As the pandemic continues to show signs of decline, the global educational landscape also continues to change. Educational institutions are increasingly realizing the need to market their brand just like any other business.
If you own an education business, your marketing and promotional methods should remain diverse to keep up with trends and broaden the appeal of your specific offerings to students, instructors, and families alike.
In this article, we outline the most effective techniques for preparing promotional activities for your education business.
Define Your Ideal Student Profile
Before deciding on a marketing campaign or strategy, you will first need to identify and understand the type of student that your business is best suited for. Generally speaking, ideal students are passionate about the benefits and outcomes of the programs or courses your business has on offer, and they are willing to commit the appropriate time and effort needed to successfully complete them.
Therefore, when pinpointing your ideal student profile, consider these questions:
- What common difficulties do your ideal students have?
- What are their shared learning goals?
- What do they look for in an educational program or institution?
- What does your particular education business offer that addresses all of the above?
Finding the most accurate answers to these questions will result in more qualified leads; however, to apply this to a promotional plan, you’ll need to do additional market research to gather information on your ideal audience. The research should contain data about your competitors, including prices, user reviews, test scores, extracurricular activities, and course certifications — to name a few. Examine the findings for your business to better gauge any areas for improvement and to gather quality data for your marketing materials.
Better yet, your research can help you target the events that gather your audience. Mingling with your future students and sharing your business cards around is a great place to start generating the buzz around your educational brand.
Focus on Digital Marketing
Promoting your educational services online can prove to be quite successful, no matter the type or size of your business. Precise targeting based on demographics, engagement habits, and other factors is digital advertising’s greatest advantage over traditional advertising.
Search engine advertising, ad campaigns on social media, and video advertising are some of the most widely utilized digital marketing methods today. Since each of these channels has advantages and disadvantages, marketing professionals typically advise combining all of them.
You can use social media in a variety of ways to promote your education business, boosting website traffic and expanding your outreach to potential enrollees. But remember, when it comes to your social media presence, your goal should always be to develop trustworthy connections with your target audience by interacting with them in the right ways.
Interact with potential students through platforms with substantial youth engagement, and you’ll do wonders for your business’s brand awareness. For example, TikTok makes it particularly easy for all sorts of businesses to get creative with their marketing ideas and reach target audiences simply by participating in trends or mimicking viral videos and adapting them with their message. Although this may seem like uncharted territory, give it a go: we promise the learning curve will be extremely entertaining!
Make Use of Video
If your current promotional strategy does not include video marketing, focus some of your efforts on creating engaging video content. As the preferred content format for most social media users, it does wonders to drive brand awareness.
Educational or how-to tutorials, footage of your premises (if applicable), explainer videos, animated content, alumni testimonials, and live streams are examples of the diverse video content suitable for an education business.
Ultimately, let your audience decide which video content you should create. You’ll be able to respond to your viewers’ preferences if you monitor key performance indicators like peak live viewers, subscription growth on sites like YouTube, average completion rate, re-watches, engagement, and others.
Invest in a Great Website
Having a modern website that’s compelling and easy to navigate is almost as vital to an education business as the quality of its programs and teaching staff. If you are still relying on a clunky WordPress web presentation, you are driving away a huge chunk of your potential student body.
All of your digital campaigns and ads should direct interested users to your website. Important details that most students and parents or guardians will immediately want to find out, such as the instructional strategy and materials, must be easily accessible, as well as pricing, timetables, and other essential information. Your website should also contain an FAQ section with clear explanations, including a blog that offers free resources and encourages students to learn more about the benefits of your specific programs.
You can also create targeted landing pages displaying all available options for the services or products you have on offer. Take a look at this example from SchoolLockers. They divided all available options into clear categories for easy navigation.
Another excellent way to keep people engaged is to have a special area for registered users, i.e. those who have enrolled (or are interested in enrolling) in your courses or programs. Students can use this area to leave their notes, download learning materials, view their progress, and use a bulletin board or live chat option. If your education business doesn’t already have an interactive portal like this, creating one should be an absolute priority.
Additionally, don’t forget mobile optimization. You might be surprised about the number of people who choose to view education websites — and even complete entire online courses — using just their smartphones and other smart devices, so your website should be perfectly optimized to accommodate these user habits, too.
Collect Online Reviews
If you want to incentivize existing users to leave feedback on your website, make the review process as straightforward as possible so that they don’t click out of it before they even enter their names. Better yet, have fun with it: try designing a star-based rating system and make audio input an option, rather than simply having students complete dozens of fields in a form.
Offer discounts, gift cards, bonus points, and other incentives to encourage reviews if you discover that you aren’t receiving as many as you’d like. Most of the time, gently asking for evaluations via email or some other one-on-one contact channel will suffice, especially if you already have a good relationship with your users.
Customer Relationship Management
An education business should strive to market itself like any other brand, and this includes focusing some of its efforts on great customer relationship management. The only difference between a regular for-profit company handling customer experiences and an education business doing the same, is that your students aren’t consumers whose only value is to spend money on your products — on the contrary, they should continue building a community and legacy from the success they’ve had with your program.
An actionable tip to help you manage relationships with your users is to use an education CRM and make sure to reply as soon as you can to any question, comment, or review that you get. Don’t discount questions that have already been answered in your FAQ and never ignore unfavorable reviews. Every negative comment should be responded to politely and in a way that shows your prospective students how you deal with scenarios in which your education business does not meet expectations, as this guarantees that you are willing to take different experiences into account when designing your curriculum or activities.
Author: Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.
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