on November 24, 2014 Social Media Uncategorized Website Design Schools

5 Online Marketing Tips that will Set Your School Apart

Education is a competitive business, one that requires the same time and attention to marketing as a successful corporation. You may have a world- class school, worthy of international applicants. Great, but are you effectively communicating to your market about what sets your school apart? Online marketing for schools can be complex at first.

By using these tips you will improve your school’s marketing strategy and help it appeal to prospective applicants. Because like big business, a school needs customers- students- to be successful.

1. Don’t be shy about what sets your school apart.

What differentiates your school from the competition? Is it the quality of the instructors, variety of courses offered, award- winning programs? Consider these attributes your school’s ‘bragging rights’ and make sure that these features are promoted front and center in marketing the school. Include images and quotes that link to specific web pages on the school website to make it easy for visitors to learn more; also make sure to promote these attributes in social media. Don’t be afraid to show- off what makes your school special.

2. Address questions and concerns parents have.

What are common questions your school receives when parents of prospective students reach out? What are they concerned about? Topics such as class size, school safety, and location are probably at the top of their list, so make sure you address them head- on and in a clear manner. The answers to these questions could be the deciding factors when selecting a school. Include a FAQs page on your website and encourage parents to reach out with questions. You can even feature some of the most common questions with the school’s response via its social media channels. This will demonstrate that your school does not ignore parent’s concerns; rather it respects them. By being proactive, the school may answer parent’s questions before they even ask them, helping them in the decision process.

3. Be clear in communicating your school’s mission and vision statements

This is valuable in communicating what your school stands for, what it’s goals are. It’s important that the school’s mission and vision are clearly communicated on the school website. Another great way to reiterate the vision and mission are to reach out through social media, asking staff and students to express what the school’s mission and vision mean to them. This can demonstrate how well your school is committed to delivering on its promises. Particularly poignant responses can be included as quotes on the school website and marketing materials.

4. Don’t just say it once, say it often

It’s great to communicate something, and another to do it well. The frequency of communications is important to ensure it is reaching your audience effectively. This includes updating your website regularly and being proactive in your social media efforts. Don’t simply toss out a piece of information- such as a special event announcement- once and expect a great response. Continue to promote daily to ensure it is on the fore- front of people’s minds. Share student successes and promote them- and how they showcase your school, its programs, and faculty to communicate what your school does to further education. Presenting it a little differently each time will ensure people don’t get bored with the same old message.

5. Invest in a quality website & ongoing maintenance

Having a top-notch website is an essential tool in your marketing efforts. Often your school’s website will be the first impression parents and prospective students have and it’s important to make it a good one. To build on the above points, include important information, including the school’s vision and mission statement, what sets it apart (faculty, quality of programs, etc) and clear links to help viewers easily navigate the website. It is important that the website is not only professional and attractive, but simple to click through. Include a mix of copy and images with clear links and calls to action (‘request more info’/ ‘apply now’, etc). Your website is the foundation for your online marketing strategy and it is important to invest some time and money in it. And once it’s live, continue to update it regularly to keep it current.

Make your school stand out. By employing these tips with your school’s website and online marketing strategy, you can help further set your school apart from the competition. Being proactive and ensuring you invest in quality marketing efforts can be the difference between an interested applicant, and one that moves on to another school. 

Image source: NLU

Deborah Janz

Deborah is a true leader. Not only has she jumped through legal and regulatory hoops to launch a multi-million dollar US-based business in Canada, she also wears multiple hats at IMPACT. She's the researcher and strategist. She a learner and adopter of innovative practices. She's a speaker, consultant, and trainer. She's also building a dynamic team of experts through an awesome workplace culture. Prior to launching IMPACT, she was in the trenches of sales and marketing in the tourism industry. A globe-trotter by nature, her boots-on-the-ground approach to exploring new opportunities internationally is why IMPACT is successful. She's adventurous, hungry to travel the world, and is always willing to try different foods - bugs are not out of the question. When not working away to make IMPACT the best it can be, you can find Deborah climbing mountains, diving in clear waters, or mentoring female business owners.

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