Let’s assume that you have a strong brand, but you’re finding it difficult to distinguish your school from your competitors. It happens. Fortunately, there’s more than one path to differentiation and making your school standout above the rest.
Marketing is one of the most dynamic areas of any business, and for many schools traditional marketing efforts like print advertising have become easy and familiar. However, these older marketing strategies are no longer seen as the best place for schools to invest their marketing budget, they are expensive options that offer little ROI.
Blog posts still hold the top spot for effectiveness, according to a 2017 report by Audience Bloom. Their survey about the current state of online marketing, revealed that onsite content marketing ranked as one of the top three strategies in 2017 – as well as one of the best ways of achieving observable ROI.
Content marketing, simply put, is the publishing of relevant content that attracts and retains customers. The goal of content development is to serve the business side of the school, and that includes enrollment. By focusing efforts on creating quality content that really helps your customers and potential customers, you will be supporting the job of your Admissions teams and your school will gain attention. Notwithstanding that business planning depends on income, and student’s fees pay educator’s salaries - a content marketing strategy doubles as a customer acquisition strategy and a customer retention strategy.
One of the ways content marketers can better make their contributions count is to ask themselves what is the core business of the school? Is it teaching or is it getting students into their unique education solution, and which of these two different but nonetheless important activities are going to get you noticed? For answers to questions like these you may find it useful to listen to parents. An exclusive content feed designed to highlight your differentiation in a meaningful way to consumers, might well be the factor that puts parents over the edge when it comes to enrollment. Be sure that your claims are accurate and relevant to them - not you! Be sure you proudly communicate your differentiation, and be sure the logistics side of the business is in sync with the sales and marketing side.
As a strategy, you could think of ways to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in - and by the way, never assume your competition is standing still and doing nothing! When we are (or become) what people are interested in, we are essentially a trusted source of information that helps parents make useful decisions. When it comes to marketing and admissions, start with relationships, story-telling is a great way to build trust since people relate to people rather than ideas.
Every touch point a customer or potential customer has with your school will shape their view of you. Your schools’ website is hands down, your most important branding and marketing tool, as in most cases, your website is the very first place prospective (and current) families go to learn more about you. However, there are many ways other ways for your brand to get noticed and that is through SEO, PPC, social ads or on a dedicated third party platform such as Kidsnschools.
With so many schools offering top-notch education, your brand is your chance to differentiate your school from the crowd. You have to ask yourself how you want your school to be perceived, and then translate that into your school's branding. You only have one chance to make a strong first impression on your prospective families, so you need to make sure you're representing your school in a way that conveys your values and enables you to see even better results.