With the advent of digital technologies, many educators and various institutions are practicing innovation in teaching and facilitating independent learning through asynchronous communication and intelligent systems. The limitless resources…continue reading
Commonly, some of these educational institutions come up with an Education Marketing Plan to know how to systematically handle their target market and other obstacles.
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What Is an Education Marketing Plan?
An Education Marketing Plan is the roadmap to success for the school, keeping them on track with their initiatives throughout the year and, ideally, the next coming years. It is easy to get preoccupied when great ideas pop up, but like on a road trip, one will never reach the destination if they keep adding new stops along the way. Education marketing plans simplify what to do and outline the reason of doing it. Validating these important decisions is important for gaining support for the plan and making sure that you continue to move forward with positive progress.
In addition, this type of marketing promotes valuable educational content and helps institutions and individuals take advantage of it. Educational content comprises everything from courses and how-to videos to research papers and books to software applications for desktop computers and mobile devices.
Marketing education helps students to develop job attitude by realizing their personal responsibilities to the society and to engage in activities that will preserve and promote their health and others.
What Is the Importance of Education Marketing?
Education marketing is a branch of marketing that combines techniques, strategies, and tools to analyze the market, adapt a school’s services to the needs and expectations of their potential clientele, and promote their value proposition. It means turning the school into a brand to improve its visibility and add value.
Moreover, marketing for educational institutions uses the same channels and strategies as other types of marketing, but with a different emphasis. Warmth and transparency are key.
Nowadays, huge portion of education marketing activities are digital. It is more important than ever for schools to work on their online image; even those whose educational model does not place immense importance on digital competency. This is mainly because everyone goes online to search for information on whatever products or services they are interested in. It is especially important for every school to take advantage of the opportunity to offer the best version of themselves in response to these searches.
In addition, any marketing strategy needs to keep in mind the situation caused by the Covid-19. A school that operates on an on-site, face-to-face basis needs to be ready to move online if necessary. This means developing a blended learning model and communicating it through its marketing strategy.
What Are the Basics of An Education Marketing Strategy?
In an educational institution, marketing has two objectives: to keep the students it already has, and to boost the number of enrollments. This is also known as retention and acquisition in marketing. Each objective is of equal importance. It is no use concentrating on increasing enrollments if the school is not prepared to meet the expectations it creates with its marketing messages. This goes as well as incorporating quality control system—it is fundamental that teachers receive ongoing training, that the educational plan is up-to-date, and that the school’s values are in line with those of their target audience.
At any education center, any decision made will affect the image that people have of the school—for better or for worse. That is why the strategy for communicating with families should be well-written. There is no room for improvisation.
Take note that it is important to remember that current students will be a kind a of family for future students. Their recommendations are the best marketing there is. Word of mouth is and will always be one of the most efficient forms of marketing, and even more so in a decision of this kind. One of the key aspects of loyalty is strengthening the bond between the school and the students and families. Since, most schools are developing or using mobile apps to foster this communication, here are some trends in education marketing that might also help:
It is important that key information such as the educational plan and methodology are clearly visible. The school’s website is also the best place to highlight the school’s offering in terms of online courses and additional services like canteen, sports club, extracurricular activities, etc. To be updated with current digital marketing trends, the website can offer:
- An online chat system to respond to questions in real time.
- An excellent navigation experience from any device. It is important that it is optimized for mobile.
- An FAQ section with complete and transparent information.
- A blog to inform students and families about the education model and how it brings value. It should also include school news and topics of interest.
- Virtual tours to show people around the facilities.
- Information about online or blended teaching systems which will allow students to continue their education in the event of another lockdown.
- A digitized library to offer educational materials that are accessible any place and time.
- User-generated content, or content created by the community. Success stories of past students is valuable.
The main social media channels are the ideal tools to achieve visibility, with the advantage of being able to segment your messaging to reach different audiences. They are great for allowing better communication with families. Here are some of the best strategies:
- Create a monthly or quarterly newsletter communicating your school’s most important activities.
- Create video content. It is the preferred format for a considerable proportion of the community. Live videos giving a glimpse of everyday activities at the school tend to be remarkably successful.
- Creating and distributing school merchandise.
- Use Facebook groups or mobile apps to create connections in the community, for instance, between the school and families, or between families and other interest groups or stakeholders. There is no better way to keep everyone updated with relevant events.
One of the things that have always worked and are still trending.
- Creating community with past students through events such as yearly reunions.
- Offline events: participating in educational events and organizing local activities to increase the school’s visibility. These can be events like parades, or open days. Sports events also tend to be popular and have substantial convening power.
Who Is the Target Audience?
In this case, effectively reaching the target audience implies knowing the needs of the students, families, and companies that will employ the students in the future to meet their expectations; or better still, to exceed them. The educational plan should be created with this focus.
The choice of which school to attend is in the hands of the students and their families. The key is to ask: What is the person looking for in a school? What do they value most? What criteria do they consider when making their decision? Reputation, quality, educational model, proximity, testimonials?
You can find this out by asking all of the stakeholders (families, students, teachers, previous students, etc.). That is why, before defining the marketing strategy—conduct market research to get answers to your questions.
