How to Market a School to Get More Students?
Thanks to the rapidly evolving digital world, school marketing is today a well-established marketing practice with numerous approaches, methods, and tools. Pretty much every school and educational institution use some kind of marketing strategy, whether it’s paid digital advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, or else.
There is little doubt that a solid, high-performance school marketing plan can play a significant role in enhancing student admission rates and expanding your social outreach. Marketing strategies also allow you to exploit market gaps and stay competitive.
But here’s the catch: marketing is not easy! It usually involves a series of complicated, time-consuming, and demanding tasks that require updated knowledge and high-level skills. So, if you want to market a school successfully, you need some tried-and-true marketing strategies. Here are a few tips to get started:
Photo by Eva Bronzini from Pexels
#1 Optimizing for SERPs
When students and parents want to find a new school or learn more about its teaching staff, they use search engines like Google. So, to market a school successfully, you need to improve your website ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). A high ranking on SERPs signals your school’s credibility and drives more organic traffic to your website.
Parents need to know everything about a school. They will check out your online presence, Google reviews, testimonials, and student feedback till finally they find the right school for their children. So, implementing local SEO practices is a big step before you start to market a school.
To ensure your website is SERP-ready, conduct thorough market research and identify high-value and popular keywords. You can also use Google Keyword Planner or tools like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest and integrate relevant keywords into your blog posts and social media articles. This will improve your online exposure and bring you more high-quality leads.
#2 Optimize Your School Website
To market a school, you need a well-crafted school website. It is probably the first line of communication between you and potential parents and students. There, you must provide all the information they are looking for and answer their primary questions and concerns.
Website optimization entails many different aspects, but first, focus on the main principles to enhance the user experience. The main principles include speed, responsiveness, readability, searchability, and using visual elements.
Your website must load within three seconds and adapt the display of content to different devices, screen sizes, and orientations.
A website with large blocks of text is an absolute no-go. So make sure to use high-quality images and visual elements here and there. To improve readability, you can also increase the white space between paragraphs and break long-form content into smaller sections.
#3 Conduct a SWOT Analysis
When you market a school, you need a plan based on an in-depth evaluation of your current standing among competitors. The best way to understand your position is by conducting a SWOT analysis, which explores internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats.
SWOT analysis does not guarantee a flawless marketing strategy, but it does ensure that you can respond to any situation in a timely and appropriate manner. In other words, it helps you identify shortcomings and proactively find practical solutions to address them or mitigate their impact.
Moreover, SWOT analysis uncovers your strengths and market opportunities that can increase your brand awareness. And remember, SWOT analysis only works if you strike a balance between leveraging strengths and opportunities and eliminating weaknesses and threats.
#4 Generate High-Quality Content
Seasoned marketers are familiar with the phrase, “content is king.” When you try to market a school, one of the most valuable assets at your disposal is your educational content. It can take different forms and get published in various channels. Blog articles, news feeds, podcasts, introductory videos, and social media posts are all examples of content.
But content marketing has its own rules and principles. The first rule is to generate quality content based on your business objectives. For instance, if you want to market a school to attract more parents and students, your content should be focused on the unique values and services you can deliver to the audience.
Secondly, useful content must satisfy students’ and parents’ needs. To produce relevant content, you should understand your audience persona and establish a clear content strategy. Then set up a content calendar to ensure that your school website is regularly updated with fresh content.
#5 Choose a Content Management Systems
When you attempt to market a school, many different aspects of your online presence should be carefully managed. From keyword research to choosing magnetic headlines and title optimization, editing and proofreading content, media selection, layout adjustment, and SEO optimization, all are critical to ensure you receive enough online exposure.
Content Management Systems (CMS) can provide you with a user-friendly environment to manage and monitor all these tasks more effectively. CMS platforms deliver an all-in-one package that enables you to create, organize, publish, and store content.
Here are some of the best CMS platforms:
#6 Streamline Your Workflow
One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts is streamlining your workflow. In a nutshell, streamlining school marketing means removing unnecessary or repetitive tasks and minimizing the number of manual works through automation.
For example, you can create a well-organized editorial calendar to define the “what, when, where, and how” of your content pipeline. This will allow every team member to stay on track and understand their next project.
Streamlining your workflow also helps you prioritize tasks that are more urgent or important. This way, you can enhance your management capabilities and oversee the sales cycle, admission process, and student life cycle.
