In recent years, there has been a slowdown in the number of inquiries and applications private schools have received from prospective parents. At the same time, competition from charter schools, home schooling and online education has increased, making the landscape in private education more competitive than ever.
Understanding parents concerns and decision factors is only part of solving the recruitment and retention puzzle. You must also understand how to reach parents with the right messages at the right time, to maximize your marketing effectiveness. Online ads are the most cost-effective and impactful way to accomplish these goals.
A Strategy, Not an Just an Ad
Creating an online advertising campaign is not a one and done proposition. Reputation is built by your message reaching your audience, with the right frequency, over time.
Take a look at the following graph of Google search volume on the term “private school.” Comparing several years side by side, it is clear to see that there is a strong seasonal trend: every January there is a spike in the volume of searches related to private schools. This means that a private education institution should run online ads from January through at least May to ensure that they are part of parents’ decision process.
With banner ads, the timing, placement and content of your messages can be strategically planned and executed, better than with any other medium. The right mix of reach and frequency is key to your marketing success. Online ads are also more cost effective and provide better return on investment than other types of advertising, so they are a win from many perspectives.
Importance of Reputation
When it comes to the information parents consider when evaluating private schools, reputation ranks second only to word of mouth from friends, family and neighbors. Schools work hard to do the right thing on campus, but the perception of your school is not built overnight. Word has to spread to build your status in parents’ minds. For this reason, brand awareness advertising provides a boost to word of mouth marketing strategies.
Find Them Where They Already Are
A major advantage online ads bring to your marketing is the ability to have your messages find your audience, instead of the other way around. By placing ads in a variety of media, where parents are already spending time online, a well-designed marketing campaign establishes and reinforces your message.
Parents looking to enroll their children in private schools tend to have higher than average incomes, are success-driven and tend to favor schools that provide a challenging curriculum. These characteristics give us insight as to where this audience is already spending its time online. This makes it easier to get your messages in front of them, across a wide variety of media, which will strengthen the impact of your messages.
Understand the Medium
Many factors influence ad response rates. By working with an agency with deep knowledge and broad experience, you can be assured of proper ad design and placement to maximize your marketing budget. While your competitors struggle for market share, you can be secure, knowing you will reach parents where they are, with messages that will drive enrollment and increase retention. Value is the name of the game and at Vantage Local, we work with each client to customize campaigns to their unique needs
Speak with one of our specialists to get the ball rolling on your next campaign.