Digital marketing for schools
Updated: Apr 13
Digital Marketing has become synonymous with growth, especially in India post the launch Digital India. It has neigh become the first choice for marketing among small and large businesses.
Schools are one of the slowest businesses to move to online marketing – and it shows ! Most Schools still depend on the traditional methods of digital marketing like print Ads – newspapers, flyers, placards & boards, Television ads and so on with maybe a website at the most. Many schools still rely on word of mouth - which it still works wonders for few established schools, others still need to tap the right venue to reach parents.
Your school might have excellent infrastructure, great teachers but your message needs to reach parents for them to benefit from the holistic education you are offering for their children.
“Ignoring digital Marketing is like opening a Business but not telling anyone”
Why do schools need digital marketing?
Schools are a business, and like any business, it is important to present themselves in a positive light and attractive light. Raising the awareness and increasing interest in the school among potential entrants and their parents is one of the goals of any school. Having a good website and social media presence to demonstrate what their school plays a big part in this.
Many or most now school-aged children have millennial-parents or Generation X parents, and grew up surrounded by internet and electronic devices like mobiles and tablets.
These parents spend very little time on media like phonebooks, magazines, television, radio, newspapers and billboards. They spend most of their time on online media relying on the internet – like websites, mobile apps, search engines, blogs and social media. Parents of school children now spend more time online than with Television and all other media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) combined!
The increased use of the internet and digital media has been a major influence in the field of education. The increased usage of internet has also revolutionized the education sector - some now get their assignments and notes online as almost all students use the internet.
This has a direct implication on the way that educational institutions and colleges need to utilize the web and cell phones to connect with more students.
And digital marketing is the best strategy that can be embraced by the educational institutions to reach out to prospective students.
Another reason why you should consider digital Marketing is Traditional Advertising is more expensive.
Generate Leads –School spend on marketing with the purpose of getting more students. Digital Marketing can help schools to generate leads through search history, interests and other paid advertising.
Engagement - Engagement with parents and students play an important role in every school. Social Media can be used to keep the parents informed about all the events, add-ons. Every reaction - be it a comment or share of the parents or students spreads out the schools visibility.
Transparency - Transparency is the biggest factor for school marketing even its online marketing or offline marketing. Schools can easily reach potential parents and let them become aware of the faculty, facilities, events held, infrastructure of the school and encouraging activities to parents and students online.
Increase visibility - Digital marketing is much more than just a website or social media. The aim is to bring a huge amount of relevant traffic to your website by increasing its visibility to the people that it is relevant to. Digital marketing increase visibility on social media platforms too and directs them to your website.
1. Showcase your school through Website
A school website is effectively an online shop front. It showcases the school to the outside world and highlights the culture and image the school wants to convey to its target audience.
The website gives parents and the local community information, what the school has to offer and what their focus, vision, mission ideals is and so on creating a hopefully positive impression.
There are many great schools out there with websites that almost dissuade parents from enrolling their child to that school. A school website needs to be welcoming, engaging, informative, easy to navigate, easy to read on mobiles and tablets and project the right message about the school.
It’s decisive that the impression is a good one and also important that the website represents the school appropriately - A very dated or unresponsive website may potentially give a false image of an otherwise thriving and vibrant school.
2. Engage with parents through Social Media
Most schools assume that having a great website is ‘be all and see all’ to digital marketing. While having a website is of paramount importance, it also equally important to engage with parents and children through social media, spreading brand awareness and the quality of the prospectus.
With increasing volume of people using mobile and computers to conduct searches, it is necessary for schools to move with the times and have a strategy for attracting their audience online.
Social media, if done correctly can serve schools well. As long as there are appropriate policies in place, a school can significantly enhance their brand profile by having a strong social media presence.
Social media has a wide opportunity and can be utilised to,
Promote the school ethos, goals and aspirations
Inform parents of events and extra-curricular activities
Answer questions about the school
Strengthen relationships with the local community
Share ideas and discuss issues
Celebrate school achievements
Communicate effectively with students
3. Focus on Local SEO
Optimise your site for SEO by researching for relevant keywords people use to find schools in your city and make a perfect keyword research report and optimize your website for top keywords you are focusing on.
List your school in Google My Business so that when parents around your school search for "schools near me" you school shows up.
Things to work on to improve your website's search ranking,
Improve your website experience
Improve your organic search visibility with SEO
Connect your social media to your website
Maintain a blog and continue to produce valuable and engaging content
4. List in School Aggregator Website
Schools Online presence on a single platform is not enough; you have to make regular and effective touch with parents. So make a list of all possible online platforms and filter out potential parents and students and make a strategy where you can target them on different platforms.
You can also list out your School on Major School Listing websites in India like momjunction, uniformapp.in, edustoke.com, toppr.com, eduvidhya.com to make your school easily accessible by potential parents to grow the list of students in your all classrooms.
5. Admissions through Paid Campaigns
It is important to not ignore the paid campaigns considering the organic reach in social media is getting lower and lower and ranking is Google is becoming very competitive.
Paid campaigns focused on lead generation for admission can be done around the admission season through Google Ads and Facebook lead generation campaign. These paid promotions can be micro targeted for the following demographics,
Parents with newborns, toddlers or children within specific age group
People living within a specific distance around the school
People who are searching fro schools in your area
The education industry has been slowly moving towards digital marketing, while this shift is gradual; it is a definite shift in the trend. Digital marketing for education sector assists universities and schools, college institutions in building their brand and also to amplify the student recruitment process.
Schools need to get themselves noticed. Understanding how the school should be using their website, social media, and other digital marketing techniques to grow their online presence and attract more entrants is absolutely critical in today’s competitive marketplace.