You update the curriculum, school-wide policies, and tools used in the classroom. But is your school marketing strategy due for an overhaul?
Whether you’re looking to craft a brand new plan or are in search of helpful school marketing ideas, we’re here to help.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of effective marketing strategies for school enrollment. You’ll learn how to improve your rankings on Google and get ideas from other successful school marketing campaigns.
Take out your notepad—marketing class is now in session.
1. Have an A+ in Social Media Presence
Before hiring a new faculty member, many employers will perform an online search on them.
In fact, a whopping 70% of employers admit to using social media to screen candidates, according to this survey by CareerBuilder. Performing a social media search can provide a complete picture of the candidate beyond their interview answers.
In the same way, parents can look to a school’s social media to see what daily life would look like for their child at a particular school. It gives insights beyond the school brochure and a carefully curated website.
Pew Research reports that 75% of parents are active on at least one social media platform, with Facebook ranking as the most popular choice.
This provides a prime opportunity to showcase your institution to potential new families.
Take, for example, Superintendent Devin Vodicka of California’s Vista school district. His Twitter profile helps to connect parents and staff members to what’s going on at schools across the region.
Superintendent Vodicka posts about initiatives launching at certain schools, behind-the-scenes work of administrators, and happenings inside classrooms.
Imagine how a parent would react to see that administrators are at work to develop student-centered experiences, as highlighted in the post below. Using social media as a school marketing strategy allows Superintendent Vodicka to present the district in a favorable light.
Whether your institution has multiple locations or stands alone, you can implement these behind the scenes style posts to give an authentic feel to your social media accounts.
Deciding what to post can be tricky. Of course, professionalism is important. But your accounts should exude personality, not make people feel like they’re in a lecture hall. A great guiding light in this can be to incorporate your school values into your social media strategy.
One school marketing idea comes from Avon Old Farms School. It is an all-boys boarding school committed to “inspiring excellence.” One of their core values is brotherhood, which they showcase in this “Men of Avon” video celebrating the newest class of graduates.
The video is voiced over by students of the school and displays unique aspects of the school from the embossed logo on blazers to bagpipes at the graduation ceremony.
Thanks to students and parents sharing the video, it gained 11 thousand views. That’s a pretty impressive impact for a private school marketing strategy.
The takeaway here is not that you need to hire a talented videographer and a band of kilt-clad bagpipers. Instead, it’s to understand that sharing your unique values is one way to gain attention and stand out among other schools.
Get Educated On Hashtags
If your institution has already amassed a substantial following of adoring parents and students who like, share, and retweet your posts day in and day out, you can skip this section.
For the rest of us, gaining visibility on social media is an uphill battle. One tool to help you climb this mountain—the humble #hashtag.
The primary purpose of a hashtag is to make your content more discoverable.
Social media platforms all have a search bar where users can look for relevant content. For example, a mom wanting to look up tips on remote learning can search for #remotelearningideas. Then, posts with this hashtag will populate, and she can scroll through to find the ones she likes.
Hashtags can increase your reach dramatically. But how do you decide which ones to use? Thanks to Instagram’s related hashtags feature, you can get insights about hashtags right in the app.
For example, typing in #classroomorganization results in related hashtags that people are also searching for.
Also, note the number of posts each hashtag has. In this case, there are 92,849 posts about classroom organization. The more posts under one hashtag, the less likely it is that your post shows up at the top.
The hashtag #education is broad and highly competitive, with 19 million posts. Chances of showing up for this hashtag are low.
But, you still need to use hashtags that users are searching for. The #qualityeducation is much more reasonable to aim for, with about 77,000 posts.
2. Get published in local newspapers and blogs
If you want to increase enrollment, you’ve got to build brand awareness in the community. One way to accomplish this is to seek out good old fashioned journalistic coverage.
Reach out to local newspapers with noteworthy stories from your school community. Invite a reporter to cover an awards ceremony, charity event, or competition at your school. Keep in mind, the purpose of this is to build awareness not to advertise the selling points of your school.