Here are five great tools to create an editorial calendar:
#7 Know Your Target Audience
School marketing requires a deep understanding of your target audience, their online behavior, and identities. One of the best ways to understand your target audience is audience segmentation which will divide students and parents into different groups based on common behavioral patterns and traits such as education, habits, place of birth, and so on.
Understanding your target audience enhances your capabilities to market a school by improving your content effectiveness. If your educational services and product can be provided to multiple audience segments, make sure adjust your marketing strategy to appeal to a broader spectrum.
Here are five effective tools for creating your client personas:
#8 Run a Digital Advertisement Campaign
Digital advertisement is commonly used in many different marketing campaigns for driving online traffic to clients’ websites and social media accounts. Digital ads are incredibly powerful tools for expanding your customer base and building brand awareness among prospective parents and students.
Studies indicate that worldwide digital advertising spending is expected to reach over $700 billion by 2025, meaning that digital advertising remains one of the effective methods for schools and educational institutions.
To optimize your digital ad campaign, conduct regular keyword research and analyze your content strategy according to your findings. You can also analyze competitors’ ad campaigns through competitor analysis and find out how other schools are presenting themselves online.
#9 Create a Social Media Strategy
Globally, 60 percent of people use social media! Social media marketing offers an exceptionally powerful communication tool to reach different audience groups. This feature is pretty unparalleled among other marketing channels.
Many social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit are highly popular among younger generations and offer excellent opportunities to expand your follower base and communicate with students.
A strong social media presence establishes your authority, boosts your business’s SEO score, increases audience engagement, and provides opportunities for marketing and brand discovery. Designing a social media marketing (SMM) plan can be a great start to help you target high-value audience segments and enhance your findability.
#10 Start Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to market a school. You can integrate email marketing into your marketing plan as a powerful tool to target and communicate with customers interested in your services. Email marketing not only provides subscribers with updated news about school activities, but it also helps to improve your brand recognition.
However, you should keep in mind that emailing customers who haven’t signed up for your mailing list is strongly frowned upon. Cold emailing negatively impacts email deliverability and damages your brand reputation.
#11 Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
Smartphone users worldwide are projected to reach 7.7 billion in 2027 which means it is time to take mobile users more seriously. Today, every brand’s survival depends on having a mobile-friendly website with an optimized landing page. And schools are no exceptions.
The combination of a mobile-friendly interface, high page speed, optimized navigation features, active links, and a responsive website creates a fulfilling user experience that pretty much guarantees conversion.
Moreover, Google and many other search engines consider device responsiveness as one of the most important factors for ranking websites in SERPs. So, check out your website’s mobile responsiveness by typing your URL in Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and make sure your users can effectively navigate your website.
#12 Develop a Unique Brand Image
Many marketing campaigns aim to differentiate brands’ social image from competitors. But building upon your exceptional qualities as an outstanding educational institution requires hard work. You must show parents, students, and the school community that what you offer goes unmatched.
Use your news feeds, social media publications, and public relations campaigns to outshine the competition. Every piece of content, blog post, caption, video script, and photo represents opportunities to convince your audience that you are adding seamless value to their lives.
For starters, you can see how your organization represents the 5 personality traits of successful brands: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. Developing these traits allow you to build an emotional connection with students and foster brand loyalty.
#13 Offer a Virtual Tour
Many prospective students and parents want to get a sense of the school’s vibe by seeing what life is like on campus and in the classrooms. But they may not have the time or resources to drive long distances and visit each school in person. An online virtual tour can solve this problem.
You can offer a virtual tour and introduce your educational institution appropriately. All you need is an experienced, professional team that understands your business needs and presents your school’s resources to the audience. Contact our team and arrange a plan for equipping your website with a customized 3D virtual tour.
Developing a marketing plan for schools can become challenging, but the good news is that there are tons of market-proven initiatives and tactics you can use to stand out from the crowd. You just need to find the best combination of strategies and practices that work for you.
One of the most effective ways to market a school is offering a tailored education 3D virtual tour along with a broad array of multi-media solutions to optimize your online exposure. With Momentum 360, you can enjoy the exceptional quality of our services provided by a team of dedicated professionals.
Don’t hesitate any further. Contact us today and let’s get your brand where it deserves to be.