Unlike the majority of industries, the education sector has taken longer to catch onto the huge benefits of digital marketing. Whilst schools are not businesses as such, they rely on the right levels of student intakes and a good local reputation to perform well. To be a successful school takes more than good exam results, it needs to be able to attract the next cohorts of students to ensure it stays open.
Here are some ways that schools can embrace the benefits of digital marketing:
A Professional Website
More people turn to the internet for information than ever before. From looking up the weather to finding out the term dates at schools, people use Google well before any other method of getting information. So having a website that portrays your school in a really professional manner and has information that people need is a great way to engage with parents and students.
When parents or students are choosing their school, they will do their research and these days that includes having a good look at the school website. So you want to use your website to show how amazing your school is, or for strengthening the relationship between current students/parents. Having news like sports successes or excellent results for example, will attract visitors and improve your ‘online brand’.
As well as helping to enhance the reputation of the school, a website can reduce admin tasks and costs. For example, you can publish an important piece of information instead of sending out letters to all parents. Or you can upload the school calendar along with key school events like parents evenings, sports days etc. to reduce the number of enquiries coming into the admin office. It also means that you are more likely to get better attendances at events because people have been able to get the right information about times and other details.
A lot of schools are put off setting up a website or getting a new website because they think they cost huge amounts of money and take lots of effort to get launched and to maintain. A website set up has never been simpler and there are all kinds of different options that make them more affordable and easier to maintain than they may have been historically. Having a website is a really critical aspect of any type of business and schools are no different, they can benefit so much from having a good website that any investment is quickly returned in one form or another.
Today’s world is, on the whole, obsessed with social media and a huge amount of time is spent each day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. If you want to keep your target audience updated with key school events and communications, social media is a great way to do this. It is even proven to work really well for communicating important information like a school closure due to snow, as an example. If you think about the historical alternatives – waiting for parents to get to school to find out, or trying to quickly call all parents, you can see why social media is such a useful communication channel.
It is also a great way to engage with students, by sharing success stories and photos from events. The great thing about social media is that it costs absolutely nothing to set up an account and requires minimal input, as a tweet every few days is often all that is needed to keep the momentum going.