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I'm Dr. Jeannie Gudith, Founder and CEO of JAG Consulting. We help you develop, improve, buy or sell your private school.
How do you increase enrollees? It all starts with a strong story. Private school marketing is rooted in creating value and motivation for prospects. And if you know how to develop a brand students admire and relate to, it will be easier to guide them through a personalized enrollment process that helps your school reach new milestones.
Let’s review some of the ways you can market your school more effectively, and start seeing an increase in inquiries.
Branding is everything for businesses today, especially schools. With so many options available, students (or their parents) need to know what sets your institution apart from the rest. Branding for schools is incredibly unique. It has several goals to accomplish:
How do you go about creating such a brand? Begin by evaluating your current identity. Do you have a strong color palette that is consistent across your website, stationary, social media, and other marketing materials? Do you use fonts, imagery, and design elements that reflect your school’s atmosphere?
Make sure that every corner of your branding material comes from a deeper understanding of your school as a whole. Good branding showcases why you do what you do effortlessly.
A value proposition clearly promotes the benefits of your school for students by focusing on its strengths.
What does your school provide that is different or unique? In school marketing, there is another important area to focus on — compliance. While students may be drawn to an academic institution because of its individual philosophy, they do not want to inadvertently be deprived of standardized education.
Schools must strike the right balance between individual education and national education compliance.
Your value proposition should incorporate everything your prospects expect from a school, then show how it’s made better through your unique approach to education.
Brands that use storytelling have a much easier time engaging their audiences. This can be done through testimonies, parent ambassadors, and blog posts written from real teachers and satisfied students.
Storytelling helps you create an emotional connection with potential enrollees. You speak directly to their wants and needs in a way that’s authentic and trustworthy.
Using stories gives your school a chance to do more than sell its education. Instead, they create a narrative that’s bigger than just your services. It’s something your audience can believe in and become a part of.
As you embark on brand storytelling for schools, here are some points of consideration:
This is the goal of your entire storytelling strategy, no matter how segmented it may become across various channels. The “why” of your strategy is implicit — you never state it to your audience. Instead, you use it as a motivational focus throughout the content creation process.
“Show, don’t tell,” is common advice in storytelling, but it can be difficult for brands to achieve this if they aren’t sure what they’re attempting to show in the first place. You need to have specific questions in mind that your audience cares about. For example:
You can frame all of these to suit the unique framework of your school’s population. Then, you can create content that is dedicated to answering these questions.
When choosing a medium, you have to consider what channels your audience is most likely to use, as well as your ability to create high-value content for those platforms. Not all schools have the resources to create a wide variety of marketing material. In these cases, it’s best to focus on creating what you can make effectively, rather than trying to spread your budget and efforts too thin.
Consulting with a professional consulting firm can also help you decide what marketing efforts pose the highest potential to benefit your school.
At JAG Consulting, we are committed to providing private schools with everything they need to succeed in their marketing and growth strategies.
On the technical front, search engine optimization can help you increase visibility and attract more prospects to your site. But SEO has another benefit as well. By using well-researched keywords, you can ensure that all of the copy on your website reflects the needs of your audience.
By placing keywords at precise points in your content, you can help prospects feel assured that you truly understand their needs.
For private schools, search engine optimization has many potential applications. You can use SEO to:
Sharing accomplishments helps demonstrate your school’s commitment to excellence. It also gives you an opportunity to highlight various parts of your educational community. From events and fundraisers to awards and accreditation, let your school’s success story shine online.
These accomplishments can serve as social proof for your audience. They can also be an invitation for others to become a part of the story.
The internet is every private school’s most valuable marketing resource — if they know how to use it effectively. One-off, random marketing efforts do not deliver the return on investment you deserve.
Rather than simply hope your website hits the mark, you can use dedicated pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to drive traffic to landing pages. You can also implement keyword research to ensure that your school’s ads are shown to the most high-value prospects.
Through strategic planning, your school can develop a marketing model that has specific goals and benchmarks. Using the appropriate metrics ensures that you do not go over budget or miss your mark.
In addition to Google Ads, consider using Facebook to market your school. Facebook features personalized ads that allow you to target specific users in various demographics, including different age groups and geographic locations.
Social platforms have another advantage — they allow you to increase brand awareness, share special events, and attract more prospective students organically through high-quality content.
Commit to creating an interactive experience that helps prospective students gather as much information as possible before reaching out.
If you run a K-12 school, then your website should have plenty of information for parents and guardians to explore. This includes, but is not limited to:
Virtual tours let students get an inside look at your school from the comfort of their smartphones or computers. These virtual tours can be recorded and uploaded to your website, as well as shared on social media.
The ability to see your school on-demand demonstrates your school’s respect for others’ time while giving them a chance to gather information before reaching out.
While a general tour of your school is one option, there are other potential marketing areas here as well. These include:
Video is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience. It creates a memorable experience that impacts prospective students and encourages them to connect.
Send out an email requesting current students or parents to write reviews online. These reviews can help improve your school’s appeal immensely. Your school’s Google My Business and Facebook pages are great platforms to use initially. They’ll help improve SEO as well when students Google “best private school in [Location]” or “private schools near me”.
At JAG Consulting, we provide expert school development advice for private schools at every level. Our professional background in education allows us to take an innovative approach to developing your school’s branding and marketing.
We specialize in school management and leadership, so we have all the resources and expertise to help you reach your goals. Please contact us to learn more about our services and how we may be able to help your school.