Many colleges and universities have entire departments dedicated to digital marketing and outreach, and it shows. The schools that have been successful at it have vastly expanded their applicant pools and shot up in the rankings over the past decade.
But did you know that digital marketing can be as effective for a lower school as it is for a college or university? Here are a few things that an effective digital marketing campaign can do for your school.
If you consider the top colleges and universities in the country, most have a consistent brand. MIT and CalTech are where you go to be a top-flight engineer; Oberlin and Reed are focused on social justice; Emory and Johns Hopkins are the "cream of the crop" for pre-med. This consistent branding helps shape a school's image and attract the best students who are interested in what it has to offer.
Consistent branding is as important for lower schools as it is for universities, especially when you consider that this generation of parents is as choosy about where they send their child to kindergarten as where they go to college.
A lower school can boost applications and attract better students and families by cultivating a clear image and conveying it effectively through digital marketing. A good place to start is with the school's mission statement. Ask yourself, What does it convey about the institution's values? With digital marketing, a school can conduct outreach campaigns that are laser-targeted to families most likely to respond to its image and mission.
Clear and Transparent Information
Gone are the days when most parents are content to send their kids via bus to their neighborhood school. Education is a process into which modern parents pour hours of time and countless energy throughout their children's school years. This process starts in lower school, often as young as kindergarten. Parents want to be assured that any school they're considering for their children has the tools and resources they believe will set them up for success. For that reason, it is critical that a lower school has a strong presence on the internet and social media, featuring clear and transparent information about what it has to offer students and families.
In bygone decades, parents sent their children to private school so that they would be surrounded by kids who looked like them and came from similar cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Those days are barely visible in the rear-view mirror. Today's parents want the opposite for their kids, believing that exposure to an array of backgrounds, views and life experiences leads to a more enriching education. For all levels of education a lack of diversity has gone from being a selling point to a bright red flag.
To attract students and build prestige in today's society, a lower school must have a diverse student body, which begins with having a diverse applicant pool. Digital marketing can help a school raise brand awareness across various demographic groups, leading to an applicant pool that is not only larger in number but richer in diversity. Thanks to the targeting mechanisms offered by most digital and social media platforms, a school can control who receives its message — and can even track the response across demographic groups and adjust its message and target audience in response.
It's difficult for a family to consider sending their child to a school they haven't heard of or are only vaguely familiar with. Raising across-the-board brand awareness is one of the most effective ways to drum up interest in a school and get people talking about it. An effective digital marketing campaign is the fastest and most effective way to get noticed and become a household name.