Inbound marketing for private education makes sense. But it takes the right strategy to make it perform at its best. Here are four questions your strategy must address to make your content marketing work.
Four Inbound Marketing Questions for Private Education
1. Are you Discoverable?
Content marketing is about building relationships with your prospective parents and students. Forming those relationships begins with them discovering your school as they search online. Your content strategy therefore needs to address how well your website does in the search rankings.
2. Are you Believable?
Does your content include authentic information about your facilities and staff? A short bio for each of your staff members is important. It should include enough information for parents to get a feel for the staff and faculty. This might leave some people on staff feeling exposed, but a certain degree of vulnerability is a part of presenting the value of your school. Prospective parents in particular need to build trust for faculty and staff, and this starts online. How better to build trust the staff than to get to know a few facts about them before meeting face-to-face?
3. Are you Valuable?
To build a strong relationship with your prospective parents, your content needs to provide real value to them - it needs to meet their needs. This goes beyond talking about your school and what you have accomplished, or may be planning in the future. Your content should address the wider life concerns of both the parents and students you want to attract. Seek to solve the problems they have this month or even this week. If that means pointing away from your own revenue-producing activities, so be it. As in any relationship, it can’t be all about you. If you're only shouting, “look at me! I’m great!” you are not valuable to your audience; you may just be annoying.
->Review your digital content with our team to see where you are providing value to parents in the enrollment decision process.
4. Are you Approachable?
One last thing: people want to be heard, not just listen to you. Your content strategy needs to include ways for your prospective parents and students to interact with your organization. In inbound marketing that means you present interesting content of various types and then provide ways for parents to be able to interact. Like a relationship, the communication must travel both ways. There are many digital, and other, marketing channels available to private education. It often requires the right software to stay in touch.
Inbound Marketing for Education Takes a Comprehensive Digital Approach
Of course, there is more to a strategy than content. By definition it should include all aspects of your digital presence. There is not one magic trick that you can use to make your marketing soar. Your strategy should start with a deep understanding of the behavior of your target audience (we call this persona) online. This understanding should also include brand, differentiators, digital assets, social, email, and connect to your "in person" and print strategies.