One by one the new ones arrive at the gate.
There’s excitement in the air.
It’s a new year and they’re anxious to make friends, learn new things, partake in sports and show off their skills.
It’s a demanding job to be a teacher, but you wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
But like any business, your school needs new learners every year.
And one of the best ways to get new learners is by wooing their parents through online channels.
But there’s more to marketing online than posting to Facebook.
Are you missing out on learners?
You might love your social media channels.
They offer a simple way for you to post up-to-the-minute information.
But did you know that a good website grants you access to a number of other channels (not just social media) through which you could reach parents?
Parents ask advice on Facebook, yes. Of course they will. It’s a good idea to ask those you trust about their experiences with a school.
If your school is known, you can bet people discuss it.
But there are two more channels many people love to use for communication. Both are unidirectional, and both put you in charge and give you the opportunity to boost your online profile so that, should parents search for you, you have a say in what they see.
One platform is search, the other email. More on both, later.
What can you do with your school website?
One of the most important aspects of a good school website is that it lets people get in touch with the school.
Therefore your contact details need to be easily available.
But a good website can also serve as the heart of your school’s marketing endeavours.
If you use your school website correctly you could drive traffic to it from various sources.
How do you do that?
Well, it starts with content. You need to add content to your school website.
One of the forms that content takes the shape of is articles.
If you consistently add articles to your website you’ll start seeing more and more traffic.
And if you organise your articles correctly your website will make sense to Google and they’ll love you for it.
For instance, you could set up an achievements category, to which you regularly post your learners’ accomplishments.
Or you could use your news section to announce a new curriculum.
Use it to post sporting events and your debating team’s exceptional victory over a rival school.
There are many possibilities, all allowing you to build an online profile your school can be proud of.
This is like cheating in an exam, but it’s legal.
Take a shortcut to three different channels by posting your content to your website only.
What does that mean?
Say you create an article about your school’s rugby performance over the weekend.
You add a nice action photo of one of your star rugby players tackling the will to live out of an opponent, along with a headline like, “Make room, Sia!”
You add some text to convey the “gees” of the school and click the publish button.
That article, should you choose the full curriculum, is sent to your Facebook page, your email subscribers and it’s something Google can index.
And all, automatically, from a single place.
What’s the one channel many hate, but few can resist?
Email is still one of the top contenders in the online marketing world.
Having permission to email someone is worth gold. It’s like one of your learners giving you permission to steal his lunch.
So get your hands in there and use email.
I set up an email newsletter system for you to which you may add up to 500 subscribers for free. If your number of subscribers surpasses that number you simply upgrade.
I also add a subscription page to your website to make it easy for people to sign up.
And remember, you don’t have to do anything to create a newsletter.
You simply add articles to your website and schedule them to go out automatically, once a day or once a week.
This is a GREAT way to connect with parents!
Search engine marketing
When last did you do a hardcore search on social media?
Isn’t it much easier to climb onto Google and ask him some questions?
Of course it is.
That’s why search engine marketing is still a popular way to get attention.
With every article you add to your school’s website you’re slowly but surely building your search engine marketing profile into an unstoppable monster (kind of like some of the learners at your school).
You build credibility; you build trust; you build in-your-face-ness.
And all you need to do is focus on posting articles.
Social media marketing
Proper social media marketing is indelibly connected to payment.
Facebook is an advertising business. You not buying advertising does not pay their bills and holidays.
So if you want social media marketing that works really well, you’ll be forced to part with cash.
The second best thing is to have your articles posted to Facebook where people can click AWAY from Facebook, onto your school’s website, where you can present to them a call to action of your choice.
Successful social media marketing ALWAYS involves taking people off social media to where you have their full attention.
You can’t be using a firstname.lastname@example.org email address. That looks seriously uncool.
You need some professional email addresses based on your domain name. In other words, branded email addresses.
With one of my websites packages you can set up as many email addresses as you wish, your hosting space being the only limit.
And if you use POP to set up your emails with you don’t have to worry about wasting hosting space.
All my websites come with Google Analytics and my clients are more than welcome to access their analytics accounts.
But you don’t just get Google Analytics. You also get a free weekly report that gives you a synopsis of which search words bring parents to your school’s website, which pages they viewed and even some social media metrics.
Your website also keeps a log of what people search for when they arrive on your website and use the search box.
For instance, if a website visitor searches for “chess team” you can capitalise and write an article or two about your chess team, or write an article asking students if they’d be interested in creating a chess team.
That way you’ll always be up to date with the current trends.
It goes without saying, but your school website will fit nicely onto computer screens, tablets and mobile devices.
You want parents and learners to pay attention to the action (and then take action), not on TRYING to focus on paying attention to the action.
My marketing packages are expensive.
Maybe not as expensive as this costly office chair, but I’m not cheap.
You don’t get some fly-by-night marketing package intended to work for a while.
This is long term marketing stuff.
And that takes time, patience and money.
But it shows a good return.
Your school, no matter its size, is a wonderful institution. You’re proud of it and you love the kids who form part of your family.
You can’t settle for a bottom-of-the-barrel website.
You need a good-looking website, but it also needs to be practical.
With my marketing package you can reach three marketing channels from a single place.
You’ll also know what brings people to your website and what they’re after when they arrive on your website.
Make it easy for parents to send their kids to your school with an optimised, mobile-friendly website that helps your school shine.
Book a consultation for more information.