This rapid increase in the number of international schools indicates a healthy, growing market but one that competition is growing in – meaning that marketing has moved to the top of the agenda for many international schools.
These schools need to find ways to;
- Ensure that prospective parents are finding their organisation when they undertake their research process
- Fully understand what information is important to these parents
- Provide the right information, at the right time, in the right places to their target audience
- Differentiate their school effectively to stand out in this crowded market
Which may seem a daunting list, but don’t worry as by making the right investments in digital marketing you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school can equip itself with the tools needed to stand out from the crowd – and we’re going to tell you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp how…
To help you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp get started we’ve put together our list of top 10 tips to help you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr international school increase you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr admissions enquiries, and successfully outperform you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr competition.
1. Make sure you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp understand a parent’s decision making process
This is possibly our most important advice and probably the hardest to get right. in education, unlike other industries, you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr customers are likely to remain with you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp for a considerable time so gathering customer insight will be one of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr most valuable tools.
We recommend building this intelligence gathering into you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr recruitment process, and asking parents certain questions at different parts of the application process – questions may include;
- What triggered their search for an international school?
- What information helped them to decide on their chosen school?
- Which sources did they use?
- How long did it take for them to make a decision?
- What were their first impressions of the school?
This insight will help you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp start mapping out their journey from the point they started their search to their selection of their chosen school. Your goal is to discover what tools they used as part of their search, what questions they wanted answered and at which stages, and any frustrations / challenges they encountered.
2. Focus on Keyword Research
The importance of search can’t be ignored – there are currently 2.3 million Google searches made every minute. With search engines looking for the most relevant, trustworthy answers to queries, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp should be aiming to be in the top organic results for relevant keywords to you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school – for example you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr location and the type of curriculum offered etc.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and specifically keyword research will play an essential role when you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school is developing an inbound marketing strategy.
Understanding what search terms you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr audience is using, and those which competitors are performing well for, will provide valuable insight into which keywords and phrases you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school should optimise content for.
Developing a robust SEO strategy will help you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school attract prospective parents via search engines by ensuring you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr content is as relevant as possible to their queries.
3. Develop an Inbound Marketing strategy
Inbound marketing is all about creating content that is going to be found by you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr target audience through search and social media. By implementing an inbound marketing approach you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school will be able to closely align you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr marketing to the way prospective parents think and behave when considering which school is right for their child.
Developing an inbound marketing approach can significantly increase you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr admissions enquiries by attracting prospective families to you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr website with helpful, relevant content (this may be a blogpost, eBook, whitepaper, video, case study etc.) which is designed specifically for them and where they are in their decision making process. And the insight you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp gain from our first recommendation of understanding their decision making process will really help when developing you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr strategy.
A keen understanding of exactly which questions you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr target audience is asking will allow you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to provide the answers through you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr blog and other content platforms.
So for example, if you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr research highlights that prospective parents want to know lots about what facilities a school offers, then make sure that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are promoting (through social media and optimising this content for search) content that focuses on this such as virtual campus tours, blog posts highlighting state of the art facilities etc.
4. Invest in Marketing Automation
If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are looking for ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr marketing efforts, then the answer is marketing automation.
Marketing automation is a tactic that allows organisations to nurture prospects using highly personalised, valuable content that helps convert these prospects into leads, and turn those leads into customers.
By implementing a marketing automation system you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school will be able to benefit from streamlining lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and scoring, customer journey marketing, customer retention and measure marketing return on investment (ROI). So quite helpful eh?!
You will be able to maximise the value of every website visitor by nurturing them along their decision making journey with specific follow up content. Website visits can be personalised so that visitors see content relevant to them, and specific content that is most likely to encourage them to convert into a qualified admissions enquiry.
An example of marketing automation in action would be knowing that a visitor has downloaded you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school fees guide, and on their next visit directing them to content on the full experience you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school delivers (e.g. sharing details of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr fantastic school facilities or extra curricular activities offered) to help validate those costs.
