Do you think that digital marketing for schools and education institutes is even necessary?
Private educational institutes are more or less business and attracting enrollment is as important as attracting a customer.
The reason that most schools fail to attract enrollment is that they still invest a huge sum of their marketing budget into traditional marketing channels. These include newspaper ads, television and radio ads, and pamphlet distribution.
These marketing methods may work for your institution now but not for long.
Students and parents these days are getting a plethora of options online and since you are not investing in getting digital visibility, eventually they will not opt you.
But don’t worry, in this blog, I will tell you tried and tested methods that will help your school or educational institute to gain visibility over the internet and help you get more enrollments.
Here are 11 tried and tested strategies for digital marketing for schools and educational institutes:
- Attractive website:
Website for any business these days is a means of providing their customers an online experience of what their business, product, or service is actually like.
Therefore it is very important that your website leaves a positive impression on students or parents seeking admission of their children in your school.
Make sure that your website is responsive and easy to navigate for parents. It is the very initial process when it comes to digital marketing for schools and education institutions.
Parents should be easily able to access all the information they are concerned about, be it any specific form, policy or looking for department contacts, should be easily available to them in your website
Also, don’t forget to optimize your website for mobile devices. More than 90% of web searches are happening via mobile devices these days.
SEO or Seach Engine Optimization is the next digital marketing strategy for schools if they are looking for an increase in enrollments.
Search Engine Optimization process is basically tricks and techniques that you can use to tell search engines like google that you hold authority over a subject matter, in your case, it is the education of young students.
Once the google algorithm finds that your website and articles fulfill the criteria for the authority, you will find your website and articles ranking above your competitor’s website and article and you’ll automatically get more enrollments.
So make sure that you invest in building online authority by providing answers to all the parent’s pain points in the form of blogs and articles and regularly performing on-page and off-page SEO activities on a daily basis.
You can also invest in local SEO and google my business activities for your school as a majority of your clients are local parents who are looking for best school for their children’s education.
If you want to go in-depth about how to do SEO for your website, watch the complete video below.
- Social Media:
Whether it is your school or any business, it is very important that they should start investing in building brands.
And Social Media is the easiest and the most economically viable tool that you can use to build a brand.
Ask yourself, does your school has an active presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin or not.
If not then you are missing out on a big boat right now. Online brand building is the essence of digital marketing for schools or any education institution.
Social Media platforms provide you an opportunity to tell your business story and connect to your potential clients on an emotional level. You can post about events happening at your school, informative posts, student interviews, etc.
As a wise man once said, you don’t sell products or services, you sell stories and emotions.
So make sure that your marketing strategies include social media marketing strategies in them.
Watch this video to learn more about social media marketing strategies.
- Google Adwords:
Google Adwords is the platform that can provide you with immediate clients that are looking for admissions.
They are basically those ads that appear on top of Google when you are looking for any product or services.
But it is easy to lose money if you don’t know how to use ad platforms.
Planning a successful Google Ad campaign requires a better understanding of the platform and as well as the audience.
Not only you have to work on the Google Ad platform but also on the buyer’s journey, landing pages and sales funnel, etc.
Also, make sure that you are getting a good ROI because, in the end, it is an investment on your part and if done properly, has the potential to give you a 10x return as well.
- Facebook and Instagram ads:
Social Media platforms Facebook and Instagram also provide you a platform where you can target as well as retarget your customers.
There are more than 2.1 billion active users on Facebook.
This means that there is a high chance that your client is hanging out on these platforms.
Facebook provides you the option of focused targeting where your ads will be visible to only those who fit the definition of your ideal customer.
You can also use some advanced Facebook advertising tools such as remarketing and custom audiences.
Remarketing allows you to advertise to parents who have visited your website.
Custom Audiences allows you to promote your email list.
- Whatsapp Marketing:
Whatsapp is the most popular messaging app in the world.
In India alone, there are more than 200-300 million active users on WhatsApp.
Whatsapp Business API provides educational institutions with the new communication channel that unlike the rest is far more personal and far less crowded.
You can carry wide variety of marketing operations for your institutes using WhatsApp. From lead generation to lead qualification to even enrollment operations. All can be done using Whatsapp messenger.
The biggest advantage of using WhatsApp messenger is the intimacy and convenience that no other platform offers and hence makes it a perfect marketing tool for schools and other educational institutes.
The decision to take admission into a school and education institution requires a lot of research these days, after all, education is the most important aspect of a child’s life.
Quora is one such platform where most people thirsty for knowledge go for research purposes.
And there is a high chance that your prospective client has been there looking for answers.
What if it’s you who is giving him all the right answers they are looking for.
How much easy it would be for them to trust you?
Make a profile on your school’s name and actively answer all the questions you see that might be a concern for your ideal client.
- Facebook community page:
Facebook community pages are the best platforms for schools to build a community around their institutions and generate conversations.
It is yet another vehicle for schools and colleges to build connections with their clients and provide information to parents, families, and students.
So make sure that your school or educational institute has a fully optimized Facebook community page with a dedicated team to monitor and maintain engagement.
Youtube is the second most popular search engine after Google.
This means if you do not have content on Youtube, you are completely ignoring one of the most effective platforms to gain traction on the internet.
Moreover, video content have much more engagement rate than that of text content.
So create videos about all sorts of events happening on your school premises. Be it sports day, annual function, examinations, olympiad, etc.
Make parents believe that their child is going to have the time of their life and will get top quality education and mentorship in your school.
You can even hire a team of videographers and editors for creating the best quality video content for your school.
- LinkedIn Engagement:
Yes, it is important to know for parents about the facilities and the quality of education and mentorship that you may provide in schools to motivate them to enroll their children in your school.
But what is even a better motivator is the results and achievements of previous students that have excelled in their field.
And what better platform to connect with the professionals other than LinkedIn.
Start a school LinkedIn group and encourage ex-students to join.
This LinkedIn group can help to bring ex-students together in a professional manner, then it will strengthen the relationship with the school and help to improve its image and the overall brand.
- Online Reputation Management:
As much as it is easy for anyone to build a brand in the day and age of internet, it is also easier to tarnish the brand value of any good business.
Schools and educational institutes are very competitive niches and people sometimes use hook and crook to beat someone or stay ahead in the competition.
If the brand value of the school is affected in any way, it will directly reflect on the admissions.
Therefore it is very important for schools and education institutes to have a dedicated team that takes care of online reputation management of the institution.
Make sure that you take every feedback seriously, even if it is a negative one.
Try to give a positive spin to that so that your overall image comes out as a positive institute because that’s where parents are going to send their child for their education.
Yes, it is very difficult to market school and educational institutes in the day and age of the internet.
But nothing is impossible.
I’ve been running a successful education business myself and I can help you in you marketing activities as well.
If you want to collaborate with me for marketing your school or college, you can mail me at email@example.com.
Himanshu Khandekar is a copywriter, content marketer and social media strategist at AADME. In his free time, he loves to read books on entrepreneurship and marketing and also an avid chess player. Connect with him on LinkedIn or tweet him @khandekarhim.