← Back to all success stories

Sandy Spring Friends School 

Digital Marketing, Regional & Global Brand Positioning for a prep school outside of Washington, DC.

washington dc digital markeeting for schools - Truth Tree

Sandy Spring Friends School is a co-ed college preparatory school serving children age 3 to grade 12 in the suburbs between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD.

Challenge:

Increase brand awareness of the lower school program to attract more families to campus, and showcase particular programs school-wide.

Goals:

Target and recapture the Washington, DC market.  Enroll more full(er)-pay students.

Digital Strategy:

PPC

  • We started with benchmarking the day and boarding ads separately to speak directly to parents looking for those programs. We then expanded into more concentrated messaging across multiple platforms (Search, Display, Social).
  • Since the priority was on the day school, we launched campaigns that promoted virtual and in-person events, overall brand awareness, and ads specific to PreK, Lower, Middle, and Upper School interest.
  • The school’s marketing team was curious what language would appeal to potential families best: more emotionally appealing content or fact-based content. We ran AB testing and determined that more fact-based ad copy (explained what the program was, where it was located, and who it served) was highly successful.
  • Even with most grades waitlisted, the focus remained on higher enrollment with a focus on entry points for the school. With this in mind, an omnichannel campaign was created for preschool-aged families, but general awareness for the school at large was metered back to a search campaign. This ensured that the school was still relevant for parents searching for a school and focused on an entry point with room to grow. 

SEO

  • Through an audit of the website, our SEO team identified the top pages that needed on-page optimization of meta tags, titles, alt tags, and heading tags.
  • We identified 5 “easy to hard” keywords needed to gain upward mobility on Google search results.
  • We provided monthly website optimization recommendations, starting with the pages that would provide the most boost.
  • While on-site optimizations were being executed, our off-site optimization team worked on submitting the website to directories and building backlinks.

Results:

  • Enrollment Growth:
    • 2019-20: 620
    • 2020-21: 618
    • 2021-22: 687 (The highest number of applicants in school history)
    • 2021-22: 687

  • SSFS continue to have a waitlist, yet they have increased their digital marketing budget to sustain their market share.
washington dc digital markeeting for schools - Truth Tree
maryland digital marketing agency
boarding school marketing agency - Truth Tree
education marketing K12 - Truth Tree
Julie Mendez Sandy Spring Friends School


Julie Méndez
Director of Marketing at SSFS

“The partnership between my school and Truth Tree has been incredible. With the help of Truth Tree’s SEM, SEO, and SMM package, we have seen our website traffic grow with RELEVANT website visitors, which has led to an increase in our conversion rates.”