Marketing and Technology

Advances in technology have changed the way businesses market themselves. This section provides tips on social media marketing, information on the latest technology being used and SEO basics for private schools.

View the most popular articles in Marketing and Technology:

Identifying Your School's Brand

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Identifying Your School's Brand
Creating a brand identity for your school is an essential part of your marketing strategy. We walk you through the process.

Marketing the small private school is a challenge in the best of times. In the post-pandemic world we all live in, that challenge often seems impossible. It is not when you handle it head-on. You can't ignore it or make excuses. Denial or procrastination will not solve the problem. Identifying your school's brand will help point you in the right direction. So, here are a couple of things you can do to improve the marketing of your school. While I am writing this article for the head or owner of a school, many points fit a parent's viewpoint.

 

This video explains the basics of branding.

 

 

What follows are primary questions you need to ask yourself and your marketing committee if you have one. The answers will help drive your marketing program.

 

Who are your prospective families?

What are the demographics

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5 Easy Steps To Marketing Your School

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5 Easy Steps To Marketing Your School
Marketing the small private school can be done affordably and effectively. We suggest five easy steps to make that happen.

You run a small private school. You are facing many challenges filling seats. You are concerned about how next year's intake will look. With all the other unexpected expenses facing you during the pandemic, your budget doesn't have funds to hire a marketing firm to promote your school. So, what to do? The answer to that question lies in your school's unique trove of photos, news, testimonials, awards, and other memorabilia. I presume that you have all those materials saved somewhere on your school's computers. If they are spread about over several computers, I recommend that you save them all in one system that is backed up securely. Better yet, save them in the cloud. These materials are unique and priceless. Saving them securely in the cloud is an expense that you should consider as cheap insurance. (I'm not sure how your accountant will allocate that expense, but we'll let her decide.)

Where am I going with this? Well, take a moment to look at commercial websites or commercial Instagram accounts. The photos and the artwork grab your attention, don't they? They draw you into their story. They help deliver the message. That's all we are suggesting that you do with your collection of digital photos. They are unique. They will tell your story to a stranger who knows nothing about your school and how excellent its reputation and academics are. They are one of the first steps in generating contact by email or phone with your school. You know

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5 Ways To Use Social Media To Market Your School

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5 Ways To Use Social Media To Market Your School
We look at ways in which your small to medium-sized private school can use social media to make families past, present, and future aware of your school.
Social networking for business

I was an early adopter of social media so I can tell you that the growth of the genre which I have witnessed has been remarkable. The instant communications and universal accessibility of social media have powered revolutions around the world as you and I both know. Sadly, social media has been manipulated and abused by governments and political movements that seek to undermine and destroy institutions. 

For the purposes of this article, we shall set aside those negative aspects of social media and look at ways in which your small to medium-sized private school can use social media to make families past, present, and future aware of your school. If your school has the budget for professional social media curators and a fully-integrated marketing program, you are all set. However, if you have limited resources for marketing your school and are not certain how to proceed, I have written this article with your school in mind.

Before we look at some suggestions for using social media, I want you to set aside any misconceptions which you might have about social media. I run into people all the time who say "I don't use Facebook." "I can't be bothered with Twitter." "YouTube is a waste of time." Interestingly enough, they never seem to mention Instagram or LinkedIn which are popular with millennials and the business community respectively. Social media is essentially an electronic form of socializing. Years ago we sent postcards to our friends and family when we traveled.

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Running Your School: Managing Enrollment

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Running Your School: Managing Enrollment
Not filling all the seats is a challenge for many schools. Jason How offers some answers to common enrollment questions.
Jason How

Editor's note: I asked Jason How, a professional enrollment strategist and Managing Director of Agency J, to answer some of my questions about achieving enrollment targets and other related matters. ~Rob

1. My school's enrollment is declining. I can't afford a marketing professional. What should I do?

It’s important to understand what a school means when it says that it can’t afford a marketing professional. Here are some guiding questions:

  • Does it mean that they don’t have an in-house marketing person?
  • Does it mean that they can’t afford to hire an extra pair of hands?
  • If it can’t afford to hire outside help, is it because the administration made certain assumptions about the cost of hiring a marketing professional?

Once we understand what the school means, the next thing is to get clarity on the main reason why their school’s enrollment is declining. Each reason has its own solution. Reasons include:

  • Declining student age population within the geographical region.
  • Growing competition due to:
    • New schools popping up in the area.
    • Existing schools expanding aggressively.
    • Deteriorating ratings and feedback about the school’s programs, leading to a rise in negative reviews and word-of-mouth, which discourage others from attending the school (true story).
  • Over-reliance on a single marketing and enrollment source.

It’s important to get clarity on the main reason for the decline because marketing is not a magic pill that can make every issue go away.

If a school has a good reputation but happens to be located in an area where there are fewer student-age population, there is not much marketing can

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Marketing Your School: How Visible Is Your School?

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Marketing Your School: How Visible Is Your School?
Your school's website and your social media sites are essential tools in your marketing program.

I am assuming that your school is well-known within your local community. But what about beyond that community? Are you visible to families looking for a school like yours? How will they know that your school fits their specific requirements? Well, there are several things you can do to reach that critical pool of families and potential students.

The Invisible Stuff

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a mystery to the uninitiated. It is one of those arcane sciences that webmasters everywhere have to be aware of. Unfortunately, the mention of SEO for the rest of us prompts most of us to start reading email and texting friends. It's all so technical. The truth is that good SEO can enhance your marketing efforts. It can make your school more visible to the audience which you are trying to reach. Weak or non-existent SEO will bury your site so that it is practically invisible. So, ignore SEO at your peril. At the least get your arms around the basics so that you can supervise your web management and design team authoritatively.

This video explains what SEO is.

Some background

What is Search Engine Optimization? In its simplest terms, SEO is making sure that your site's meta tags and content are optimized so that parents and students can find your site easily when they type specific words into a search engine. For example, if you ask Google to show results for the words "private schools," it will oblige with

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