10 Marketing Strategies for Schools in 2022

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How important is marketing nowadays?

It is incredible how fast we have changed our lives styles simply for social media and digital marketing overall. 

Just ten years ago, Instagram was just getting its start, and Facebook was not the norm for business and famous people. 

How old were you ten years ago? If you weren’t on social media yet, where were you getting your information? 

You’ve most likely heard how important marketing is for brands and companies to help them succeed in the modern business world. 

Why is this? 

Well, basically, because marketing boosts sales, and a business without sales simply is not a business.

This may be a little controversial, but a school is also a business; a business that is crucial and essential for our society. And with the overwhelming presence of social media, makes getting the word out about schools even more competitive.

Your school is doing the good work of bringing up the next generation of community and world leaders. You should be telling your story loud and clear. That’s where marketing comes in. 

Marketing in the education sector revolves around promoting educational content and making such content more accessible to institutions and individuals. 

Educational content includes everything from post-secondary courses and videos to books and research papers to software applications for computers and smartphones.

A successful education marketing strategy can allow educational content to spread like wildfire around the world and ignite curiosity from all corners of the globe. 

Is this happening in your school?

Keeping this in mind will help us to better understand the different approaches that digital marketing is addressing already and how we can expect it to behave for a new prospering 2022.

When did schools meet marketing?

Before stepping into the strategies, let’s go back to some historical marketing approaches that led us to our current days and why these marketing strategies will help us for 2022.

In fact, marketing in schools has existed even when it was not acknowledged as such. 

Marketing as a formal concept and academic subject was introduced less than a hundred years ago, and recently its influence is such, that no company could be alive without thinking of this discipline (including schools).

Over the past three decades, marketing has had to keep up and contend with leaps in technology and our relation to it ever since. The Sales Era witnessed the invention of the telephone, swiftly followed by the rise of television and the Marketing Department Era. The industry evolution of the Marketing Company Era saw arguably the biggest change in the history of marketing: the first commercially available personal computers.

This fact makes us wonder where marketing is heading now?

Many people from the marketing industry are uncertain about how and where they will end up in the next 30 years. This is mainly for the same reason of the evolution during the past 30 years until now.

From 1991 to our day, marketing tools have changed drastically. When it all started, we would never picture that email would work as well as it does for marketing campaigns, ranking as one of the favorites in the industry.

We would never have seen how Google and Amazon have become strategic partners for modern digital marketers.

We have witnessed incredible changes since those early days.

And now it’s a good moment to go straight to the marketing strategies that schools could implement in 2022. Let’s go!

Some marketing agencies, like Knit, will even teach you how to manage your own social media and content marketing, so the upfront investment is worth it in the long run. 

Need marketing support? Send us an email at info@knitmarketing.com. We’re happy to help!

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1. Reinforce your branding 

Naturally, each school owns an original brand, whether it is for the values, the logos, the teachers, students, the colors, or even the mascots.

Branding is a must when it comes to marketing, and it should resonate with the school’s identity.

After all, students, teachers, and parents who scout for the best schools do not choose with their eyes, but they choose with their hearts. A strong brand can connect what we see to what we feel, which makes a lasting impression.

Here are some helpful points to consider when you think of your branding:

-Define your differentiator 

-Create a unique concept 

-Use the right tone and colors 

-Be consistent with colors and text

-Show your history 

-Align your school’s vision with your audience

-Show diversity 

-Create well-defined programs 

-Spread your brand story 

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2. Use social media to connect with your audience 

Social media and technology are integral parts of daily life, and in addition to using these tools for marketing, integrating them into the classroom also adds a great experience for the students.

Even when social media might be a double-bladed knife, we will focus on the positive things for schools. 

Social media allows for more e-learning opportunities. As remote jobs and online classes are becoming more popular, training students to work from a distance is an important lesson, and social media can help with that.

