February 28, 2021
There are many audiences you want to reach when marketing your school. You want to appeal to prospective and current parents and students to bolster recruitment and re-recruitment efforts. Perhaps educators want to showcase future teaching opportunities or highlight prominent community members to appeal for their generous support.
While every audience has unique needs, a main component of your marketing messages must remain consistent—students are the heart of your mission and your school. Therefore, all marketing must be unequivocally student-centered.
Here’s a four-step approach to ensure your school’s marketing is student-centered.
Step 1—Set up times to meet with students each week.
Student-centered marketing must start right there—with your students. Listening to students must be the focus of your ongoing research.
Organize your time so you’re able to visit at least two classrooms every week—either in-person or virtually—and enjoy what is happening in them. Make it a priority to sit with a different group of students each week and engage with them about what’s happening in the school. What excites them? What do they hope to see more of? What would they change?
Follow up on compelling stories and experiences with case studies, blog posts, videos, and social media updates that can be shared on your website and through other social channels.
Including the student perspective in your marketing materials shouldn’t be an afterthought. It must be an intrinsic element that illustrates how students work, live, and play in your school. The student voice is the most powerful affirmation of what you do—make sure it can be heard through your marketing materials.
Step 2—Collect data to inform your decisions.
Surveys supply valuable data to help you better understand what appeals to students and what isn’t working well. Educate yourself about the best ways to conduct surveys to support your school’s historical data and to ensure that surveys are conducted regularly and methodically. Use the data collected to influence your messaging.
Step 3—Market to the needs of today’s families.
It’s important to remember that families’ needs are always evolving. There has been a significant change in what families value. As millennial parents begin to comprise more of your school’s parent body, ensure your messages align with 21st-century school marketing concepts.
All families today expect open and honest communication and a positive return on investment for their tuition dollars. They want to ensure their children are well cared for and that their expenditure on tuition results in their child being ready for the future.
It all comes down to perceived and delivered value. You must continually communicate with parents as part of your strategy, not as an afterthought.
Tune in to ask questions related to this Source article or other topics you've encountered lately.
Step 4—Don’t be afraid to try new things.
It’s no secret that schools are continuing to work in uncharted territory—instead of trying to use routine tactics, take this opportunity to innovate. We shared some marketing ideas to use when the pandemic first hit.
Many still apply today, such as:
Mobilize your ambassadors. Find parents and students who can record a video or be available for virtual “meet and greets.” If someone is interested, such communications provide great peer stories for prospective families who won’t have a more traditional enrollment experience.
Create student-centered content that educates. Position your school as the area’s expert in education by providing valuable information to your current and prospective families. This shows you support the community and demonstrates your mission at work.
Some ideas include:
- a “how-to” blog post or video about something your program includes (music, art, sports);
- tips for creating an ideal home learning environment;
- physical activity ideas for children (and parents!); and
- ways parents can talk with their children about difficult topics.
Make classes available to the public via social media. Expand your reach and introduce people to what you’re doing through a “music and movement” or “physical activity” class. Parents might want to hop on and see what you’re all about. This allows them the opportunity to see the experience you provide to children every day.
If you keep students at the center of your marketing, you’ll continue to convey a message of strength and validate your place in the community.
10/17/2022 — 10/18/2022
The New Marketing Communications Director Boot Camp
Status: Open • Location: Clearwater, FLRegister
10/17/2022 — 10/19/2022
Your Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Successful Private School Endowment
Status: Open • Location: Clearwater, FLRegister