Digital marketing for schools is a must do to ensure that you are seen in the environments where your target audience ‘lives’ – online.
As the marketing of the education sector as an ‘industry’ has grown substantially in the past 5 years – the most significant area of growth has been in the digital space.
Digital helps you stand out from your competitors through strong branding while also using your media dollars wisely.
To do this, it’s important to understand how Australians ‘consume’ media in 2019 and how much the market has changed – and continues to evolve.
School marketing is all about local-area marketing – standing out through low-cost media in your local area, so that you are top-of-mind from a brand recall perspective and can also create ‘noise’ for an event such as your Open Day.
People are on the move, out and about, and multi-tasking more than ever. They are no longer reading newspapers or magazines like they used to. There is no denying that outdoor, transient, radio, cinema, experiences and direct mail can all still play a valuable part in your marketing mix but the dominant channel for targeted advertising in terms of usage is digital.
So, to be successful in your school marketing you need to be where your consumers are AND you need to stand out. People continue to make their own choice as to what they want to watch, listen to, and read – you need to be more targeted than ever to catch them where they are. Some background statistics to demonstrate this are (Source: Nielsen and Deloitte):
- There are now 33 free to air TV channels in Australia, with 44% of people watching free to air TV, with 90% of people multi-tasking whilst they are doing so
- 43% of Australians have a paid streaming service (e.g. Netflix/Foxtel/Stan)
- Channels 7/9/10 are investigating developing an App for users to view what they want, when they want
- 2 of the top 10 biggest Apps in the world are music Apps
- Up to 85% of Millennials to Mature-aged are on social media with Facebook reigning supreme (77% usage)
- Magazines are closing but some still remain in print copy as the preferred way to be read. Online subscriptions continue to grow for news and magazine services.
- 9% of Australian homes now have Google, Apple and Amazon voice-enabled home digital assistants.
What does your school target audience’s daily media consumption look like?
As a school marketer, it is critical you think about your main target audience’s typical brand persona and what their daily media consumption may look like, particularly when it comes to your school THEY are most likely:
- Checking their phone a lot of the day
- On social media – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Referring to Naplan results, Myschool and other school information sites
- On email – work/personal
- On certain websites – banking, news, shopping
- Streaming TV – at home and mobile
- Listening to Spotify or Apple Music – at home, in car, at work
People go online for news, information, social interaction, enjoyment and more. It is where all people are. It is by far the most dominant single media channel, and therefore needs to be a key part of your media plan. It is ALSO more cost-effective and measurable.
What is a Digital Strategy?
A Digital Strategy is a unique plan for engaging with your target audience, driving them to your website or a specific call to action (enrolments, sales etc.) and enhancing your reputation through paid or organic content.
A Digital Strategy involves:
- Investing in targeted digital media and osteing your own digital assets
- Ensuring content aligns withyour marketing goals and brand strategy to promote key messages/events and capture your target audience’s attention online.
Your Digital Strategy (and digital marketing for schools) can be divided into four main components:
- Search engine optimisation for your website – to improve your Google search rankings online
- Search engine marketing (paid) – to capture attention for key opportunities – usually via Google Adwords, Remarketing, Geotargeting and more
- Social media marketing (paid) – to provide visual engagement opportunities via Facebook, Instagram and more
- Streaming radio (paid) – to provide targeted reinforcement of your message (e.g. on Spotify)Content strategy – web copy, blogs, social media posts, video and more
Your digital strategy maps out a blueprint for each digital avenue/channel and what steps are required to achieve the best performance and appropriate management and media budget/click spend.
In their search for preferred school of choice, your target audience – parents (predominantly mums) and students – are online:
- Using Google to search for schools by location/key words and more
- Looking at websites to research – downloading prospectuses/watching videos
- On social media asking friends and discussing recommendations and referrals with friends/family/peers
Digital marketing for schools – where the opportunities are
We see your school digital opportunity to:
- Be an early adopter of digital media in your ‘area’ so you can stake your claim on search engines and particularly maximise your ‘new’ website investment.
- Evolve your marketing to match your target audience’s digital footprint (information you are analysing from your digital data) – so you can be extremely targeted and effective in your investment.
- Create digital content that is truly original and enables engagement and word of mouth – ultimately driving traffic to calls to action that you can measure.
Look Education specialises in helping schools address their marketing needs. Call us today to help you with:
- Your Marketing Strategy to address your unique challenges
- Open Day marketing campaigns
- Prospectuses and targeted brochures for Prep and Year 7/Senior enrolments
- Digital marketing – Google Adwords, Remarketing, Social media advertising
- School photography
- School videos
- Public Relations – strategies and advice