There are many social media tools for education that can be taken advantage of for students of any age, from elementary all the way through college.

Here are some ways to implement social media into the classroom for your advantage:

-Use Facebook page to broadcast updates and alerts 

-Use a Facebook group to stream live lectures and hosts discussions

-Use Twitter as a class message board

-Use Instagram for photo essays 

-Create a class blog for discussions

-Create a class-specific Pinterest board

-Include social media links on your school website

-Share school events and photos

-Manage your accounts all under one roof

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3. Improve the visibility of your website in search engines

Within the education sector, it’s important to remain relevant and up-to-date by refreshing your website design. This doesn’t necessarily require your school to undergo a full re-brand; however, it’s important that your online and offline presence continues to evolve.

Here are some tips to keep your website visible and easy to find by search engines.

  • Get to know your stakeholders: 
    • What are each of their goals and inspirations?
    • How do they interact with your website?
    • How long does it take them to perform key tasks?
  • Focus your home page: 
    • Your homepage is your opportunity to make a good first impression
    • If people can’t find the information they are looking for at first glance or with ease, they are much more likely to leave the page
  • Share your values:
    • It’s important to portray your school’s mission statement clearly
    • Reinforce your statement with imagery such as infographics, photography, video, and design that synchronizes with your school’s brand.
  • Make it User-friendly:
    • Check your analytics to understand the top three tasks your users perform on your website and ensure that their end destination is achievable in two clicks or less.
  • Create Clear Calls-to-Action:
    • Calls to action should stand out on the page and be easily identifiable as links that immediately direct the user to the specified location.
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4. Improve your SEO

Most parents are conducting research long before they come to you asking questions. This is why having a search engine presence is vital in your efforts to attract and engage parents and students.

When we are figuring out which words are the best for our SEO it is a good idea to place ourselves as the ones searching, for example: 

Let’s say you’re a parent moving into a new area and you’re looking for schools for your kids, what do you Google? “Best school in…” could be one of the most used phrases.

How does your school rank in the search engines when you search for the best school in your area?

Here are some helpful tips to improve your SEO:

Use a program that integrates with Google Analytics to track metrics: 

This will give you access to know what browsers and devices are being used by your visitors, get referral traffic, and understand your competition.

Identify Low-Performing Pages and Refresh Them With New Content People Want to Read:

Deliver engaging content topics to readers. Successful content marketers follow trends and conversations to brainstorm content ideas.

Ensure Your Content Is Created Around a Primary Keyword and Relevant Secondary Keywords:

Understanding what keywords are best for your target audience and content type can help you build a content strategy to boost SEO.

Keywords should naturally come up in your content so that you don’t have to stuff your content at the last minute.

Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio:

A diverse backlink portfolio signals to Google that your site is an authoritative source and that you’re generating links in a natural way

One good way to do this is to have a blog that cites outside sources and encourages those sources to share your blog. 

Another way that’s easy for schools to get backlinks is to make sure you’re on all the directories like Schola, Niche, and Great Schools. 

Optimize your imagery:

When images are poorly optimized, you may have slow web pages and end up ranking badly.

One of the best ways to improve your SEO is by optimizing your alt text. The best way to tackle writing alt text is to write what is happening in the photo and what you want people to find, like “students studying at competitive charter school in Los Angeles.”

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5. Implement and/or reinforce your email newsletter

As we have mentioned at the beginning, email has become one of the most powerful tools for digital marketers nowadays.

It is well worth it when you add value to your prospective subscribers. 

At this point, you have been able to engage parents, students, and even educators through your content on your website and social media. 

Reaching this point means that you are doing good and should keep it up. 

The newsletter is meant to build loyalty and encourage your audience to help you keep growing by helping them with golden information.

