Private schools and universities have always used marketing to find applicants, but they’re discovering that traditional marketing doesn’t work as well as it used to. The savvy applicants research schools online rather than relying on ads and emails. So, for your school to attract the ideal applicants, you have to rework your marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is the perfect solution – it costs less than outbound marketing and it targets the students and parents who are researching schools. Here are 4 tips to help you find more applicants for your private school or university:
1. Focus on Keywords In order for a student or their parents to be interested in your school, they’ll have to find you first. Typically, they begin their search online, and use broad terms like “best schools in Boston” to get started. It’s in your best interest for your school to show up in those search results, so you should revamp your keyword strategy. Rather than build pages around keywords specific to your school (such as keywords with your school’s name in them), work on building pages that focus on general keywords to boost your position in the results.
2. Create Educational Content Educational content is a huge part of any inbound strategy, but it’s especially important for an institution that exists to educate young people. Choose topics that your buyer personas would search for, and write blog posts that offer more information or present a helpful solution to a problem. Plus, you can generate leads by creating offers like ebooks and white papers that require an email address to download. You’ll earn a reputation as an authority, and that’s a perfect reputation for a school!
3. Start Using Social Media Social media platforms are great places to connect with students and parents who aren’t yet ready for a conversation with your admissions department. You can answer questions and promote your content so that it reaches a wider audience. Not all social media platforms will work for every school, so you should investigate which ones are most likely to reach your target audience. Higher education marketing strategies, for instance, can use channels like Instagram that are used by the students themselves, whereas elementary, middle, and high schools should target the students’ parents.
4. Selective Advertising Despite the problems with many traditional advertising methods, some types of ads are good investments for schools. Pay-per-click ads in particular can draw visitors to your site. However, using these ads still requires strategy – rather than generic ads that link to your homepage, try promoting some of your special content offers and linking to a landing page. That way, you’re more likely to convert the visitors to leads.
Don’t rely on direct mail campaigns to find new students for your school. If you need more applicants, follow these 4 tips and see how your school can ace inbound marketing!
To get started creating great content, check out this free guide to better business blogging!