Marketing Your School On A Budget
Published on 20/09/17
Budget cuts are one of the biggest worries for schools all across the UK this year so it's useful to know how to stretch your money far a wide without breaking the bank. When it comes to planning out the spend over the next year, marketing can sometimes fit into the 'not essential' category.
However - and that's a very big however – with so many school budgets being determined on a per pupil basis, the role marketing plays, in attracting prospective pupils and parents is 100% essential.
We have pulled together a few ways you can market your school effectively, on a tight budget. Let us know what you think:
1. Create a parent advocacy group:
Identify involved parents who speak about your school in a positive light. Encourage these parents to get involved with the school even further; open days, tours, local events. You know what they say; the most valuable form of marketing is word of mouth. So by keeping your existing parents happy, turning them into advocates of your school and it's brand, you will find more people being naturally drawn to find out more about your school.
2. Engage with local media
Establish a relationship with your local newspaper and media sources to not only help get the word out about big events but to also increase your brand awareness. Your involvement with your local community will not only prove that you care about your local community - the majority of existing parents and students belong to – but also that you are 'active' and there's always something going on that's worth reading about.
3. Create strong connections with your feeder schools
Work closely with your feeder schools to get in touch with parents, especially those in your specific area. Introducing yourself to the parents of the year 5 students in Primary schools or connecting with the parents of the kids about to leave nursery, provides you with the opportunity to engage with them before their children move on to their next school.
4. Keep your website up to date with important dates and events
Content is everything. Well-written content which is organised and easy to follow will provide people with all of the information they are looking for. Using your website's blog as a form of marketing will help prospective students discover you online as well as enhance your authority amongst competitors.
5. Evaluate your marketing spend and cut out what doesn't work
Monitor the effectiveness of your marketing activity to help you understand what is and isn't working well. This can be done by monitoring your Twitter analytics, Facebook insights or Google Analytics.
By looking into your website performance you have access to how many people have visited that page, how many times each PDF has been downloaded and where your traffic is coming from. This information will help you understand what your audiences find the most useful and tweak others accordingly.
6. Get everyone involved
Work with your students and faculty members to understand the importance of projecting the fact they're a part of a positive and focused school culture and environment. Get parents to share their thoughts on the school, staff and culture as this plays a critical role in making a decision of where to send their child to school.
7. Marketing Automation
If you are managing three or four social media platforms it's not easy to stay on top of content. Marketing tools enable you to schedule posts in advance, which will help to take the strain off your workload. Tools such as Hootsuite allow you to do this across all of your social channels, in one place.
The e4education CMS allows you to write and schedule in blog posts and news articles on your website along with having the ability to archive them by a certain date. This can help you keep on top of your content calendar by making the most of your time in the summer or school holidays, writing content and setting it to go live throughout different points throughout the next year.
8. Re-use Content
Time is money and writing a new content for your website, on a regular basis, can be incredibly time-consuming. However, if you think creatively about how you can recycle and re-use existing content across different channels, you can save time and increase your reach.
Upload letters home and newsletters onto your website for parents to access easily and let them know it's available by sharing links to it on your school's Facebook and Twitter account.