How to Market A Private School

How to Market A Private School

January 26, 2022
(Reading time: 6 - 11 minutes)

The key to increasing your private school enrollment is through marketing, primarily content marketing. With content marketing for private schools, you are telling your school's story in such a way that it attracts families and entices them to join your school family.

Now there are numerous options for private schools to get the word out but content marketing is how you differentiate yourself and your school from the competition.

As parents begin their school search, they have a number of questions, such as:

  1. What distinguishes your school from the one down the street?
  2. What are the criteria for hiring faculty?
  3. What is the school's mission/philosophy?
  4. How much can parents be involved and what role can they play?
  5. What are the expectations for communication with parents?
  6. What results can we expect if we send our child to this school?
  7. What are the school's difficulties? What are the areas that need to be improved?

Your marketing materials, website, social media presence, and personal interactions should all follow a consistent theme and work to answer these questions.  

Make certain that you deliver on what you promise in terms of what you say and what you do. This will not only reassure parents but they will be able to see their child on your campus.

You can and should create buyer personas to help you focus your marketing efforts. Defining an ideal parent and student will help you develop marketing content and collateral that speaks directly to them.

Why Private School Marketing Matters

Why Private School Marketing Matters

Developing a private school marketing plan will help you prepare your school and parents for the enrollment process ahead.

It is no longer feasible for a private school to have great programs and excellent teachers in today's competitive market. Your school's enrollment numbers will not begin to increase until prospective students and parents are aware that you exist.

You have to attract and educate prospects about the experiences at your school. Concentrate on your educational offerings such as class sizes, educational opportunities, etc. This should also provide a window into student life through a student’s eyes.

As a private school, the key factors for expanding your school enrollment are balancing your traditions, publicity, and the story of your legacy. Having an effective content marketing strategy and plan can ensure that your school’s long-term objectives are current, practical, and achievable.

This post will help you determine the process, define your niche, and grow your school via a marketing strategy that distinguishes you from other schools in your area.

How to Execute Your Private School Marketing Strategy and Plan

As education teaching methods become more advanced and more progressive, it is critical to express what the foundation of your private school symbolizes clearly. This is entirely customizable, and following a strategy and plan will help you cover all the bases by:

  • Forming a clear positioning statement 
  • Using content to solve parents’ pain and passion points
  • Conducting competitive research by studying competitors/industry thought leaders
  • Developing a vault of content assets based on your team's ability and budget bandwidth
  • Identifying the most effective marketing channels and strategies
  • Discovering the content topics your audience craves
  • Assessing your organization's need for resources
  • Defining your unique value proposition
  • Collecting your marketing materials
  • Creating an online marketing strategy

Here’s how you do it:

Tell Your School's Story by Leading With Your Strengths

Promote your achievements, whether they are excellent test results or a K-12 Christian-based STEAM curriculum in your area. If it matches their wants and resources, parents have no trouble investing in their children.

Your executive summary should outline each aspect of your marketing plan. We recommend that you keep it on the table throughout the planning phase. Writing your positioning statement last, on the other hand, will guarantee that your entire plan is cohesive and adheres to your institution's aims. Your executive summary will serve as a cheat sheet of your plan and define your story for you and other parties (advisors, employees, financiers, etc.).

Remember that you have the ability to frame your content. What you promote might be the first time your target audience has heard of you. Make sure your school’s unique value proposition is appealing, professional, and uses complete concepts while being concise.

Tell Your School's Story by Identifying Your School’s Weaknesses

Weaknesses are acceptable if you actively work on ways to address them. The first step is to recognize them, and if you can do that, you will be able to be a resilient school. Check to see whether they are damaging you amid your competitors' options.

However, when addressing stumbling blocks, if you have a proposed plan prepared, you will be viewed as proactive and self-aware. Prospects will see this transparency and understand it. Then you and your school can make the most of the shortcomings. ‍

Tell Your School's Story by ‍Finding Hidden Opportunities 

Discovering assets you didn’t realize you had or were capable of will boost your value as a private school marketer. Keep in mind that your private school has a specialty or niche and a market that can and will impress both students and parents. Use your distinct message and suggestions to supplement existing strategies and give your school a marketing makeover. 

Tell Your School's Story by ‍‍Assessing External Threat(s)

Competitors aren't the only threats to be aware of. You should keep an eye out for new technological advancements, political factors and pressures, local, regional, state and global environmental challenges that will help you stay prepared. If you are aware of what is going on, you can position yourself to keep your school top of prospects’ minds.

Tell Your School's Story by ‍‍Following Market Trends

You can keep ahead of your competition if you understand the climate and how your school fits within it

Use the market trends to inform you on:

  • What needs to be developed
  • What parents and students are needing
  • What do they require, which distribution channels should be used to reach them
  • How you can reduce the uncertainty that prospects develop as part of the new process. 

