11 Ways to Market Your Lutheran School

11 Ways to Market Your Lutheran School

April 20, 2022
(Reading time: 7 - 14 minutes)

You are not alone if you find it a struggle to increase your private Lutheran school’s enrollment. Many private schools are in the same situation, and the problem isn’t only the low turnout. Their marketing efforts are inefficient as well.

Problems that most Lutheran private schools contend with are:

  • Failure to increase public awareness
  • Low site traffic
  • Low social media engagement
  • Lack of organized parent/student visit accommodation.

Fortunately, there are ways to reverse the situation. The first step is to understand the parents’ and students’ school selection process.

By researching your target market, you can determine if your private school’s core values are aligned with your audience and if your activities and curriculum are relevant to their needs. Then, assess your various ways to reach out to your prospective enrollees.

Getting the services of a digital marketing agency that understands Lutheran private schools can be very beneficial. They know various enrollment strategies to help private schools attract more students. These include presenting stories of successful alumni and other services that only experienced agencies can provide. 

A reliable marketing agency can also help improve your Lutheran school’s website. They will have professional web designers who can create user-friendly websites that are optimized for search engines and rank on top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). You can achieve your marketing objectives by working with a professional service provider.

Market Research

To better understand your target audience, you need market research. This way, you can identify the following:

  • People who will come to enroll in your school
  • Your ideal buyer persona
  • Parents/students’ school selection criteria - distance from their home, extra-curricular activities that will appeal to them, future employment preparedness, affordability of tuition

By knowing what your audience needs, you can better address those needs and be ahead of the competition. Besides identifying the various needs to address, market research also allows you to get vital insights like your audience’s income, age, location, and gender. This way, you can craft tailored and effective pricing and marketing campaigns.

Regardless of business type, market research is the most effective method to understand your buyers’ needs, identify business opportunities, and lay down a marketing plan. It also helps minimize losses and allows you to monitor and outsmart your competitors.

Market research likewise helps predict market changes. This was proven with the downfall of Blockbuster and Nokia that ignored the prevailing market trends. Now almost forgotten, these companies once flourished during their heyday. 

The lesson? Stay relevant – all the time – by anticipating and predicting market changes. You can achieve it with the help of your market research team.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Another effective method is social media marketing. It employs techniques like market analysis (which is also used in market research). Social media marketing helps Lutheran private schools pinpoint behavioral change objectives, promote branding, and tailor messages. 

Following are some ways social media marketing can help Lutheranprivate schools:

  • By using social media, Lutheran schools can effectively achieve their marketing goals, such as recruitment and student engagement.
  • Effective use of social media results in the development of a strategy that is designed for success.

For your social media strategy to be sustainable, it must have the following components:

  • Established objectives
  • Identified target audience
  • Channel analyses
  • Development of content strategy
  • Activity planning
  • Role identification (including staffing for social media initiatives)
  • Budget and resource planning
  • Performance analysis – This includes analyzing ongoing social media and digital marketing metrics for private schools, including site traffic, engagement rates, post clicks, audience growth, and voice share (in comparison to the competition)

Facebook

By spending just a few bucks a day to reach out to your prospective parents or students on Facebook, you get to enjoy unique benefits, including the use of user-friendly dashboards, as well as advanced targeting. With a small marketing budget of $10 to $20, you can already use the platform.

You can use the following strategies on Facebook:

  • Building your brand by promoting your content
  • Creating Facebook ads, but not the “salesy” type of ad as people frown on that; instead, create ads focused on content. You can achieve this through the following: blog posts on your website, informative articles, engaging videos, video broadcast through Facebook Live. 
  • Capturing leads – These include warm leads (your site visitors, people who “like” your content, or even of your competitors.
  • Getting a positive ROI – Targeting your “warm” FB traffic (people who are aware of your Lutheran school and enjoyed the value you provide) can result in a positive ROI. 
  • Take advantage of various Facebook platforms, including Messenger and Audience Network, among others.

Instagram

A popular photo-sharing app, Instagram can help you present your school’s human side. You can share photos showing details of your special events, contests, activities, and open days.

You can market on Instagram through the following:

  • Using unique hashtags
  • Posting challenges for students and parents
  • Marketing with your local influencers
  • Engaging with your alumni
  • Posting stories
  • Letting your students promote and manage
  • Using paid Instagram promotions

LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s platform allows you to build your school’s profile and involve your alumni. The key is to re-engage with these former students and then let them serve as influencers in their respective social circles. 

