to the next level, have some good quality professional videos made. They can be high production or more personal vlog style videos, whichever suits your brand best.
Content-wise it can be a video showing what your studio looks like or short clips from the regular classes. This way, just like the Instagram Stories, it gives a chance for people to get an idea of what being in your studio would feel like.
You might also want to show dance videos of demos or choreographies your students and teachers are performing. This demonstrates their skills and shows the potential students what level they can achieve when they choose to study with you.
Tartu Tantsuakadeemia recently impressed me with their awesome videos on their Instagram @tartutantsuakadeemia. An example of a vlog style video would be this one from Steezy, showing the behind-the-scenes of what they’re up to.
4# Keep Your Website Informative And Up to Date
In addition to beautiful visuals you need to make sure your communication through online channels is clear. Make new students feel welcome: let them know if they have to register for classes and where, how to get to the studio, where to park, what they need to wear etc.
Information on your website needs to be up to date, including the schedule. When classes get cancelled, their time changed, a course suspended or the start of a course postponed, have it be reflected on the website ASAP so that people wouldn’t show up to an empty studio. It’s super confusing when the website says one thing but Facebook something else – your clients now need to put in extra effort to ask someone where is the accurate information.
Sometimes the dance schools decide to not hire an administrator. In this case the information through online channels has to be even more comprehensive. (I especially love when studios send newsletters!) Overcommunication is the best bet.
These were some recommendations for dance studios to level up their digital marketing game, stand out from other schools and make more people interested in signing up to their classes. When considering which dance schools to join, given that they teach the same dance styles, what are the things that make you choose one over the other?