Four Major Challenges Private Schools Face with Marketing and Enrollment

Four Major Challenges Private Schools Face with Marketing and Enrollment

May 17, 2021
(Reading time: 5 - 10 minutes)

The academic arena in the 21st century is extremely competitive. The costs of running and maintaining a school have risen drastically, and each year, it’s becoming harder to convince parents that choosing a private over a public school is still a sound investment given its rising cost. That’s why schools need to have a solid marketing plan to combat the challenges that they currently face.

Private school marketing campaigns aim to entice prospective students to come to your school and enroll. It is important to have a consistent strategy in place to keep your school's academic identity meaningful to your demographic in the long term. 

Keeping up to date on the new school marketing strategies and applying them regularly is critical if you like the school to excel. Luckily, companies like Cube Creative exist to support you. Cube Creative will be a dependable collaborator for the school's digital marketing demands, thanks to its wide range of sophisticated services. 

This article examines three big challenges to keep your eye on when it comes to marketing the school and ensuring its long-term success and how your school can work around them. We will go into who your target demographics are, how you can successfully communicate to them, and how you can keep their commitment to your educational brand through a strong online presence and advertising strategy.

1. Figuring Out Your Key Demographics 

Despite the numerous stereotypes and misconceptions about millennials, many of them are incorrect. Perhaps the most prevalent of these misconceptions is that they are still young students whose lives revolve around relationships and social media. It is clear that this stereotype no longer holds, given that millennials are now around 21 and 37 years old. 

In simple terms, millennials now make up the bulk of the workforce, and they have either begun or are just about to send their children to school. This indicates that the bulk of your prospective enrollees’ guardians are of this age group, and a targeted new parent outreach strategy aimed at this demographic has a good likelihood of raising the institution's enrollment. 

In addition, new mothers make up 46 percent of all females in this age bracket, as well as a significant and increasing part of the millennial populace. Mothers are also more concerned with daily household expenses and are therefore statistically more likely to choose which school their child will go to. 

A surprising new finding of the current demographic profiling is that 56 percent of individuals aged 25 to 35 do not have a child. This shows that, while one of the most populated demographic, they have had little impact on population growth. As a consequence, there are now fewer students vying for slots in schools, raising the level of competitiveness in the independent school marketing arena. 

Convincing parents to send their kids to a private school has become incredibly difficult due to the shrinking number of students and the general view that private education is a luxury rather than a need. 

As a consequence, you may need to do a lot more research on this specific demographic — millennial moms — because it will greatly expand the reach of your school's marketing efforts. Giving their behavioral habits more thought would contribute to greater awareness and, as a consequence, a higher chance of their children becoming a student in your institution. 

2. Building an Online Presence 

People's perceptions of private schools and how they react to school marketing have shifted dramatically as a result of the widespread utilization of social media and the internet. Millennials are inherently adaptable and technologically inclined. The planet has become closely interconnected as a result of the internet, and millennials use it to discover answers virtually everywhere. They spend considerable time on social networking sites and utilize them frequently. As a consequence, in today's world, concentrating on millennials and their online activities is a very sensible way to market your school. 

Internet searches

The majority of millennials utilize Google while looking for a specific app or product, with approximately 25 percent using official sites. For example, when looking for information on child care, 46 percent of moms turn to Google instead of checking actual items and blog posts. 

As a result, the school must make an effort to expand its presence online. Upwards of 80% of all online searches started with unlabeled keywords like "top California preschool," rather than the specific school's name. Your school's website must grow to keep up with the competition, and it should focus on relevant search keywords to improve its position in the search rankings. 

Social media

Social networking and commercial websites have enabled users to personalize the internet a lot. Personalization is expected in today's environment for all digital content. There are several kinds of schools to pick from, as well as a plethora of information about each one of them. The method of rendering content more engaging and unique to make it more shareable is known as customization. 


However, digital personalization entails more than just adding a potential enrollee or parent's name to an automatically generated email. Personalization is the process of tailoring ad campaigns and customer interfaces to the tastes and preferences of the target demographics. To do that, you may need to think about your demographic's site behavior, obstacles, desires, and habits. 

This involves figuring out what type of stuff they would want to use and how they would like to see it. Surveys might be a good way to go about it. Remember that the more data you have, the more accurate this process becomes. 

