How do you feel about the word marketing? Marketing and advertising have changed so much over the past ten years that it’s hard to stay current on best practices, especially for educators.
It used to be the case that high-performing schools like yours didn’t have to compete for attention in the marketing sphere, certainly not to the degree expected of you today. However, so much of the conversation has become parent-led that you’ve had to redefine your own narrative to meet parent demands. And that conversation is taking place online.
You know it’s time to move into the digital sphere to capture the attention of prospective parents. But you’re worried about navigating the pitfalls and keeping your school’s integrity intact. The good news is, you’re on the right track. That attitude is the cornerstone of ethical marketing success.
Yes, traditional marketing is disruptive and one-sided. But with all the tools at the modern marketer’s fingertips, there’s no reason to hail back to the old, ineffective techniques.
Modern marketing is ethical marketing. At least, it can be. Here’s how.
There are 3 defining aspects of an ethical marketing campaign differentiate from typical marketing.
Purposful. You want to enroll new students to your program, but that shouldn’t be the theme behind your marketing strategy.
Purposeful marketing is marketing that offers helpful, relevant content to a specific audience. When you create content - web pages, blog posts, social media posts, etc. - with the intent of helping prospective parents understand their children and be better parents, you develop trust.
Engaging. No one wants to be sold to. And frankly, no one wants to be lectured. That’s why it’s so important to engage prospective parents in a two way conversation about their struggles and needs.
When your goal is to engage your prospective parents in a two-way conversation, your focus moves from your needs to your prospective parent's needs. When you do that, your subject matter transcends your school's offerings and settles on supporting your audience. This is how relationships are built.
Powerful. Powerful marketing, or rather, powerful content, leaves your audience wanting more. When your marketing is purposeful and engaging, it becomes powerful. Which is to say, it identifies a parent's pain point, offers an explanation, and offers the parent a short-term solution as well as detailed steps to find a long-term the solution.
In other words, powerful content offers the prospective parent the change they crave.
Fundamentally, what makes ethical marketing “ethical” is the intention of building trusting relationships. When you want prospective parents to come to you to solve their problems, and you are proactive in offering solutions before you even know they need you, you create a campaign driven by empathy. What’s more ethical than that?
Building relationships takes time. Once you’ve attracted a prospective parent to your website, you’ll want to make sure you have the opportunity to continue to nurture your newfound relationship. That means gathering their contact information and permission to use it.