Facilities, academics, technology, organizational structure, and spiritual life are essential areas of your offers that can be split into key categories to enhance your market growth. 

These key areas will be determined by research and conducting a long-range plan. With this plan, you can be sure of which action items will be vital elements in the development of your plan.

Tell Your School's Story by ‍‍Knowing Your Schools Competition 

Know where you stand amongst competing schools. You must understand their distinct capabilities in order to ensure that your school is on par with the other area alternatives. You may even determine where you can aim higher with this information. Knowing the qualities of competing institutions, such as the price or programs offered to students, can help you understand what you're up against. ‍

Tell Your School's Story by Outlining Your Schools Offerings

As part of your private school marketing plan, you will need to be able to answer the following questions:

  • What sets your school apart?
  • What areas is your school working on to improve your competitive edge? 
  • Why should a parent pick your school over another? 
  • Is your school up to date with helpful programs, technology, and software for students?

When you start outlining your school's offerings, you will need to review the above list and make sure your tuition is competitive. Showcase your teachers, administrators, and specialists, especially if they have rare specifications. Emphasizing these aspects of your school's ecosystem increases its worth. 

Each of the steps previously listed will help you settle comfortably within your school’s niche. Now that your objectives have been broadened, you may go forward with marketing techniques that target specific segments.

Five Types of School Marketing Plans & Channels

With your competitors in mind, it is crucial to employ a number of marketing strategies to increase your school’s brand recognition. If you want to be perceived as a contender school, your next steps should be deliberate. Begin by determining what sort of plan(s) you require:

Quarterly or Annual Marketing Strategy

Quarterly and annual marketing plans outline the techniques or initiatives you'll implement over a specific time period.

“Breaking News” Marketing Strategy

A "Breaking News" layout will serve as a guide for the various ways you'll implement announcements to emphasize a new award, certification, or other excellent news you want to share with your target audience.

To execute your traditional and digital media strategies, you’ll want to use a variety of channels and strategies such as the four following ones:

‍Paid Marketing Strategy

Pay-Per-Click (PPC), paid social media promotions, or native advertising should be considered and be part of your paid marketing strategy.

Initially, paid advertising can help you get a steady stream of leads until more organic methods such as content marketing kick in. With paid advertising, you can influence and inform specific segments of your target audience more effectively within your budget.

Your metrics will be able to be tracked easier, and it will aid you in the reporting of outcomes. This will help you in measuring your school’s success.

Here’s an example of what this looks like:

PPC November 2021 - Crenshaw

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Media Marketing outlines the strategies, platforms, and methods you intend to use to achieve certain goals on social media for your school. If you want to increase traffic to your website, social media platforms are an excellent place to help lead prospects to your detailed resources. 

Social media platforms allow you to express your message through graphics, photos, images, and videos. This will help enable you to expand your audience in order to get more leads.

Social media networks should be seen as an extension of your website. They can be a quick approach to get parents’ and students’ attention and maybe increase enrollment. Using various tactics like hashtags, you can capture parent and student personas that you are aiming for. 

Here’s an example of what this looks like:

Social Media Marketing Strategy - Crenshaw

Social Media Marketing Strategy - Crenshaw Roaring 20

Content Marketing Strategy

This covers the creative resources you develop to promote the offerings at your school. These content assets could include strategies, tactics, and campaigns in order to communicate the school's mission from several perspectives.

This marketing strategy allows for the most unique material while still providing direction. Examples might be a school tradition or an awareness day.

Now that you've determined which tactics are best for your purposes put yourself in the shoes of the parent. This is what you will use to tailor your content in order to reach your buyer persona.

Say you received a donation intended to help with STEAM learning. Something like this is the perfect use case for the “Breaking News” Marketing plan. You can use the outlets and plan to announce not only the dalmatian but that you are focused on STEAM learning. 

This will work in your favor, primarily if your competition does not provide Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math curriculum. This will help elevate your school in the minds of parents who are willing to invest in their child's education.

With each activity, you should have an objective in mind. Your success and the success of your private school will be seen in the results, such as interactions over a given time, enrollment numbers, and metrics. 

Get Your Website Listed in Local Searches

Apart from Google ranking, getting found in directories such as will help you get in front of your target audience.

Other Ideas to Consider 

In order to target prospective students or parents, try to launch your campaigns six months before the semester or enrollment begins. If families are researching options, they will be actively on the hunt around this time.

Final Thoughts

The key to marketing your private school and increasing your school’s enrollment is through marketing it effectively. If you need help marketing your private school, then reach out to us. We are experts in marketing for private schools.

Enrollment Growth Content Marketing Plan for Private Schools

Free Resource

If you want to grow your private school in today’s climate, you need to start thinking digitally. Stand out by creating blog posts and local landing pages that directly answer what your potential families are searching for online.

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Adam Bennett

Written by:  |  January 26, 2022

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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