Setting Objectives When Marketing For A School
It is vitally important that schools and educational facilities set objectives before diving into the online world.
Specific goals – such as increasing enrolments or enhancing the school’s reputation within the local area – must be clearly defined before beginning any marketing endeavours. Having these objectives at the top of mind will ensure that actions and decision-making will always be guided.
Become a student of the game by following all the schools within your area and determine what content is working and what isn’t. Follow some of the well-established educational institutions that have marketing teams with massive budgets and replicate their social media posting strategies. Don’t copy their strategies directly but determine the type of content that is being posted, the frequency of the posts, which platforms are being used the most, and what language is used to communicate to their audience.
Acknowledge the content that is performing best – which posts are getting the most engagement – then strive to imitate it while adding your school’s personalised touch. Let the digital marketing strategies of other places be valuable data, then customise it to reflect your school’s unique qualities best.
Decide what social media platforms will be best to allocate efforts toward; it could be a combination of many. The school’s social media strategy mustn’t be spread too thin across all the different platforms. This can lead to time and resources being wasted, and it is always better to be exceptional on one platform than mediocre across them all.
Ideally, having a presence across an array of social media platforms would be great for any school. However, when it comes to time, resources and budget, it is essential to be realistic and prioritise the platforms that are returning the best results. If your school does not have the resources to be across all social media platforms, focus on just one or two and create the best quality work to stand out.
Ensure to create content that is native to the platform it is going on. Simply copying your content from Facebook over to Instagram, or a pre-made television commercial to YouTube is not an optimal strategy. This is because people are in a different mindset when on these respective platforms.
It would be advisable to have an idea of the school calendar and key events so that there is enough time to carefully plan any marketing efforts and avoid being overloaded. Facebook allows for posts to be scheduled through their platform, and there are many other social media scheduling tools – like Buffer and Hootsuite – to make this process easier.
If coming up with ideas for fresh content is too challenging, themes could be devoted to specific days of the week. For example, Monday could be the day a question is asked to the parents on Facebook, Tuesday could be the day a piece of student’s work is shared on Instagram, Wednesday can be the principal’s message, etc.
When utilising paid advertising, consider a marketing budget and closely monitor the readily available ad performance data to calculate return on investment. A significant component of online marketing is interpreting the analytics, repeatedly testing content and strategies, eliminating the poorer performing campaigns, and progressing with the successful ones.
Adjust any campaigns accordingly due to how they are performing when compared to the return on investment. Return on investment can be a tricky metric to calculate due to the differences between social media marketing and traditional marketing. With social media, people can form deeper, longer-lasting connections, which can be invaluable for a school and lead to more direct enrolment referrals and school loyalty.