While, over recent years there has been a definite increasing emphasis on digital marketing channels throughout the private education sector, with the rise of Covid-19, it’s importance has multiplied hugely.
The pandemic has seen independent schools having to ‘up their game’ significantly in order to shine out amongst their counterparts and attract new families to their doors.
With travel hugely restricted on both a national and international level, the traditional ‘walk around’ tour or school open days are a thing of the past – at least for now.
Gone also are the days when private schools can rely heavily on traditional marketing such as glossy lifestyle magazines and local or national press to get noticed. Today the most effective way to increase school brand visibility and new student enrolments is to invest in your digital marketing strategy.
As specialists in the digital sphere, here at School Viewer, we’re only too pleased to share some simple tips to get your school’s digital marketing strategy on track for 2021 and beyond.
7 areas of focus to improve your school’s marketing performance
Even in a world where in-person visits are permitted, your school’s website will always be a first port of call for any family looking to send their child to a new school. It’s essential for any independent school that your online presence matches your physical presence – showcasing your site as true to real life (or even better than real life) as possible. The inclusion of high quality video and photography will help keep viewers engaged as you communicate the right balance of information, history, ethos and values to your audience.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ensures that your website ranks highly on search engines such as Google, so that prospective students and their families find you easily on their search for a new school. Implementing effective SEO through key words and phrases and meta data as well as inbound and outbound links is an investment worth undertaking.
3. Advertising digitally
Digital marketing channels allow your school to refine the targeting of advertising to audiences based on location, demographics and interests -making your advertising much more specific and, as such, more effective. The results of which are also much more measurable, so ensure your campaigns are delivering ROI and reaching the right audience for your school.
4. Social Media
Social Media provides a more personal platform on which to promote your school – engaging past, present and future students, families and alumni to engage and interact and sell your virtues through word of mouth. Utilising platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn allows you to adjust your tone of voice and messaging according to your audience – with Facebook and Instagram being more family-based platforms and LinkedIn and Twitter, more business centred.
5. Virtual Tours
Allowing visitors to explore a school site is a challenge all independent and private schools have come up against during the pandemic and will continue to do so while travel is so restricted. Particularly in the case of international schools that attract families from all over the world. With an interactive 3D virtual tour, 360 tour or interactive map, students and families can explore your entire school grounds in high definition detail, from the comfort of their own homes – anywhere in the world. Virtual tours are proven to boost admissions and improve your online presence.
Blogs are a great way of sharing news and information with all those connected with your school. A well-written blog will engage and enlighten your audience as well as allowing you to subconsciously showcase your core values, educational expertise and unique attributes to prospective families. Regular new content on your website will also improve your website’s SEO.
By streamlining your communications through automation, you’ll never miss the opportunity to move prospective students and their families through your admissions journey. Automation involves the programming of pre-set reactions to certain actions, so for example when a video link is clicked, an email will be sent out to thank them for watching.