As technology increasingly influences all aspects of our day-to-day lives, the knock-on effects for educational facilities are myriad. Today, increasing enrolments is a priority for the majority of schools.
Due to growing competition, increased expectations from parents and a competitive global workplace, schools and universities have to market themselves if they want to attract top talent and maintain their legacy. To help you do this, we look at the ways you can use strategic digital school marketing to increase your enrolments.
1. Invest in your school’s website
Your digital identity is often the first interaction a prospective student or parent will have with your school. As the yellow pages become relics of a bygone era, a user-friendly, informative and engaging website is non-negotiable in the 21st century. Trinity Grammar School and Abbotsleigh, both in NSW, have user-centric school websites that showcase their attributes and personalities in an easily understandable and, dare we say it, enjoyable light.
When building your school website, factor in features that will encourage school enrolment, like testimonials from past and present students and parents, as well as profiles of star pupils, school awards, unique classes, virtual tours and the like. Office 365’s Sharepoint offers templates that are easy to customise (the two websites referenced above were both built on Sharepoint). Templates are also available from Colorlib, Fresh Design Web and Wix.
2. Start a conversation on social media
Social media is the digital equivalent of a public relations campaign. Easy and free to use, schools are harnessing the power of platforms like Facebook and Twitter to showcase academic and sporting achievements, share news and communicate with parents and stakeholders. Two qualities separate effective school social media campaigns from those that fall on deaf ears: consistency and relevancy.
Don’t post content for content’s sake; instead, make sure all posts are targeted at your current and ideal students and parents, and are aligned with your school’s ethos. Free tools such as Hootsuite allow you to schedule and share posts across a number of platforms seamlessly, while tools like Klout and TweetReach enable you to monitor social media engagement and account activity. To make sure your social media efforts are resulting in increased school enrolments, take note of how past and current content is performing, as well as the types of posts that resonate with your audience the most.
3. Nurture prospective students and parents through the enrolment funnel
Much like the journey a prospective customer embarks upon before finally making a purchase, prospective students and parents move through several stages before they enrol. As such, you need to take these three stages (awareness, consideration and decision) into account when liaising with prospects. There are several ways of doing this, including being proactive and contacting parents who started the application process but abandoned it, or current students who haven’t yet re-enrolled for the new term.
A reminder text or email of closing application dates is another way to nudge prospective parents or students to enrol. Content marketing is another effective way to increase school registration rates. (Have a look at this article from inbound marketing authority HubSpot that suggests using blogging as a means to increase school enrolment rates.)
Schools have many moving parts that need constant attention and oversight. Only with thorough preparation can school management successfully deliver the needs of its students and staff. Download this complete guide for School Business Managers to help plan and co-ordinate the various aspects involved in overseeing a successful year.
Higgins Coatings provides Australia's schools with building maintenance plans, commercial painting, and refurbishment services in select areas. We understand that school facilities need to make a good impression on parents, students, and alumni at all times. Our preventative maintenance plans are designed to keep your school or educational facility looking its best while working within your timing, budget, and safety requirements. Higgins has an ISO tri-certification accreditation in safety, quality and the environment. Contact us today to learn more about our school painting maintenance solutions.