There are currently over 33,000 private schools in the United States catering to 10% of all PK-12 students. That means plenty of competition when it comes to attracting new prospects.

Here is a quick guide to how you can boost online recruitment by effectively marketing your private educational establishment, both online and offline.

What are people saying about your brand?

In order to boost your current strategy, you need to know how effective it actually is. It’s helpful to conduct a brand review, or brand audit. This allows you to establish how well you’re performing in relation to your competitors; find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, and work out how you can better align your marketing strategy with the expectations of your customers.

Think about how you want to present yourself online. Does your website convey the key messages you want it to? If not, you may want to talk to a consultant who can advise on changes you can make to boost its effectiveness. A simple tweak, for example, could be to ask for a quote or two from one of your brand ambassadors, who we’ll touch upon later.

How are you building your brand?

Just because you’re aiming to boost your online recruitment doesn’t mean that your attempts to build your brand have to be restricted to the digital sphere. Reaching out to the local community, for example by sponsoring sports competitions or displaying leaflets in public places is an effective way of boosting brand recognition. Social media is also a vital channel to use. Ensure you have an understanding of which channels will work best for your school, and tweak your strategy to suit the platform.

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How do you identify and equip your brand ambassadors?

Word of mouth is an important tool when it comes to recruitment. Your brand ambassadors – the students who attend your establishment, their parents and the organizations you partner in the community – should be encouraged to spread your target message to a wider audience. Equip your brand ambassadors with promotional material—such as brochures and leaflets—and ask them to disseminate them to friends, parents, sons, and daughters—perhaps you could even add incentives for those who get the most inbound inquiries to your advancement office.

How do you generate new leads?

Consider how most of your new business filters through your marketing channels. Could you be doing more to encourage prospective students and their parents to contact you in this way, or should you diversify and target other areas? Think how you could attract more inbound inquiries online, through local SEO or paid advertising campaigns. Drawing up detailed parent personas could help you to better strategize your thinking in this area.

Talk to a consultant

As a leading educational establishment, we understand that your focus is on providing students and parents with world-class teaching and a tangible return on investment. Marketing may not be your number one priority, but it’s something you need to think about if you’re going to continue to grow.

At Cross and Crown, we’ve been helping schools like yours to attract more pupils and funding since 2002. If you think a decade and a half’s experience revamping marketing efforts is something your establishment could benefit from, please talk to our team today on 717-261-0111.

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