As the deadlines for admission draw closer, it’s time for families applying to private school to make sure they are ready for everything that needs to be completed. That means it’s time for marketing offices to make sure they are properly supporting the admission team in their outreach efforts. Gone are the days of traditional private school communications offices that simply create a few publications and post static information on a website. Our world has changed, and marketing offices need to be more involved in outreach efforts when it comes to admission practices.
One thing you can do is manage an admission blog. I don’t just mean simply writing about your school’s happenings or promoting your programs, though. That type of content is targeted to people who are already invested in your school, like current families or students in your admission funnel. I mean blogging about the admission process in general and providing a service for prospective families. Part of your goal as a marketing department is to help the admission office reach new target audiences, and general admission information is a great way to do just that. Families in your admission funnel can benefit from the tips you share, too. Looking for inspiration? Check out the Student Center Blog that the team at Cheshire Academy manages.
You can’t just publish a post and move on, though. You need to promote them. More than once. Link to previous blog posts within each new one, and share these blog posts as content to promote regularly during admission season on social media. It’s important to make sure that some, but not all, of your social media posts are targeted to prospective families and their needs. Share your blog posts that offer information about the admission process, as well as general news about the school. And, use social media as a way to remind them of important dates, like Open House events, and admission deadlines. Make sure you’re constantly driving readers back to your website to encourage them to engage with you further through inquiry forms. Providing a mix of content here will allow you to appeal to a wider audience, which is more likely to yield results.
Work closely with the admission office to develop email marketing strategies to nurture your audiences and cultivate them to convert to the next stage of the admission process, be that inquiry, application, or enrollment. Provide them with tips and talking points with links to strategic website information to enhance their personal outreach.
It’s important to make sure that you’re tracking all this interaction, too. Google analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter analytics, Hootsuite … the analytics tools are endless these days. Regardless of what you use, make sure you’re building ways to assess your outreach efforts into your admission marketing strategies. Tracking the success of each endeavor, looking for trends and ultimately, watching year over year comparisons can help you determine what is most effective and how you can improve your efforts.