Marketing For Private Schools In a New Decade

Marketing For Private Schools In a New Decade

April 1, 2021
(Reading time: 5 - 9 minutes)

In the field of education, private school marketing strategies can entice parents and potential students to visit and apply to your school. They are important for keeping your brand of education relevant to your intended audience both now and in the future. 

If you want your school to be at the upper end of the educative spectrum, keeping abreast with the most relevant school marketing trends and utilizing them regularly is key. Furthermore, you’ll have to thoroughly understand your primary stakeholders – in this case, millennial parents. 

This article will tackle three major trends that you should keep an eye on when evaluating or creating marketing strategies for your private school. 

Millennials as Primary Clientele 

Despite the numerous prejudices and stereotypes directed at millennials, quite a few manage to hit the mark. Perhaps the biggest one of these stereotypes is the notion of them being high school students or college freshmen whose train of thought only revolves around dating and social media. Because millennials are now between 21 and 37 years old, it is easy to see why this stereotype just doesn’t hold up.

Millennials, simply put, are now mostly part of the workforce, and quite a lot of them have or are already starting to build their own families. This means that in actuality, most of the parents of your prospective students will belong to this generation. By targeting this demographic, you have significant potential in improving your school’s enrollment rate.

Furthermore, this group of new mothers makes up 46 percent of all women in their age bracket and a large, emerging portion of the millennial population. When it comes to financial control, mothers are often the authority as they tend to generally be more privy to the day-to-day household expenses. 

An interesting new statistic about the current breakdown of their generations is that 56% of people between the ages of 25 and 35 are childless. This suggests that despite being one of the largest demographics, they have not contributed to population growth. As you can see, there are simply fewer students vying for your seats, so the rivalry between schools is now even more intense. 

Due to the lower pool of private school applicants and the general trend of private education being seen as a luxury rather than a necessity, convincing parents to have their children enrolled in a private school has now become very difficult. 

As such, you have to intimately study this specific demographic – millennial mothers, as this can significantly enhance the reach of your school’s new parent’s marketing. Giving considerable thought to their general behavioral trends can mean a better understanding, and thus, a better chance of you enticing them to have their children enroll in your school. 

Prioritize Online Presence 

A major shift in the world and how people go about looking at private schools has occurred due to the widespread use of technology and social media. Millennials aren't picky about matters, but they are quick to respond in the modern age; the world is an interconnected place, so they can easily find answers anywhere. They have more social network accounts and spend more time on their social networks overall. As such, targeting millennials and their online usage is the most logical answer to the question of how to market a new school.

The majority of millennials turn to Google

When looking for a new service or product, the majority of millennials turn to Google, while about a quarter glance at the direct website. An example of this is how 46% of millennial mothers turn to Google when looking for information on maternity leave and childcare instead of searching for specific brands and blog posts. 

As such, the school must aspire to extend its online presence. More than 80% of all searches made an online start with unlabeled keywords — like "best California preschool" rather than the institution's name. 

Your school's website must grow to keep up with the competition, and it should focus on specific search words to achieve a higher position in the search results.

Personalization

For years, social media and commercial websites have been personalizing the internet for their users. Personalization has come to be expected in all of your digital content. There are so many different kinds of schools available and vast amounts of information about them. Customization is how you keep your content meaningful and personalized to make it shareable. 

However, digital personalization entails more than just adding a prospective student or parent's name to your email. Personalization is whether you offer a single member of your target group the essential information that fits their interests. 

To do so, you'll have to think about your potential audience's online activity, problems, desires, and habits. This involves figuring out what kind of content and in what way they want to view it. Performing surveys can be a successful way to do this. Know that the more details you gather, the more accurate your customization can be. 

Think high and reach beyond email. For example, you may personalize the headlines that guests see as they visit your website and suggest the most important articles for their educational goals and interests. 

Invest in video

The number of people who engage with video material is at an all-time high. Investing in multi-platform videos that your audience can share is no longer a choice; it’s a must in the marketing plan. It's not only about providing some kind of video service these days; it's also about dipping into real video content.

Regarding this, nothing connects with a viewer like exchanging personal stories. People want things that leave them feeling something, and when they get them, they're more inclined to buy, engage in, or aspire for more of it. 

A video regarding campus move-in day or the first day of school, for instance, can make potential learners feel happy, welcomed, and inspired about the chance to be part of it. Also, the same clip can make current and former students happier to be a member of the school.

Services like Facebook Live are a fantastic place to start. Campuses, luckily, are ideal beehives for producing convincing live footage. Live-streaming is possible with any school case, in-class experience, or lecture. A short live conversation about a current subject or a day-in-the-life clip for real student characters can also be used. You can also repurpose live-streamed footage of school events as potential material. 

In addition to Facebook Live and Youtube, there are a host of other social networking platforms you can use for live content, such as Instagram and Snapchat. These networks are ubiquitous with millennials and their children, who are most definitely part of your educational institution's target audience. 

You can use the website to post photographs and brief videos, which you will then curate into lengthier "Stories." You might, for example, transform a campus tour into an event or use it as a platform for students and teachers to share their personal experiences on campus life. Snapchat, like Instagram and Twitter, uses hashtags, so do some homework on your student characters and figure out which hashtags can help them locate your Snapchat material.

Word-of-Mouth is Still King 

Word-of-Mouth Promotion has always been an integral aspect of every school's marketing campaign. For years, most schools have depended on word-of-mouth and their accomplishments to attract and retain students. However, social network marketing has altered the way this marketing strategy operates. 

Modern word-of-mouth is social media and reviews

One of every five millennials would seek guidance from others, which seems normal. It's perfectly natural to get advice before choosing. However, millennials are distinct in that they utilize social networking platforms to obtain help twice as much as people over the age of 37. 

So, instead of one parent approaching another for guidance, it's one parent addressing thousands of other parents on the Internet through their social networking pages or Facebook pages. According to one survey, 37 percent of millennials use their social media networks to make buying decisions. This makes social media and the internet, in general, a much more potent tool in marketing for schools. 

A parent from this generation would most likely conduct a quick Google search of your school and perform a thorough comparison of it among your competition. That is where a slew of other influences, such as the website, online ratings, and social networking activity, come into action.

Utilizing influencers in your independent school marketing is similar to word-of-mouth marketing. Still, it comes with an extra benefit. Word-of-mouth is particularly useful since it's a third-party viewpoint that prospective parents will listen to and trust. Prospects realize you're biased as the advocate even though you're delivering reliable and appropriate material. 

The goal of influencer marketing is to find someone that suits your profile, has significant reach within your target audience, has a large fanbase, and has a substantial impact on your mutual target audience. Influencers will help you spread your posts or build content that is important to market private schools. 

Conclusion

In summary, it's essential to pay attention to the website, social networking presence, emails, and interaction style when marketing for independent schools. 

When it comes to selling to millennial parents, it is crucial to market your school on several platforms using the appropriate methods and language. They understand that there are plenty of other ways to get the facts they need.

They are used to an enormous influx of data and are therefore much more particular with the kind of online interaction they engage in. They will often scrutinize your photographs and videos, as well as your social media content as well as what their friends, family, and favorite influencers have to say about your institution. 

If you need help marketing your school, then reach out to us for a free consultation.

Adam Bennett

Written by:  |  April 1, 2021

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