by Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree
Why is Private School Brand Marketing Important?
Do you need to drum up more interest in your private school, but you aren’t sure where to start? It all starts with the right private school marketing and branding. Without branding your private school, potential parents of students will be confused about your school and not sure if it’s the right fit for their kids. School branding strategies vary by school, but what’s important is conveying the correct impression of your school. Well-executed school branding strategies can grant huge returns, but forgettable marketing materials can relegate your school to irrelevance.
Even worse, you may be giving off the wrong impression. With this in mind, read on to learn all about private school marketing to get on the right foot this year! School branding strategies can vary significantly, and choosing the right marketing and branding for your school can make all the difference.
Top Private School Branding Strategies
1. Hone Your Brand
Before you begin your extensive digital marketing and branding for schools campaign, you’ll need to make sure that your private school branding is in line with your school’s culture and values. The visual elements part of a brand are typically:
- Color palette
- Graphic elements
Although it may seem like a lot, creating a quality school branding strategy for your private school doesn’t mean you need to go overboard. Work with professionals to choose a color palette of no more than three colors that match the look and feel of your school. School branding strategies often come down to the cohesiveness of the pieces that are created, so make sure to pick colors that you can use under a wide variety of circumstances. Marketing and branding for schools can be made a lot easier or a lot more difficult, depending on your color choices.
The imagery and graphical elements should mirror some of the colors you’ve chosen as well as remain cohesive across your website, print material, and social media channels. The key to creating a strong brand identity is simplicity and cohesiveness, with a distinctive school image. You want parents to be proud of their children’s school, and the right education marketing will create that response. Your logo will become a key part of your school branding strategy, so make sure to develop a strong foundation by choosing one that strongly represents your school’s values and mission.
2. Improve Your Private School’s Website
Once you’ve locked down the elements of your private school’s brand identity, you’ll want to focus on your website as the next logical step. This is because your private school’s website serves as its hub. As the hub of marketing and branding for schools, your website will serve a valuable function as a resource for all those who are interested in your school, as well as all those who may become interested due to your other marketing channels.
People who find you via word of mouth or online will naturally navigate to your website to learn more about your private school, the curriculum, and the culture. Your social media accounts should also clearly show your website address within your bios so people will always know how to take the next step.
Here are a few items that your website needs to absolutely excel at:
Your website needs to be easily accessible through every device: mobile, tablet, and desktop. All of your school branding strategies will do no good if someone chooses to give up on your site before it’s even loaded.
Your website needs to be able to load its pages quickly. Even if they take only a few seconds to load, people have gotten used to fast loading speeds. If you make them wait, there’s the chance they’ll lose interest. Even in education marketing, people’s patience for webpages is shorter than you’d think, so make sure your website is ready.
Easy to Navigate
Your site visitors shouldn’t have to click more than two or three times to find the information they’re looking for. If they have to navigate with more clicks, this probably means a lot of necessary information is buried within menus. Keep your site structure simple! Marketing and branding for schools is all about giving your market what they want, in the easiest and most intuitive way possible.
If you don’t have a budget for a website designer, utilize templates online that will give your website a professional look instantly. Then, customize the colors, font, and imagery to match the brand design decisions you’ve made in step one. This is where the importance of your logo to your school branding strategies becomes even more critical. If you’re not experienced in building websites, it may be best to leave this part of your marketing and branding for schools to a professional. A shoddy website makes a very poor impression. School branding strategies won’t take you very far if your website fails to meet expectations, resulting in a parent clicking away to another school’s site.
3. Improve Your SEO
SEO is a tricky beast as it’s always changing depending on the newest algorithmic updates Google pushes through. However, there are a few rules of thumb that will help get you started. To improve your private school’s SEO, start with:
- Creating quality content
- Consistently posting quality content
- Linking to your quality content
What is quality content? It’s content that helps people with their problems that relate to your private school, offers them tips or advice, or entertains them. For instance, blog articles or videos on the history of your school and why it was founded would be valuable. One key consideration when creating marketing and branding for schools is to ensure that the information you present is helpful, relevant and accurate.
4. Build Community
Now that you have a well-designed, responsive website filled with valuable content, you’ll want to build your social media presence in order to foster a sense of community. Facebook is a great choice because you’ll be connecting directly with parents who will also be able to leave reviews on your Facebook page.
You can post your latest blog updates onto your Facebook page to direct more people to your website, along with posting about the latest Events. You can even create groups that families can join in order to interact and engage with one another. Your school branding strategies should always have these end goals in mind, creating new followers and increasing the loyalty of those that already follow you. If your marketing and branding for your school isn’t focused on this, it’s not going to be nearly as effective.
5. Digital Marketing for Schools
Facebook has one more perk that’s absolutely necessary for the growth of your private school: online advertising. Facebook is unique because users are easily able to target their advertising to specific people.
You can target your ad audience based on where they’re located, their hobbies, ages, and more. You can retarget certain segments of your audience based on whether they’ve viewed your website and clicked on your ad.
If you’re advertising for a specific event, you can even send them to a separate landing page instead of your website in order to simplify the information they see and help them take immediate action. Marketing and branding for schools become a lot easier when you harness the capability of the ultra-specific targeting that Facebook provides.
Start by Digital Marketing for Your School’s Growth
Smart private school marketing is all about making specific and cohesive choices that articulate the value your school provides for students. In order to reach the parents who are most interested in what your school has to offer, your branding needs to be able to relate to them in some way. School branding strategies are only as viable as the impression they make on parents, so ensure that marketing and branding items for your school convey the image you want parents to consider.
Furthermore, your website and social media presence need to be strong and consistent in order to stay at the top of people’s minds. The right marketing strategy takes time and effort, but it pays off with an established, engaged, and prolific student body. Marketing and branding for schools can give incredible returns, but the strategy required up front means that it’s a decision that should not be taken lightly.
With all these in mind, school branding strategies should form naturally from the audience you’ve chosen and the information you’ve gleaned about them from research. Marketing and branding for schools is all about information, and the better you use this information, the further your school branding strategies will go.
Ready to begin with digital marketing services for your private school?
Contact us today to start honing your marketing and branding strategies for your school. Education marketing is never easy, but it’s a lot easier with the experts at Truth Tree to assist you.