The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on education. Largely because of federal and state restrictions on in-person learning, many school leaders have turned to the internet in search of alternatives.
One area where the pandemic has led to innovation is online marketing. Specifically, many traditional brick-and-mortar schools have turned to digital marketing tools to ensure their courses continue to be available to students and that prospective students are aware of their existence.
Why Online Marketing?
Due to the pandemic, there are now more people than ever searching for online courses. That presents an opportunity for brick-and-mortar schools that want to ensure their courses are still available to students. Moreover, with many schools shifting to online learning, there is also an opportunity to engage with prospective students more efficiently.
Traditional brick-and-mortar schools have long used various forms of digital marketing to connect with customers. However, due to the pandemic, many of these marketing methods are now more relevant than ever.
What does online marketing mean for brick-and-mortar schools?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 690,000 job openings in May 2020, with the highest unemployment rate in May since the Great Recession. But, as the economy slowly tries to rebuild, students are still searching for ways to gain professional skills and gain access to jobs. That’s made the role of digital marketing for brick-and-mortar schools more important than ever.
For the time being, many businesses and organizations are providing some form of remote working. That means marketing and sales activities including content planning, email marketing, and social media can be done independently from the office. Moreover, with many students now working remotely, schools can ensure they continue to receive tuition payments even if they are unable to physically attend classes.
What does online marketing mean for charter schools?
Since charter schools are publicly funded, they are required to be open to all students. That means they have to offer courses to students in remote areas as well as those who live in urban centers. In addition, charter schools are also responsible for marketing themselves to potential students.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 72% of jobs in May 2020 were in the marketing sector. With more students pursuing online degrees and fewer people feeling safe enough to attend in-person classes, it’s clear that marketing to students is an effective way to gain new students and retain current ones. That makes online marketing for charter schools a strategic effort that can’t be overlooked.
How can online marketing work for education?
Brick-and-mortar schools can use various digital marketing tools to grow their audiences and attract new students. With that in mind, here are a few ways that online marketing can work for schools:
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Like any other form of marketing, SEO is all about getting your content in front of the right audience. That involves careful thought, research, and strategy.
If your school offers online courses, you can use various platforms like Google, Bing, and Yandex to get the word out about your courses. Ideally, you want to work with a reputable SEO company that can help you build a solid foundation for your school’s SEO strategy. That way, when the economy does eventually recover, you’ll be able to capitalize on your SEO efforts and grow your school’s presence online.
2. Content Creation for Different Platforms
It’s not just about getting your content in front of the right audience. One of the biggest strengths of online marketing is that you can tailor your content to reach the desired audience. That means you don’t necessarily need to create one big sales pitch and post it on social media. You can, instead, decide to create specific content for specific platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram.
If your school offers online courses, you can use various platforms to create and post content. That could include videos from the textbook or notes from the instructor, quiz questions, and interactive assignments. It’s a matter of finding the right blend of content for each platform.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing isn’t going away. In fact, according to HubSpot, 81% of businesses use email marketing. It’s a quick and easy way to connect with potential students and remind them of your school’s existence. Just remember that many people are concerned about privacy and don’t want their email address listed openly. That’s why it’s important to use a reputable email marketing service.
If you’re looking for a way to engage with your audience, email marketing is a simple and effective way to do it. Just remember to be creative and use relevant, attractive headings and a call-to-action pitch at the end of your email. If your school offers online courses, you can also use email marketing to send out notifications about upcoming assignments and quizzes. This could also be a way to follow up with prospective students after they’ve filled out a course application form.
4. Social Media Marketing
The influencers of today are widely available on social media. That’s given rise to a new type of marketing called social media marketing. Specifically, this type of marketing involves using various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to grow your audience.
If your school offers online courses, it’s important to consider using social media to disseminate information about your courses. That means using platforms like Twitter and Facebook to post about the semester’s topics, upcoming assignments, and potential jobs. In addition, it’s a good idea to create a Twitter account for your school. That way, when you do have content to tweet about, you can simply head to that platform and begin posting. It’s an easy way to get the word out about your school while also keeping up with the latest news about COVID-19.
How can schools use digital marketing to attract students?
There are a number of ways that schools can use digital marketing to attract students. Here are a few suggestions:
As mentioned above, SEO is all about getting your content in front of the right audience. With SEO, you can use various platforms like Google, Bing, and Yandex to get the word out about your courses. It’s important to remember, however, that with SEO, your rankings rely on a lot of factors including the quality of your content and how active your social media accounts are. That’s why it’s essential to conduct keyword research and make sure you’re using the right keywords in your content.
2. Email Marketing
Like SEO, email marketing is also about getting your content in front of the right audience. However, it’s a bit easier to follow along. Simply put, email marketing is all about sending out emails to people who have signed up for your mailing list. So, if you’ve gotten new students to sign up for your school’s email list, you can begin using email marketing to get the word out about your courses. Just remember to send out periodic emails with important information about upcoming assignments, deadlines, and upcoming events. If you want to be strategic about your email marketing, you can use a tool like Benchmark to segment your audience.
3. Social Media Marketing
Last but not least, we have social media marketing. As the name would suggest, this type of marketing is all about getting your content out there on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The goal is to grow your audience on these platforms so that when someone clicks on an Instagram or Twitter link, they’re taken to your school’s website or blog.
If you have a Facebook page for your school, you can use that to great advantage. Specifically, you can post about the courses, share updates about upcoming assignments and exams, and even use it as a recruitment tool. That’s because, when someone clicks on a Facebook link, they’re taken to a page with content created by the company that owns Facebook. In other words, if you want to get the word out about your school, you can use Facebook.
The important thing to keep in mind about these platforms is that, just like SEO and email marketing, they’re all about reaching the right audience. That means you have to be creative about the content you post on these platforms and tailor it to reach the most people. Moreover, make sure to keep your social media accounts active and relevant. That means posting about the right topics, responding to comments, and sharing new and interesting content regularly.