Multiples approaches

As regards how to market a school, do not restrict yourself to just sentences. You could, for instance, personalize the headlines that users encounter as they first arrive on your website. Suggest the most relevant articles for their academic objectives, or develop multiplatform videos that your demographic can share. 


The number of people who are interested in video material has never been greater. Video is already a must-have of every marketing campaign. It is no longer enough to provide video service. It is now essential to dive into real video content. In this respect, nothing builds stronger connections with viewers than telling personal stories. People choose things that make them feel comfortable so they are more inclined to buy, partake in, or want more after they have them. 

A clip-on first day, for instance, can help new students feel at ease, inspired, and happy. Present and former students would be happy to be a member of the school system after seeing the video. 

Live video content

Furthermore, K-12 education marketing Facebook, particularly Facebook Live, is a fantastic starting point. Schools, luckily, make superb sites for shooting captivating live shots. A live stream of every school activity, in-class experience, or talk is feasible. A short live conversation regarding a common subject or a day-in-the-life clip for real student participants may also be included. Live-streamed footage from school events may be reused in the future. 

Live content can be shared on several social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, as well as Facebook Live and Youtube. These networks are particularly common with millennials. 

You can post photographs and brief videos on the websites, which you can then assemble into longer "Stories." A school tour, for instance, may be turned into a festival or used as a platform for faculty and students to express their thoughts on school life. Because Snapchat, as with Instagram and Twitter, utilizes hashtags, study your student personalities and see what hashtags they might use to locate your Snapchat content.

3. Finding the best advertising option 

The strategies commonly used on marketing for schools have often relied heavily on word-of-mouth advertising. For decades, schools have focused on word of mouth and their accomplishments to attract and retain pupils. However, the use of social media in school marketing has modified the way this strategy functions. 

Around 20 percent of millennials, it appears, prefer to seek guidance from others constantly. It is only natural to get advice before reaching a choice. Millennials, however, are unusual in that they utilize social media platforms twice as much as anyone aged 37 in looking for that advice. 

So, rather than asking one other parent for help, one parent can make use of the Internet to connect with countless other parents via networking sites or Facebook pages. In addition, according to one survey, 37 percent of millennials utilize social media to make buying decisions. As a result, the internet and social media as a whole have become far more effective marketing tools for schools. 

A parent of this generation would almost definitely do a quick Google search of your school and equate it to its peers. At this stage, several other aspects, such as the website, online feedback, and social networking activity, enter the picture. 

Influencer marketing for independent school advertisements is similar to word-of-mouth marketing with some added benefits. When it comes from a neutral source whom prospective parents may adapt to and trust, word-of-mouth is especially useful. Prospects are mindful that, while having reliable and pertinent facts, you are skewed as an advocate for your institution. 

Influencer marketing seeks to find someone that suits your personality, has a large fanbase, and has a significant impact on your shared demographic.

4. The Covid Pandemic

Owing to the pandemic, many private schools are trying to remain alive, and there is a widespread reluctance to reform and add technology. Private schools are facing problems in terms of digitization. To begin with, it may be that the administration lacks sufficient understanding of technology and its educational applications. They are unable to use technologies in education because they do not like to pay significant expenses. 

Many schools think the pandemic would pass quickly, but they are reluctant to spend on a stop-gap solution. Another issue facing private schools is that most teachers are still adapting to the modern standard of imparting information via digital devices such as laptops, smartphones, and iPads. 

Teachers are skeptical of the effects of digital schooling compared to conventional face-to-face instruction. Infrastructure problems, such as hardware compatibility and internet access, are also a concern for the schools.

Parents are particularly skeptical of online schooling and will need some time to come to terms with its feasibility. For this recognition to happen, school administrators and faculty must have a constructive outlook. The most significant obstacles to properly dealing with the educational outcomes of the pandemic are accessibility, hardware affordability, maintenance services, and turnaround time. Because of social distancing conventions and pandemic concerns, collaborative tests, which are common in the education system, are also missing.

Addressing these challenges can greatly contribute to the resilience and continued growth of your school. Finding ways to reach out to your stakeholders, communicate with them regarding their concerns, and delivering on those that you can address, are key to ensuring the positive outlook of your school. 

If you need help marketing your school, then reach out to us for a free consultation. We would be happy to help you!

Adam Bennett

Written by:  |  May 17, 2021

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.

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