School marketing is changing; once heavily reliant on traditional avenues such as radio stations, the local newspaper, and bus adverts, the rise in digital channels has seen marketing take a more targeted and personal approach.
Striking the right balance between traditional and digital when it comes to marketing your school to prospective students and their families can be a difficult proposition, and there are many questions to ask yourself.
For instance, where are you going to get the most value for money? What should you factor in? And how can you continue to use your school’s relationship with the local press and your parent community to your advantage in the digital age?
Luckily for you, the team here at Eduprise have the answers. We work with many schools across the country to help them successfully balance their marketing priorities, and convert their effort (and ours!) into all important admissions.
In our latest blog, we examine the essential factors that every school must consider before spending on admissions marketing.
Know Your Brand
It may seem obvious, but before you start telling people to join your school, you should have a good idea of what makes your school a great choice. Most importantly, you should know how to spread the word.
If you are confident in the positive aspects of your school, your marketing communications will be much more convincing, and prospective families are more likely to trust the information they’re being given.
At Eduprise, we help our clients to identify what makes their organisation special, and to shout about it! When the messaging is nailed down, we make sure that branding across all channels is consistent and engaging.
Plan Your Social Media Advertising
The huge uptake in social media over the past decade or more has opened the gates to a new way of reaching your audience. Using social media networks, such as Facebook, is a great way to reach a huge number of prospective parents on a platform they’re likely to access frequently.
However, without adequate research and knowledge of how to use the tools, it can be easy to waste money on campaigns that aren’t reaching the right people.
We recently researched the effectiveness of traditional local media advertising and paid social media advertising. Crucially, our analysis found that you can reach far more parents for less by using paid social media.
If you’d like to know more about how to get started, our team can help put you on the right track. You can get in touch here.
Don’t Neglect Your Relationship with Local Press
It’s all well and good embracing digital channels, but it’s worth keeping up a good working relationship with the local press.
While it can be difficult to build up a relationship from the ground up, working closely and productively with the press can have a huge impact come admissions season.
A well-handled press relationship can be a very useful tool in improving – and maintaining – your school’s local reputation.
Engage Parents in School Life
We’ve said it before; parents and carers are your most effective brand ambassadors, so it’s important to nurture your relationship. After all, it’s difficult for them to be good brand ambassadors if they don’t know about all the great work that you do.
Keep up the communication. Parents love to hear good news and examples of amazing work that’s been done in class. The more encouraging information you share, the more they’ll be able to help build a positive local reputation for your school.
Make Your Website Work for You
Your school website can have a big impact on admissions.
It’s likely that most of your marketing material will direct prospective parents to your website to make an admissions enquiry, so this is a critical time to make a good impression. But how do you do this?
Firstly, a good web design should lead your audience to the information and pages most likely to generate admissions enquiries.
And secondly, refine your user experience. Parents can easily be put off by a difficult-to-use website, so make sure content is clearly labelled and accessible, and navigation around your site is straight-forward.
Doing this can have a decisive impact on admissions numbers, and there’s always room to improve! Speak to the team at Eduprise about what we can do to help review and renew your website to boost your admissions campaigns.
Don’t Leave It Too Late
In our experience, one of the biggest mistakes schools make is assuming that a large last-minute campaign alone can win over unsure parents.
In reality, the trust and confidence of parents is gained over repeated exposure to positive news about your school.
That’s just one reason why your admissions marketing should be a continuous endeavour, and shouldn’t be left until the month before the deadline.
Find out more about why you shouldn’t be neglecting your school’s communications here.
How We Can Help
Our clients benefit from high-quality admissions marketing based around a year-round plan.
If your school has given you a marketing budget, and you’re looking for advice about how to best use it, you can get in contact today.