This Automated Strategy Leverages Off Your Current School Marketing Campaigns To Substantially Increase Yours Returns With Just A Fractional Increase In Your Marketing Spend.
Does This Sum Up Some Of The Typical School Marketing That You Use To Attract New Enrolments?
Specific major school marketing campaigns that schools will often use include advertising in local newspapers and magazines (many of which will often have special education features throughout the year), advertising on the radio, particularly community radio and many schools will attend local school expos.
Most schools have open days and/or information evenings, school tours etc and many will also actively seek content in local newspapers, and even television and radio (particularly in rural areas) and most will have significant signage at the entrance of their school.
What do all of these forms of school marketing have in common? They either directly or indirectly point people to their website for further details. Even organic marketing, parents referring other parents etc, will usually involve prospective parents looking at the school’s website.
The website will usually include enrollment information, often an enrollment kit, prospectus, perhaps details of school tours, open days, fees etc.
And The Typical Result Of All Of These School Marketing Campaigns.
Results will of course vary wildly, but at the end of the day, of the people that hear your school marketing message:
• Some will call up the school to seek further details (that’s great as many will take the appropriate action at that time, book a school tour etc) but in any case hopefully, you will take their details so that you can keep marketing to them in the future.
• But for the overwhelming majority of people who do take some action as a result of your marketing, it will be to look at your website. Perhaps you have a great website with good information, well set out and some specific calls to action or perhaps you have a fairly average website. The better the website the better the response that you will receive.
• But even with a great website, the overwhelming majority of your website visitors will just leave your website, without taking any action at all. They have some interest or they would not have gone there in the first place, but they’re just not ready to take action right now, so they leave.
And for the majority of schools, this is where that marketing campaign ends.
You paid for all that marketing, it brought people to your website – a small number were ready to take action at that time and did. This is what we typically refer to as the “low hanging fruit” but the rest of your interested visitors left and most will never come back again and you have no idea who they were, so to get them back, probably the most effective way is to go again with your often expensive marketing campaign and hope that they can be re-engaged, but it literally is a hope and an expensive one at that.
Imagine it this way in the real (offline) world:
Let’s say you have 100 prospective parents walk into your school – they are only there because they have a genuine interest, as they are responding to your formal or informal marketing (so you have paid to get them this far). But many staff are away that day, so they can just look after one person at a time. So the other parents just have a quick look around themselves, they think it’s maybe not for them or not the right time. If your team did have the opportunity to chat with them they would have better understood the school, the culture, it’s unique offering etc and they would have realised that it was right for them.
But as it was, they walk out, they didn’t even leave their contact details. So your potential parents, the ones that you just paid to get in the door have now left – and you had so much more to say to them! But it’s too late, they’re gone.
Imagine being able to re-connect to those potential parents!
It’s not too late if you have some form of tracking on your website, so you can then go back to those people and re-market to them. That’s one of the types of audiences that can be created on Facebook by installing some code on your website so that each time a visitor comes to your website, if Facebook can match that user to a Facebook account (which more often than not they can), then you can go back to those people and only those people.
Are Schools Currently Using These Strategies?
A handful of schools are already using these strategies: Trinity Grammar School, Stella Maris College Manly, Pittwater House, The Kings School, John Colet School, Covenant Christian School to name but a few of the Sydney schools. But they are by far in the minority, as most schools are not aware of this technology and/or are without the expertise to implement them.
Will it improve the return on your existing marketing spend?
You bet it will, here’s an interesting stat – according to a study done by SeeWhy, a behavioural marketing company, 46% of people who see these retargeted ads will return to your website. But without retargeting, on average only 8% of people will return, says the study. Many major organisations are now re-marketing to their clients, Kimberley Clarke, for example, has found that they get a 50% to 60% higher conversion rate from the customers that they re-market to!
Here’s an example of how this might work for your school:
You have some school tours coming up next month. You book some local newspaper and local magazine advertising to promote the event.
Your prospective parents see the ads, look at the details on your website, some book straight away, some think “could be good, I’ll have a think about that” but take no further action at the time.
You then run a re-marketing campaign and run a specific Facebook ad, that only the people who looked at the “school tour” information on your website will see. It’s a simple awareness ad, just reminding those people about the upcoming tours.
Sample Facebook Ad, Appearing In Prospective Parents News Feed
As you can imagine these Facebook ads can be extremely effective as they are going out to a very warm audience and because it’s such a specific audience, you can have a very targeted ad copy with a specific message and best of all, the actual ad costs tend to be extremely low.
So you can see how by adding this form of targeted advertising you can substantially increase the effectiveness of your existing (and often fairly costly) school marketing campaigns for a relatively low increase in costs as you are just leveraging off the traffic that your other campaigns are already attracting.
Some parents are ready and you will pick them up quickly, but they are just the “low hanging fruit”. But the rest of the fruit is still on the tree as others will not be ready, but now that you have their details, you can stay front of mind in a very cost effective way.
Best of all, this can all be set up to run on automatic. So set it up once, capture all the website visitors details and you can re-market to them straight away, or wait until the next school tour, open day etc, but either way, you now have a warm audience that is being added to daily. It can even be set up to just target visitors to certain pages, so, for example, an automated ad can run, but only to people who have visited say your enrolments page!