Limit the Use of Traditional Media
For decades, private schools have relied on traditional media to share their message and initiate contact with potential parents. Schools need to rethink their old outbound marketing efforts and utilize modern inbound marketing methods to reach prospective parents who look to the digital world more.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 42% of U.S. adults between the ages of 30 and 49 say they go online “almost constantly.”
What is traditional media?
Traditional media is any form of media that exists offline, such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, mailed brochures, postcards, or billboards. It is referred to as "traditional" since it has been there for decades, long before the development of digital media. At a high level, if it’s not on the internet, it’s legacy media.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Media
Pros of Traditional Media
Each form of traditional media has its unique advantages. Print media (e.g., newspapers and mail) helps consumers “touch and feel” the brand, bringing it to life.
Cons of Traditional Media
On the other hand, traditional media is typically far more expensive than digital media. Statista found the CPM (cost per thousand) for TV advertising in the U.S. to be $36.19 for the 2019/2020 season. In other words, it costs an advertiser $36.19 to reach every 1000 viewers. Compared to advertising on a digital media platform like Facebook, the average CPM for 2020 has been $9.09, calculated from Revealbot’s 2020 monthly CPM report.
Traditional media also limits interactions between viewers and your school. A TV ad can intrigue viewers, but it lacks an opportunity for engagement.
Finally, traditional media metrics are more difficult to measure. Analytics tools in digital media make it simple to track impressions, clicks, and view time. Traditional media comes with fewer metrics, and the data can’t be accessed instantly.
Your Private School Website Should Be Your Marketing Hub
It is not uncommon for private schools to receive what might be referred to as “phantom applications.” These are applications where there is no record of the family in the system before an application is received. Years ago, the only way to learn about the school was to enquire. Now, families can access that information with an easy web search. As a result, it's critical that your private school website serves as the informational hub with everything about your school.
Ensure your school’s information, such as contact information, location, grades served, and application instructions, is easily found and accessible on your website. The last thing you want to do is make people struggle to find this basic information. You run a high risk of losing a prospective family before you even get a chance to say hello. Make sure the application process is well-defined, with precise dates and deadlines, as well as public events publicized, so families know when you're hosting an Open House.
Utilize Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is an essential component of any LCMS private school's marketing plan. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are always available and ready to be used. They are beautifully versatile tools that allow you to communicate as much or as little as you desire. The key to efficiently using social media is to exercise control over it. Always keep in mind that social media provides everyone with a glimpse into your institution and what it is all about. Members of your school's community will appreciate seeing their accomplishments highlighted in a Facebook post with a fantastic photo to illustrate what happened. You can upload movies of your school on YouTube. Interviews with current students, facility tours, and short infomercials about your school will successfully and affordably reach a large audience on YouTube.
Consider Hiring a Consultant or Outside Agency for Help
Having an expert analyze your marketing approach is akin to going to the doctor. While it will cost you some money, what you are getting in exchange is their years of professional experience and knowledge.
You may also want to consider hiring an outside agency that specializes in Lutheran private school marketing, such as Cube Creative Design. As a general rule, hiring a consultant or agency will not be as expensive as hiring additional staff.