Get your digital marketing skills to a new and improved level, today we are going to talk about how to optimize your school’s digital marketing. It’s a big word, yes, I know and there is a lot of work that goes into it but it pays off in the long run. You’ll get more students, more mind share, and a better image. Let’s get started.
Digital marketing covers everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to social media marketing (SMM) and search engine marketing (SEM). It can help more families find your school online, plus it can help you establish a stronger online presence and build an instantly recognizable school brand.
I have a few tips for private schools, keep reading.
Contrary to what you’ve been sold over time, Social Media might help with branding, but may not be the most efficient way to get more students enrolled.
Schools can focus on the different aspects of digital marketing, and even those with a limited budget can participate in digital marketing and have an impact.
Digital marketing is gaining ground as an enrollment strategy, but one size doesn’t fit all. Be sure you’re measuring the Return on Investment of your efforts to justify your investment.
Digital marketing succeeds when you have an established website, a brand, and a value proposition. Without these, you won’t see much success.
before deciding on where to put your digital marketing ad spend, start with your end goal in mind
Here are some actionable steps to take right away.
1. Start a school blog
The school blog is still something on most school marketing team wish lists. However, in 2021, I encourage you to make time and effort to keep one going that is helpful, on message, and consistent. It will help your visibility, and even more, complement your digital marketing efforts. You’ll rank better with it. Your website alone is not enough neither is a Facebook page
2. Create a good content offer
Declining enrollment is a big problem that schools face, especially since the Covid 19 outbreak. You will not be able to solve that problem with a freebie offer, like a downloadable whitepaper, eBook, viewbook, something of value, but if you do offer one, you will have something that gets prospective families in your admissions funnel faster. And the sooner you can sell value and communicate, the better.
A content offer has a big advantage over a blog in that it’s more likely to get your target audiences’ information. For most schools, the first time they get prospects’ numbers is on an inquiry form. Unlike an inquiry form, which suggests someone’s already interested, a content offer gives prospects something they can use to help make that decision. Take the white paper or ebook titled “5 Reasons to Attend an All-Girls Catholic School in Nigeria.”
Content downloads tend to convert more than lead generation forms, which means you’ll get more families on your list faster if you focus on the right target audience. Even current parents are not left out, as they also can benefit from content offers as a retention strategy.
3. Search Engine Optimization will require more time and resources, invest in it
SEO can be tough, requiring a lot of resources, time, and effort. And you guessed it, blogging. Not everyone can handle that level of dedication, which is why school marketers often put SEO on the backburner.
SEO, on the other hand, is fundamental to your school’s digital survival since 90% of online experiences begin with a search and 75% never look past the first page. Knowing how to apply knowledge in Google analytics will certainly help you succeed. You can clearly track your digital campaign activities, understand your ROI, measure your content marketing efforts, ensure your marketing goals are being met, and even possibly predict enrollments over a period of time.
4. Invest in Marketing Automation for your digital marketing strategy
If you want to reduce your work time and increase your efficiency, you’ll want to check this out, because marketing automation is what you’ve been looking for. Marketing automation allows schools to target multiple audience groups directly through a variety of standardized messages, such as emails or social media posts. Although your school may require more up-front work, school marketing teams typically see a 77% increase in conversions and a 14.5% increase in productivity. There are so many marketing automation platforms to choose from to enhance your school’s inbound marketing strategy.
5. Invest in Consistent, Meaningful Social Media Ads
Have you ever ran social media ads for people who haven’t heard of your school? Have you promoted a “inquire today” ad to the same people who never heard of you? And then maybe due to a lack of success of those campaigns you stopped?
Schools need to understand the nature of social media advertising because it is where people spend their spare time. Where they check in with friends and family, watch the latest viral video, and maybe engage with the brands they care about. but seeing ads from companies your prospects are aware of versus one they’ve never heard of is a huge difference. Awareness is key, that’s how parents find you.
For example, I am a big GetBarter customer. So, when I see one of these ads telling me about new offers on Dollar debit cards I’m excited because I make a lot of international transactions and Naira debit cards can be annoying really. (Don’t judge me, you’re probably just as annoyed as me.)
But, when I see an ad for weaves at a discounted rate (I’m a man so not for me, ha!), from a company I’ve never heard of, I’m going to keep scrolling.
I’m telling you this to remind you that in 2021 you’ve got to be patient with your digital marketing strategy if you want to get the most out of your social media ads. You can’t pick a geographic area and age range, and promote your upcoming open house to a bunch of strangers! Consider instead investing in brand awareness and remarketing campaigns by following those who have been to your website, because they are already familiar with you. That way, they will be more likely to engage with content and take action. At Wokchop Media, we have now transitioned into using Artificial Intelligence to help us run niche targetted ads that have helped drop our ad spend and increased our conversion rate tremendously.
You’re sure to see success if you follow these steps carefully, you’ll attract students and parents alike. However, if you find the world of social media advertising overwhelming, our team of social media experts here at Wokchop Media can help you.