Abeka Front Office provides free resources on how to market and manage your school. You might be lacking the time, budget, or marketing knowledge needed to get started. It’s hard to find extra time in your busy schedule to market your school. But we’re sharing all of our best-kept secrets with you right here, right now. This is part two of a three-part series on how to market your school.
How to Market Your School
Part 1: The Fundamentals of Marketing
Part 2: Finding the Time
Abeka provides free marketing materials on Front Office that can be customized for your school, complete with your own logo. We have email templates, newsletter ads, printed mailers, print ads, social media posts, videos, and more. Request materials for your school.
Find the Time
We never have enough time in the day. You could lose yourself in all of the different avenues of marketing. But you have to prioritize important tasks. With marketing, you need to focus on things that make a difference. If you’re not getting results, don’t do it. If something is working, spend more time in this area. If you’re just getting started, or need some help with managing your schedule, we have included a sample schedule below for you to follow.
Analyze Current Marketing Efforts
Begin by taking an inventory of your current marketing efforts. Marketing decisions should be backed by data and analytics. Analyze your data and analytics to see what’s performing well and what’s not working. Create a list ranking tasks from the most effective to the least effective, and focus the majority of your time on what’s performing best and helping you meet your goals. Tasks, listed in order of importance, include website updates, emails, and inbound and outbound marketing campaigns.
Plan Inbound and Outbound Marketing Campaigns
The objective of inbound and outbound marketing campaigns is to increase enrollment. Inbound marketing means that you’re trying to get people to come to you, by using tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). Outbound campaigns occur when you’re pushing information out, such as social media ads or a billboard ad. The inbound and outbound marketing campaigns drive people to your website.
SEO and SEM are two different marketing channels you can use to reach potential new customers. They are two different approaches to make your school’s website appear in search engine results pages. Both drive traffic to your website and enhance your school’s online presence. SEO uses organic tactics to show up in search results, and you don’t pay a cent when a user clicks on your webpage. But it can take months to see results. However, SEO adds value over time and provides lasting results.
However, SEM uses paid tactics to show up in search results. You spend money on Google keywords, so you’re ranked at the top of the search results when a potential customer searches for Christian schools. With SEM, you’ll pay every single time an internet user clicks on your ad, either cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impressions. SEM can generate results instantly. But when you stop paying for ads, new users stop coming to your site.
Post on Social Media
Time management is all about prioritizing your tasks and making marketing a priority. Remember that you can’t do it all. Start small. Doing quality work and making good decisions take time.
Starting small with social media means setting a goal to post once a week. Then, you can post photos from specific events. You don’t have to post daily. In the long run, you may be posting three to four times per week, but not at the start.
Automate Whenever Possible
Use automation systems when possible. Social media posts can be scheduled in advance. If you know there’s an event coming up on your school calendar, go ahead and schedule a social post a month out. Email also lets you set up an automated reply. You can schedule emails to be sent at certain times. It’s important not to let social media overwhelm you. Do what you can and build from there.
If you schedule your marketing tasks throughout the week, you will see that you have more time. Use summer to build a content calendar. You can look at your school calendar and base content around it. We recommend scheduling time to check marketing analytics to see what’s performing well. You can check the analytics on your website, social media, and emails.
Divvy Up Marketing Tasks
Daily tasks include responding to emails and comments/messages on social media. If someone walked into the front office of your school, you wouldn’t sit there and say nothing. Private social media messages should be treated as if that person were sitting in your front office. Often, questions can be redirected to a link on your website.
Social media becomes less time-consuming when you aren’t doing everything by yourself. Survey your staff to see who is interested in helping with social media. From there, you can assign responsibilities to each individual. You never know who has hidden talent until you ask. It’s important to give up some of the control because you don’t have the time to do it all. Find people you can trust, and give them the chance to prove themselves.
We know marketing your school can seem like an overwhelming task at first. But, we assure you, once you get going and implement dependable systems, marketing your school is a breeze. And don’t forget, if you need extra support, Abeka provides free marketing materials on Front Office that can be customized for your school.