8 Great Tips Your Private School Digital Marketing Success

8 Great Tips Your Private School Digital Marketing Success

January 3, 2024
(Reading time: 5 - 10 minutes)

Standing out in the competitive private school landscape takes more than just an exceptional educational offering - it requires a strategic brand identity and creative marketing to engage prospective families. In today's digital age, a school's online presence shapes perceptions as the “front door” for engagement. This makes websites, social media, and other platforms essential for conveying your unique community and value proposition.

Digital marketing is critical for private schools to establish trust and connect with prospective students and parents. Cost-effective online channels allow broader reach to shape brand image. Differentiation also drives greater student enrollment and parent loyalty over time. Investing in digital marketing drives ROI through sustained community engagement.

This post outlines the eight key components of building a robust private school marketing strategy centered around differentiation.

8 Great Tips For Your Private School's Digital Strategy

Define Your Core Brand Identity

Before promoting your school, clearly identify the core values, mission, strengths, and “personality” central to your brand. Ask critical questions like:

  • What principles guide our approach to teaching and community?
  • What lasting positive impact do we aim to have on students?
  • What achievements or offerings set us apart?

Additionally, develop messaging aligned to your school’s personality using descriptive language and an active tone. Crafting this unique brand voice reinforces your positioning and shapes perceptions.

For example, Greenfield Academy asked itself these key questions to shape its holistic education focus:

  • Principles: Individualized learning, nurturing creativity and curiosity, building character and community
  • Impact: Inspiring students to reach their full potential and positively contribute to society
  • Offerings: Small teacher-student ratios, integrated arts and academics, leadership-service programs

Boiling down specifics, Greenfield adopted the inspirational tagline “Where every child shines bright.” This encapsulates Greenfield’s student-centered approach, where diversity and self-expression are valued.

Messaging frequently hits on key themes like personalized instruction, celebrating creativity through dynamic lessons spanning arts to STEM, and developing leadership through character-building service learning. Consistently communicating Greenfield's principles guides promotion efforts, from website pages highlighting unique courses to social media content showcasing enriched student life activities. Conveying Greenfield’s core brand pillars in this manner establishes a solid foundation for all marketing initiatives as the school competes to stand out.

Optimize Your Digital Presence

Your website and social media are the "digital face" of your brand. Ensure these quickly communicate your strengths and personality by:

  • Showcasing vibrant student life through visually striking photos and videos
  • Promoting key academic, arts, athletics, and other programs on an easy-to-navigate website
  • Publishing engaging content like student testimonials, alumni updates, and teacher Q&As
  • Maintaining an active social media presence that gives followers a peek into school happenings

For example, Greenfield Academy overhauled its website to highlight specialized programs like 1:1 tutoring, innovation labs, and leadership development on clearly labeled pages featuring photos of students actively learning.

An updated Prospective Families section promotes unique offerings through a video welcome tour and profiles current parents & alumni praising personalized support in testimonials. Simplicity enhancements like an intuitive site-wide navigation menu make accessing programs seamless.

Greenfield heavily utilizes Instagram and Facebook for visual content that offers an authentic inside look into daily activities - from showcasing final projects in innovation labs to celebrating student artwork displays. This regular stream of engaging and interactive social content fuels Greenfield's online community.

Optimizing these digital platforms to quickly communicate academic strengths and enriching opportunities while projecting Greenfield’s vibrant character reinforces a student-centered brand image - crucial amidst fierce market competition.

Driving Website Traffic and Lead Generation

A key part of a private school's digital strategy is optimizing its online presence. This helps attract and engage prospective students and parents. This requires a multi-pronged approach targeting both on-site engagement and search engine discoverability. Key tactics include:

  • Incorporate relevant keywords and optimize website content for search engines to improve findability
  • Update site architecture and metadata to ease on-site navigation
  • Create share-worthy blog content and promote posts across social media to boost visitors

Going back to our Greenfield example, an important part of their strategy is improving their online presence. This helps engage prospective families.

For example, Greenfield performed extensive keyword research to identify terms prospective students/parents use to search for schools, like “personalized learning,” “arts-integrated curriculum,” and “leadership development program.” 

Greenfield’s website overhaul also greatly improved site architecture for an intuitive user flow. Clear main menus and page-specific sidebars with descriptive sub-sections promote easy access to content. Enhanced metadata further facilitates on-site navigation.

An all-new blog consistently publishes compelling articles on topics like “Fostering Creativity Through The Arts” and “5 Ways We Champion Student-Driven Learning”, embedded with relevant keywords. Promoting posts across Greenfield’s social media channels has proven effective in driving traffic back to the website.

This multidimensional strategy to boost SEO and website engagement aims to position Greenfield as a top search result for target student profiles, helping drive conversions.

Curate Compelling Visual Content

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Images, videos, and visuals should take center stage on your website, social channels, and marketing materials by:

  • Featuring enthusiastic students immersed in compelling lessons like 1:1 tutoring sessions, innovation lab projects, and integrated arts courses
  • Depicting noteworthy school facilities, arts performances, and sports victories
  • Helping parents/students envision thriving at your institution

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. At Greenfield Academy, images, videos, and visual assets take center stage on their website, social channels, and marketing materials. Their visual content strategy aims to showcase the Greenfield experience by:

  • The Prospective Families section prominently displays photos of students actively learning or creating, accompanied by detailed captions on Greenfield's hands-on, mentored approach.
  • Greenfield curates photo galleries and video highlights of student art exhibitions in the campus gallery, theater productions, and athletics wins, allowing website visitors visual access to facilities and achievements.
  • Testimonials with accompanying senior portraits describe students’ transformative journeys. Multi-year archives document student progression, celebrating confidence, creativity, and leadership growth over time.