5 recommendations before sending your next Newsletter:

  1. Keep the pace: 
    1. Pick one day, time, and frequency, this helps you to create a good habit for your audience.
  2. Keep it consistent:
    1. Choose imagery and themes that get along with your general branding, this creates familiarity.
  3. Adapt it to mobile devices:
    1. Please make sure your content can be read easily and seamlessly. Plain text usually works better.
  4. Do not exceed:
    1. ” The less the better” if you can say it simpler, do it.
  5. Personalize:
    1. This may be obvious, but it is helpful to always include the first or full name in order to create a warm atmosphere around your message. 

Would you like to know 10 School newsletter content ideas? Click here

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6. Use the power of videos

lt is common to see how people have become obsessed with videos on social media overall.

Why is this?

Basically, because humans are naturally visual and we like the comfort of not having to read and watch the whole business instead.

The video format has driven numbers higher significantly, they grab attention effortlessly, they can summarize a message more easily and it is scientifically proven that we are more likely to watch a face than read a phrase on the same ad. 

Video is big business these days, with most companies relying on it to effectively market to their audiences. 

On the other hand, schools have, perhaps understandingly, been more hesitant in adopting video as part of their marketing mix.

Videos needn’t be professionally edited or have fancy effects. In fact, everyday school life provides plenty of rich, engaging content that can be edited easily in-house using basic tools. Such content includes:

-Student performances

-Curriculum video tutorials

-Class trips 

-Sports, Charity, or fun days

-Award ceremonies and prize giving

-School Prom

-School Mascots (see Harvard-Westlake reels). 

Here are 4 steps that will help you to produce a good video for your marketing strategy:

-Planning: 

What are the most important messages you want to get across? 

What style will help to convey your messages? 

If staff or students are featured in your video, you’ll want to select individuals who are confident in front of the camera and can speak passionately about your school.

-Filming:

Locations should be clean, tidy and show off your school in the best possible way

Try not to shoot a fully-scripted video as this can seem forced and unnatural.

-Editing:

Short and snappy wins every time

Avoid gimmicky graphics but use animations to support and reinforce your school’s brand and video themes.

Music can add extra wow to your videos, but bear in mind most music is copyrighted and will need the necessary permissions.

-Sharing:

An engaging video on your school’s website will instantly engage people.

Videos posted on your social channels will boost awareness and inspire click-throughs to your website.

If you’re concerned about videos slowing down your website, think about launching a school channel on Youtube.

If you need support with video filming or editing, send us an email at info@knitmarketing.com. 

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7. Improve your online reputation

If your school is online, you will definitely care about your reputation. It is inevitable to be rated by search engines due to the reviews and comments your school stores on social media and your website.

By actively encouraging online reviews, you have an opportunity to influence potential parents’ decision-making before they’ve even made contact with you.

There are many places you may want reviews to appear around your school, the first place you should look is on your website. There is every likelihood you are already doing this but know that you can have these testimonials marked up with what is called ‘Review Schema’. If you do this, Google may use the info to add a structured snippet to your search result – making it stand out from the competition. This fantastic little feature will attract more clicks to your search result.

The next priority for your online reviews is your Google My Business listing.

Google your school name, and on the right-hand side of Google’s search results you will see what is called your ‘Knowledge Graph’. Among the info is ‘Reviews’. Your knowledge graph provides an opportunity to demonstrate a strong position with a large number of reviews and of course, when the parent of a potential student checks out the reviews, the overall sentiment is positive.

Encourage people (parents and students mainly) to leave a positive review whenever you have the chance., You can incorporate an easy ask for reviews at the top of your newsletters or when you share a beautiful video on social media.

Negative reviews should be addressed immediately, no one likes the negative buzz around their house. 

Assign these tasks to experts on social media preferably, someone that can handle people with kindness and professionalism. 

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8. Create a blog 

At this point, we have developed awareness around digital marketing and its importance in schools. Thus, creating a blog with enticing and engaging content is really a must.

Why is blogging important for schools?

Do you remember how we talked about improving your SEO? Well, blogging is an excellent option to build powerful SEO for your website, in addition to backlinks that help you grow authority for search engines.