Preferably, the study should also include information about the environment and the competition, on and offline, with which to compare your school: price, facilities, opinions, results, extracurricular activities, etc. And of course, evaluate your school’s results—not only to detect points of weakness, but also to have statistics you can include in your marketing messaging.
Steps On How to Write Education Marketing Plan:
Step 1: Identify Goals
If you have a strategic plan or marketing analysis, you can pull from those documents. If not, the administration most likely knows where the school needs improvement, and you can dig into your databases to get benchmarking information on how these initiatives have performed in the past such as:
- Event attendance
- After school programs
- Communication with parents
Having actual quantifiable goals for the different parts of your school marketing plan will be helpful in determining whether or not your initiatives are successful.
Step 2: Know What to Prioritize
Do not try to do everything at once. As you start to make a list of goals, it often can become excessive or overwhelming, especially for multi-level schools, schools with multiple campuses and school districts, which may have substantially different goals throughout the community. This is where it becomes crucial to prioritize goals and be realistic about what you can accomplish in a year. Additionally, while some initiatives can easily be accomplished in one year, others may take two or three years. The possibility of accomplishing each goal will depend on your school community and the resources available to you, and many overarching goals will have sub-sets of goals that work towards accomplishing the larger goal.
Step 3: Assess the Needs and Required Resources
Begin thinking about the resources that are available. A budget is an obvious one, but don’t ignore time, talent and tools. Make sure you have access to a graphic designer, writer, or online registration software and build them into your list of required resources.
Other resources you might need include social media, print marketing, email marketing, and website improvements. These tools also require design and strong messaging. You may need to consider purchasing new products or outsourcing work to a professional. It is vital to not sacrifice quality when pursuing a new project.
Step 4: Brainstorm and Refine Ideas to Build a Strategy
Oftentimes, this step is left out of the marketing plan process. One of the most fun parts of building a marketing plan is when you brainstorm how to accomplish your goals. This is a great chance to write down every idea you’ve ever had when it comes to marketing your school—start selecting the ones that can best work together to achieve your goals. As you continue to build your school marketing plan, you will reconsider and adjust your ideas regularly.
Step 5: Implement a School Marketing Plan
For each goal, clearly illustrate your timeline, concept, and the tools that to be used. The more you can explain why you are doing what you are doing, the better. Making these plans is also useful when you get those requests for small projects from departments other than your top clients. It doesn’t mean everyone will be happy with your response, but it can help you make them understand your reasoning.
Step 6: Assess Success
It is not enough to build a school marketing plan and carry it out, you also need to measure results. This is where those quantitative goals come in handy.
Why do I need a marketing agency for marketing my school?
These days, the education sector has evolved so much. You need to have the newest marketing strategies and the latest market knowledge. In this fast-marketing era, you need to cope with the speed of some smarter marketing strategies. Working in cooperation with the marketing agency will help you to achieve your marketing objectives up to the mark. The marketing agency and its services help you to support your school with their end-to-end marketing strategies. In addition, they have the best marketing services that will help you gain both online and offline marketing goals.
Why should I invest in a marketing agency when I am getting so much free advice through websites?
Most websites are indeed giving you set up information about marketing strategies. But a marketing agency will give you a more comprehensive and detailed marketing plan and will provide you end to end services for marketing your school on the online and offline level. Also, it will guide you and help you plan a detailed marketing strategy based on the needs of your school or institution.
How can I make my school marketing cost-effective?
There are a lot of low budget strategies available for your school. You can focus on increasing attention towards your schools with strategies such as bringing referrals, content marketing, SEO content, e-mail marketing, press releases and news, and social media marketing. You should make sure that you show your presence as much as possible—may it be online or offline. Participation in the knowledge fairs and tradeshows can also help you efficiently market your school.
How much time do I need to see the predefined results?
Setting your goals is a clever idea. Observing the results and efficacy is also the best thing ever to accomplish your goals. Brand development and advertising take a good amount of time. It takes a lot of research and every effort of marketing. Sometimes re-advertisements are needed. Therefore, you need to invest both money and time but, it will be worth your investments.
Which type of content marketing helps to obtain new leads?
Spawning new leads with effective content marketing is popular. You need to make your content more valuable and attractive—you need to make it appealing. A brand marketing agency helps you to make your content marketing more effective to build a strong SEO. This builds organic traffic to your website. Likewise, it will help you to increase engagement in your brand.
How can I boost enrollment in my educational institution?
Every educational institution needs a diverse approach to marketing. Before going for marketing, it is necessary to understand the student’s mind. You need to keep yourself at the student’s place and understand his questions about the career. What’s more, you need to be sure that your content marketing includes answers to all the questions in the student’s minds. This will help increase engagement and also enrollment to your institution.
The need for effective education marketing plan is becoming increasingly sought after since marketing is a vital activity that shows how a company or organization operates. The conclusions of a study revealed that respondents perceived education marketing as a vital way of giving a good opportunity for career preparation and job advancement of the students. Most importantly, the findings provided information that education marketing has become an integral part in building a successful institution.