Did you know that around one in ten parents chooses to enroll their child in private school? Opportunities to increase enrollment exist for private schools; however, first, it’s necessary to learn how to market to your potential parents and students so they can find your school.
Are you ready to create a marketing plan for a private school? While this process may seem like a difficult task, it’s actually easier than you might think.
Marketing plan development timelines are broken down into four broad stages: planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating. Creating and implementing your marketing plan using these strategies can lead to successful implementation.
If you’re ready to build a marketing plan, keep reading to learn more about the timeline and marketing for schools.
Planning a Private School Marketing Strategy
The marketing team must first determine what objectives the institute wants to achieve from its marketing plan. They must ensure their marketing objectives will create a marketing strategy that will lead to the school being more attractive to students and their parents.
Marketing objectives must also align with the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats written in the SWOT analysis.
Do a Review
One of the most important steps to take during the planning stage is to review your missions, vision, and goals. Each of these factors helps to determine how schools will move forward.
Your mission drives values and how your organization conducts business. Ultimately, your mission tells people what your school wants to accomplish. Knowing where you’re headed as a private school is essential when creating goals.
Think of your vision as a compass. Vision goes beyond what a school wants to accomplish and defines what it wants to be.
Well-defined visions are another critical aspect of creating goals for marketing.
As a school, it’s necessary to let your mission and vision guide your goals.
When defining your private school’s goals, it’s necessary to ensure the goals set are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based).
Analyze the Current Situation
Additionally, base your marketing plan on the institute’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Completing a SWOT assessment can help with clearly analyzing the current situation.
Weaknesses and strengths are internal and therefore controllable. However, threats and opportunities are external. Schools encounter these factors from the environment, competition, and interactions with families.
By creating a marketing plan that takes into account internal and external factors, a marketing plan is more likely to succeed.
Define Your School’s Value Proposition
Once the institute has conducted a SWOT assessment and defined its goals, the team must determine its value proposition. Value propositions are the reason why people should choose the institute’s services over another business’s.
Value propositions must be created based on the school’s mission, vision, and goals. Value propositions created that are unique to the school will help differentiate it from other schools. When your potential students and parents hear about your school for the first time, your value proposition can help set your private school apart.
Ensure that it’s professional, inviting, uses complete thoughts, and concise.
After the institute has created a value proposition and determined its marketing objectives, it should develop marketing strategies. Marketing strategies outline how the institute will reach its marketing objectives.
Developing a Marketing Plan for a Private School
Next, the marketing team must create a budget for marketing efforts and create a timeline for when the marketing plan will be created and implemented. Your school’s marketing budget must be enough to allow for the marketing plan to be implemented successfully.
You should allocate around ten percent of your budget to marketing and admissions. For example, if your yearly budget is one million dollars, then your yearly marketing and admissions budget should be 100,000 dollars.
Timelines for developing the marketing plan will depend on the marketing objectives. The timeline should be long enough to include the entire marketing plan development process from planning to implementation. The development timeline should also include when the marketing plan will be implemented in the private school’s calendar year.
For example, in general, if you’re targeting students for enrollment begin six months before that semester’s registration begins.
Creating a Marketing Plan for Private Schools
Marketing plans for a private school must include a section for external and internal marketing. This includes marketing to prospective students, current students, parents, faculty, previous students and alumni, and donors.
External marketing plans must include details on how the marketing team will attract new students to the school. While internal plans will look at how to retain current and new students that the marketing team attracts.
In order to create an effective marketing plan aimed at increasing enrollment, the marketing team must determine who the target audience is. With private school marketing, there is an added challenge of ensuring your school markets to both students and parents.
Information learned about the target audience will be used to create the marketing plan for a private school.
Key Marketing Strategies for Private Schools
Marketing efforts should include some basic proven strategies. Your school might already implement some of these strategies; if that’s the case, explore how to fine-tune your efforts.
Google searches are a common way to get information, and interestingly enough the top two results get 50 percent of clicks. Make use of existing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to improve your site’s rankings.
The effectiveness of organic SEO is improving, so you should start off with proven SEO strategies. For example, boosting keywords, using backlinks, and creating high-quality content can help improve your ranking on Google.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a great way to market a private school. It offers a unique opportunity to reach a diverse audience. Your school can create an engaging social media marketing campaign that offers value to the community.
You should create a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account to start. Your school can decide which one the marketing team will use to engage on social media.
In addition, take advantage of the many forms of digital communication that are available today.
An example is chatbot integration. Take the time to teach a chatbot to answer questions about the school and boost enrollment.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) for Private Schools
PPC targets parents who are already looking into private school options for their children. Marketing teams should create PPC ads that appear on search engine results when prospective families are looking for a school.
Ads that are well written will appeal to the needs of the person searching and encourage them to take action.
Private School Website
School leaders should ensure the website is updated with relevant and engaging content. Content should include the latest news, school activities, fun photos, and more.
School websites are your main marketing tool.
Implement Your Private School Marketing Plan
Once your marketing plan is developed and improved, the marketing team is responsible for implementing the marketing plan. Implementation of the marketing plan should be contained in the marketing budget created by the marketing team.
Keep in mind that your team will be evaluating and tweaking your private school marketing plan along the way. If, at any point in the process, it’s found that a strategy is not working, work with your marketing team to adjust the plan as needed.
Monitor and Evaluate Your Private School Marketing Plan
Evaluation of the marketing plan is vital. Conducting an evaluation helps the marketing team determine if their marketing plan was successful. Marketing teams should review their marketing plan at key points during the implementation so they can determine if their plan is successful or if adjustments need to be made.
Monitoring and evaluation plans must be completed at two different points in the marketing plan for a private school, at the beginning and the end. Plans must include details about how the marketing team will be able to monitor their progress on their marketing plan.
Look at factors like click-through rates on emails, lead tracking, or the number of conversions from your content marketing.
An evaluation is also important because it gives the marketing team insights into what marketing efforts worked, which allows them to learn what to do in the future.
Start Your Marketing Plan Today
Private schools have the opportunity to attract students and parents with the right marketing plan for a private school. However, before beginning to implement your strategies, there are essential steps you must take.
Is your school ready to implement a plan that works for your school? Let’s build something together. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help with your private school marketing plan.