We’re all aware of the pivotal role the internet now plays in almost every business, but what is important to realize is that to be successful on-line you need to actively put time into creating and managing various different digital avenues. While your school website remains the foundation of your on-line presence, it needs to be flanked by a variety of other digital outputs such as social media and online advertisements. Your school’s on-line presence should now account for a large proportion of your wider marketing strategy.
Today, everything is digital. And over the last few years the education sector has seen a significant shift from off-line to on-line with publications, school news and even prospectus’ finding a home on the web. This shift is of course a result of audience demand; your parents now live on-line, therefore so must you. There are however different branches of digital marketing, all of which we would recommend you incorporate into your wider marketing strategy, as a means of keeping your audience happy, and to stay at the forefront of the education sector. A broad on-line presence helps with a variety of factors, ones we will be discussing below.
Having a broad on-line presence allows you to increase your brand awareness. You want to make yourself as visible as possible to your prospective parents; making yourself available to contact through social media, advertisements and your website. This will greatly increase your chance of brand growth. Your school is a brand after all, and the best way to increase your brand presence, is to be seen on as many areas as possible.
If you limit your school marketing to one particular on-line path, for example your website, you could be missing out on a potentially unlimited number of visitors from other digital platforms. Your reach on-line far outweighs anything off-line; whether it is someone 1000 miles away, or a parent living down the road, everyone is afforded the same opportunity to see your school on-line. There really are no limits to the amount of people who can come across your school, especially if you have a strong digital presence across a variety of channels. So it really is important to have a strong on-line presence if you want to grow your audience base.
As a school, you are in the unique position of having many prospective parents and pupils wanting to know all about your school and it is understandable that you cannot meet every single one to have a chat. Your on-line presence solves this dilemma. In addition to an engaging and informative school website, with social media you have the opportunity to speak to anyone who has a question in real-time. Twitter and Facebook provide great platforms to interact with all those inquisitive parents, helping to build solid relationships.
Furthermore, because platforms such as your website are regularly visited by a variety of different people, often looking for similar information, you’re perfectly placed to answer all questions with FAQ pages, and general facts about your school. Your on-line presence allows you to display information to everyone who wants to know it. This is vital in building relationships at an early stage with parents; it lets them know that you’ve thought about what they might want to know, and have delivered.
Having a broad on-line presence along multiple digital channels makes you available 24/7 to your visitors and the importance of this should not be underestimated. With the use of smartphones overtaking desktops at the backend of last year, people are becoming more and more active on-line. The more of an on-line presence you have on it, the easier it is for them to interact with you.
Having your school represented on-line allows you to bypass the time zone barriers that some of you may face when prospective parents live abroad. Though you might not be open to take their call, you can make sure that all the information they could possibly want is online in a variety of ways and is easily accessible. If your aim is to increase your brand awareness and pupil admissions then you want to attract as many visitors as possible to your online presence. Therefore the more of it you have, the more accessible your school becomes to all your parents, resulting in a school brand that is widely known with a good on-line reputation.
As Global leaders in digital marketing for the education sector, we like to think we know a little something about a school’s online needs. We understand that having your school represented by different digital platforms is time consuming; not all schools have the resources to dedicate hours and hours every week. However we would strongly recommend that any time you can put aside, you do so. The world is digital, and if your school doesn’t keep up with the trend, it faces getting left behind.