Furthermore, a great blog means that other websites will link back to your site.

Another advantage of blogging is its ability to generate new leads. Yes, as we mentioned, your school is a business, and it needs to have a healthy database of new prospects that later will be addressed by you or your pro team to encourage parents and students to enroll with you and ultimately, recommend you with other parents and students. 

Here are 5 school topics to begin in case you need some help. 

– School Type:

There are charter schools, private schools, all-girls/all-boys schools, boarding schools, and so many other niche school types. If your school is a special niche, a blog explaining this would be really helpful.

-Helpful guides:

First, consider your target audience and the information they are lacking. This is where the demand is. Then, examine your skills and area of expertise. This is the supply of information that you possess. Where do the supply and demand meet? That is the area to create your guide in.

Examples: How to Apply for College, Science Experiments to Do with Your Kids Over Break, How to Pick the Best Middle School

-Myth buster articles:

To write on this topic, think about beliefs that might be holding people back from enrolling in your school. What do people get wrong about your school or about a broader topic in education?

-Locally focused posts:

If you’re targeting families in Los Angeles, then make this clear in your posts. This indicates to engines and web visitors that you are targeting people in a specific area.

-Student and faculty spotlight:

Add an original touch to your institution’s blog by featuring students and teachers who portray the school’s values. Prospective parents who view these profiles will have a clearer idea of who will be interacting with their children.

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9. Take care of your offline communication 

We cannot leave offline communication behind. Your online image will play an important role in your marketing strategies, but offline communication will boost it up and most parents and students will give you more authority than any other tool or digital strategy.

This type of marketing involves local and scholarly newspapers, direct mailing, magazines, billboards and posters, printed media, signs, school leaver show, and all related to this.

Offline marketing strategies can often be more expensive than online ones, market research data can be purchased to give you an awareness of the media consumption habits of who you’d like to reach.

Offline marketing and online marketing strategies are more often now used with one another. With most businesses, websites are central portals for marketing efforts.

It’s important to remember that the same people you are handing marketing material to are the same people sharing your Facebook post. So keep that in mind every time you produce marketing collateral. 

Eventually, you will see that offline marketing is also part of your online marketing strategies and how they work together as partners.

Take care of your offline branding by keeping an organized team, a friendly working space, a clean speech in public and authentic love for what you do. All of these features are also part of your offline marketing.

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10. Hire an expert (become an expert)

In the first place, we would like to recommend being guided by an education digital marketing expert. This may not apply to every educator, principal, or school, and we know that when it comes to a business, the last thing we want to incur is high expenses, and that may include hiring an expert.

But we think this might help you step ahead easily and smoothly, especially when you have no clue of where to start in the digital marketing world.

An expert can help you land your ideas and tailor them to your goals and future plans. 

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Conclusions

Regardless of the size of your school, marketing is a must. Meaning that part of your success depends on how well you can surf the wave of new trends, social media, blog content, search engines, and more.

For some educators, marketing could represent a challenge, but we truly hope this article can give you a hand to step ahead and continue with your magnificent and essential job.

Marketing is an alley that you can take huge advantage of.  We have witnessed lots of success stories thanks to efficient marketing strategies.

2022 holds thriving opportunities for everyone, but this demands us to be ready and open to them.

Marketing in 2022 is going to require business owners who are willing to take risks, invest in their branding, listen more intently than ever before when engaging with customers online, or face failure as competition continues to grow at unprecedented rates.

Effective marketing requires both long-term thinking and short-term quick wins, which is why effective storytelling will be even more pivotal to a company’s success than ever before.

Schools are simply wonderful and we love their work and their extraordinary commitment

You’re already doing good work. It’s time to let the world know about it! Reach out if you need support at info@knitmarketing.com.

We would love to hear your thoughts and stories about this endless topic that surely can be approached for hours.

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