Every school is different, with different marketing needs. Are you looking to enhance your school’s reputation, increase pupil applications, communicate yourself as first choice to parents or recruit high quality staff? An effective educational marketing strategy includes a range of specialised content focusing on brand awareness, effective communication, and effective imagery.
Education marketing has become even more important since the pandemic and the way individuals interact with school marketing is still changing as a result. Marketing strategies used before the pandemic will no longer be as effective, and changes will need to be made in order to keep up with your goals and ambitions.
1. Experiment with new forms of content
Don’t limit yourselves with the types of content you create. Post-pandemic, individuals interact with a wider range of content types on a daily basis. Where previously you may have only used one or two marketing methods, experimenting with a wider range of content will prove highly beneficial. Previously fewer content types may have worked but not anymore.
- Video (Read here for more on the power of video.)
- Digital marketing platforms
- Physical content types
- Social media
You don’t need to continue with all of these methods, however it is beneficial to consider what works best, and for who. You may not utilise all of these methods regularly but they will provide you with the information you need when creating a specific campaign. For example, if social media posts were the best form of content to communicate with your students, you can utilise this in the future when posting exam revision advice.
Knowing your target audience is important, however their needs, attitudes, and the way they interact with content will have changed. You need to change with them.
2. Improve the visibility of your website in search engines
There are a few main areas you can focus on to increase your website’s visibility in search engines:
- Search engine optimisation
- Online reviews
Depending on your marketing goals your school may not need to use all of these methods, however, some, such as advertising, may be beneficial to utilise to achieve specific marketing goals throughout the year.
Search engine optimisation is essential for ensuring your website and digital resources are ranking well in google and therefore being seen and visited by your audience. The key elements of search engine optimisation include keyword research, title tags and meta descriptions, on-page copy, and content creation.
Although SEO is a time-consuming process it definitely has benefits that can’t be achieved in any other way. As the marketing benefits aren’t as quickly achieved with SEO as they are with other digital methods it can sometimes be ignored or put on the back burner, however in today’s digital age, this is ill-advised.
For many, your digital presence will be their only interaction with your school. Online reviews will allow individuals looking to learn more about your school with personal and honest feedback and information. Positive ratings and comments are often all that stands in the way of your site getting a click-through.
Advertising is a powerful digital marketing tool to increase your website views and spread awareness for your school or a specific topic. Advertisements can often be a highly beneficial tool when creating specific campaigns such as events or the start of the new year. If you have limited time to get people to your site, digital adverts, such as PPC advertising, is a quick and efficient way to get your website ranking at the top of page one in Google. This marketing method can be rather expensive however.
Websites are becoming the biggest communication platform for many, including schools. A school website is the window into the school community. So why spend so much time improving the visibility of your website? Read more about the importance of school websites in our article “How important are school websites?”
3. Create a school blog
With many individuals focusing on the digital landscape for most of their information, an online blog can be a simple and cost-effective way to interact with individuals and promote your marketing objectives. You can use your blog to build authority on specific topics, promote events, provide advice to your readers or achieve any other objectives you may have.
Creating an effective blog on your site will not only present you as an expert in your sector but can also have a positive impact on your website’s SEO.
4. Don’t forget your social media accounts
Social media is a free and highly effective marketing platform if used effectively. Although schools don’t market exclusively to their students, they are a large percentage of their audience. Social media is highly popular with students and therefore you are more likely to reach them through this platform as they will already be using it. The main social platforms that schools utilise are:
When creating content for your social accounts you can utilise a range of content types, including videos, polls, and image posts. All of these will encourage different engagement levels and audiences depending on your goals.
5. Use Analytics to monitor your marketing performance
There are several different analytics tools you can use depending on where you are marketing. All social media platforms have their own basic analytics built in where you can find limited but still highly beneficial data, including the posts with the most interactions, how many views your posts are getting, and which are your best performing posts.
Google Analytics is a more detailed analysis tool that provides you with data on how your site is being used by visitors. It shows you a large range data, including what pages are being visited regularly, how long people are staying on your site and it provides you with forecasts of user behaviour which can be used to influence future website activities.
School marketers can use this tool to track their site’s performance against other schools and education institutes to get a wider understanding of their positioning and how they can increase their marketing efforts.
At One Education our portfolio of marketing services for schools and academics have been developed to support school leaders to make their school first choice for parents. We take your school vision, accomplishments and key messages and creatively promote them through school marketing campaigns.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can support your school and pupils. Or have a look at our wide range of resources to support you in your role.
For more information on our marketing support please contact the One Education team on 01612760160 or visit our Marketing Support page.