By Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree
If you ask the average parent searching for a private school what Montessori education is about, they probably couldn’t answer you.
I’ve spoken with parents considering a Montessori school who could not articulate specifics about the pedagogy.
Despite the general lack of understanding, Montessori schools continue to grow in enrollment.
This is likely happening at your school.
Reading this, you may be thinking, “Then why do I need to market my Montessori school?”
As the old saying goes, complacency is the first step from success to failure.
So let’s talk about specific strategies for marketing your Montessori school in the digital space.
1. Talk Benefits, Not Montessori
Do you know what control of error means? Yes
Do average school searchers? No.
And that’s fine because you’re going to tell them. Not by stating the phrase and defining it. You’ll get some head tilts and some far-off gazes
First, explain the benefits their child will receive, then describe the features, and then wrap it up with…and that’s called control of error.
Here’s how it might read:
As a great parent, you want to see your child accomplish meaningful goals throughout their life. That requires self-esteem and internal motivation. To develop those emotional skills, our materials are designed to provide immediate positive and constructive feedback. If necessary, your child will correct and learn from their error without adult assistance. This Montessori-specific technique is called control of error.
These types of statements must be the centerpiece of your outward-facing messaging platform.
Remember: As a Montessori marketing professional, you need to deliver messaging that’s easy to consume and understand. Bottom line: Translate Montessori-speak into plain English.
2. Ensure Your Montessori Website Is Hero-centric
Your website is your Montessori school’s most visible and significant marketing asset. It’s where parents spend most of their time learning about your ethos and deciding whether or not your school’s value meets and exceeds the tuition.
A lot goes into parents’ valuation of the school (Here’s a blog specific to this).
To keep parents engaged on your website, it’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it.
Here’s an example:
Truth Tree Montessori School provides students with intentional learning materials, an individualized curriculum, guides trained in Montessori, and a cheerful approach to practiced independence.
However, the above statement puts the school in the hero position. You want your Montessori school website to put the parent in the hero position and frame the school as the catalyst for their child’s success.
Your child’s natural curiosity and love for learning will be nurtured with intentional materials, an individualized curriculum, and certified Montessori teachers at Truth Tree Montessori School.
Remember: The more you can put the family in the story, the more engaged they will be, motivating them to learn more about what their child can get from your program. Bonus: The more time someone spends engaging with your website content, the more likely search engines will rank your website higher for relevant keywords. #SEO4Montessori
3. Synchronize Digital Ads and Their Landing Pages
What kind of parent searches for Montessori schools?
On a scale of 1–10
1: Someone who thinks it is focused on dinosaurs. #Montessoraus
10: Someone with a 10th-degree MACTE blackbelt. (Okay, this person is probably a 19 out of 10.)
There are several reasons why a parent might be looking for a private school or a Montessori school specifically.
As a Montessori school marketer, it’s up to you to create search engine marketing and social media marketing campaigns that address specific words and terms people use while searching online, their audience attributes, and a combination of both.
A parent who lives .6 miles away searches for a “school that emphasizes social learning,” clicks search, and sees the following in a group of 4 ads.
You better believe this ad will “win the click,” as I call it.
And then what?
You’re not going to send this parent to your homepage, are you?
Of course not. You will send them to a dedicated landing page that continues where the ad left off.
I’m not saying you need 40 landing pages for every geo-behavioral persona (though if you do this, you’re my hero). What I am saying is it is necessary to emphasize information on the landing page that’s important to this parent.
On your landing page:
- Show images and videos of children interacting and “doing” together.
- Talk more about the advantages and outcomes of a pedagogy that intentionally focuses on social development.
- Show a map, so they see how close you are to their location.
- Then, provide a specialized call-to-action like this.
Truth Tree is just minutes away. Schedule your tour to learn more about our emphasis on social development and how it will impact your child’s life.
Lightbulb Moment: 97% of parents who searched for a private school used the internet during their search and evaluation process, according to our survey of 865 parents between 2016 and 2021. Additionally, 71% said their first step in the process was a Google search. Bottom Line: The number of private schools shifting to a predominantly online marketing strategy is growing every day, so your online presence must be personalized, compelling, and awesome.
If you have other tips and tricks as a dedicated Montessori school marketing pro, contact me at Trevor@TruthTree.com.