8 Marketing Strategies for Schools to Attract Relocating Families

a mom, dad, young son, and younger daughter stand in front of a house with a "for sale" sign in the foreground covered by a "SOLD" sticker | Truth Tree's blog post on 8 marketing strategies schools can use to reach relocating families

Missy SpeyrerAssociate Director of MarketingTruth Tree 

In today’s competitive world, attracting new families goes beyond just offering a great education. For families on the move, the quality of local schools in the new city is a top priority. In 2023, 47% of relocation moves happened between May and August, so spend some time mapping out how to get on their radar ahead of their move. But what’s the best way to stand out and convince them that your school is the perfect fit for their family? The answer lies in a strategic marketing approach that targets relocating families at every stage of their research journey.

This comprehensive guide equips your school with eight powerful strategies to attract new families, all while showcasing what makes your school and community truly special. We’ll also delve into how to leverage the content you create to maximize its impact.

Let’s dive in to our 8 marketing strategies for schools!

  1. Develop Content Targeting Relocating Families:

Craft blog posts and articles that answer specific questions relocating families have throughout their research journey. Not sure what those questions are? Interview your newly enrolled families who recently moved to the area and include quotes from them. Here are some ideas:

  • Connect with Parents in the Early Research Stage: Highlight aspects of your school and city that recently enrolled families have loved: “The Importance of a Supportive School Community for Relocating Families”, “Relocating to Santa Fe with Kids: A Checklist”
  • City-Specific Research Stage: Once families have narrowed their choices, target with city-specific topics like “Top Middle School in Santa Fe, NM” or “Award-Winning High School in Santa Fe, New Mexico” 
  • Needs-Based Research Stage: As families delve deeper, target keywords focused on specific needs like “Highly Rated STEM Program in Santa Fe” or “Developing Strong Leadership Skills: Extracurricular Programs in this Santa Fe School”

How to Use This Content:

  • Blog Posts: Publish your content on your school website and social media platforms.
  • Downloadable PDFs: Offer downloadable PDFs of guides or create ebooks compiling several articles on a specific topic (e.g., “Guide to Moving to Santa Fe with Kids”).
  • Email Marketing: Include snippets of your content in email newsletters to current families and past alumni who might have friends or relatives considering a move.
Google ad that reads "moving your family to tampa? | here are cool things to do | truth tree academy" along with a description that encourages the user to "download our free guide". Next to the screenshot of this ad is a smartphone displaying a social ad that reads "Download your free guide" across the top with "Cool things for families to do in Tampa" and a "download" button with white letters on a red oval button and a "Truth Tree Academy" logo reading "the premier K-12 private school in Tampa". All text is overlaid on top of a skyline view of Tampa Bay, Florida. These are examples of content to connect and capture the attention of families relocating to a school's city.
  1. Claim Your Spot on City and Family Websites:

Many city websites have guides and family-focused content. Reach out to see about ad space and if you can contribute content. 

  • Claim your school’s profile and ensure it’s up-to-date with clear information about curriculum, extracurriculars, and unique programs. 
  • Partner with “mom blogs” or family-focused sites offering school directories or Open House guides.
  1. Get Listed on National School Search Platforms: List your school on platforms like Niche, Boarding School Review, Private School Review, and Great Schools. Showcase your strengths with updated, detailed profiles and as many positive reviews as possible. Be sure to request reviews from current families and recent alumni on a regular basis.
  2. Partner with Relocation Services: Network with relocation companies or websites to get your information packets, brochures, or video snippets included in their relocation packages.
  3. Become a Realtor’s Best Friend: Partner with realtors who help families find new homes. Schedule a fall and spring “Realtor Tour” to be top-of-mind when relocating families ask about schools.
  4. Create a Dedicated Landing Page for Non-Locals: Craft a page with school facts, favorites, and quotes from faculty, parents, students, and alumni. Include content specific to relocating families: blog posts, student videos about the city, and links to resources on after-school, holiday, and summer programs.
    • Run Targeted Search Ads: Utilize Google Ads to target those researching your city and specific school needs. Craft compelling messages highlighting your school’s unique offerings and the benefits of your community.
    • Crowd Sourece the Page Content: Interview a family who recently moved to the area and enrolled in your school. Quiz them on their top priorities throughout the research process and which information they found most helpful. Use their insights to tailor your content
  1. Word on the (Virtual) Street: Join or encourage parent advocates to join local Facebook groups where potential movers ask questions about schools. Having a parent chime in with positive experiences goes a long way.
a screenshot of a social media post showing a parent asking about private schools in the area | Truth Tree knows school marketing
a screenshot of a social media post showing a parent asking about private schools in the area | Truth Tree knows school marketing
  1. Set Google Ads to Interest-based:
  • Keyword strategy keeping in mind the different stages of the relocation process
    • Early research: “Colorado Springs best school districts”
    • City-specific research: “Colorado Springs schools open house”
    • Specific needs: “Colorado Springs schools with arts programs”
  • Leverage Parental Interests:
    • Go beyond just “schools.” Target keywords related to after-school activities, childcare options, or educational resources families might be researching.
    • Examples: “Houston youth sports leagues,” “Houston best libraries for kids,” and “Houston camps for kids.”
  • Refine & Monitor:
    • As your campaign runs, monitor its performance. See which keywords resonate most and adjust accordingly.
    • Consider using negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches (e.g., “homeschooling resources” if your school doesn’t offer homeschooling).

By implementing a series of these marketing strategies for schools, you can effectively reach relocating families and make strides to become their top choice in your community.

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