Shine up your school’s marketing program with these top tips on implementing a robust marketing program, utilizing the variety of channels available, or elevating your existing program to the next level.
In this era, schools need to have:
- Comprehensive websites that employ SEO principles
- Robust social media platforms
- Several events to bring new families into the school to showcase its best assets
Creating a marketing strategy that includes multiple channels, gives you the best chance of reaching your audience. When your school utilizes all these aspects in marketing, it can grow its enrollment, distinguish itself from other available options, and boost its pathway to sustainable revenue. Plus, you don’t even need a singing cartoon to tell you how!
Thanks to its website, your school makes an impression before a potential student ever steps inside. When families start researching where to send their students, they start on the internet, so it’s the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression.
If a potential prospect’s family has a question, the first thing they’re going to do is check your website, so make sure your website content covers key things parents would need to know. Your school should also develop a frequently asked questions section, that’s regularly updated to include bite-size and up-to-date content to address potential parent concerns. Make sure the information on your site is clear and direct. Don’t leave anything to interpretation; talk with current families to determine relevant details your business office might not have considered.
Your school can also embed forms on its site to allow potential parents to request more information or to submit questions for your business office to answer. Making it easy for parents to contact your school with any questions instills confidence and leaves a positive impression on prospects.
Its key to include a human element to your website. Families want to feel like your school is really going to invest in their child. Be sure to highlight student awards, extra-curricular activities, and staff bios, alongside news and photos of school activities and charity events.
Another easy way to tell your school’s journey is by keeping and regularly updating a blog. Besides being an easy way to share information, your blog can highlight student and staff accomplishments, share relevant news, and continue to showcase why your school is the best option for any potential family in the area.
Employing an SEO Focus
Whilst having a detailed website is key, you also need to be able to find it! In order to appear in search results, your school must ensure its search engine optimization (SEO) is thought through and actively used throughout the site.
When your school is competing with others in the same area, SEO helps your school stand out from the crowd. Local SEO will help improve your school’s visibility in the local area. Google makes assumptions based on the user’s location and the input they search for. You’re marketing to a specific local area.
Following these steps ensures your school is actively addressing SEO:
1. Make sure all your NAP information is the same everywhere
Your school’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) must be the same on every online page. Wherever your information is listed, they all need to have the same information. Search engines will scan all your associated school pages online to verify all your data. If it’s inconsistent, they can’t trust that the information they’re serving users is correct, so they might deemphasize it in local search.
2. Use Keywords in Your Listing
You have control over how your Google listing talks about your school, so including relevant keywords like “private school in Chicago” will help boost your local visibility. Use your website to mention associated keywords to help Google further understand your school’s search engine listing.
3. Encourage Reviews
You know your school is the best, so make sure parents do too. Encourage existing parents to leave Google reviews. Collecting reviews positively affects your local search rankings, as well as giving prospects confidence in choosing you. Your school should actively respond to reviews—including some of the above relevant keywords—to further show Google you’re actively managing your school’s online presence.
Sensational Social Media
Social media is a great way to engage with prospects without them specifically searching for your content. Where your website requires a specific search or ad to be shown to your parents, social media allows prospects to come across your content organically at any time of day. It’s estimated that people spend an average of 97 minutes a day on social media, that’s 97 minutes, every day, that your school could be found by a prospective family.
Where your website is a one-stop data information shop, your school’s social media accounts are an easy way to reach out to your school’s community.
Parents will also engage with your school on social media, sharing content with their network and growing your audience for you, so continue the conversation when appropriate, and treat your school’s social media as another way to reach prospective parents.
Once you have an active online presence, it’s time to bring the prospective parents to your school so they can see why it’s so great in person.
Regularly hold open houses to allow people to see inside the school and meet teachers and staff members watching after their children. Allowing parents to ask any questions or get to know school staff is great for boosting confidence and creates a connection with your school.
Open houses are also great opportunities to give out more honed-in marketing materials and school guides. Because the parents coming to open houses are likely more engaged, this is your school’s best chance to make a lasting impression.
A good school marketing strategy uses all these channels to reach potential parents and highlight its accomplishments. Your school can do it too! Whether you’re just starting a marketing program or looking to boost an established program, join our webinar to learn more about to optimizing your school’s outreach.