Digital platforms offer another school marketing idea. Digital PR refers to the process of building up your online presence with brand mentions and links back to your website from other sites.
Say you write an article on the benefits of small classroom sizes for a popular parenting blog. The website then mentions your school and links to your website in the article. This link strengthens your site authority in the eyes of Google, making it more likely to appear in search results pages.
The more links you accumulate, the more authority your site carries. But not all links are created equal. You need to earn quality backlinks to benefit your school.
3. Use SEO to be Google’s star student
In today’s digital world, there’s probably no corner of the internet that hasn’t been explored, right?
Wrong. There’s one place that no one ventures into: the second page of Google.
Take this scenario into consideration:
Tom is a father of three who is researching schools online. If your school is not on the first results page, Tom is probably not going to see your site, so your school won’t go into his list of potential picks. Your school offers a program that would be a great fit for Tom’s kids, but he’ll never know.
How can you avoid missing out on Toms everywhere?
SEO is complex and continually updates as search engine algorithms become more advanced. But there are simple steps you can take to improve it.
- Set up Google Search Console to understand web traffic and get alerts about ways to improve your website.
- Work on your website behind the scenes with technical SEO to improve site speed and user experience.
- Update content and make sure information is relevant and recent.
4. Connect with locals using Google My Business
46% of all Google searches are looking for local information.
86% of users rely on the internet to find a local business.
100% of schools that neglect local SEO are missing out on potential students.
Okay, that last statistic may have been fabricated. But based on the power of local search, it’s not far from the truth.
Local SEO is a specific area of SEO that focuses on optimizing your website and online presence to increase your chances of reaching a local audience.
The goal: A mother in your area searches “schools near me,” and your school appears in the Google map results at the top of the page. A coveted first spot on both Google Maps and the search results page means a much larger portion of people view your profile.
How to get there: One key component of enhancing your visibility in the local area is Google My Business (GMB). GMB is free to use, simple to optimize, and effective for local search results.
Let’s examine this result when we search “Charter schools near me.”
Three schools pop up at the top of the results page. It’s not by accident. Each of these schools has a Google My Business profile that is optimized.
The Tempe Preparatory Academy profile features a wealth of information about the school, including accreditations.
Setting up a Google My Business profile is a great school marketing idea that helps step up your local SEO game. The more information that you fill in about your school, the better.
Your profile should have the school name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. Google states that “businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.”
5. Get your school in a directory
Out of the marketing strategies for school enrollment we’ve discussed, this may be the easiest to implement. Adding your school to a directory further enhances your online presence.
To be clear, this is not a directory containing the information of students at a particular school. It is a database of schools and their contact information compiled into an organized list that is available for public use.
For example, the Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools is a directory featuring the names, websites, addresses, and other information of private schools across the Lone Star State.
Having your school name, address, and phone number in a school directory acts as another brand mention, which search engines like to see. Another perk is that directory listings enhance your local SEO performance.
6. Implement content marketing
The best school marketing ideas take into account the mindset of the target audience. Think about the students you hope to attract and their families. One way to connect with them is to create SEO content that they would find meaningful and relevant.
If your school has a special focus on science and math, you could create an article titled “ 5 Ways to Help My Child Excel in Math Class.” Parents searching for help on this topic may stumble upon your blog (if it’s optimized, of course) and find your school through this helpful and unexpected avenue.
Each blog post should target a specific keyword that a user may search for. To uncover what keywords would work best for your blog, perform keyword research. Then, create dedicated pages for specific keywords rather than trying to place multiple keywords all in one blog post. There are so many education blog topics to cover so don’t hold back when creating informative content pieces for your blog.
Get a Marketing Strategy that is Best in Class
We hope you found value and inspiration in these school marketing ideas. No matter the size, location, or learning style of your school, understanding the digital marketing landscape is crucial for success.
With experience in the education marketing space and a team of experts, Markitors is dedicated to helping small businesses excel. We help small businesses rank higher on Google to get more traffic to their websites and increase revenue. Explore what’s in our education SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO, and local SEO. If you have questions about these school marketing ideas or want to know how we can elevate your marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.