Operating a private school provides many challenges — one of the biggest is finding a balance when it comes to enrollment numbers. Keeping those numbers at a comfortable level will always be in the back of your mind. That’s why private school marketing is so important. SEO for preschools and private schools is one way to do that as it is absolutely crucial to make sure your school is able to be found on Google and the other major search engines, especially by those doing local-based searches. However, when thinking about how to improve private school enrollment, there is no ONE magic bullet solution. We’ve put together a few marketing tips for schools that may help you stay on track.
Look to Your Leadership
Committed, visionary leaders who are dedicated to making the school a great place to learn and grow will naturally bring students into the fold. If you are struggling seriously, look at where you need to challenge yourself and your other leaders to accomplish more in your roles.
Another thing can be to showcase the leaders in your school from the principal, to teachers, and of course students. People want to know the type and quality of the staff and the students, this is a way of your school to speak by itself. Perhaps include a teacher of the month or student of the week activity, and share it on your website, newsletter, and other social platforms.
Develop the Brand
What makes your school stand out from others? What is memorable and conveys your image in an instant — that’s your brand. Brands are commonplace in the retail sector, but they are often overlooked in education. Don’t let your chance to be memorable slip away.
School-branded merchandise is a great way to leverage your fans’ love for your school. Create custom t-shirts, hoodies, or caps for your school pride days or pep rallies. Another way to spread awareness of your school’s brand is through tote bags for families or car stickers. These branding items help get your school name to stand out and make people begin to recognize it.
Analyze your Goals
Before you look too much into how to achieve full enrollment, make sure your goals are accurate. Where do you want to be? Why have you chosen those numbers? Goals can help you get from where you are to where you want to be. Spending some time analyzing your goals and making certain you are on the right path can go a long way toward helping you meet them.
Other items to consider may include the school budget and possible investment in new technologies or staff training on new education trends. Having goals is a roadmap to success, in this process, it is key to identify opportunities, threats, competitors, strengths, and weaknesses of your school. Also, consider realistic timelines and real numbers that way you are not exceeding expectations. Focus on your goal, and be open to strategies to help you achieve them. Once the goal is reached you’ll have something to celebrate!
Get the Parents Involved
Create a core group of parent ambassadors who are motivated to help you reach your goals. The real network advantage will be through them, as these parents are excited about seeing your school improve and grow too. Parents should be able to help you reach other like-minded individuals — the parents of the kids you want in your program. They can help reach out to other families at church, work, and other activities.
A good tip is to use your parent mailing list to announce news, create a monthly newsletter or add information on your website. Parents are an excellent honest and free resource you can access, as parents with kids enrolled have the greatest word of mouth available. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of letting the community know about your school and its programs. Don’t be shy to ask them for referrals and to share information about your school with their peers.
Expand Your Website’s Reach
How happy are you with your website? SEO for daycares, preschools, and private schools will take you far. Taking the time to add the content that will get you found on Google is vital. Even if you have great word-of-mouth and other marketing going for you, Google (and the other search engines) are your best marketing tool. Websites are an important tool for outsiders and potential customers to learn about who you are and what you offer. Parents will search your school before they consider sending their child to it.
This is why your website should be appealing, easy to navigate, and with accurate information that communicates the educational benefits of attending your school. Showcase unique approaches your school offers, programs, and curricular activities. Add some fresh imagery, shareable blogs, and populate it with effective CTAs (Calls to Action) to encourage more engagement from visitors.
This is especially the case if it is done with search engine optimization in mind. Excellent SEO enhances your marketing efforts and improves your visibility to the audience you’re trying to reach. Poor or non-existent SEO buries your site, so it is nearly impossible to find. If you ignore SEO, you’re making a HUGE mistake. Your website can be the deciding factor for parents when choosing a school!
Stay Active On Social Media
Social media is a must if you want to connect with the parents of your current students and perhaps meet new faces too. If you’re not doing this already, you’re behind the times! Get on board with digital tools and trends and you’ll be able to go very far with your business. Since there are multiple social media platforms it is important, to begin with the one that your school’s community uses the most. To know this you can send out a poll or survey to parents, staff, and students.
If it’s Facebook, you can post at least once a day to provide a window into your school. Relevant content for this platform includes news articles, educational blogs, storytelling about staff, students or a family, and events. Twitter is a great social media platform to tweet about exciting events, student accomplishments, announcements, and anything else to build the brand of your school. Instagram is another platform to share content and announce important events through stories, create engaging reels, and even have live talks about a certain topic or with a guest speaker!
Social media is an excellent way to engage and share things about your school. However, don’t make it all about promotion — tell your story, share artwork, connect and BE SOCIAL.
Have a Community Event
Whether you make it a Fall Festival, an Open House, or a Holiday Party, do something to get the community into your school and show them why you’re special. Getting people in the doors can be the most important first step to take.
While you may not discover how to achieve full enrollment overnight, you’ll see progress and begin reaching your goals one by one by implementing these strategies. Soon, you’ll have that WOW moment when it all starts coming together, and you’ll see increased numbers and a better bottom line.