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DIGITAL MARKETING FOR EDUCATION
Welcome to Quick Digitals, your partner in navigating the evolving educational landscape. As schools face unprecedented challenges, we understand the importance of staying ahead and meeting the ever-changing expectations of families. The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed how families engage with educational institutions, and we are here to help you embrace this new reality.
UNDERSTANDING "LIQUID" EXPECTATIONS
The “liquid expectations” concept is pivotal in understanding schools’ challenges in the post-pandemic era. Liquid expectations refer to customers’ expectations of a particular experience seeping from one industry to another. In the case of schools, families no longer compare your institution solely to direct competitors in the education sector; they compare your school’s online experience to all online experiences they’ve had, including those with brands like Amazon and Netflix.
This paradigm shift means families expect a seamless and efficient digital experience from your school. After a year of adapting to virtual interactions, expectations are higher. If they can easily order groceries online, they should be able to pay their child’s tuition with the same ease. The convenience of one-click purchases has raised the bar for schools, and now families expect to access important school information effortlessly. Understanding the new “liquid” expectations, we must rethink our marketing and communication strategies to ensure we meet these higher standards.
REDESIGN YOUR WEBSITE
As the foundation of your school's online presence, a well-designed website is crucial in today's digital landscape. A poorly designed website can act as the Achilles heel of most brands. A bad website experience, particularly on mobile devices, can negatively impact your reputation and decrease engagement and site traffic.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING STATISTICS
Did you know that 79% of people who don't like what they find on one site will immediately search for another? Additionally, 52% of users admit that a bad mobile experience would make them less likely to engage with a company. Mobile users are even 5 times more likely to leave a task if a site isn't optimized for mobile. It's essential to remember that 40% of website visitors will go if a site takes more than three seconds to load, and a staggering 47% of visitors expect a site to load within just two seconds. First impressions matter greatly, with a significant 94% being design-related. Ensuring your website's seamless and fast user experience is crucial for attracting and retaining visitors.
A well-designed website is essential for attracting and retaining prospective families. Before investing time, budget, or effort into other marketing strategies, prioritize creating a strong foundation with a website that meets families' high expectations.
IMPROVE YOUR SEARCH ENGINE STRATEGY
A comprehensive search engine strategy is vital for increasing your school's online visibility. It consists of three main elements: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Per Click Advertising (PPC), and managing Online Reviews.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
SEO stands as a vital long-term strategy for schools. It involves meticulous keyword research and implementation, optimizing your site's title tags, meta descriptions, and on-page content, and creating engaging blogs. While SEO may not deliver instant results, its significance cannot be overstated. With a staggering 90% of all online experiences starting with search, your school's survival in the digital world hinges on a strong SEO foundation. Click-through rates beyond page one of search results are abysmal, making it clear that investing in SEO is paramount to ensure your school's website is not lost in the vast sea of information online.
PAID PER CLICK ADVERTISING (PPC)
PPC ads are a powerful tool to generate awareness and website traffic for your school. If your school's website isn't ranking well in Google and you don't have time to wait for SEO results, PPC can land you at the top of page one almost immediately.
Online reviews have become a significant factor in shaping families' decisions about schools. They now form the first impression of your school or district, and negative reviews can severely impact website traffic and enrollment. Encourage positive reviews from satisfied parents and respond to any negative feedback promptly and professionally. Investing in a comprehensive search engine strategy will ensure your school is visible to potential families and stands out in a competitive digital landscape.
BUILD EMAIL WORKFLOWS
As school professionals, we know how busy our schedules can be. Email workflows, or automated emails or email drip campaigns, are essential to an inbound marketing strategy. They help save time and increase email engagement by automatically sending emails based on the subscriber’s contact information, behavior, or preferences. Email workflows can be used for various purposes, including
- Welcoming newly enrolled families
- Nurturing prospective families who recently inquired
- Onboarding new faculty and staff
- Reminding community members of upcoming events and deadlines
- Promoting events or important school news
By automating these emails, you can ensure that families receive timely and relevant information, leading to a more personalized and positive experience.
START A SCHOOL BLOG
A school blog is an effective tool for sharing advice, building thought leadership, and telling stories unique to your institution. It provides an opportunity to elevate the voices of your community, create a content library, and improve your organic search performance. Before starting a school blog, consider the following.
- Identify who will be responsible for writing blog content.
- Decide where the blog content will live on your website.
- Establish an editing process to ensure the blog’s quality and consistency.
- Determine your target audience and the topics you want to cover.
- Allocate sufficient resources to post consistently (at least once per week).
A well-maintained blog can enhance your school’s online storytelling and strengthen your connection with the community.
CREATE YOUR FIRST CONTENT OFFER
While inquiry forms are great for capturing information from families already interested in your school, an audience of potential families is still exploring their options. A content offer provides them with valuable information to aid their decision-making process. Content offers establish your school's expertise and showcase your unique value to prospective families, increasing the chances of conversion.
INVEST IN CONSISTENT, MEANINGFUL SOCIAL MEDIA ADS
Social media ads offer an excellent opportunity to build awareness and increase enrollment. The average cost-per-click for social media ads is often lower than search ads, allowing you to diversify your reach with various campaigns and ad formats. To run successful social media ad campaigns, consider the following smart strategies
TOP-OF-THE-FUNNEL CAMPAIGN TO BUILD AWARENESS
Create a lookalike audience based on demographic information about your current families to reach new audiences.
MIDDLE-OF-THE-FUNNEL CAMPAIGN TO INCREASE CONVERSIONS
Engage individuals who have been to your website using retargeting campaigns.
BOTTOM-OF-THE-FUNNEL CAMPAIGN TO ENCOURAGE RE-ENROLLMENT
Use social media ads to remind current families of upcoming events or deadlines and provide value-add content like student success stories.
CONSOLIDATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Managing multiple social media accounts can be overwhelming and lead to tone, voice, and content inconsistencies. Consolidate your school's primary social media profiles to streamline your online presence. Maintain one Facebook page, one Twitter account, one Instagram profile, and a unified presence on other channels like LinkedIn.
Consolidating social media accounts offers several advantages, including increased traffic and engagement, consistent branding, streamlined access to passwords and privacy settings, and fewer comments to manage.
INVEST MORE TIME AND RESOURCES INTO VIDEO
Video content garners higher engagement than any other form of content, making it an essential part of your marketing strategy. Incorporate video into your website, social media, and email campaigns to capture attention and connect with your audience. To incorporate more videos into your marketing this year
- Start small by posting one new video on social media each week.
- Brainstorm video ideas such as testimonials, tips from teachers, and interviews.
- Invest time into a YouTube strategy if your school consistently creates longer-length videos.
- Use live-streaming to engage with your audience during events or important school occasions.
- Enlist the help of your community, particularly students, to create video content.
Quick Digitals understands school challenges in this ever-changing educational landscape. Our tailored digital marketing strategies will equip your institution to thrive in the new normal. As you plan your marketing and communication efforts for the upcoming school year, partner with us to create a future-proofed strategy that meets the expectations of today's families. Together, we will embrace the opportunities this digital era brings and achieve remarkable growth for your school.