5. Invest in PPC campaigns
Your target audience of prospective parents will often be in the situation where they are relocating their family to a completely new country, meaning that when they start their schools search they have very little knowledge of the schools within the area. They will therefore often perform general online searches to begin their information gathering process.
So for example, they would possibly enter a search term such as “international school with British curriculum in Dubai” which is quite a general search and contains no ‘brand names’ (e.g. school names). Therefore, you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr international school needs to feature in the results of non-brand searches in order to be on the radar of these prospective parents.
To ensure you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school isn’t missing from these results we would recommend developing a paid search campaign as part of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr digital marketing activities. Often referred to as pay per click (PPC), this strategy will support you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr SEO and content marketing efforts to guarantee that prospective parents have every opportunity to find you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr international school.
PPC campaigns can also be useful for short term campaigns or time sensitive content, such as if you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are running an open day or looking to promote a summer school.
When running any PPC campaign the journey that you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr prospective parent will take should be considered at all times. Therefore, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to make sure that the advert used, the landing page and subsequent calls to action (CTAs) form a logical journey for the visitor. Make sure you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp think about what stage the parent is at – so for example, don’t expect them to complete an admissions form if they have just made a general search and don’t appear to have any previous knowledge of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school, instead use the landing page to highlight everything about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr international school which helps it stands out from the competition.
6. Focus on you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr Unique Selling Points
Which moves us nicely onto the next point – exactly what makes you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr international school different? Is it you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr academic results? The teaching staff you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp employ? The science, technology and sporting facilities? Extra-curricular activities offered? What does a prospective parent need to know to decide to invest the future of their child with you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school?
Your digital presence should be fully utilised as a window into the complete experience which a student will benefit from at you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school – you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to shout from the rooftops about everything great that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp do!
And once you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr USPs clearly outlined we recommend that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp work these into you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr website content, ensuring that every page has a call to action (CTA) that encourages you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr visitors to find out more about what makes you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school different.
7. Create Virtual tours
Virtual tours can be a great way of showing off you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school and bringing it to life online. Prospective parents and their children will often be located in a different county and may be unable to visit the school in person during their selection process, therefore a virtual tour can be really useful in bridging that gap.
A virtual tour guide could direct them through you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr state of the art auditorium, you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr first class sporting facilities, cutting edge science labs or outdoor swimming pool, all direct from the phone or tablet of the parent or child.
When creating you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr virtual tours try and make them as interactive as possible, and not just a quick look around. Show what goes on in different areas of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school using videos and photo galleries, and get current students and teachers to talk about their experiences. Try and make it as close to a traditional school visit as possible.
8. Use More Than Just Text
Explore all different content options to share you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school’s story online – use videos, social streams, images and testimonials to extend the reach of the school experience which you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp offer.
Why not use tools such as Facebook live or Google hangouts to share key school events such as concerts, assemblies and prize-giving? Don’t be afraid to experiment with new technologies – being forward thinking will allow you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr international school to stand out from the competition.
9. Provide a Connected Experience
The list of online and offline touch points that you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr target audience will interact with can be quite lengthy – prospective parents may become aware of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school through social media, a paid search advert, direct email or direct mail, word of mouth etc. then go on to view you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr website on a desktop device or mobile, follow you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr social media accounts, download you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr app – the list goes on and on…
As parents jump between touch points they will expect to see consistent content across all platforms. This means that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to consider how to best connect these different interactions to ensure that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp offer a joined up experience.
So instead of thinking of a desktop experience, a tablet experience, a mobile experience etc. you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to start thinking of one connected experience. You need to ensure that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp deliver the right content, for the right device, at the right time, and that all of these different forms of content link in logically together.
10. Continually Measure and Optimise
In order to get the most value out of all of the tips which we have highlighted it’s crucial that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp implement ways to measure their success and constantly refine, optimise and improve the digital marketing activities which you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school invests in.
Setting up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will allow effective tracking of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr online activities, most importantly highlighting whether they are delivering to plan or not.
It’s important not to fall into the trap of spending all of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr time doing, and not enough time measuring, analysing and improving.