The last few years have forced many schools to change their marketing strategies. Parents looking for the right educational institution for their children have begun to demand from educational institutions a more informative, targeted, and realistic program.
Simple calls to action are no longer as effective. Therefore, you need to adapt to the new conditions and work on creating the best digital marketing strategy for the school.
Define a goal
Goal setting is key to developing an effective strategy. Without it, you will act blindly and will not be able to understand that you have achieved the desired result.
Consider what interests you are pursuing when you want to introduce a digital marketing strategy into the school’s activities. Ultimately, no matter what your goal is, it must meet the following criteria:
- be achievable;
- meet expectations;
- defined in time;
- be measurable.
If it does not correspond to at least one of the points, it needs to be finalized. A well-set goal looks like this: 30 children should be enrolled in the first grade in September.
This means that the school has the opportunity to accept as many students as there is a time frame in a particular class. All the following steps should be directed towards achieving this goal.
Make a plan
Many schools neglect this point, so they have no idea whether the steps taken in the future will work to achieve the goal.
For example, the demographic data of the district and the city should be included in the plan. This clearly indicates whether the goal of enrolling 30 children in school is feasible, even in terms of the number of families living in the area of interest with children of this age.
Past years’ successful and unsuccessful proposed school events and activities must also be included in the plan and analyzed.
For example, suppose an advertisement in a local newspaper did not bring the desired result, and a banner on a city news site showed an excellent conversion. In that case, it becomes clear that it is not worth paying for advertising in the press, but a promotion on the Internet may require more investment.
Do not forget to include a budget in the marketing proposal, appoint an employee responsible for achieving the result, and set KPIs (in our case, the enrollment of 30 children).
You must understand that implementing a particular task requires investing a certain amount of funds. In the case of digital marketing tools, it is much easier to calculate the required budget.
Let’s take Google Adwords as an example. Let’s say your website’s conversion rate is 2%. This means that from 100 visitors, you will get two conversions.
And to get 30 sales, you need to provide 1500 targeted visits. With a cost per click of $2, you would need to spend $3,000 to reach your goal of enrolling 30 students.
You can plan your budget and keywords using the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool.
Analyze the target audience
Understanding the needs of potential customers is the path to successful sales. If you can give them what they want, parents and students from other schools will come to you.
To understand the client, you need to analyze. The more data you collect, the more triggers and impact points you will find. And this is the key to a successful marketing strategy.
Just please don’t limit yourself to age, gender, and geodata. Pay enough attention to this and delve into the question. It would be great if you could indicate interests, pains, experiences, etc. To give the avatar humanity, come up with a familiar name.
Use the template below for the most convenient user avatar design. Remember that there can be several avatars, and this is normal.
Don’t forget analytics
The plan of marketing activities, which is drawn up at the initial stage, is not the final and last version. His correction is quite logical and justified.
Changes should be made based on which actions have yielded results and which have not. To make the marketing as profitable as possible, you need to analyze processes constantly. To do this, use these tools.
- Google Analytics. It will help to track user actions on the site, understand their behavior and find interface weaknesses.
- CRM and marketing automation tools. All leads will be stored here, and sources will be displayed. Based on the information received, optimizing the advertising budget by redistributing it and working on consumer loyalty is possible.
- AV testing. This is an excellent way to improve the design and content of your site. With it, you can significantly increase the cost per conversion.
The data from these sources will help you make your advertising more accurate and targeted, and your marketing will pay off faster and cost-effectively.
Work with content
Content posted on the website or pages on social networks remains the primary marketing tool. Give him the attention he deserves. Make content plans.
Think carefully about topics depending on the time of year or month. Increase the loyalty of your readers and subscribers with interesting and valuable articles on topics of interest to them. Create a unique style for your school that will be recognizable in every text.
Remember that every tool must work towards a goal. But this does not mean that you need to focus only on potential customers – parents who will bring children to your school.
Students, present and past, are also your target audience in the future. Therefore, articles and publications for them should not be forgotten either.
Create an image of a unique school around you
You must identify what makes your school unique and communicate that information to parents. But beyond that, your marketing strategy must also be unique.
Templates do not work when you need to convey value to the consumer. And the value of the school is solving the problems of potential customers. If you can provide it, the client will come to you.
For example, your school may have an innovative approach. Using modern educational tools like Studocu will help improve the process of exchanging educational materials and form the image of a progressive educational institution.
Look for different approaches for different target audience segments.
First, some parents have already heard something, are superficially familiar with your school, and are connected to the sales path, not at the very beginning.
Parents can be even a year before the child enters school at different stages, so you need to understand that someone is just looking for a school and is already considering 2 or 3 options, including your educational institution.
If in the first case it is essential to provide information about the school, then in the second case it is vital to convincing that it is the best.
You must ensure that parents receive all the information they are interested in thoroughly, as efficiently as possible, and in the way they want, not the way you came up with.
Open days and excursions work great, but reviews, virtual tours of the school, and descriptions of subjects and programs in brochures and websites are no less compelling. The more sources of information you provide to clients to choose from, the more likely they are to apply to your school.
To understand precisely how to present the necessary information, refer again to the analytics and the portrait of the target audience. The data should tell you which path will be the most correct.
For housewives who send their child to first grade, it is imperative to come to school and see everything with your own eyes. For busy parents, this approach is not always relevant; for them, the program, reviews, and reputation are essential.
In any case, you do not need to be too aggressive with parents and they do not respond well to the call to “apply,” and it is good to “fill out the form for a tour.” These must be used.
Design a school website
This part of the marketing strategy needs to be said separately. The school website is its face on the Internet.
It is more important than a page on social networks since surveys have shown that people get acquainted with the news on social networks and look for important information on websites. Therefore, make an appropriate design, think over the interface, create complete and exciting content, and share important news.
This also creates a welcoming space for referral marketing to occur naturally. The site should not be idle for a single day. His activity is your new customers.
To summarize: what you need to create a school marketing strategy
- A goal is a general rule, but it should be specific, measurable, and time-bound for your school.
- Target Audience – Be clear about who you are working for; this will help make your strategy unique.
- Go to the goal in stages, analyzing the results of each step – if necessary, adjust the plans so that they fully correspond to the achievement of the goal.
- Use all the necessary tools – from free analytical services and eSignature solutions to paid advertising, if it is justified.
- Monitor your reputation in social networks – think over content based on readers’ needs, share their interests, and give a solution to the problem.
Prove that your school is unique – by and large, this is what your clients expect from you. They want to send the child to a school where he will get better and more interested than in other educational institutions.
On this uniqueness and build your strategy. Do everything on time, and increase the loyalty of your students and their parents because they are an invaluable source of free advertising.
There are general rules for creating a marketing strategy, but there is no recipe for how to make it unique and effective for your institution. Only you and your team can create a unique program that will bear fruit and help you achieve your goal.
If you have great ideas and want to jumpstart your marketing journey for your school, we suggest you create your own digital marketing proposal! You can add media files, write your project ideas, elaborate on your goals, and more!
Prospero is a proposal management software that lets you curate professional proposals with ease, along with its long list of templates for different use cases. Sign up today to get your 14-day free trial!