Today, more and more schools are realizing they can leverage ethical marketing practices to attract prospective families and fill their classrooms with happy new students.
There are so many ethical marketing tools and solutions schools like yours can leverage to get the word out about your school and fill classrooms in a positive, purposeful way. From your website to social media to YouTube, there's no shortage of channels to help build helpful, relevant conversations with the parents who need your support and empathy.
You know that, which is why you've committed to creating as much content as possible.
Is that helping?
If not, don't be discouraged. You have the content; you have the commitment. Now all you need is the strategy.
That strategy is called the Inbound Methodology.
There are three phases to the inbound methodology for education.
There are three phases to the Inbound Methodology:
Each phase has a corresponding set of tools, goals, and purpose. We'll look at each individually, then put it all together with a case study.
The first phase, or goal, of the Inbound Methodology is to attract prospective parents with purposeful, engaging, powerful content you've created just for them.
Your attract toolkit includes your website, which serves as the hub of all your other efforts; SEO (search engine optimization), which affects how search engines rank and return your website when a parent searches relevant keywords; social media accounts, which is where you’ll give short answers to prospective parents’ questions; your blog, which is where you go into detail to answer parents’ important questions; and ads. If you shudder to think of using “ads” in your ethical marketing campaign, don’t.
There’s a lot to navigate as a parent with a pressing question about your child’s wellbeing. By creating purposeful ads with the intention of helping parents find the answers they need, you save them time and energy on their search.
Like everything else you do, your ads should focus on meeting prospective familys’ needs. As an extension of the rest of your ethical marketing plan, ads simply reach out to parents feeling the sting of a pain point you’ve identified to let them know you have a solution.
Once a prospective parent trusts you to answer their question and finds their way to your website, you want to ensure you have the opportunity to continue your conversation. By offering something of value, you can convince a visitor to trade their contact information for a helpful tool. This is the convert phase of your marketing strategy.
The conversion tool box includes three important tools: your landing page, or a page offering something of value, particularly the fix to a parent’s problem; your CTA (or call to action) which explicitly states how the parent can access the great tool you’ve provided; and forms, which is how you gather the visitor’s contact information.
The amount of information a prospective parent is likely to share with you depends on the perceived value of the offer behind the form. The more information you want, the more valuable the offer must be. Typically “enroll now” or “schedule” are not considered valuable at this point. Instead, it should be something that the parent can take home and implement on their own.
This begins the “trial” period of your relationship.
Because you created a great tool for your prospective parent, and you were able to gather their contact information, you have everything you need to continue the conversation – or nurture – your new lead.
At this stage, you’ll use your contact data to create helpful content, which you’ll deliver via email. Consistency builds trust; you’ll ensure consistency through automation. By “automation” I don’t mean fake. I mean scheduled. And you’ll keep all of your information organized in a CRM, that’s “customer relationship management” software.
Excel is not a CRM.
Hubspot has a totally free forever CRM platform that I can’t suggest enough. You can use forms through their platform to capture and organize lead contact information automatically. It’s been rated number one over and over again. And that’s just the free service. The complete platform does, well, everything.