Traditional methods for new students (direct mail, billboards, paid advertisements, print ads, etc.) have stopped working for many private primary and secondary schools. These methods can not be measured, are very expensive and the return on investment (ROI) is minimal or, in the worst case, negative.
Brendan Schneider, director of admissions at explains it perfectly: “Currently, potential families begin searching for schools on Google and if your institution does not appear on the first page, it will not exist they”.
In addition, your potential students and their families make a thorough investigation before reporting directly to your school, which places the consultations at the bottom of your marketing funnel. If your institution does not offer families educational content of classes, referrals from other parents and different ways of communicating and interacting with the admissions office before they are ready to submit an application, it is likely that other competitive school in your area yes do get those students before yours.
But do not worry. We are here to help you get more students.
Using inbound marketing in a private school is to create content that parents or students can be found on target Google and social networks. This content should reside on the web and your school blog site, and should solve problems and answer questions that your target audience (buyer or person) search the Internet.
For example, if your private school is located in the Mexico City area, you should create content based on keyword phrases as “private schools in Mexico City.” Many schools produce brand-centric content, constantly providing information that is only relevant for those who already know the institution. People who do not yet know, but who are looking for private schools in your area, usually look more generally.
I could spend all day talking about how you can use inbound marketing to increase inquiries and requests, but it seems better to tell more about a school that is already doing.
Sewickley Academy adopted the inbound marketing in 2008 after the recession, when he began to notice that applications for admission decreased month after month. They tried to allocate more money to traditional marketing channels, such as billboards and direct mail, but not only failed to increase their “indicators of interest” (inquiries, requests and visits to the institution), but, on the contrary, put in danger economy.
Brendan was frustrated and began to investigate the matter. He found the book of Inbound Marketing and had a moment of inspiration. He realizes that your school should stop referring only to Sewickley and start talking in general about the private schools in the Pittsburgh area through online channels around .
And that is exactly what she did.
The focus of their strategy was to create content for different buyer persons families in the area. Brendan discovered that there were different people according to the buyer’s place of residence of each family in relation to school; ie north, south, near Pittsburgh and in the same neighborhood school.
Then he drew up a list of target keywords to create content based on them, mainly for blog. He began writing publications that were useful for families and offering them solutions to their problems and questions. The publications were approximately 300 to 600 words and focused on specific issues, which were determined as topics of interest to families after a keyword research. Brendan also realized that writing for people and that even if the keywords did not fit the text, was sure to create educational and interesting for the audience content. Also, always he is adding a call to action at the end of all publications.
Thanks to these tactics, the school continued excellent results after six years using techniques inbound marketing, and this year achieved the largest increase in consultations in nearly seven years.
Brendan gives us excellent advice on the content: “Make sure you stay active with your community online, answering all questions and providing useful information they need before submitting your application.”
Sewickley benefited greatly from ads Google and Facebook. At first, Brendan used phrases and keywords for which drafted content to attract traffic and at the same time generating authority over these issues with organic content of the blog.
The key to success of paid ads Sewickley is based on that, rather than directing visitors to the home page and let them fend for themselves, Brendan adapted ads to specific content and sent visitors to landing pages that were directly related to the ads.
In Facebook, Sewickley uses promoted and sponsored publications, and thus avoids appearing on the right sidebar ads. In the ads, promoting its free content, including a simple offer of the top of the funnel on ” 27 questions to help you evaluate a school for your child .” This announcement sends visitors to a landing page where they can download content and thus become potential candidates in Sewickley database. In addition, Brendan promotes events that take place at school, publishing a striking picture with the date and time of the event and using a specific targeting to promote the event locally.
Social networking sites are very useful in your content strategy and serve as promotional channels. In addition, they function as a retention tool to easily interact with families and students.
Brendan is the only professional school of marketing, and so has learned to manage social media effectively. Recommends scheduling times to check social networks and only do so at that time, because you could spend all day monitoring the various channels.
Brendan reviews its social profiles three times a day. In the morning, publications program of the day and answer all messages, tweets or comments you have. Then rechecks social networks during lunch and finally, before leaving the office.
Brendan advised to manage each channel separately and differently. Not all content for all channels operate in the same format or the same length. For example, he uses Instagram (which became more popular among teenagers as there are more and more parents registered on Facebook) to share photos instantly. However, you should find out which channels work best for your school and you can manage channels effectively are. Do not try to completely manage all channels; you will not have enough time to do it and you will end up managing all channels half.
According to Sewickley he achieved success with inbound marketing, the first thing that should make anyone who wants to take his first steps with the inbound or increase the number of applications is simply getting Inbound Marketing book and start reading.
If you’re ready to start using inbound marketing or want to start early, be prepared to measure everything you do. This includes everything you make today , as direct mail or other marketing tactics more traditional because it will be much easier to justify investment inbound comparative metrics.
For example, Brendan made a direct mail campaign last 3000 possible candidates for an event, but only two people visited the event page and none was recorded. Obviously, Sewickley no longer uses direct mail strategies.
Finally, there is a model of efficient business. Eliminates the tactics that do not generate a positive return on investment and invests little money and repeat what works best.