by Jeremy Merkle, Director of Partner Strategy and Operations, Truth Tree
There are 34,576 independent schools in the US, which means that your school has a lot of competition. How can you get an edge over the competition? The answer is a coherent and robust marketing strategy.
To be more precise, you need to use both content marketing and email marketing to their fullest if you want to increase the number of students at your school. Yet what does digital marketing for independent schools involve? What about email marketing for schools?
In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at independent school marketing and what you need to be doing to succeed at it. Are you ready to learn more and start building your school’s online profile? Then read on.
How Can Email Marketing for Schools Help?
Content marketing is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. Content is king when it comes to marketing, as, when compared to other types of marketing, it comes with a very diverse payload of benefits that you can take advantage of.
Let’s take a closer look at how content marketing benefits independent schools:
Email Marketing for Schools Allows You to Build a Relationship With Parents and Students
Both parents and students like to know what kind of school they’re looking at, and content helps them learn just that. Content marketing gives you a platform to talk about your recent successes, shine a spotlight on your facilities, and talk about what’s happening at the school.
Your website may have a lot of information about the school, but it’s unlikely to talk about the latest happenings. Your blog is where you can cut loose and talk about everything that’s been happening.
This platform gives both parents and students a place to look at what life is really like at the school. It shows what you pride and where you’ve succeeded, and lets them see whether it’s the right place for them.
Email Marketing for Schools Allows You to Build Authority and Credibility
One of the keys to good SEO is website authority.
Search engines like to point their users to the most informative, authoritative, and helpful sites, and website authority is a measurement of how seriously your site is being taken.
To increase your website authority, more people need to be linking to your website from elsewhere. This is called backlinking, and the more relevant content that you have on your site, the more backlinks you’ll have.
Your website is the perfect host for information about education, which others can then link to.
In terms of credibility, content marketing can help you here too. There’s more to credibility than being the top local school in ranking tables, and a great blog gives you a venue to show off your credibility through testimonials from former students, interviews with current ones, and more.
Get Your Private School Shared Via Online Marketing
One thing that helps you build an online presence is being shared. When people share the content that you post, it’s effectively free marketing. You get more eyes on your content without any extra expense.
If your content is shared on social media or if it goes viral, you’ll gain a lot of interest and followers, which can then be converted into students and happy parents.
What Kinds of Digital Marketing for Private Schools Are Right for You?
It’s easy to think of content marketing as this monolithic marketing idea. Yet what does it look like on the ground level? The truth is, content marketing is a very diverse field and there are multiple avenues that you can go down.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the different types of content marketing that you could use:
Digital Marketing for Private Schools: Blog Posts
The most common kind of content online is blog posts, and there’s a reason for that. A great blog post is one of the best ways to tell a story or build up your credibility.
You need to ensure that you post new articles regularly so that people keep coming back to read your blog. You should also make sure that you post links to the content on social media. Not only will this give the content a wider audience, but each post also counts as a backlink and boosts your profile.
Digital Marketing for Private Schools: Videos
While video marketing is its own distinct discipline, videos also count as content. Whether you host them on your own site or another site and embed them, videos are a compelling way to tell stories and talk about your successes.
Digital Marketing for Private Schools: Infographics and White Papers
If you want to become well-known as an authoritative source, you need to start posting authoritative content. Infographics are a particularly good kind of content, as they can condense complex information down into an easily digested format.
While infographics make for a great way to discuss data, they aren’t always the best way. Sometimes, you’ll need to post something a little more in-depth, which is where white papers come in.
Posting this kind of content is a great way to build up your backlinks but is also more research-intensive, so consider peppering it into the rest of your content.
How Can Email Marketing for Schools Help You?
Content marketing is all about building up your website’s profile, while email marketing is direct marketing: you’re going to the prospective student and their parents, not the other way around.
First off, you’ll need to get the email addresses of parents and guardians. To do this, you should have a great selection of content on your website, possibly offering a newsletter that they can subscribe to. When you have the email addresses, you should store them in customer relationship management software, then it’s time to start reaching out to them.
Yet what are the key benefits of email marketing? Let’s take a look:
Email Marketing for Schools Builds Direct Relationships and Opens up Contacts
Email marketing allows you to build a real relationship with parents and guardians. You can customize the content according to demographics and other factors to create compelling marketing emails that are more likely to be read completely.
Email marketing also lets you open up contact with these prospective customers. They can contact you and ask any questions that they may have, rather than leaving them to go unanswered.
Email Marketing for Schools Helps Improve Retention Rates
Parents and guardians may have other children that are not yet at your school. Keeping in touch with parents of current students lets you potentially find new students through the siblings of existing ones.
Email Marketing for Schools is a Fast and Convenient Way to Market Your School
Almost everyone has access to their inbox on their phone. This means that it’s less likely that people will ignore your marketing mail, and it’s fast for you, too. You can draft emails and use software to send them out to multiple recipients, all in one blast.
The Fundamentals of Email Marketing
So we’ve taken a look at what email marketing can do for you. What are the best practices that you need to be aware of?
Send the Right Number of Emails
No one likes to get spammed. The average person already spends a quarter of their workday on emails, adding too much to their inbox can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. So, how many is the right number of emails for you to send?
Around once per week tends to be the sweet spot. We would recommend not sending more than five per month, and not less than one per month.
Use Catchy Subject Lines
The subject line is the first thing that people see, and it needs to be compelling. Use active, strong language, and hook them in with an interesting fact or proposition.
Ensure Your Emails Are Free of Spelling and Grammatical Mistakes
This rule applies across every type of business, but spelling and grammatical mistakes look particularly bad when coming from a school. Lead by example and make sure that your emails are free of mistakes.
A Synthesized Approach for Email Marketing for Schools
Both content marketing and email marketing work well in isolation, but they work even better together. Your content can generate emails from other people and harvest email addresses, while your email marketing can link to content on your site and get more eyes on it.
Both can come together to create a fantastic and unified approach to digital marketing.
How We Can Help You Improve your Digital Marketing for Private Schools
We’re experts at helping independent schools grow through content marketing, email marketing, and SEO. We can tailor a strategy to your school’s unique needs and help your student numbers and prominence grow, while you get on with doing what you do best: changing young lives for the better.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you begin digital marketing with your school, you can take a look around our site. If you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule a meeting with us, please get in contact with us today.