This robust visual content engages website visitors emotionally - helping them envision their child's journey from nervous freshman to confident graduate. It’s proven effective in conveying Greenfield’s culture of nurturing students to become the best version of themselves.

Project a Unique Brand Voice

Craft messaging aligned to your school's personality using descriptive language and an active tone. For example, an academically focused school could adopt an inquisitive, intellectually curious voice, while an athletics-oriented institution may express lively school spirit. Maintain this vibrant voice everywhere to build instant brand recognition.

Greenfield Academy, with its focus on individualized holistic education, projects a nurturing yet intellectual brand voice.

Their website copy and social media content feature an earnest, supportive tone emphasizing growth mindset values like resilience and community. Posts praise students for efforts toward self-improvement rather than inherent talent. Academically, Greenfield positions itself as championing the inherent creativity within each student rather than top test scores.

A recent blog post recapped an innovation lab activity: 

“Our budding inventors learned the power of ideation and that failure leads to greater success. Even more rewarding than the final products was witnessing students support peers through challenges and setbacks to build grit and leadership.”

This brand voice reinforces student-centered principles - that Greenfield fosters an environment where youth feel safe to take risks, learn from mistakes, and celebrate small wins on the road to meeting their full potential. Consistent verbal branding aims to resonate with parents seeking a supportive space for their child’s social-emotional growth.

Boost PR and Community Outreach

Proactively shape brand perception by:

  • Proactively shape brand perception by securing positive news coverage of the latest school achievements and events.
  • Identify creative ways to showcase students and staff participating in community activities.
  • Developing organic word-of-mouth marketing through student, staff, and parent advocates also establishes your educational leadership.

Greenfield routinely pitches student success stories to local media outlets, resulting in features on the school’s unique enrichment programs. The arts faculty also submits press releases on upcoming exhibitions and performances, securing previews in local calendars.  

Greenfield students and staff actively volunteer with several community organizations. On Earth Day, high schoolers joined community beautification efforts at the park. Service photos and a recap landed Greenfield positive coverage for civic participation.

Current parents actively advocate for Greenfield. The school hosts an Open House so these parents can showcase Greenfield to prospective families. In an exit survey, most attending parents rated themselves as likely to refer other parents to Greenfield based on their child’s experience.

This well-rounded effort to lead with service, secure media visibility, and activate advocates organically spreads positive brand associations as an engaged school, developing students into conscientious community members.

Launch an Engaging School Blog

An active blog is your content hub to highlight successes, reinforce brand identity, and engage readers by:

  • Publishing regular student spotlights, classroom activities, and alumni updates
  • Driving SEO with relevant keywords and share-worthy posts to maximize reach
  • Maintaining a consistent publishing cadence to nurture audience interest

Greenfield Academy's blog highlights student stories. It reinforces its brand and engages community members.

Recent student-penned posts include a high schooler’s experience volunteering remotely to teach digital skills to rural students overseas for her leadership service project. Alumni guest authors describe college journeys shaped by Greenfield’s innovative offerings.

Keyword research informed an editorial calendar centered on topics prospective parents seek insights on, like “competitions motivating students” and “STEM courses.” Promoting keyword-optimized posts across social media continues to expand Greenfield’s reach.

Commitment to a regular schedule with high-quality posts published every Monday and Friday has built a following of aspiring families relying on the blog as an authentic information source on Greenfield’s programs and community.

This audience-centered blogging fuels awareness and engagement - directing interested traffic to convert students. It’s proven integral to Greenfield's content marketing strategy, cementing its authority as a holistic, personalized education thought leader.

Define Brand Guidelines

Codify approved colors, fonts, logos, and imagery into one style guide for both internal teams and external partners to reference. This ensures visual assets and content consistently align across touchpoints. Defining these guidelines early prevents fragmentation.

Greenfield codified its visual brand identity into an extensive style guide detailing approved colors, fonts, logos, and imagery for internal teams and external partners to reference.

The signature green and gold colors symbolize Greenfield’s commitment to environmental stewardship and pursuit of excellence. The dark green speaks to the school’s appreciation for nature, while the metallic gold represents illuminating the potential in every student.

Font pairings mirror Greenfield’s foundations in intellectual tradition blended with innovation. Logos prominently feature an oak tree, illustrating the school’s mission to provide fertile ground for students to grow in knowledge and character.

Photos feature students actively learning across Greenfield's green campus. The school utilizes natural light and organic architecture. The style guide directs partners to incorporate these colors, fonts, graphics, and imagery in all visual assets to align touchpoints with Greenfield’s brand image centered on nurturing students’ inner light in an environment where they can truly thrive.

Defining these clear brand guidelines, with a green and gold visual identity at the core, sustains continuity across Greenfield’s marketing materials for cohesive outreach that resonates with the target audience.

Conclusion

This strategic blueprint combines tested methods for private school marketing success. Your school can stand out with compelling messaging and creative delivery while holding true to its deepest values. Keep your learning community's unique spirit at the core and bring it to life across platforms. By taking an audience-centered approach, your school can craft campaigns that captivate prospective students/parents and position your school as a trusted leader in education.

Adam Bennett

Written by:  |  January 3, 2024

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

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