5 Tips for Marketing Your School District
Times have changed, and the success of schools is now based on marketing, web-design, and content quality. Many schools are realizing that they need to engage in strong marketing campaigns to thrive in this new and fast-paced market. Now more than ever, schools are looking to develop marketing plans to guide them to higher enrollment and retention rates.
eduMEDIA understands the struggle and hardship that comes along with rebuilding an entire platform, and we are here to help institutions ease into this new digital age that heavily emphasizes social media presence, web design, and overall marketing quality. eduMEDIA is an education marketing agency that also focuses on school website design; get a quote now on our website!
Without further ado, here are five marketing tips for your institution!
Identify Your Goals and Top Priorities
If you identify your goals before launching a marketing campaign, your campaign will seem more focused, organized, and overall of higher quality. To assess your goals, ask yourself: why am I conducting this campaign? Why is this important for the institution? What am I trying to get out of it? Some examples of goals would be higher enrollment rates, more donations, more event attendance, better after school programs, and better communication with students and parents.
Additionally, having an actual quantifiable goal for the different parts of your school marketing plan will be helpful in determining whether or not your initiatives are successful. Some examples include increase enrollment by five percent, increase donor gifts by five percent, improve Spring Fling attendance by 20 percent, and more.
Know Your Audience
You can’t build an effective marketing strategy without knowing your target audience and understand their wants and needs. You need to be consumer-oriented in order to sell your product and successfully market your services.
Example of a primary target audience: female, 20-30 years, middle-class, college graduate, values modern, chic, and trendy products, social media savvy, desires to be loved
Collect all the information you can about your district’s parents, families, children, and the rest of the community. Understand their wants, needs, likes, dislikes, and personal preferences. Create an ideal profile of your audience using not only demographic information but also personal input from the existing families at your school. Continually refer back to this identified audience profile to ensure that your marketing efforts are properly focused.
Organize Design Assets
Your design assets are the core of your marketing materials. Anything with your logo or letterhead printed on it, such as images, brochures, business cards, newsletters, and videos, should be uniformly colored and designed. If your school needs an overhaul of design materials, it might be worth hiring a marketing professional or graphic designer to advise and implement with your communications team.
Once you find a logo, be sure to stick with it to create a strong sense of unity and consistency– people love consistency. Also, be sure to add the logo on almost every page of your website to engrave the image in your audience’s’ minds.
Identify Key Events
Events throughout your community present an opportunity for outreach and networking. Connect to local businesses, art institutions and civic organizations to tap into a new network of potential families and students. You want to establish a presence in your community and become a recognizable entity. Moreover, your presence should have a positive reputation of being trustworthy and honest. If your community supports your cause and institution, you already have lots of connections under your belt, therefore making your goals a reality.
In addition to attending community events, it’s important to host them in the form of open houses. At least three times a year, your school should open its doors to the public to show progress, transparency, and hospitality. Schedule the open houses strategically so they don’t interfere with other community events or holidays. Give people an easy opportunity to see what you’re all about. These events can rally a lot of school spirit for your existing students, as well.
Try new things
Lastly, get outside your comfort zone or status quo and take a chance! There are a number of outlets for marketing your school, and it’s your job to utilize those tools to your advantage. Email marketing with newsletters and a subscriber list is an excellent way to directly reach your audience. Social media, of course, presents a wealth of opportunities for marketing. Post stats about your school, retweet interesting education articles with thoughtful commentary, update followers about school events and new hires. Any story with a personal interest angle is excellent marketing content. Remember, people love stories about people; it’s just human nature.
While social media, newsletters, and email are excellent marketing strategies, word-of-mouth is still the most effective marketing possible. Thus, building a stellar community reputation and encouraging existing families to share their experiences is one of the best ways to market your school. For example, if you see an advertisement for a product, you might be intrigued, but you probably won’t go out and buy it. However, if your good friend tells you that this product has changed his/her life for the better, you’re 10 times more likely to actually purchase the service.
If you follow these five marketing tips, your school might be on its way to greatness. As always, feel free to leave your comments and questions below, and visit eduMEDIA today!