3 Simple Marketing Steps To Capture Out-of-Town Families for Your School

school marketing for people relocating

Does your school have a steady stream of new families moving in (and out) of the area

Savvy school marketers often wonder how to get access to those parents. Traditional marketing tactics won’t work: you most likely won’t send direct mail to NY if your school is located in AZ. Also, the lawn signs, flyers, billboards, and TV or radio commercials in the market that is across the country don’t make sense.

Google Ads is the only practical marketing tactic that you can use to get your school in front of parents who are not local but who might be considering a move to your area

If you’re running Google Ads, your instinct might be to adjust the default location setting to be as specific as possible in your targeting. This is exactly how you should be thinking with one caveat: if your school is located in a transient area or one that is receiving a lot of new families from outside of the area you should keep this setting as is.

Here’s how to ensure your ads are being viewed by parents who may be looking to relocate to your area. 

  1. Log into Google Ads, Select a campaign you want to make this change to then click “Settings”
  2. Find the “Location Options” setting under the “Target” subheading (you should see your target locations here), then expand the “Location Options” and you’ll see the different settings. Note: Google does a good job of hiding this so you may have never gone this deep.
  3. The default setting is: “Presence or interest: People in, regularly in, or who’ve shown interest in your targeted locations (recommended)”.

Presence or interest targeting is exactly as described. But there is a 3rd setting that is “Search Interest” which is just people searching for your targeted locations, this is ultra-specific and as a school marketer, you’ll want to make a critical decision: most schools want to be top of mind for new families moving in, but you also want to shield your ads from irrelevant clicks. 

Confused as to whether you need it or not? Run a test! 

  1. Create a campaign and in the campaign view, duplicate this campaign.
  2. Change the location settings as described above for the duplicated campaign, and leave everything else the same. 

Now you have an A/B test! The campaign that performs better is your winner!

You may end up keeping both running and eventually, you can even exclude your specific location so you’re targeting everywhere else. This gives you the option to tailor your ad copy to parents moving into the area in the future!

by Jeremy Merkle, Truth Tree, Director of Partner Strategy

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