To start, click on the button labeled “University.” Input your school’s name. Once granted access to your school page, click the button marked “Students and Alumni.”

You can then use the filter feature to list your alumni under the following groups:

  • Connection type
  • Strong skills
  • Where they live
  • What they do
  • Where they work

Twitter

With Twitter, your campaign can enjoy a massive reach. Its users surpassed the 81 million monthly users mark in 2019. Twitter is effective in promoting brand awareness and enhancing your online presence.

By advertising on Twitter, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Twitter is a simple to use private school marketing platform, and it limits the number of characters you can use. Thus, you must make sure to get the job done with a short statement where you can later provide a link to your website, blog, or articles.
  • You can gauge your reach through the amount of engagement and impressions on your posts.
  • You can establish loyalty via Twitter by directly interacting with your prospective parents or students.
  • Twitter offers a platform for relationship-building with influencers and experts in the field of education.

Pinterest

Pinterest offers myriads of benefits for local businesses. Therefore, it is important to find ways on how the platform can help improve your enrolment rate.

Moz reports that Pinterest commands a staggering monthly user base of 150 million unique visitors, a significant percentage of which is mobile.

You can use the following tactics for Pinterest:

  • Pinning once daily, at least
  • Pinning from various sources (with particular attention to individuals and feeder schools you want to take notice of your school)
  • Crafting well-targeted Pinterest boards (intended both for fans and high ranking in search engines)
  • Keep tabs on what users publish from your site

Snapchat

Though less popular than other social media platforms, Snapchat is not inferior, primarily due to its strong connection to the younger demographic belonging to the under 35-year-old age group that makes up 82% of Snapchat users. 

As of January 2020, daily Snapchat users total 218 M, creating millions of seen Snaps each day.

Private schools can use the following marketing strategies for Snapchat:

  • Using your logo to promote your school through Geo-filtering
  • Promoting your account on Snapchat to prospective enrollees
  • By buying ads, you can run with your content
  • Shining the spotlight on student life
  • Appointing students or alumni as tour guides online
  • Considering a Snapchat takeover – For your free or new service offers, you can have a student take over your Snapchat account and act as a one-on-one interview or live Q&A host. This will help drive traffic to your site and generate interest from your audience.

 

Website Optimization

You can optimize your web pages for SEO. This allows you to provide a satisfying experience for your site visitors when they access, browse, and read content on your size. A well-optimized website helps your visitors get what they want promptly.

To optimize your website, you can use the following strategies:

  • Keyword research – Take your area’s language uniqueness into consideration. Use a multi-language approach for your website and employ keywords that are unique to your particular niche. “Best private schools in (your location)” and “Lutheran schools near me” are some examples you can use.
  • Create long content rich in value – Google now prefers long-form content as it is an excellent way to offer high-value content that encourages site visitors to stay longer on your website.
  • Speed up your page loading time – Pages that take a long time to load result in high bounce rates.
  • Get high-quality backlinks – An excellent way to improve your website traffic is by linking to your niche’s authority sites.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

A good SEO strategy understands what Google does in ranking web pages. While Google does not entirely reveal its algorithm and website ranking criteria, it is common knowledge that it sends out a fleet of robots to crawl, index, and link websites. 

The key is to make Google understand your website structure fast. You can do this by focusing on the following:

  • Content – Creating relevant and informative content helps increase your engagement. The longer your audience engages, the higher Google ranking your pages will get.
  • Internal and external linking – Through internal linking, you encourage your audience to navigate your web pages. As mentioned, longer engagement means a higher Google ranking. 

Meanwhile, external links help establish your niche authority. Apply strategies that can help link your website to authority websites like Wikipedia. If you can get Wikipedia to provide its users with a link to your website, you stand to gain a lot of benefits. 

What’s important is to always create valuable and informative content that authority websites can use to offer more information to their readers.

  • Speed – Users have increasingly been getting information online via their mobile devices. You can use specialized tools to improve your page loading speed.

Aside from website linking, distributing your links through different channels like FB ads, local billboards, offline strategies (brochures, emails, pamphlets), and videos.

Forums

Participating in educational forums, especially those targeting the local market, can help. The academic discussions in these forums let you show off your authority in your niche. Include links to info pages that offer more guidance and tips

Guest Blogging

You can use the email outreach technique for this purpose. Find authority sites that cater to your local audience, and request them to allow you to share your own ideas.

