It should go without saying that schools are tight on resources, particularly time and money. But in an education system where competition for pupils and funding is rife, digital marketing can be one of the best investments you make.
If “digital marketing” is a foreign concept to you, or if it sounds a bit intimidating, read on for reassurance.
Digital marketing can help you:
Connect with all of your stakeholders
You know that only a portion of parents see the information that gets sent home with students, and only a portion (possibly the same portion) open the email newsletters that you send.
So how do you reach the unreachable parents? Not to mention potential parents, staff, funders and influential people who are eminently busy like local politicians?
One way to do that is by using social media. You may have your own personal social media accounts, but having one for your school is a great way to get news stories, important information, and relevant commentary across to your audience in short and succinct posts.
I would advise focusing on Facebook and Twitter for this as they are both easy to get to grips with and a large number of your target age group will have a presence on one or both.
Be seen as a thought leader
As polarising as the term ‘thought leader’ may be, publishing thoughtful blog posts can elevate the perception of your school. Blogs are free (or nearly free) to set up, and writing posts should take no more than a few hours every other week.
It is always helpful to have a content calendar, which can be spread amongst a number of staff members or managed entirely by one administrator. Write about current events and using keywords throughout the post will help your post (and therefore your website) to be seen.
Learn about your audience
While you might know who you’re trying to target with your content (namely parents and teachers), you might be surprised at how little you actually know about them. But by implementing the first two tactics, you will have access to analytics. The data that is compiled by social media sites and by search engines can help you to find out more about the demographics of your audience. This includes age range, specific location, marital status, income, industry of work, where they get their news and more.
This information can help you to further tailor the content that you’re putting out, increasing the potential for similar people to find and visit your site. For example, if you have been mainly writing content for parents in the 35-44 age range, but the majority of parents visiting your site are 25-34, you can include more articles that will be of interest to younger parents.
Rise to the top
The top of search engine results that is! No matter how snazzy your website looks, if it is not optimised for search engines (otherwise known as Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO), it is unlikely to be found.
This is something that takes a bit more back-end work, and will need to be updated regularly to allow for shifts in the market, like new schools in the area or new standards to include. Using the right keywords, meta-tags and links can improve your SEO rating and have you appearing ahead of similar schools on Google.
As I said at the start, this is a list of basic digital marketing activities that you, or any small business can undertake. If you’d like to know how we can deploy our expertise to help you with this, please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also keep an eye on our events calendar as we frequently hold sessions on digital marketing and social media!