School Marketing – how to push boundaries without breaking budgets
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As the competition rises for schools to fill pupil places, the need for marketing is ever increasing. However, with budget constraints and so many options when it comes to marketing your school - where should you really invest your budget, to ensure you are pushing boundaries?
First of all, let's discover why marketing your school is so important:
Keep up with competition
Attract better quality teaching staff
Help connect and attract you with parents and potential pupils
Improve brand image and reputation
In our experience, the best way to promote your school is to have a multi level marketing approach, allowing you to reach a wider audience and ensure you are pushing boundaries whilst staying ahead of the competition!
Here are our top 6 school marketing strategies:
Having a dynamic and exciting website that showcases your school is by far your most important marketing tool. In most cases it is the first place prospective families go to learn more about your school - what makes you different and why they should send their children there. Therefore, it is important to have a user friendly, impactful website that helps you to stand out from the competition. Equally important is site speed, content and mobile-friendliness. While your website may take up the largest chunk of your budget, it is the smartest place to invest money. It is also worth remembering that any other marketing strategies you put into place will most likely lead back to your website.
Utilise Social Media
Organic social media marketing is free! And it is where your target audience is spending their time. You can make a big impact on social media and utilise it to announce so many things, from open days, to events and any other of your school's successes. You can also build a connection with your audience by voicing your ethos, and values, as well as all the things that make your school unique. Importantly, it is the perfect tool to drive traffic back to your website.
SEO (search engine optimisation)
75% of internet users never scroll beyond the first page of search results, so you can't afford to not be on that page. Therefore you absolutely need a great SEO strategy to make sure your website is highly visible to your target audience. You can do this by utilising keywords, and ensuring your website is regularly updated
With video now being one of the most preferred ways for the younger generation to seek entertainment, and communicate with each other, it makes for a fantastic way to directly engage this audience with your school's message and ethos.
Video has the ability to reach and capture attention instantly, in a way that most other media outlets cannot. Schools have understandably been more hesitant in adopting video as part of their marketing mix – usually due to concerns that video will cost a lot of money to produce, or breach rules regarding safeguarding, however using a professional who specialised in school videography, video can be an incredibly effective way to promote your school for years to come.
Unlike other forms of marketing. OOH (out of home media) such as billboards, radio, taxis and buses cannot be blocked, ignored or turned off like many other forms of digital advertising. It can target your audience ‘where they are’ providing a high frequency and an even higher reach compared to many other marketing mediums, proven to drive people to take action.
You can easily catch attention and get your message across with eye-catching banners and signage. These can be used to announce exam results, student enrolment, Ofsted inspection grading and so much more. These will be seen by thousands of passers by including lots of potential new parents. Definitely a budget friendly way to get your message out to the local community.
We hope you found these tips helpful.
Do you need help with a one off project? Or like many of our customers, you can sign up for a marketing package, and spread the cost over three years!
Concept4 has worked with schools and colleges for over 30 years producing websites, branding, marketing, prospectuses, course guides, apps and much more. We'd love to do the same for you.