You may need to establish a relationship first before they can allow you to share. Find a way to be on the good side of the influencers in your area.

Google Ads

Google is the undisputed king of search engines and the one most people use. Thus, it is a good idea to use your resources to leverage the marketing opportunities offered by the platform. These include Google Ads, a pay-per-click ad platform similar to Facebook Ads.

Once you avail of Google Ads services, you will have ads appearing on Google search results and 3rd party websites. This is an excellent way to send your message to people using Google to look for information or services or for those who browse websites like YouTube and Yahoo. A banner ad will be displayed for users browsing 3rd party websites.

Local SEO – Google Business Profile

Because your school wants to reach out to potential students in your area, it is a good idea to focus on localized digital marketing. Google has the right platform for that, Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly known as Google My Business or GMB.

Amazingly, GBP is free! You can use the platform to start local engagement as well as community relationships. It is also an effective way to highlight details about your school, including:

  • School description
  • Operating hours
  • Directions going to the school
  • Pictures of your buildings and facilities

Likewise, you can add a call to action to your school’s page on GBP. 

GBP is linked to another service from Google – Google Search & Maps. When people look for “private schools near me,” your school will appear in search results.

To make the most out of GBP, you need to ensure that your school’s profile on the platform is up-to-date. The following information must be accurate:

  • Business name
  • Website
  • Contact numbers
  • Address
  • School Category
  • Description

Make sure that the following details are regularly updated:

  • Operating hours
  • Q&A section
  • Photos

Email Newsletters & Email Marketing

Email Newsletters & Email Marketing

Some people think that emailing is already outdated. However, experts contend that email marketing for schools is still among the most effective strategies to use today and in the near future. It’s the only strategy that allows personalized and tailored messaging that will enable you to touch your target audience’s pain points.

What are these pain points that you need to target in your emails?

  • Student security – Are parents looking for schools with highly-secured premises? If you can prove that you can provide that, then highlight it in your message. 
  • Student specialization – Do they have particular skills such as in sports, arts, music, etc.? Show how you can help students develop their current skill levels.
  • Student holistic development – Show your holistic approach by outlining the subjects, topics, and activities you implement. 

Make sure to use attention-grabbing email subject lines. To give you an idea of what words to use, you can try the following:

  • What’s Best for You Is Best for Your Child
  • Your Search Is Finally Over
  • You’re Always in Our Mind

Word of Mouth

Today, the popular word-of-mouth marketing strategy of old is done digitally. You can use your current students and influencers to give a good word about your Lutheran school through various social media platforms.

Regularly create fresh content that you can send from time to time. Parents will appreciate learning about how capable your private school is in educating their kids and your willingness to connect with them. Highlight that in your content. 

Having said that, you must hype up your Lutheran school so people will talk about you, share your posts with their social media friends, and recommend you to their family and friends. 

Parent and student experience, whether positive or negative, influences word of mouth. People talking about your brand – that is what you want. However, you must first have a general connection with them for that to happen.

The parent’s and students’ voices matter to your school. Bear in mind that whatever negative feedback they provide can erase whatever good things you have done.

Giveaways

Do you notice how politicians market themselves? Do the same to your school, especially when introducing your private school to those who aren’t aware of its existence. Get out there and be seen. That is the best way to do it.

You can contribute to local charities or provide help for families that need help. Coordinate with local authorities and businesses when doing it. 

You can also sponsor free livelihood seminars, personal finance management, personality development, or any similar topic. Whatever can benefit your audience can help the growth of your Lutheran private school.

Final Word

Whether you are running a private school or any type of business, for that matter, the best way to get a good grasp of buyers’ demands, come up with a marketing plan, and identify the opportunities is through market research. 

If you are a Lutheran private school struggling to keep your enrollment up, you should now be convinced to hire a digital marketing agency after reading this post.

We can help improve your website and marketing campaigns to get your message to your target students and parents. Contact us now for a free consultation!

Adam Bennett

Written by:  |  April 20, 2022

Adam is the president and founder of Cube Creative Design. Since starting the business in 2005, he has created individual relationships with clients in Western North Carolina. He places great value on the needs, expectations, and goals of the client.

See Adam Bennett's' bio: cubecreative.design/about/adam-bennett